Jiu Jitsu in the Olympics. (long read with info on where we stand)

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by TrumpetDan, Oct 23, 2010.

  1. TrumpetDan

    TrumpetDan Green Belt

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    One of the founding goals of the IBJJF is to get jiu jitsu into the Olympics. I find even the possibility of one day being an Olympian very exciting....all be it not very likely.

    We have made great progress but unfortunately we are still quite a way away from being an Olympic sport. Many of the controversial actions of the IBJJF, such as the recent membership requirements for black belts to compete at IBJJF events, are so that we can take the proper inroads to being an Olympic sport. Agree with the objective or not, that is the goal.

    I am not an authority on the subject. I am just assembling what I could with google.

    There seem to be a number of major hurtles in place.

    The broad overview of what needs to happen is:

    1. International Governing Body (done)

    2. A satisfactory number of national Governing Bodies (in progress)

    3. It must reach certain standards of activity, competition and membership around the world. Included in this conduct appears to be an anti doping policy. How strong of policy or to what extent it needs to be enforced is unclear to me. I recall an interview given to Carlos Gracie Jr. where he said drug testing in jj would mean the end of jj. (link please? It was an impromptu interview at a world championships) It kind of shows where his mind is at in regards to this.

    4. Be a recognized sport by the IOC. This may be realized by first being an unofficial demonstration sport. Though demonstration sports have been officially eliminated from the Olympics, in Beijing Wushu was held as a parallel event with the IOC's blessing which lead to them being recognized as a sport by the IOC. A recognized sport is a sport that could potentially be included in the Olympics. Currently there are only 34 recognized sports (that are not already included)

    5. Probationary period -2 years

    6. Petition into Olympics where the sport is reviewed by the IOC and voted on.


    Here is a 2004 carlos gracie interview that gives some perspective on the subject. Some of which has been realized:

    "CG: We have to build an international federation to have Olympic consideration. The Olympic comity has asked me to build an international federation. However first we must end the political situation in the US. So then the US can have a national Jiu-Jitsu federation and elect an international Jiu-Jitsu representative. Then we set up the same in other countries to build our International Federation with representation for all countries. Then we can organize an international competition. First we need people in each country we can trust to set up and run national completions. Right now Europe is also in need of organization. People are going to have to be willing to give up some time to do it."

    For those that would be enthusiastic about the possibility it seems as though the nearest hope would be for us to follow the same path as Wushu did in 08 in 2016. It would take Brazil and the IBJJF lobbying pretty aggressively to get an event run concurrently, but doesn't seem to be out of the question.


    An interesting read:

    "The International Wushu Federation has been promoting wushu as a potential Olympic sport for some time. The award of the 2008 Summer Olympics to Beijing presented an opportunity to showcase wushu in an Olympic competition environment. Although, according to the contract signed between the IOC and the host city, no international or national sports competition is allowed in the Olympic host city during the Games or one week before or after, the IOC specifically permitted the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (BOCOG) to organise the Wushu tournament in parallel with the Olympic Games, due to wushu's place in traditional Chinese culture.

    Other than substituting the Olympics symbol with International Wushu Federation's symbol, all other elements (e.g. medal design, award presentation & ceremony, volunteers of the tournament, etc.) were identical to the Olympics. Athletes were allowed to stay in athletes' village. The official BOCOG website also includes the schedule, results, and profiles of the athletes (though on a different page)"
     
  2. newerest

    newerest Purple Belt

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    I'm only worried about any rule changes that happen because of the olympics.

    if they made something like heel hooks illegal, fine I understand, but there is a lot of room for rule changes to mess with the sport.

    Luckily I feel that the rise in popularity of MMA would make it so that bjj would not get bastardized through the rule changes(see judo)
     
  3. SuperSuperRambo

    SuperSuperRambo Senior Moderator Senior Moderator

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    I hope it never happens. Here is some of my reasoning that I've posted in other threads:

     
  4. Jdonw

    Jdonw Green Belt

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    It would be cool if BJJ could have an Olympic tournament during the Rio Games. But that does not make it even remotely an Olympic sport. It doesn't make it have a better chance at being an Olympic sport. Anybody think wushu is going to be back at a summer games?
     
  5. dokomoy

    dokomoy Green Belt

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    I agree with everything Super Rambo posted, in addition I don't think we're as close as the op does to qualifying.

    First, I don't think the IBJJF is a true international governing body. It's not only for profit(something that I'm pretty sure all the other international committees are not), but it's not objective, the head and much of the ibjjf leadership is the same as the leadership for Gracie Barra. I don't have a problem with either of those things, but I'm pretty sure the olympics do. Beyond that, if the IBJJF is the international governing body, why haven't they done more over the past 16 years to get BJJ into other international events?

