The news shook the world! The IBJJF announced during the 2020 Pan Ams that it will allow Heel Hooks and Reaps for Brown and Black belts in the Adult division in their No Gi competitions starting in 2021. The news heated up the already existent debate, eliciting all sorts of responses, both against and in favor of the new resolution.
One of the most common objections is the supposed higher risk of career ending injuries. If true, many young talents could have their careers tragically ended before they start.
However, we should remember that the new rules apply only to the Black and Brown belts, in the Adult division. Therefore, younger athletes and also lower belt athletes do not need to worry about the supposed dangers added by Heel Hooks and Reaps.
There are several other issues we can and should consider. For instance:
Since the news was welcome among athletes in the Masters division, who gift us every year with epic battles in the IBJJF Worlds , should we include them in the new rules?
If Heel hooks in fact offer so much more danger of injuries and also more serious injuries, would this be a legitimate reason for competitors to demand more money?
What about the risks? Would they really be more serious than the risks offered by other attacks? Is the truth found in the testimonies of injuries suffered in the past due to the indiscriminate use of Heel hooks, or in the arguments of those who point to other disciplines and schools that practice Heel hooks and Reaps safely like "Luta Livre, Catch Wrestling, all of the10th Planet academies, Sambo and others?
One thing is for sure: The world of Jiu Jitsu will stop to watch the "No Gi" competitions in 2021.
What about you? What do you think? What other considerations do you think should be made on this subject?