Knee Reaping Disqualification Tactics: A New Low Among Cheating BJJ Competitors – BJJGrappling.Com

Knee Reaping DQ

Reaping the knee can get you disqualified… even if your opponent reaps his own knee. =/

Shady competitors are now knee reaping themselves to get you disqualified!

This past weekend I traveled with my teammates to the 2012 IBJJF Master & Seniors Worlds Championship.  Although I wasn’t competing, I was pumped up because of the amount of work we put in to prepare ourselves for these tournaments is immense.  I was interested in seeing my teammates do well with our newest tournament prep tactics and skill building strategies.  The tournament got under way with our instructor taking silver via a razor thin ref’s decision in the final match of the masters lightweight division against Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro.

After a long break, one of our blue belts was up next.  The match started with his opponent jumping into full closed guard.  After a little monkeying around, Randy secured his grips to start working his stand up guard pass.  As he progresses through the pass, an opportunity presents itself and Randy, being the submission maniac that he is, went for the ankle lock.  His outside foot placement on the hip was within the gray area where it’s not definitely illegal, but it wasn’t 100% certifiably legal either.

His opponent was much more keen to the knee reaping rule, because, as he stood up to defend, he was staring at the referee telling him it was a knee reap.  The referee stood there watching not fully convinced, until the opponent forcefully moved Randy’s leg into the definitive red zone area for knee reaping.  At that point, the opponent fell via soccer flop and complained of pain like a total wimp.

This isn’t the first time someone was DQ’d for reaping the knee and, likely, it will not be the last.

Allow me to make it clear that I completely agree with rules made to keep competitors safe.  In fact, I have no qualm with the knee reaping rule.  Although, I sometimes I accidentally reap the knee in training. =/

However, I’m sure I won’t be alone in having disdain for people who use the rules to cheat their way to victories.  I don’t even understand what type of psychological ego disorder you have to have to rationalize cheating in order to win.  How can you call yourself a champion knowing that you didn’t man up and go toe to toe with your opponents?

End rant.  So, all of you bjj competitors planning to compete in ibjjf tournaments, keep in mind that your opponents can cheat you out of your tournament by forcing you to reap their knee.  And, according to Marcelo Ribeiro, “It is the responsibility of the person applying the leg lock to

Reaping the Knee

JT “Spiderman” Torres alerting the ref of his opponent reaping the knee.

adhere to the rules and be knowledgeable in the placement of their own legs and their opponents…. Regardless of what the opponent does.

So, please educate yourself so that you do not leave yourself in situations for this to happen to YOU.

Check out Randy’s fight, and tell me what you think.

Follow me: @rubeneavila



  1. Dustin Waters says

    Yeah, definitely your buddies fault. He fell to the inside, first mistake. Second, the reap was happening before the guy even touched the leg, and it appears to me he attempted to push the leg down.

    Also the guy definitely didn’t put on a show like soccer players, looks more like he lost balance honestly.

    • says

      Hey Dustin, I appreciate your input. I will concede that perhaps my perspective is skewed. While his execution was off there is a little more to it than the video lets on. The video doesn’t show what the guy was saying to the ref leading up to the dq.

      Ultimately, it does rest in my teammates hands to make sure to not put himself in situations were this could happen, so, to a large degree, you are right that it is his fault.

  2. Chris says

    I was just reading about knee reaping as I was unaware of it until reading about it relating something else. It seems like a stupid rule IMHO. The thing I’m scared of is that people that can benefit from being DQ’ed in that situation will cheat (allow/facilitate a reap) just to show the ref for the DQ. Kind of like the basketball players that take a small bump and fall to the floor and slide 10 feet back on their rear like thy got ran ovr by a truck when in fact it was a small bump. Bad stuff here.

    • Ruben says

      I agree Chris, it is definitely deplorable that cheaters can, have, and will facilitate a reap and get their opponents DQd. I think it’s very dishonorable. The IBJJF needs to pay more attention to this and do a better job of having a standard for the referees. They are all mandated to take the classes, but are they tested on their knowledge of the rules? I have seen way too many different “interpretations” of the rules at competitions. Very frustrating stuff.

    • Ruben says

      Hey Shawn, thanks for putting in your two cents. Did you see the opponent forcefully moving the leg into his stomach? Randy’s toes were wrapped around his opponent’s waist firmly prior to the opponent moving the foot into the illegal area himself.

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