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вторник, 28 июля 2009 г.

Jiu Jitsu - where is the sport moving towards?

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is perhaps the fastest growing martial art of today. There is no doubt that what has spawned such growth is the popularity and media coverage of mixed martial arts where jiu jitsu has been a key foundation for ground fighting, proven to be fundamental for any fighter inside the octagon.

The number of clubs has increased enormously. USA today has hundreds of clubs across the country affiliated with different branches of jiu jitsu, but all stemming from the founders, the Gracies. In particular, it is specifically brazilian or Gracie jiu jitsu that has overwhelmed the martial arts world in the USA. This style of jiu jitsu is the most popular in the country by a long way.

I believe it will take another decade or two for the sport to reach its pinnacle. Bjj popularity has been always directly linked with MMA, so as the MMA popularity grows in other countries (especially Europe and China which are big markets), BJJ will also grow. I don't think India will be a similar story just for the fact that they have very different sports traditions and I doubt these types of sport will become popular there in the near future.

Robert Drysdale in the Youtube video is so pessimistic. I don't believe this sport will ever be even nearly as big as mixed martial arts. BJJ is too technical and even bjj experts often love to watch mma rather than bjj, just because it is so exciting.

BJJ I believe is a martial art and a sport with very good potential. It has limited sponsors now and will have a little better sponsorships in a decade. This sport has potential to reach the levels of any pure martial art, excluding probably kickboxing and boxing. This is already a great achievement and I think if the politics are managed correctly, and bjj is not perceived to be a sport for the thugs but rather as a healthy way of life (just like Judo), then there is plenty more potential to garner support from government, sports bodies and in the end even Olympic Games. This is really a lot and we should appreciate this.

BJJ guys have done more than any other jiu jitsu style has ever hoped to accomplish. BJJ has become so popular that in the USA if someone says jiu jitsu, you immediately think brazilian jiu jitsu. In Russia for example the situation is different. If you say jiu jitsu in Russia, people immediately think traditional jiu jitsu with striking, both self-defense and under sport-like rules. There is just one serious club and the knowledge about bjj is only just beginning to spread from mma videos. Fedor is doing a lot and so is M1, but so far it is still perceived as a brutal, no holds barred activity rather than an organized sport.

Jiu Jitsu has an amazing appeal and extraordinary potential

Just take a look at BJJ Maps (bjjmap.com), launched by the fightworkspodcast guys. I mean there is no other martial art that has this. There are so many different shops, BJJ radio, social network, magazines, everything. BJJ practitioners are real fans of the sport unlike any other martial artists. You just don't see so many die hard fans anywhere else. I would say that probably there is a good 20% of bjj guys who are serious addicts. I mean for myself, I could never stop. Its just what I looked for always and when I found out about BJJ, I knew that this is what I really wanted to do. Check out this article

You won’t believe but I even went onto iTunes and there is a whole bunch of resources available there to buy for free and also paid. There are matches, promotions and even some kind of application you can use to improve your technique. You don’t get anything like this in any other martial art, even Judo.

I would also say that it is such a great sport that everything the fundamentals are more or less unchallenged. You walk into any dojo and the basics are the same. There is no real controversy about how to perform techniques because the correct techniques have been proven in competition. This is not the case for other martial arts like Aikido or Karate, both of which I learnt for some time. For these for example you go to a different club and you do some technique and they tell you to do it completely differently. I just hate this and I think you can kind of see in bjj and judo the ultimate true techniques. There are some controversial ones but I don’t really focus on those and I think only once you achieve a really high level you can really say something in this regard.

For this reason I think BJJ will become the biggest martial art, at least on the grappling side.

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