Are Throws Allowed In BJJ? (Rules Explained for Beginners)

There are lots of different types and forms of martial arts out there, with so many different rules and laws, that it can be hard to keep track by the end of it!

The more you know about these sports and their rules, the better you can watch these martial arts on TV, like with MMA and specific martial arts tournaments.

Are Throws Allowed In BJJ?

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is one of the most popular combat sports in the world.

However, there are specific rules in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu that you’re unlikely to see with other martial arts, which is why guides like this one exist!

We often wonder, are throws allowed in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu? What are the different types of throws? What are the rules surrounding throws in the sport? 

Follow the rest of our guide to find out if throws are allowed and all of the other stuff to do with the technique.

What Moves Are Illegal In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

There are a lot of illegal moves throughout the sport of BJJ, with any sort of excessive damage being banned because of the potential harm it can cause the opponent.

Of course, the main goal is to put your opponent at a disadvantage, however, the official rules and laws are in place to prevent any long-term harm coming to anyone involved.

Unlike a lot of other martial arts, there is no striking in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, with the sport focusing around grappling and movements, rather than kicking and punching.

As well as this, there is no twisting of the knee involved to ensure that any unnecessary damage is avoided. There are also no cervical neck cranks, along with no biting or hair pulling involved.

Finally, there is no slamming allowed throughout this sport, which can cause a lot of harm to different areas of the body, mainly the back, the head, and the neck.

This is relevant because although throws are actually allowed, they cannot lead to someone being slammed or dropped on their head, back, or neck. This helps to keep people safe and injury-free.

Are Throws Allowed In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

So, there are a few throws that are legal throughout this sport, as we briefly mentioned at the end of our last point.

Dropping an opponent is forbidden, as well as slamming them into the ground, because of the potential damage and injuries you can cause to their body.

Dumping the other person on their head, neck, and back can cause a lot of different health problems.

For a throw to be considered legal, it needs to be continuous and flowing into another move, rather than just throwing someone around the area like a doll!

That’s not Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, that’s just using your weight to bully the opponent. However, there are different throws that have proved to be very effective over the years, which we’ll look into now.

Different Throws That Are Legal In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Different Throws That Are Legal In Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu

There are a few different throws that can be used to find an advantage over your opponent, which will ensure that you finish the contest on top.

However, you need to understand the ifs and buts so that you know when to use them, rather than just trying any sort of throw and hoping for the best.

Hip Throws/Hip Tosses

These are very effective and can be used in a lot of different situations, however, they were initially used for Judo, which exploits different variations of throws to get your opponent on the floor. 

White belts in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu are typically new to the martial art and will often learn different types of throws to try and beat the other person standing across from them.

O goshi, which is a major hip throw, and ko tsuri goshi, a minor lifting hip throw, are two of the most frequently-used hip throws seen throughout BJJ. 

The easiest way to learn this method is to use simple Judo grips, with your strong hand on their lapel, and the other hand on their sleeve.

Release your stronger hand’s grip and perform an underhook on your partner’s alternate side. This should allow you to choose your type of throw, depending on the situation.

Grabbing the belt will allow you to perform ko tsuri goshi, whereas patting your partner on the back will allow you to perform o goshi, which is the major hip throw.

They both have their own advantages and can be used in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as an alternative move that your opponent might not be expecting.

Valley Drop

The next throw in our guide is referred to as tane otoshi, which is also known as a valley drop.

Use o goshi to like you will have used in the last point, however, you will need to grab the fabric of the gi, in the area where your partner’s blades come together.

This will be used as an alternative for grabbing the belt, as we mentioned earlier in o goshi.

Your partner should lift their hips forward to avoid being lifted into the air, so this will allow you to step behind them and extend your left behind theirs.

As you sit down to the floor, they should follow you with their weight, making your job a lot easier than you might’ve expected.

This can also be referred to as a sacrifice throw. Make sure your foot is facing away from your partner so they don’t land on your knee and injure it.


There you have it! There are throws throughout the sport of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, however, they come in different forms and are used in varying situations to keep your opponent on their toes, waiting for your next move.

One of the key things to being a good Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighter is to make sure your opponent never knows what you’re doing.

However, there are certain throws that are illegal and should not be used under any circumstances.

Slamming someone to the floor or dropping them on their head and neck can lead to injuries that should be avoided at all costs.

Christopher Anderson
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