    I'm also not sure it's competitive enough internationally(has anyone not from Brazil/Japan/US medaled at the black belt level of the worlds? I don't think the IOC is interested in having an individual sport that will be almost entirely dominated by one country.

    Finally BJJ is probably too similar to both Judo and Wrestling to have any real chance of making it to the Olympics.
     
  6. TrumpetDan

    TrumpetDan Green Belt

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    Super,

    I often hear people claim that the Olympics ruined judo. It seems to me that the original rules of judo - and their continued evolution prior to the Olympics - seemed to play far more of a influence of the elimination of groundwork than the Olympics. I am legitimately asking specifically how the Olympics made ground work suffer?

    Many of the rules that were changed or instituted in its Olympic tenure are already in jiu jitsu. You said that jiu jitsu incorporates all the techniques, but we have many similar techniques banned in bjj. In judo, Reaping, twisting knee locks, ankle locks, rib crushers were banned for over 50 years prior to the Olympics Arnt many of the gripping rules in judo incorporated in jiu jitsu as well?

    The main thing I have noted is that the time limit slowly evolved from unlimited time down to 5 min, the elimination of the open class and introduction of weight classes, eliminating an ippon for lifting your opponent who is on his back above your shoulders, and a sscissorttake down ban...also 10 years ago the 30 second pin was changed to 25. To my eyes, this doesnt change the fundamental aspect of sport judo.

    I guess I dont view these as random rule changes. It is my opinion that many of them would have happened anyway as the sport grew or were already in place prior to the Olympics

    I could be wrong...let me know as a judo guy how you feel specifically the groundwork suffered in judo. It could give me a different perspective on things.

    Also, different sports are popular in different areas of the world. Simply because it may not be popular here, does not mean it does not have worldwide popularity. All the sports practiced in the Olympics are well practiced throughout the world.
     
  7. SuperSuperRambo

    SuperSuperRambo Senior Moderator Senior Moderator

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    I'm not a judo guy, I'm a bjj guy with a prior wrestling background.

    My point on popularity is that it's not necessarily going to increase in popularity just by being in the Olympics. It won't be publicized, and it will air at obscure hours. Honestly, I think the global spread of MMA is by var a better vehicle to popularize BJJ around the world.

    Whether the rule changes are random or not, I think they are bad. I think they weaken the art. As far as changes in judo, there used to be a lot more time allowed for ground grappling, you used to be able to do things like shoulder locks, and you can't do anything like a triangle with pulling the head, or a guillotine choke. I think this has made many judoka neglect the ground grappling aspect. Ask anyone who trains judo and they will tell you that schools nowadays range from teaching 50/50 standup/ground (very few), to schools that teach very little ground work at all. They have also banned several grips that are acceptable in BJJ (for example you can't grab 2 hands on the same lapel, and you can't grab a leg for more than 5 seconds or something, and now they have almost completely banned leg attacks as takedowns).

    I think one of BJJ's strengths is that it is very much a freestyle/hybrid grappling art. There is the positional progression that awards points, a few restrictions on submissions (more than I'd like), but beyond that you can basically use whatever works, which is something that I think is great, and could be lost if it becomes an Olympic sport. By getting into the Olympics, your sport becomes a slave to the IOC, and loses its freedom and independence. If the Committee doesn't like something, it's out. You have no say. I tossed out an example. Say the IOC thinks that groundwork is boring or unnecessary, like they seem to think with judo. Do they make it more like judo? Doesn't that make it pointless to have such a similar sport in the Olympics? Or say they decide that you can't pull the head with the triangle, which is what they decided in judo because supposedly that's too dangerous. Do you think that's a good thing?
     
  8. aceofspades

    aceofspades White Belt

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    +1 :)
     
  9. SuperSuperRambo

    SuperSuperRambo Senior Moderator Senior Moderator

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    I know I'm going to get a lot of resistance here, because anyone who is at all affiliated with the IBJJF or Gracie Barra is going to be all gung ho about getting into the Olympics (and that's a LOT of people). I just think that people get on that bandwagon without thinking about what that really entails, and just assumes that it's a good thing because it's the Olympics.
     
  10. TrumpetDan

    TrumpetDan Green Belt

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    When exactly?

    I just looked at the Contest Rules of the Kodokan Judo (IJF rules) from 1955 and it has it banned. It wasnt introduced to the olympics until 1964. Interestingly enough, the text of the rule is identical today.


