I do believe submission only started from a good place. People were sick of competitors solely “fighting for points & advantages” in an IBJJF setting while watching the clock wind down.
The theory was that if there were no points and ONLY submissions it would make for not only more entertaining matches, but also more realistic fight scenarios. There would be less barimbolos and more armbars. The fighters would be going for the kill.
Ive tried watching several submission only events and it was so passive/lack luster. 2 fighters sitting on their butts looking bored while they play with each others legs until one of them got 2 on 1 leg control. There’s virtually no incentive to attempt a guard pass as it expends a tremendous amount of energy, and even if you managed to do it in no gi, there’s high likely hood the opponent on bottom will just sneak his leg back in eventually. Why expend that much energy to get a good position for a submission when youre already in a position for a submission, and can just learn the leg entanglement game.
The points were established to replicate the importance of position in an actual fight. I still feel the points make for more realistic fight scenarios, and I would still rather watch 2 bjj practitioners fighting to achieve/prevent a guard pass with all their effort then play with eahothers legs. Yes certain rules need to be put in place to make it more entertainting, but the answer isn’t submission only. Amateur wrestling has many established rules and is notorious for its fast paced exciting matches. Do you know how incredibly boring it would be if it was changed to “pin only” wrestling.