On Saturday, lightweight MMA fighter Conor Heun entered the World Jiu-Jitsu No-Gi Championship in Long Beach, California. After applying a toe hold on his opponent, Huen says his Brazilian opponent verbally tapped (in Portuguese), but not recognizing the term, he did not release the submission. The two nearly came to blows, and referee Anjinho awarded the match to the opponent, on disqualification for failing to stop.
A review of the tape appears to show the match going out of bounds and the referee breaking the match, in Portuguese.
An upset Huen complained bitterly via twitter:
•I am a warrior. This is my destiny. I pray that my actions on the mat tonight may glorify my creator and inspire others. I walk the path.
•I got DQ'd b/c my opponent tapped verbally in portuguese, I kept going. When he started throwing punches I thought we'd have some real fun
•The ref said "You need to know 4 world in Portuguese." "I don't speak it I told him". "What is the name of this sport?" "Submission Wrestling?"
•"Get out of the tournament" he said. I guess Brazilians get mad when you beat them with @10thPlanetJJ and call it "Submission Grappling"
•When half the contests end in DQ maybe its time to examine the rules
•I'm sad I didn't leave with a world title (brown belt doesn't really count anyway) but it was a moral victory and a learning experience.
•I was taught to protect yourself at all times and don't stop till the ref breaks it up.
However, like the vast majority of combat sports with major international competition, BJJ requires participants to know some words in a single language, in this case Portuguese, so everyone is on the same page. Under Olympic boxing rules for example, every player, regardless of language, is required to know the only three worlds the referee will use: “stop” (boxing), “box” (begin again) and “break” (step back — used to break up clinches).
IBJJF Hillary Williams explained the rules: "PAROU means stop. LUTE means stalling. COMBATE means fight. It's in the first page of the rules, and it's three words. Judo is in Japanese, BJJ had three simple, easily distinguished words."
Huen then took a concilliatory tone, again via twitter.
•I should have read the rules before competing. I'm not mad I'm gangster.
•I'm not mad at all. I should have read the rules. I don't stop till my opponent is unconscious or the ref stops me.
•I have no hard feelings. It was a learning experience and I'm smarter for it. Thanks for explaining the rules to me.
•I didn't read the rules before competing I paid the price. . . No problem, I'll win it next year