Questions abt BJJ's future

Where do you guys see BJJ heading in the short
term and long term future, in Australia and
internationally?

For those who are running BJJ schools, are you
content with the way things are from a business
perspective? Or do you feel there is a larger market
out there waiting for a wider commercial
acceptance of BJJ as a martial art and a sport?

There has been a lot of talk about the Olympics,
but considering what the Olympics has done for
something like Taekwondo (in terms of the martial
art, not the business of TKD), do you think a move
towards recognition with the Australian Sports
Commission and eventually the Olympics would
be a good one for BJJ overall? I would think that it
would be very difficult for something like BJJ to
lose its core principles in the event of that
happening.

Do you think Judo maintained its credibility and its
core principles (as a martial art) since it gained
worldwide acceptance as an Olympic sport? Or do
you think it has lost some, rather than gained any?

Notwithstanding BJJ politics in certain parts of
Australia, do you think it's possible for the
Australian BJJ community to pull together to push
for, at the very least, recognition by the Australian
Sports Commission as a first step? If so, would
Australia be the first country to lead the way, with
the exception of Brazil? (I'm not too sure how BJJ is
set up in Brazil).

Another question..

Or would you guys prefer to see something like
either:

  1. Pankration make a return to the Olympics, or at
    least some kind of MMA-like event(notwithstanding
    Olympic requirements to stack a ton of safety gear
    on the combatants first).

  2. An open submission grappling event at the
    Olympics for all styles of grappling, not specifically
    a BJJ event. (It goes without saying that this would
    be much much harder to achieve than to try to have
    BJJ accepted in the Olympic committee).

I WOULD love to see Pankration return to the Olympic games, but it's NEVER going to happen. After the absolute horror and revulsion displayed by the girly commentators at the TKD over the lone result of actual combat - that landing of the spinning heel kick to the noggin, and subsequent KO - there will never be anything tougher than ping pong added to the Olympic roster in the future... ;-(

Nostradamus here...

ADCC will soon replace itself with a valid world wide association and administration for submission grappling which will attract world wide support. it will then be able to gain entry as an olympic sport in its own right by 2016. There will be two forms - gi and no-gi. The label BJJ will be shed for a more generic title due to the need for international equity of the sports olympic image. For excitement value the focus will be on subs and attempted subs, and not points fighting.

MMA will continue to more fully integrate the skills of striking, takedowns and ground fighting and as elite ground skills become more widely available we will see many more schools around where all the skills are taught at an elite level under the one roof (ie stand & bang, takedowns and on the ground).

Cheers,
Nostrils

I predict no chance of BJJ ever getting into the Olympics. Put simply, it's dull to watch (and I love BJJ). Neither will submission grappling.

I would also not want it to be a part of the Olympics in case "the powers that be" decide to introduce more rules for safety and more rules to make it spectator friendly and the art goes down the same path as Judo and gets away from it's roots.

Nuff said.

Like removing guillotines? ;-P

"There will be two forms - gi and no-gi. The label BJJ will be shed for a more generic title due to the need for international equity of the sports olympic image."

But the thing is, everything about the Olympics points to specific sports, not generic ones. There is specifically volleyball and specifically beach volleyball. Basketball & netball etc. I would think that the Olympics want a well defined sporting event, rather than a generic free-for-all.

*edited - alright I really can't imagine basketball and netball players mixed in a free-for-all match. Although I can female volleyball and beach volleyball players in a mix of very short skirts and bikinis..

JohnnyS - Can I ask you to elaborate on your opinion about how the Olympics have changed Judo? Are you referring to how the emphasis has changed to nage-waza and less of everything else? How would that happen for BJJ if it was ever in the same situation? BJJ is pretty much all groundfighting, as opposed to Judo which had their standup and newaza aspects. Also, what do you think about the IGJJF's efforts to push for the Olympics?

The impression I'm getting so far is that the current state of BJJ is the best it can do, and the only progress it can have is as a part of the MMA scene.

BJJ is static?

I don't believe BJJ is static - it would be great to see it expand, to have bigger competitions and even more professional athletes. The problem is though - it's not a spectator sport like football. The only people interested in watching BJJ matches are BJJers. I don't think the Olympics is necessarily the right path for BJJ to be going down - I think turning it professional like boxing (without the corruption of course) or football would be a better avenue.

Re: How Judo has changed: Less groundwork, penalties for defensiveness, inactivity etc. As it is in BJJ, people are stood up if no action is taking place. I would hate to see it start using silly rules like Rorion's tournament where if you can't pass the guard after a few minutes the players switch positions. How is that closer to reality than what is currently used? My concern is that I don't want to see the art get watered down to pander to sponsors and spectators wanting to see a more exciting match.

From a business perspective there isn't much of an issue. Most people have no idea about martial arts, to them it's all Karate. It doesn't matter what you offer, if you have the right business skills you can have full classes in anything you teach. People who want to do martial arts don't really care what it's called.

From a personal perspective it's going to be difficult to get either MMA, BJJ or Submission wrestlig into the olympics. The IOC has strict standards. The art must be practiced in a minimum number of countries (and it's not small) and must have recognised national body that is affiliated under and international body. There are also going to be problems with the bodies having to be Incorporated Associations and not privately owned companies.