    As far as pulling the head of the Sankaku Jime, I know there is some grey area as to if this is legal or not. I just read the 2010 ijf rules and there is no mention of this technique not being legal.
     
  11. platfox

    platfox Silver Belt

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    Would need a lot of non-stalling/ forced action paced rules. 50/50 guard?, forget about it.
     
  12. knoxpk

    knoxpk Black Belt

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    Well I would assume that the rule changes predated Olympic acceptance for fan appeal. Lets pretend the IOC spoke to the powers that be in BJJ right now about rules. How long might it take between the rule changes and Olympic acceptance? I would assume somewhere in the neighborhood of 5-10 years which is pretty consistent with the Judo rule changes and Olympic introduction.
     
  13. platfox

    platfox Silver Belt

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    Personally I would love to see it just for the fact that guys like Roger, Rafa, Braulio, Marcelo, etc...need to be introduced to the world as world class athletes.

    Sorry don't have much to add as far as politics involved in getting bjj in the Olympics. Just thinking about the hurdles gives me a headache.
     
  14. fourfif**

    fourfif** Banned Banned

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    the olympics ruined judo

    edit: that was a bit harsh. the sport is better off in the long run without it, imo. but what the hell do I know.
     
  15. J Sho

    J Sho Green Belt

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    Long read?

    The programme is full iirc and tbh there are much more visually appealing sports with mass participation that are in front of the queue. There havent been any demo sports since 1992 either. It is more likely capeoira would be used as a demo sport, more visually appealing. more brazilian too.

    I had a look into this a few years ago and this (albeit slightly outdated, poorly formatted and incomplete article) covers the plethora of things they take into consideration.

    Bit of a frat so skip to the in conclusion part if needed


    How do the IOC/OPC assess sports?

    Background
    In November 2002, the IOC Session in Mexico City approved the principle of a systematic review of the Olympic Programme and mandated the O lympic Programme Commission to lead the process. One of the key missions of the O lympic Programme Commission has been to set up a regular and clearly defined process by which the Olympic Programme would be reviewed a ter each Olympic Games.

    Evaluation criteria
    In order to fulfill this mission, the Olympic Programme Commission developed a set of criteria to be used in assessing the strengths and weaknesses of each sport and the value that each sport adds to the Olympic Programme. Following consultation with the International Federations (IFs) and other key stakeholders, the final list of 33 criteria was proposed to the IOC Session, which approved it in August 2004 in Athens.

    The Olympic Programme Commission, in their report to the 117th IOC Session stated that they had developed a set of 33 criteria to be used in assessing the strengths and weaknesses of each potential/current Olympic sport and the 'value' that each sport adds to the Olympic Programme. (you can read the methodology and the assessments of all Olympic sports in the link here: http://multimedia.olympic.org/pdf/en_report_953.pdf, pretty interesting reading).

    The Olympic Programme Commission reviewed all data and has been able to draw its conclusions from the following sources of information:
    - Completed questionnaires from the Federations
    - IOC experts
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2010
  16. J Sho

    J Sho Green Belt

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    In conclusion
    Ok then, a bunch of facts and figures you might be saying but why won't BJJ or Submission Wrestling ever make it to the Olympics?
    Its not all bad news, there are some areas where BJJ/Submission Wrestling would score highly in the assessment:
    *Best Athletes would compete in the Olympics
    *Established World, Brazilian, Pan-American, Pan-Pacific, European, African and Asian Championships (in addition to many smaller tournaments)
    *Low Operational Costs
    *Low Venue Costs
    *Low impact of sport on environment
    *Increasing popularity of sport

    However there are many areas where the sport(s) would score very poorly and this significantly outweight the positives above:

    *Not a global sport/Not a well subscribed sport
    Outside of Brazil and the United States, although there are thriving BJJ and Sub Wrestling scenes in many countries, the sport is very underdeveloped and the disparity between number of judoka and number of Jitsuka is huge.

    *Limited media appearances
    BJJ and Submission Wrestling appearances are limited to broadcasts over the internet or on small channels such a PremiereCombate in Brazil. There are few mainstream media appearances.

    *Total Domination of the sport by 1 country
    If BJJ or Sub Wrestling were Olympic sports, Brazil would win ever medal in every category (the only potential exception to this would be in the Women's dvision). The depth of class and skill in Brazil at all weight categories far exceeds that of its nearest competitor, the United States and to date only 2 non-Brazilians have ever won a Black Belt Adult title at the CBJJ World Championships.

    *No Anti-Doping policy
    Neither the CBJJ nor the CBJJE nor the ADCC has a drug-testing policy in place.

