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Submission Grappling (Kato Pankration) Tournament Rules

Duration: 1 x 5 minute round

NOTE: General rules applicable to all tournament formats can be found here.

Submission Grappling is performed with two opponents entering the competitive space along with the referee and competing in combined format that includes:

  • Throws, take-downs, trips

  • Choke holds

  • Joint locks

Also permitted are body locks, pain pressure (as long as it is not in conflict with general rules) as well as as pushing (not hitting of any kind) on the body.


The athletes are given points for going from the upper (standing) to the lower (ground) positions. Moves applied skillfully by a competitor, should result in the defending competitor ending up on the ground on their backs, sides or chest. They are weighted as follows:

  • An opponent is cleanly thrown by the attacker to the back, chest, abdomen, buttocks, waist or shoulder from above the waist height: 3-points

  • An opponent is cleanly thrown by the attacker, with a small range of movement and the opponent falls to his back, chest, belly, buttocks, waist or shoulders: 2-points

  • Throwing  from the "standing" position without raising the legs from mat, while the opponent falls on their back, sideways, chest, abdomen, buttocks, waist or shoulder: 1-point

  • Throwing  as a result of the defendant landing on their knees is not scored

  • A move which is not completed that ends up back in the standing position or if the attacker ends up on their back, chest, abdomen, buttocks or waist (a reversal) will result in 1-point being awarded to the defender

  • Pulling the opponent from an upper to lower position (as in the form of a jump guard) is punished by 1-point

  • If a competitor is thrown out-of the competitive area then no points are given. There is also the possibility of a penalty if it is viewed as unsporting behaviour

  • Pushes do not score points. They are accepted only as methods of disengagement during action

  • ​A throw at the sound of the bell is considered valid

  • Holds outside of the competitive area are not valid and may result in a penalty

The lower (ground) grappling occurs when an athlete is seated, lying down, or with one or both knees on the ground.

Permissible joint control, choke and throttling actions may be performed as long as they are done with smooth flow and control. NOTE: jerky, ripping movements that may result in injuries may result in the offender being punished.

  • Additional criteria taken into consideration is dynamism and the pace of controlling a match. This is especially weighted in the event of a draw at the completion of the match time.

  • If there is continuous no contact during the fight then the referee may return them to the starting position

  • If in the match both opponents move off the mat then the referee will call a stop and bring them both into the middle of the mat to restart in the same positions they were

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