Elvis

I reckon it will go from strength to strength as a sport, especially within Western countries, where (at least at the moment) the need for Self Defense-type MA's just isn't there.

Many will continue to train the 'true art' but others will be happy doing something they find entertaining and the sportive/competitive side of the 'art' will grow. Pandering to spectators will happen, some will hate it and one day the usual TMA splits will take place.

To be accepted as an international sport does it need to change from BJJ to say Jiu Jitsu? Grappljitsu? Or someover non-country specific name? No other sport has the country of origin in it's name. What do people think about this?

Should it be like KFC and just referred to by it's acronym so eventually the masses won't recognise what it stands for?

Elvis

I think the point Elvis was making was this chicken company is now known across the world as KFC and I would not be surprised if some of the youth in the world know it actually means Kentucky Fried Chicken. Same as you could not place a sport into the Olympics with reference to a particular country ie Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

I agree though that the Tae Kwon Do was disappointing to watch but hey I am the type of person who enjoys the constant barrage of attack in MMA.

Seriously guys, I personally think BJJ has the potential to go far
beyond most of the other typical martial arts schools in the
'burbs.

I would HATE to think that 5 or 10 or 20 years down the track, BJJ
will be perceived as the same as that white crane kung fu school
down the road teaching out of the community scouts hall.

Dutch Law - what exactly is your perception of "strength to
strength" though? By the way on a personal note, the fight isn't
over yet, I'll email you with an update soon. Thanks for your
support so far.

JohnnyS - I see your point about Rorion's rules. But that could be
a way to make it more spectator friendly? Maybe there's gotta be a
give and take BJJ to the next level to widespread acceptance? I
certainly don't mean things should go as far down the road to
crap as TKD has gone with the Olympics. A sport like boxing for
example, I know boxing has been a sport since the
beginning of time, but whether you're an amateur or a pro you're
still going to be a scary guy to pick a fight with (unless you take
'em down into unfamiliar ground). Besides BJJ always has the
"credibility" of the MMA scene, "keep 'em honest" so to speak.

Elvis - re your comment about IOC standards, that's what I was
referring to about the Australian community pulling together to
possibly make it happen. What's holding it back? Australia's BJJ
community really isn't that big, yet. If we can all pull together now
for a good cause in an effort to make the first step of gaining
recognition from the Australian Sports Commission? It'll only
benefit BJJ in the long run? Possible you think?

Something that came to mind, "Entertainment Value" for the masses and "Satisfaction Value" for participants aren't necessarily correlated.

Sure in some sports (e.g., Basketball) they've managed to engineer a nice balance, but there is no reason to assume that the same will ever be achieved for BJJ. I'd suggest that BJJ's Satisfaction Value is relatively high (i.e. as a participation sport it has a lot to offer) but Grappling per se is pretty low on Entertainment Value... actually I'd say that all combat sports are pretty low on the entertainment value.

Probably the only exception to the rule might be Boxing, but reflecting on it some, 80% of boxing time is "boring" to all but boxing groupies. When compared to something like the various football codes, probably the inverse is true.

As to my "Strength to Strength" comment: initatives such as the NSW Competition Circuit and the AFBJJ National competition provide BJJ players with many opportunities to try their hand at competitive BJJ if they wish - I imagine that these competitions (and similar) will continue to grow in popularity, not because of BJJ's entertainment value (which as JohnnyS put it, is about nil), rather because people enjoy doing BJJ.

Judo is much the same. There are Judo competitions all over the country every weekend or so, and how much air time does Judo get? Nil. But people still turn up and compete because they love doing Judo. Some Judoka think competition and its associated rules is the death of the art etc but forget that competition is first and foremost sport, not a re-creation of street-fights etc.

So I say bring it on: the sooner BJJ matures as a sport, the better it will be for the majority of participants.

I think that the BJJ community has the opportunity to pull together. Hopefully we're already heading in that direction with all the state bodies being formed. The problem is, to be recognised by the government the sanctioning body needs to be an Incorporated Association. I believe the NSW BJJ Federation is, but the National body, my understanding is that the AFBJJ is a privately owned company. For that simple small reason it will not gain government recognition and that of course causes a chain reaction which eventually leads to not being recognised by the IOC.

Hopefully though as we grow, things will change and improve.

Elvis

Elvis,

you wrote "...needs to be an Incorporated Association. I believe the NSW BJJ Federation is..."

So is the NSW BJJ Federation actually an Incoporated Association now?

To be honest I thought it always was, but I'm not 100% on this point. That's why I said "I believe"...

Elvis

Gakami - you misunderstood, my use of the word "generic" simply meant eliminating the word "brazilian" from the title of an olympic sport. It would still be a very specific sport.

I got sick of having naive people asking if Braziliian Jiujitsu is like capoeira, or smirking because of their automatic mental link to a "brazillian" bikini wax. So now I just tell them it is submission wrestling, which is a generic name for it.

Cheers,
Dave

** edit - double post