American Sport Jujitsu League

Rules Overview

For more information on competition rules, please see individual rule sets for free-sparing, kata, self-defense, and bjj grappling. If you are interested in having your event sanctioned by the ASJL, please read the information here.

General Guidelines


  1. Contestants and their coaches must wear the official uniform as herein defined.
  2. The A.S.J.L. representative may disqualify any official, coach or competitor who does not comply with this regulation.


Referees and Judges must wear the official uniform designated by the tournament host (official event shirts and uniform pants) or Martial arts uniform (Gi) Wrestling or mat shoes may be worn. Female referees and judges should wear a soft style hairclip or band. NO Tennis shoes or other outdoor shoes permitted. NO blue jeans or non-athletic apparel permitted while performing the duties of referee or corner judge.


  1. Contestants must wear a traditional Japanese/Korean style Jujitsu, Judo, or karate uniform; heavy weight uniforms are recommended, but not mandatory. One contestant must wear a red belt or identifying flag and the other a white belt or identifying flag during sport jujitsu and grappling divisions. The red and white flags shall be provided by the tournament host.
  2. The jacket, when tightened around the waist with the belt, must be of a minimum length that covers the hips, but must not be more than three-quarters thigh length. The sleeves can extend to the wrist and no less than one Fist distance from wrist. Female competitors must wear a plain white T-shirt or rash guard style shirt beneath the jacket. Male competitors may also wear rash guard style or tight PLAIN t-shirt under the Jacket.
  3. The maximum length of the jacket sleeves must be no longer then the bend of the wrist and no shorter than halfway down the forearm. Jacket sleeves may not be rolled up.
  4. The trousers must be long enough to cover at least two thirds of the shin and must not reach below the anklebone. Trouser legs may not be rolled up, and must be tied.
  5. Contestants must keep their hair clean and cut to a length that does not obstruct smooth bout conduct. Hachimaki (headband) will not be allowed. Should the Referee consider any contestant’s hair too long and/or unclean, he may disbar the contestant from the bout, or require the contestant to pull back and tie the hair with a soft style hair tie. In Kumite matches hair slides are prohibited, as are metal hairclips. In Kata, a discreet hair clip is permitted. Ribbons and other decorations are prohibited.
  6. Contestants must have short fingernails and must not wear metallic or other objects, which might injure their opponents. The use of metallic teeth braces must be approved by the Referee and the Official Doctor, and an appropriate gum style mouth guard should completely cover the braces. The contestant accepts full responsibility for any injury. No jewelry of any kind!! This includes ANY and all piercings.
  7. The following protective equipment is compulsory, for Sparring Divisions:
    A. approved mitts.
    B. Gum style mouth shield
    C. Soft style foam dipped foot protection
    D. Groin Guards are mandatory for male contestants                                                    E. 
    Foam dipped Head gear for Under 18 competitors
  8. Glasses are forbidden. Soft contact lenses can be worn at the contestant’s own risk.
  9. The wearing of unauthorized clothing or equipment is forbidden. Soft shin-instep guards, knee pads, and elbow pads are permitted. NO metallic or hard plastic fasteners will be approved for shin guards or knee braces. All brace type equipment must be neoprene style wraps.
  10. It is the duty of the Arbitrator (Kansa) to ensure before each match or bout that the competitors are wearing the approved equipment. (In the case of Continental Union, International, or National Federation Championships it should be noted that normally approved equipment, must be accepted and cannot be refused
  11. The use of bandages, padding, or supports because of injury must be approved by the Referee on the advice of the Official Doctor, if needed.


