Is Banana Split Legal in BJJ? [Explained]

If you’re familiar with the world of BJJ, you’ve likely come across various intriguing submission techniques that can make your opponent tap out in a matter of seconds. One such technique that has gained attention is the banana split submission.

In this article, we will delve into what exactly the banana split submission is, its relation to the electric chair BJJ move and crotch ripper, how to execute it, and most importantly, whether it’s legal or not in different contexts.

What is a Banana Split Submission?

First things first: What submission technique stretches legs apart?

Well, it’s the banana split submission you may say. But in fact, the banana split move is not the only one BJJ groin stretch submission out there. There is also the electric chair move and the crotch ripper.

But let’s start to talk about the banana split as it is the main question for this article.

The banana split submission is a unique and somewhat unconventional submission technique in BJJ.

What is the banana split in jiu jitsu in words:

It primarily targets the opponent’s groin and hip area, applying pressure in a way that stretches the muscles and joints to their limits. By manipulating the opponent’s legs and hips, the attacker aims to force their opponent into an uncomfortable and compromising position, ultimately leading to a submission.

Comparison to Other Leg Locks in BJJ

While other leg locks such as heel hooks and knee bars are also popular submissions in BJJ competitions, many experts consider the banana split as more difficult but less dangerous compared to these techniques.

That being said, there are still concerns about safety given how prone this move is for causing injuries when executed improperly. Despite this controversy surrounding its legality as a move in competition settings like IBJJF tournaments (which we’ll explore later), many practitioners still consider learning how to perform this move essential for anyone looking to improve their overall grappling skills.

banana split bjj
Banana split BJJ submission; Google Images caption

What is the Electric Chair BJJ Move – Is It the Same as Banana Split?

The electric chair BJJ move is often associated with the banana split submission, but it’s essential to understand that they are not precisely the same technique.

The electric chair is a submission move that focuses on attacking the opponent’s legs and hips, aiming to apply pressure and force a tap-out.

While the electric chair and banana split submission share similarities, they differ in terms of the specific mechanics and execution.

The banana split submission places more emphasis on the groin area and involves a different leg configuration. However, the two techniques can complement each other and be used in combination during a grappling match.

Electric chair submission vs BJJ banana split: User Opinions

Here are some main points grappling practitioners share on the internet regarding their view on the electric chair submission and the banana split:

Electric ChairBanana Split
Most high-level competitors won’t tap to electric chairNot mentioned
Defense varies from person to personNot mentioned
Won’t tap to electric chair but taps to banana splitCan easily tap to a banana split with a small twist of the hips
Many won’t tap to electric chairElectric chair used as a sweep to escape flat bottom half guard
Electric chair seen primarily as a sweepNot mentioned
Some people are too flexible to tap to electric chairSuccessful with electric chair as a sweep
Every submission has people who can’t be tapped with itNot mentioned
Can do full splits, laughs off electric chair attemptsNot mentioned
If the submission doesn’t work, go for the easy sweepNot mentioned
Leg split didn’t result in a tap, got the sweep insteadNo tap due to experience in karate, good for sweep
Electric chair is a good sweep, many options from banana splitNot mentioned

Getting to the electric chair BJJ sweep and submission showed Eddie Bravo

What is electric chair BJJ submission?

The Electric Chair Sweep from Lockdown

How to Do a Banana Split in Jiu-Jitsu

Executing a banana split submission requires a certain level of technical proficiency and control.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to perform a banana split in Jiu-Jitsu:

  1. Setup: Begin by controlling your opponent’s legs. This can be done from various positions such as the guard, half-guard, back position, etc. Secure a dominant position that allows you to manipulate your opponent’s legs effectively.
  2. Leg Configuration: With control over your opponent’s legs, position one of your legs on the outside of their thigh while the other leg goes between their legs. This configuration allows you to apply pressure and initiate the split motion.
  3. Applying Pressure: Once you have secured the leg configuration, gradually increase the pressure by pulling your opponent’s legs apart. It’s crucial to apply steady and controlled force, being mindful of your partner’s safety.
  4. Submission or Transition: As you apply pressure, your opponent may reach their threshold and tap out, signaling submission. Alternatively, if they manage to defend against the submission, you can use the banana split as a transition to set up other attacks or control positions.

