Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Reaping at the IBJJF 2013 European Open

Image from graciemag.com

I am disappointed.  An inspiring story about the return of one of the greatest competitors in Sport Jiu-Jitsu history was derailed by a disqualification due to a leg reap.  This is after an update to the rules that was supposed to make reaping a much less serious offense.

Here is the match between Terere and Claudio Calasans:

Terere is clearly reaping.  Having the leg over the arm doesn't negate the torque placed on the knee.

However, given that Terere is reaping, the Ref should have stopped the match and restarted in a safe position.  Instead the ref appears to warn Terere, but doesn't physically move the leg.  The referee has a chance to move the leg to the "last safe position" during a restart from out-of-bounds, but instead opts to do nothing.

When the ref tells Terere that penalty points are being awarded for the reap, he still doesn't fix the position.  This ultimately results in one of the highest profile matches at the tournament ending due to an embarrassing technicality.  If reaping is taking place, the referee should immediately stop the match and restart it in a safe position.  This is both for the safety of the competitors and to avoid situations like this.

I understand that this is the first tournament with this new rule set, so perhaps the IBJJF is already advising referees to stop the matches, and this debacle is just a matter of poor training.  Hopefully this oversight is corrected before the 2014 rules update.  The IBJJF is making progress with the rules, but if this is where we stand with reaping, we still have a ways to go.

I haven't written anything about leg reaping yet, so I'll leave with a couple of videos showing the official definitions.

This video defines the basics of reaping.  It was filmed before the recent rules change, so disregard the talk about instant disqualifications :

This video further clarifies the reaping position from De La Riva and One Leg X-Guard: