Fresh from the excitement of the recently completed Olympic games, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fans once again find themselves in heated debates over whether BJJ’s inclusion in future Olympics would be good for the sport or not. One voice speaking out against the expansion of the sport into Olympic competition is the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation, which offered its opinion in a press release, noting that it would leave the currently pristine sport vulnerable to those who only seek to maximize their own profitability at the expense of the grass roots gyms.
“I worry about the effect of turning over such significant control of the shape of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to one group of self-appointed authorities,” said IBJJF president Carlos Gracie Jr. “The next thing you know, these officials will be setting certification standards with expensive fees that gyms need to pay in order to be considered valid. It has the potential to make BJJ a world where who you know is more important than how you teach the art.”
The release also expressed concerns that creating a unified Olympic rule set may harm the scintillating matches high-end BJJ is currently known for. With the need to make the sport palatable to a mass audience, the IBJJF also worried that Olympic competition may lead to the outlawing of certain submission maneuvers for poorly explained or openly ridiculous reasons.