The direction of BJJ makes me sad

I started training in December of ‘94. Back then everything in BJJ was about fighting and self defense. I just finished Rickson’s book and couldn’t agree with him more that it’s sad so many people are getting black belts and all they train is sport BJJ. I know things change over time but it just seems like the soul of the art has vanished. I hate that new students want to learn worm guard and berimbolos just to get a tap in class instead of learning to manage distance, defense against strikes etc. I was watching Routulo’s buggy choke and think it’s a serious devolution. I mean it would be so easy for someone to stand up and spike you on your head as all 4 extremities are locked up to make the choke work yet you are going to die if you did that to a big strong person on the street. RIP BJJ.


I started in 1996. Recently had a purple belt come to my school and he asked me work some “single x guard” (or something like that) with him. Long story short … he couldn’t even do a decent kimura from side control without me sneezing and him falling off …
It’s sad what is happening.


Jiu jitsu is a sport to me. It’s highly overrated for self defense unless it’s completely clueless and untrained perps. The culture aspect of it is largely shit and toxic. But it’s a fun combat sport. It’s a good reason to stay In shape and compete semi regularly.


I was watching a No-Gi tournament here in Germany and I would sum it up in two words: Leglocks & Chaos;-)

A lot of the modern athletes (not the top ones of course) try to copy the most flashy and sucessfull moves without having the basics down. And then things become crazy.

Personally I have nothing against modern stuff but you have to have a complete game and understand how to use BJJ for real fighting. That´s the foundation.


All the elite guys do. The adcc qualifiers are always filled with a bunch of unqualified wannabes.

I PERSONALLY agree 100% with the sentiment of this post, even though it’s no longer that popular. I too started in the mind 90s and NO ONE who took BJJ then didn’t care about BJJ as a fighting art.

But just as with Judo the sport ASPECT of BJJ has mostly replaced the greater art as a whole .

Today, if you start talking about punches, a lot of people are like: “WTF is he talking about punches for --This is a BJJ class…?”

But, I don’t care. When I teach, I pretty much always mention the applicability of something in a real fight context and prioritize things that work without a gi and with punches over things purely gi/sport oriented.

BJJ is like Sambo where there are different flavors. In Sambo, there’s Sport Sambo, Freestyle Sambo, Combat Sambo, Military Sambo --which is a little different from the Sambo used by the police, etc.

In BJJ too, people can & should do whatever “flavor” of BJJ appeals to them, because no one is gonna talk or shame anybody else into seeing BJJ through their own lens. To each their own.


Randori in bjj should be forbidden. Randori causes all sorts of imperfections in the tecnics and leads the overall purpose and vision astray.

We should all strive for PERFECTION in the execution of the movements. The perfect amount of off balance, the perfect angle, the perfect grips, the perfect management of distance. Only then will we be taken serious enough by everyday people to be put on the Olympics.


Now you’re talking.

Perfect practice makes perfect. Randori is never perfect, so it should be avoided at all costs.

How many Danzan Ryu guys have Roger, Marcelo or Damian Maia beaten in competition…? ZERO. --and on the street it would be even worse!


The original karate guys thought all you needed was kata lol

Yeah id be totally cool with the sporting stuff if people didnt forget bjj is supposed to be about fighting. Perfectly stated above about how modern students dont understand why punching would even be mentioned in a bjj class these days


At my old mma gym we had this bjj guy who was super good . I try to tell him the stuff that makes him good at bjj wouldn’t do well in a actual fight . He didn’t believe me so he came to mma sparing . He got absolutely wrecked by people who weren’t nearly on him level in bjj . Alot changes when punches start flying .


I also agree wholeheartedly with this thread….I’ve done BJJ since ‘96 and I think I’m done. I will still train with my kids and occasionally might train with someone….but I have zero interest in training sport BJJ. It just seems silly with how it has evolved.


I agree with this and have been saying it for years. Tournaments are ruining jiu jitsu as a fighting art. I remember many years back when Paul Vunak stated that a “man with 1 year of Gracie Jiu Jitsu would beat a man with 10 years of any other martial art”, or very similar. That spoke volumes. Today, that is not even close to the case. I have a training partner who is a very good purple belt, he’s actually quite a bit better than any brown belt I’ve come across, and also an ex-Golden Gloves boxer. He has stated that he thinks that jiu jitsu is the best martial art long term, but he believes that for a real street fight, one is better off with 1 year of boxing than 1 year of jiu jitsu. And you know what? I agree with him if we are talking about how jiu jitsu is taught today in 99% of all schools.

Think about this, at many schools you could train for years and NEVER PRACTICE AGAINST STRIKES, neither standing or on the ground. Yet, if you get in 100 street fights, you will have to defend against strikes 100 times. It makes no sense whatsoever. If you want to learn to defend yourself, sadly, jiu jitsu, in most schools, is no longer the best path.


I draw the line at Worm Guard.

You’re going to untie my Gi from it belt then wrap the ends of lapel around both your legs and mine in this weird tangled mess that serves absolutely no purpose in anything?


Sport bjj is like calculus. You will probably never use a lot of it, but you don’t need to because to defeat an untrained idiot you only need basic math


I just think of BJJ as a fun activity.

Don’t forget back in the day, when it was all about MMA and fighting, it was also filled with a bunch of meatheads…personally, I would rather spend my time with a bunch of nerds than MMA wannabees :slight_smile:


My body certainly doesn’t miss those days, but have to say I’m still a little nostalgic. There would always be that 1 guy that getting ready for his fight and we’d all help him out. But yeah, the random mma wannabe walk in is not missed.

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Usually, the last week of the month is glove week, nearly everyone at our school loves it.

I think it has gotten so bad that for the first time in my 25+ years of BJJ if a new student wanted to take BJJ for fighting or self defense I would tell him he’s better off at a pure no gi school or a blue belt ran Gracie affiliate school than at a high level competitor black belt ran school. Think about that for a second. Even in a Gracie school he’s going to be learning stroke avoidance and grappling for fighting rather than some bullshit worm guard. And that really sucks.


I started training mma in 07 . My first day of bjj my coach said before you learn any cool shit you will learn how to control someone and defend . He was a old school Gracie guy . I came into the sport with college wrestling and ammy boxing background . As my career went on I appreciated what I learned in the beginning . Watching what this sport is turning into weird. I know things evolve over time but the old school way works . I’m a four stripe purple and I couldn’t even begin to tell you how to do worm guard lol but I know how to blast double the fuck out of someone when they get to close lol

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