  1. Coaches shall at all times during the tournament, wear an official tracksuit of their dojo, team, or National Federation and display their official identification while near competition area.
  2. Only ONE coach is permitted outside the safety area, directly behind his/her competitor. Coaches may not engage in conversation with the referee or corner judges. Any inappropriate conduct or verbal aggression made by a coach can and will result in the disqualification of the contestant.
Special Circumstances
  1. There may well be a religious basis for the wearing of certain items such as turbans or amulets. Persons wishing, by virtue of their religion, to wear what would otherwise be construed as unauthorized clothing must notify the AJL representative in advance of tournament registration. The Representative/Referee will examine each application on its merit. No accommodation will be made for people who just turn up on the day and expect to participate.
    II. If a contestant comes into the area inappropriately dressed, he or she will not be immediately disqualified; instead the fighter will be given three minutes to remedy matters.
    III. If the ASJL Representative agrees, Refereeing Officials may be allowed to wear warm up or track suit uniforms while performing duties. However, shoes MUST be of an approved design or removed.
  1. The Refereeing Panel for each kumite match shall consist of: one Referee (SHUSHIN), three corner Judges (FUKUSHIN), and one arbitrator (KANSA). For local (smaller) events the score keeper may act as arbitrator.
  2. The Referee and Judges of a kumite, or grappling bouts must not be from the same dojo, be an instructor of, or have the nationality of either of the participants (International Events). During smaller events this may not be possible; in this case the ASJL representative may move judges to other competition areas, or replace the official with another official during that division.
  3. In addition, for facilitating the operation of matches, several timekeepers, caller announcers, record keepers, and score supervisors shall be appointed.


  1. No one may protest about a judgment to the members of the Refereeing Panel.
  2. If a refereeing procedure appears to contravene the rules, the coach of the contestant, or the official representative of the dojo/team is the only one allowed to make a protest. Contestants, family members, and team mates are NOT permitted to make a protest of any kind.
  3. The protest will take the form of an oral report submitted immediately after the incident in which the protest was generated. The protest should be made to the area arbitrator; the referee shall be notified and all matches in that division Cease. If the issue cannot be resolved by the area arbitrator and referee, the Tournament arbitrator and ASJL representative will be notified to resolve the issue. All competition in that division must stop until the problem is resolved and fair, safe competition can resume. (The sole exception is when the protest concerns an administrative or safety malfunction. The Match Area Controller should be notified immediately after the administrative or safety malfunction is detected).
  4. Declined Protests – If a protest is found invalid, the Appeal shall be over ruled and competition shall resume. It should be noted that the safety of all competitors is the primary concern of the arbitrating officials.
  5. Accepted Protests – If a protest is accepted, the officials shall take such measures as can be practically carried out to remedy the situation including the possibilities of:

    Reversing previous judgments that contravene the rules

    •Voiding results of the affected matches in the pool from the point previous to the incident

    •Redoing such matches that have been affected by the incident

    •Issuing a recommendation to the ASJL representative and Tournament arbitrator that involved referees are evaluated for correction or replaced for the duration of the division competition.

The responsibility rests with the Arbitrators to exercise restraint and sound judgment in taking actions that will disturb the smooth operation of the event in any significant manner. Reversing the process of the eliminations is a last option to secure a fair outcome.

  1. The decision of the Appeals staff is final, and can only be overruled by a decision of the ASJL executive Committee; which is unlikely, due to the direct involvement of the arbitrators on sight.

*Any conduct exhibited by competitors, coaches, team mates, or family; that is deemed disrespectful and/or interferes with the safe and peaceful operation of the event, may result in a disqualification from the tournament and the offending party, or parties involved, will be asked to leave the building!!! The American Jujitsu League is a progressive martial arts competition organization; that holds to the traditions of respect and discipline and expects proper conduct to be displayed by ALL who attend our events.

  • 1st Infraction – Warning!
  • 2nd Infraction – Opponent awarded 2 points
  • 3rd Infraction – Disqualification from the match

Kata (traditional Karate Style solo forms; Weapon divisions may also be offered by tournament host/director)

Self-Defense (Partner self-defense demonstration)

Free-Sparring (Sport Jujitsu format; Continuous Action Light contact strikes, kicks, throws & takedowns, ground fighting)

Grappling (Modified BJJ format)

ASJL Tournaments offer multiple divisions

Participation classes are divided by age, weight, rank, and time in training; this is done to provide the fairest possible format for juniors and cadet participants.

ASJL Sanctioning requires that the tournament director offers the ASJL Sport Jujitsu Free sparring divisions. All other events are held at the discretion of the tournament host. It is Highly recommended that Kata and BJJ grappling be offered in addition to sport jujitsu free fighting at all events.

*Tournament director/host has the right to combine, add, or delete divisions to accommodate the participation of tournament contestants. Junior and Cadet Participants with a significant discrepancy in size compared to age may be moved to an alternate division to maintain the integrity of the divisions; however, this will be avoided if possible.

Please note that a participant that moves up in an age group may be placed with lower ranking participants; likewise, if a participant moves down an age bracket they may be placed with more advanced participants. A contestant may not request to be placed in an alternate division to increase the chances of success; alternate divisions are used to maintain fairness and avoid unnecessary risk of potential injury to contestants.   All factors will be considered by host, officials and a coach before a decision is rendered.