    *High impact of judging on the outcome of a match
    The assessment of point scoring moves is quite subjective and can significantly affect the outcome of a match.

    *Judging/Refereeing system has a poor reputation (undergoing refinement at the moment)
    Although the CBJJ are planning to introduce mat judges in addition to the actual referee (as a result of controversial wins for Ronaldo 'Jacare' Souza over Roger Gracie in the 2004 and 2005 CBJJ World Championships) the standard of refereeing even at the highest level of competition is very mixed and not of a consistently high standard.

    *No single governing body
    There are 2 (maybe 3) World Governing bodies for BJJ (and more than 40 state federations in Brazil, some states have 4 or 5), which is against IOC Protocol and there no genuine World Governing Body for Submission wrestling, however the advent of the World Grappling Committee under the auspices of FILA may change this.

    *Poor Gender Equity/Women's BJJ very underdeveloped in comparison
    Although improvements have been made in the past few years, the number of elite women grapplers is very low in comparison to elite male grapplers.

    *Fila Recognition doesn’t necessarily lead to Olympic recognition.
    FILA also recognises Sambo and Beach Wrestling.

    *Too similar to Wrestling/Judo
    Wrestling itself struggles to keep 2 variants at the Olympics, it is almost unthinkable that there would be 3 (if Sub-Wrestling were introduced). BJJ would also be too similar to Judo in the minds of the general public.

    *Not Visually appealing enough/poor spectator sport
    Although this is generally confined to the lower belts, BJJ and Submission Wrestling are not the most visually appealing fo sports (although this is generally a result of the individuals involved in any match).

    *Political pull of other Martial Arts
    As mentioned above, it is unlikely that other Martial Arts already either in The Olympic Programme or 'Recognised' by the IOC would support the inclusion of another Martial Art.

    *Sports Jiu Jitsu already recognised by IOC/World Games.
    The Jiu Jitsu variant Sports Jiu-Jitsu (a cross between Judo and point-scoring Karate) is already recognised by the IOC and appears on the World Games Programme. It is unlikely that the IOC would countenance putting this SJJ on the IOC Programme, let alone recognise a relatively minor variant of it.


    Sources
    Report to the 117th IOC Session by the Olympic Programme Commission.
    http://multimedia.olympic.org/pdf/en_report_953.pdf
    Fila Wrestling : site de la Fdration Internationale des Luttes Associes - Accueil


    IOC Recognised Sports:
    Air sports, Bandy, Billiard Sports, Boules, Bowling, Bridge, Chess, Dance Sport, Golf, Karate, Korfball, Life Saving, Motorcycle Racing, Mountaineering and Climbing, Netball, Orienteering, Pelote, Basque, Polo, Powerboating, Racquetball, Roller Sports, Rugby, Squash, Surfing, Sumo, Tug of War, Underwater Sports, Water Skiing, Wushu
     
  17. bjjmedic

    bjjmedic Orange Belt

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    Don't forget that if BJJ is added another sport will have to be removed.
     
  18. ShanghaiBJJ

    ShanghaiBJJ Brown Belt

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    I really hope it doesn't happen. Nothing to gain for BJJ
     
  19. Thalion

    Thalion Green Belt

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    It will be very difficult for any sport to get in the olympics from now on.

    The only way i see another grappling sport to get in the olympics is that FILA take out a couple of weight class from freestyle and greco and put some Grappling weight classes in it (the amount of the athletes must be the same).

    FILA has Grappling NOGI, GI and Combat (amateur MMA with protection) in his recognized sports

    FILA Grappling

    In the SportAccord Combat Games in beijing this summer (the closest event to olympics for combat sports), there was GRAPPLING NOGI, along with wrestling judo boxe taekwondo and so on.

    They put 60kg women, 70kg-80kg-90kg men.

    8 athletes in each bracket (the top 8 from the world championship

    YouTube - SportAccord Combat Games Pekin 2010: Grappling Final Man -70kg



    Mind that FILA is a IOC recognized federation, that has national governing body all'over the world so it's easier for them to take Grappling in the olympic if they want.

    At the last world championship there were 26 different country in it, including the like of Azeirbaijan , Khazakistan, Mongolia and other country you don't see usually at grappling events.
     
  20. Solidus Snake

    Solidus Snake Purple Belt

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    I don't want to see Bjj in the Olympics. I'm afraid they could water it down in some way, and I like it as it is now.

    I'd rather see a Professional League well established. Or a World Championship with qualifications, good prizes and so on.

    But I would give up every of this things if there ever will be a danger of changing rules or remove things from the game.
     

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