How to do the banana split submission

Remember, mastering the banana split submission takes time and practice.

It’s essential to train under the guidance of an experienced instructor to ensure proper technique and minimize the risk of injury.

Is the Banana Split Submission Legal?

The legality of the banana split submission depends on the ruleset of the specific BJJ tournament or grappling event you’re participating in.

Different organizations have varying guidelines regarding submissions, and it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with their rules before competing.

In most cases, the banana split submission is considered a legal technique.

However, certain competitions may prohibit submissions that target specific areas, such as the groin or spine. Always consult the rules and regulations of the event you’re participating in to ensure compliance.

Is the Banana Split Legal In the IBJJF?

As a BJJ athlete taking part in tournaments you are obviously concerned regarding the legal submissions.

Let’s be short and look into the official IBJJF rulebook:

Is the banana split legal in BJJ?

electric chair bjj legal
Is the electric chair legal in IBJJF?

As follows from the official IBJJF rules, submission techniques stretching legs apart, which in fact are the banana split and the electric chair, are legal except for 4 to 12 years old kids.

Is Banana Split Legal at White Belt?

Restrictions on certain submissions often differ based on belt levels in BJJ. As a white belt, you may encounter more limitations and prohibited techniques compared to higher belt levels.

However, the banana split submission is generally accepted at the white belt level, provided it adheres to the competition rules.

While it’s important to explore and experiment with various techniques during your BJJ journey, remember to prioritize safety and always respect your training partners’ well-being.

Is Banana Split Legal in Wrestling?

Wrestling and BJJ have distinct rules and regulations, and the acceptance of submission techniques varies between the two disciplines.

In traditional wrestling, submissions are generally not permitted, as the focus is primarily on takedowns and pinning the opponent.

In other words, in wrestling, submissions are often employed primarily to induce pain and discomfort, thereby compelling an opponent to yield by forcing them to the ground or onto their back using joint manipulation techniques.

However, certain forms of wrestling, such as submission wrestling or catch wrestling, incorporate submissions into their rule sets.

In these specific contexts, the banana split submission may be considered legal. It’s essential to understand the rules and guidelines of the wrestling style you’re practicing to determine the legality of the technique.

What happens if not tap on time to the painful banana split wrestling move and the consequences:

The Wrestling Spladle Move

In wrestling there is a more common and traditional move that has a similar impact on the opponent as the banana split. This wrestling move is called spladle.

How to do the banana split wrestling move

Is Banana Split Submission Legal Reddit Discussion

The legality of the banana split submission has been a topic of discussion within the BJJ community, and Reddit serves as a platform for practitioners to share their insights and opinions.

A quick search on Reddit reveals numerous threads discussing the legality of the banana split submission in different contexts.

While Reddit discussions provide valuable perspectives, it’s important to note that they may not always reflect the official rules of a specific tournament or organization. To obtain accurate information, it’s recommended to refer to the official rules and guidelines provided by the organizing bodies.

Here are some main points obtained from threads regarding the banana split submission:

Main Point
The moment of hubris before getting submitted.
Surprise and frustration at the submission.
Panic when the crotch is being ripped.
Realization of being in a bad position.
Funny moment and odd rolling partner’s reactions.
Passive-aggressive tap and reactions.
Submitter’s dismissive attitude towards the submission.
OP’s satisfaction with the submission despite previous losses.
Discussion on the embarrassment or skill level of the Banana Split submission.
Appreciation for the rare and successful execution of the move.
No specific taboo on submissions, but some considered more dangerous or lower percentage.
Crowd’s reaction to different tournaments and their perception of certain submissions.

Remember, this table serves as a general guideline, and it’s essential to refer to the specific rules and regulations of the event or organization you’re participating in.


The banana split submission is a unique and effective technique in BJJ, targeting the opponent’s groin and hips. While it may be legal in many BJJ tournaments and at the white belt level, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the rules of the specific event you’re participating in.

Always prioritize safety and train under the guidance of qualified instructors. Now go forth, explore the depths of BJJ, and add this impressive technique to your arsenal!

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