Competition Levels

  • Beginner divisions are less than 12 months training
  • Novice divisions are more than 12 months training but less than 36 months training
  • Advanced divisions 36 months to 48 months training
  • Black Belt Competitors 16 years of age and older; with more than 48 months training must compete in Black Belt Divisions

Age Categories:

Junior Divisions – Non-submission groups (grapple for position and points only)

  • 5 & under- boys and girls
  • 6 & 7 – boys and girls
  • 8-9 boys– Light (under 90lbs) & Heavy (90lbs & over)
  • 8-9 girls– Light (under 90lbs) & Heavy (90lbs & over)
  • 10-11 boys– Light (under 100lbs) & Heavy (100lbs & over)
  • 10-11 girls– Light (under 100lbs) & Heavy (100lbs & over)

Cadet Divisions – Legal Submission groups (submission wins the round)

  • 12-13 Male–     Novice Light & Heavy           Advanced – Light & Heavy (<130>)
  • 12-13 Female– Novice Light & Heavy           Advanced – Light & Heavy (<120>)
  • 14-15 Male–     Novice Light & Heavy           Advanced – Light & Heavy (<160>)
  • 14-15 Female– Novice Light & Heavy           Advanced – Light & Heavy (<140>)
  • 16-17 Male–     Novice Light & Heavy           Advanced – Light & Heavy (<180>)
  • 16-17 Female– Novice Light & Heavy           Advanced – Light & Heavy (<155>)

*Beginner divisions (light and heavy) may be added to cadet and Adult Categories

Adult under Black Belt – Legal Submission groups (submission wins the round)

  • 18-35 Men–                  Novice Light & Heavy      Advanced – Light & Heavy(<190>)
  • 18-35 Women–            Novice Light & Heavy      Advanced – Light & Heavy(<165>)
  • 35- 49 Men–                 Novice Light & Heavy      Advanced – Light & Heavy(<195>)
  • 35 & up Women–        Novice Light & Heavy      Advanced – Light & Heavy(<170>)
  • 50 & up Men–              Novice Light & Heavy  Advanced – Light &  Heavy(<195>)

Black Belt Divisions – Legal Submission groups (submission wins the MATCH)

18-35 Men

  • Light weight
  • Middle Weight
  • Light Heavy wt.
  • Heavy Weight
  • Super Heavy

18-35 Women

  • Light Weight
  • Heavy Weight

35- 49 Men

  • Light Weight
  • Heavy Weight

35-49 Women

  • Light Weight
  • Heavy Weight

50 & up Men

  • Light Weight
  • Heavy Weight

50 & up Women

  • Light Weight
  • Heavy Weight

This competition Format is designed to allow ALL styles an equal advantage to compete. All competitors must compete in the division of the highest rank attained in ANY style of martial art. If you are a Black Belt in Karate, Tae Kwon Do, or Kung Fu you MUST compete as a Black Belt IN ALL DIVISIONS!!! A competitor who is a Brown Belt in Karate should NOT be competing against persons who have 3 to 6 months experience in any other art. Integrity and fair play is expected from martial artists! 

Weight Divisions (Adult)

Under Black Belt Adult Males                                                     Under Black Belt Adult Females

Light      Below 170                                                                       Light  Under 130

Middle  170 – 199.9                                                                      Middle  130 – 159.9

Heavy    200 – over                                                                        Heavy    160 – up

MEN’S: Adult Black Belt
Light……………….  154.9 lbs. and under
Middle……………. 155 lbs. to 169.9 lbs.
Super Middle…..  170 lbs  to 184.9 lbs
Light-Heavy……. 185 lbs. to 199.9 lbs.
Heavy…………. 200 lbs. to 224.9 lbs.                                       .
Super Heavy……  225 lbs. and over

Cadet Divisions Male and Female

Chief referee divides weight  classes at ring side size matching the competitors***14 -15 and 16-17 year old division can be combined  and divided by size if number of participants does not allow adequate divisions. Cadets MAY NOT Compete with Adult.

LADIES: Adult (All ranks)
Light……………….  Under 130 lbs.
Middle…………….. 130 lbs. to 159.9 lbs.
Heavy……………… 160 lbs. and over