When including grappling into its field of activities, FILA had the vision to unite the grappling community under standard international rules and offer a generic discipline that would go beyond the specificities of each submission fighting discipline. Straight forward and easy to understand rules were thus created to facilitate the participation of athletes coming from different fighting backgrounds in international competitions.
The FILA grappling regulations are based on a progressive point system that encourages submissions over technical points. Points are awarded for takedowns and dominant control positions according to the following progression: side mount > full mount > back mount. Once having reached a position and secured it for 3 seconds, additional points can only be scored if a higher position is achieved. The progression is reset if the opponent manages to bring the fight back to neutral (be it standing or on the ground) or to score a dominant control position in his/her turn.
Since submission fighting is traditionally practiced with and without kimono (Gi), FILA has decided to implement both trends in order to cover the full spectrum of techniques associated to each particular style. If some athletes prefer one style over the other, most of them enjoy practicing and competing in both. Therefore, the FILA tournaments generally take place in Gi and No-Gi divisions to enable all submission fighters to compete to their highest ability no matter what their fighting background might be.
In order to unify the rules and participation in Grappling, Pankration, and Combat Grappling competitions, FILA has adopted common weight categories for all three styles. The lighter categories have a smaller increase in weight due to the the bigger effect weight differences have on lighter athletes' performances. An absolute category open to competitors of all weight classes has also been added to allow heavier athletes to compete and to demonstrate that grappling techniques can sometimes overcome weight and strength, creating an exciting and spectator-friendly addition to the sport.
- Men: 60-65-70-75-80-90-110kg and Absolute
- Women: 50-55-60-65-75kg and Absolute
Licence and insurance: The FILA licence is mandatory for all international grappling competitions with more than two participating countries. Every international competition shall be anounced to FILA and added to its official calendar. The FILA insurance will only apply to competitions which appear in its calendar. The FILA licence allows its holder to take part in all wrestling styles ruled by FILA.