It’s been a very big week for the IBJJF as they decided to hold their very first major tournament since the start of the pandemic, the Pan-Ams 2020, and it was at this event that the rumors were confirmed, Heelhooks and reaping will become legal as of next year. News originally broke on social media site Reddit where several high-profile sources either weighed in publicly to confirm the news, or were cited by anonymous users. Regardless, there was still no official word from the IBJJF about the legality of heelhooks and reaping moving forward, until now that is.
As the first high-profile tournament of the year began, the IBJJF decided to drop their first piece of exciting news as the no gi Pan-Ams and the Atlanta Open were both scheduled before the end of 2021. Then the confirmation we’ve all been waiting for arrived as the America’s best brown belts competed on one of he biggest stages of the sport and many were promoted to the next level. Representatives confirmed that the rule change will not apply to any tournaments taking this place year but will come into force at some point in 2021, with no specific date revealed as yet.
Realistically, it’s about time that the biggest organisation in the sport decided to include heelhooks, especially considering that particular submission has been in grappling since the very earliest days. Not only is it good news for competitors but also many fans of the sport, as this opens the door for certain academies that have had a great proficiency in heelhooks and as such, have been unwilling to enter IBJJF tournaments under limited rulesets for sometime. Not only are we likely to see appearances by Gordon Ryan and the rest of his Danaher Death Squad teammates, but also an influx of Eddie Bravo’s pupils from 10th Planet, provided the IBJJF is willing to recognise their status as black belts.