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вторник, 26 мая 2015 г.

IBJJF Losing It?

The International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation is the largest and dominant organization in bjj competition around the world. The Worlds (Mundials), Pan Ams and Europeans are extremely succesful tournaments that have been held for almost two decades now attracting thousands of players. Now the dynamic seems to be changing.

IBJJF Competition Rage

IBJJF is slowly but surely proving to be a very for profit organization not really concerned about either developing bjj as a sport nor with its own brand. Theoretically it should be motivated to hold only a few larger comps but instead now the schedule is full of watered-down international and regional comps with just a couple of players in the divisions. With this in mind paying $100+ per comp is a bit strange just to compete with like 2 or 3 in your division which is very common for purple and above grades.

Examples of this approach are comps like the one held in Zadar recently. If you look at the Nice Open in France and even the UK Nationals, there are too few players. Either the price is too high or there are just too many competitions around to choose from.

Rule Dynamic

While many of us believe that it was valid to eliminate heel hooks from the IBJJF tournaments to prevent injury, the new rules involving jumping guard and others are hurting competition. Knee reaping is also hard to understand but the fact of the matter is that moving away from the original jiu jitsu could make bjj much more like judo, with limited rules and a lot of politics.

IBJJF Cash Prizes 

It is sad to see that IBJJF cannot find a way to compensate their best competitors in the black belt divisions. Guys competing in the black belt division in the top division are now getting more coverage and we need to compensate the very best. Sponsors could be one way of doing this. I think if they don't sort it out, it will take just a few years before someone else takes over.

Brazilian jiu jitsu is a sport where the community aspect is very strong. This community I think can do more to reach out to sponsors and seek support. With the continued growth of the sport, I think we could see top competitions attracting even more players and viewers and organizers need to leverage this to support the competitors.

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