BJJ In The Olympics (Again)

Gamenes… in their latest two blog posts they’re recommending a name change for BJJ will actually help with it getting into the Olympics. They’re going so far as to say we can ignore sport ju-jitsu because the JJIF isn’t making “any serious attempts to popularize traditional jiu-jitsu as a sport”. For reference: 1 & 2

I’ve beaten this dead horse a few times. But since others still really want BJJ in the Olympics, let’s cut the shit and have a truly frank conversation.

First, I call bullshit on Gameness. The JJIF has had several applications to become an Olympic sport and has been actively trying for decades. It’s in the World Games and the JJIF is a member of both the GAISF and IWGA. Saying that there aren’t serious attempts to popularize sport ju-jitsu is just ignorant. The assumption that the JJIF is unused because their website is outdated is… well, it wasn’t until last week that the USJA updated their website, but that doesn’t mean judo isn’t practiced anymore. For that matter, sport ju-jitsu has the recognition of bodies like USJA which now pushes jujitsu tournament announcements to judoka. I promise you, it’s a grassroots movement, but there is a movement to popularize jujitsu. You’re just unlikely to hear about it unless you’re in one of the sports that has a real governing body that can court you about it.

I’m going to say this one more time, and then I’m just never going to bring it up again: Brazilian jiu-jitsu isn’t really a distinct sport from judo. It’s a separate rule set. It’s not even “basically just judo”, it’s literally judo that was taught to some Brazilians before the term “judo” was popular. If you want to compete in the Olympics, learn some throws, or at minimum some throw defenses, and go wreak havoc on the ground in judo. I promise it’s okay. The IJF will happily take you back like the prodigal sons and daughters you are. The rules for judo might even get better if there’s a large population of ground fighters actively competing. If you’re not willing to compete in the almost identical sports that already are in the Olympics, you probably aren’t going to like what being in the Olympics is going to do to your rule set if by the long shot, over the next five decades the necessary stars line up to make BJJ an Olympic sport.