Quintet: Team Grappling Recap

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Quintet: Team Grappling 

In the last few years the Jiu-Jitsu community has gone through a bit of a metamorphosis. While point based tournaments were the standard, and to a large degree still is, off shoots of the standard have sprouted. We then saw the submission only format start to make some buzz. Ralek Gracie’s Metamoris for example, garnered a ton of attention at its peak. The drawback of its rule set unfortunately was that it had no answer for the mounting draws that we kept seeing. Fighters seemed to be playing for the draw in order not to look bad, instead of pushing the action for a win.  

One of the answers to this issue came in the form of the Eddie Bravo Invitational, a submission only structure with a unique overtime format. Competitors would start by either defending the “Spider Web” aka arm bar or with your opponent on your back, both hooks, and a seat belt grip. Additionally each participant is timed on the escapes in the event that a submission doesn’t occur in order to determine the winner. At first, I thought it was a bit weird for me but after seeing it I actually really grew to love the format.  

One of the latest ruleset adaptations has come in the way of Quintet. I only came across Quintet about two weeks ago. If you’re a WWE/F fan, picture the submission grappling version of Survivor Series without being able to tag teammates in when you’re tired. Quintet is a team-based event where the only way to advance onto the next opponent is to win is by submission.  

No Points or Judges’ Decisions

Let me try to break this down the best I can. It’s a five on five match which starts off with two grapplers. If grappler A submits grappler B, grappler A stays in the match and the next teammate from the defeated squad now gets on the mat to replace grappler B. This happens until all five teammates on a team are eliminated. In essence you could have grappler A defeat the opposing side on their own, which would keep his team nice and fresh for the next round after advancing. Now, if there is no submission within the allotted time, both grappler A and B are eliminated and their teammates will then fill in for them.  

If this style of a match wasn’t intriguing enough, the no stalling rule is amped up. The referees don’t waste time when it comes to grapplers stalling for very long. If you close your guard for example, you’ll have to get to work quickly or you’ll be issued a warning. If you’re trying to catch your breath while in the bottom of side control, you can be issued another warning. After the third, you’re disqualified. Side note, my personal belief is that the refs were a little too liberal with warnings but I can live with it.  

The fact that the event is strictly NoGi, submission only, along with the anti-stalling philosophy it makes for an extremely fast paced match. The action is frenetic at times. Submissions and transitions tossed back and forth. The match type also lends itself to higher possibility of upsets. If anyone has ever thought that they were decent at chess then sped the game up with a timer, you can relate.  

I’m excited to see what the next Quintet events are like and how the company’s impact will push the competition scene forward. If you’re interested in checking out the first three Quintet events, they are available on UFC’s Fight pass. This week, the UFC also made Team Polaris vs Team 10th Planet available for free. This match was possibly the best of the night for Quintet 3. Give it a shot, I guarantee that you’ll become a fan.

 

David Figueroa-Martinez
Twitter: @JiuJitsuJournal

 

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