What is the Jiu Jitsu Handshake? | Simply Explained

In this page we will explain the Jiu Jitsu handshake, when it's required, and when it began.

jiu jitsu handshake

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What is the Jiu Jitsu Handshake?

The Jiu Jitsu handshake is a series of two movements involving slapping your opponent's hand lightly, and immediately fist bumping afterwards. It signifies sportsmanship and that you're both ready to roll, so it is typically done when the timer starts and right before both opponents begin rolling.

Also known as the 'Slap and Fist Bump', it is a sign of mutual respect among partners, and that they will both keep it clean, competitive, and safe while rolling.

slap bump

Source: BJJEE

Is it Required to do Before Rolling?

The Jiu Jitsu handshake is not required to do before rolling but it is known as good practice. There have been occasions in the past of opponents skipping the handshake and going directly in for a takedown.

However, this is known as bad sportsmanship and can land you in hot water with the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu community, and create a bad reputation for you and your team.

Below you can see a video of an opponent faking the fist bump in order to secure a win in overtime, and the crowd reacting negatively.


When Did Slap and Fist Bump Begin?

Nobody knows exactly when it began as there have been accounts of BJJ practitioners in the 1990's only having seen normal handshakes before matches.

My guess would be somewhere in between 2005-2008 is when the Jiu Jitsu handshake evolved from a normal handshake into a Fist and bump.

Ironically, the fist and bump became so popular that it can now be seen done by people just walking by each other as a greeting.

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