Queensland BJJ Tournaments: What Are Your Options?

Author: Bryson Smith
TFC Member
BJJ Blue belt


In this article, we will discuss some of the Queensland BJJ tournaments beginners and advanced practitioners may join.

Truthfully, the hardest part of learning jiu jitsu is the first six months. During this period, success can be rare, and it is common to feel as if you’re often hanging on for dear life. Suppose you’ve developed athletic prowess from previous training or are naturally larger. In that case, you may find success through overpowering your fellow beginners. However, the size difference becomes less significant once you share the mats with an advanced player. It becomes harder to ignore the power of solid technique too.

Without a doubt, the early times of developing your new skillset is the most challenging. As such, your attitude toward competing in jiu jitsu may look like the following;

“I would consider competing if I felt more confident in my ability.”

“I’m not interested in competing. I just want to learn jiujitsu casually.”

“I might consider competing when I improve my general fitness.”

Of course, all the above attitudes are reasonable. However, the point stands that the best way to improve your grappling is to get loads of experience. That is to say, you must train hard, compete, reflect on what worked or didn’t work, and learn from your mistakes. Competition-level intensity is total resistance, and it’ll put your skills to the test. So, there’s one thing you have to do if you want to take decisive steps in improving your abilities. Relieve yourself of expectations (other than to learn) and sign up for a local tournament!

Prior to the pandemic, events run monthly all over the greater Brisbane and Gold Coast areas. Different events have different rulesets. Here are four types of BJJ Tournaments you can expect to see around the place once this whole debacle ends.

  • IBJJF or AFBJJ Tournaments

    Queensland state BJJ tournament banner

    The International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation and Australian Federation of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu are quite similar. Both abide by the same knockout-style structure. If you lose your first match, you cannot proceed. That said, to win the tournament, you must win every match. Talk about pressure! This event structure teaches you the importance of having a game plan. It reinforces the outcomes of your in-match decisions. Like most tournaments, you can compete in gi and no-gi, and there are divisions per weight and belt rank. The star ranking in different events indicates the size and point value of placing in the tournament.

  • Grappling Industries Tournaments

    Grappling Industries follow a round-robin format. That is, all adult competitors get four matches. If the division fills, you may get up to five matches. (Plus finals if you make it.) This structure is great for getting your competitive reps in. Even if you lose a match you will still have four matches on the mats. Repeated exposure is the best way to improve your approach and reduce your nerves. Plus, having several matches in one day will teach you the value of wise energy use!

  • Australian Girls in Gi

    Australian Girls In Gi is a supportive community of female grapplers. This organization hosts female-only tournaments and get-togethers/camps. Their competition structure follows the round-robin format, similar to Grappling Industries. More importantly, it can be a great way for ladies to learn to compete in an encouraging environment!

  • Sub Only Tournaments

    Sub-Only Tournaments follow a double elimination structure. Basically, that means you can’t compete for the championship if you’ve lost twice. In the gi, matches follow the IBJJF point scoring ruleset. On the other hand, The no-gi matches follow ADCC style sub-only rules. That is to say no points are scored unless the match goes into overtime. This ruleset encourages players to seek out submissions. At the same time, it discourages stalling tactics. (Though I have to mention that it can lead to more match-draws with less time to score points in overtime.)

    Are you enjoying the challenge of learning jiu jitsu? In that case, I would strongly encourage you to consider competing. Putting yourself under pressure to perform is a great way to develop yourself and sharpen your skills!