Currently, I’ve been interested in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. This is because Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has been going in trend recently with more and more people starting to study the sport. But what I find interesting to find out is that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is not in the Olympics. I mean why is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu not in the Olympics?
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is not in the Olympics mainly because it still does not have any governing body. This means that it has not concrete set of rules to follow because there are variations within different organizations. The lack of official rules makes it not qualified to be part of the Olympics.
But there are more reasons why Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is not in the Olympics. In this article, I am going to discuss 7 reasons why it will still not be in it even if more and more people get in love with the sport. Also, I will answer if there is a chance that BJJ will ever be in the Olympics in the future.
Why is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu not in Olympics?
In here, I have 7 reasons why as of now, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is still not in the Olympics. These reasons can be addressed soon to make BJJ take part of the competition, but as of now, these are the problems that needs to be addressed.
Here are the reasons why Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is still not in the Olympics:
- Brazilian Jiu Jitsu came from Another Martial Art
- Brazilian Jiu Jitsu lacks a following in Other Countries
- Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is Dominated by a Single Nation
- Brazilian Jiu Jitsu lacks a Universal Weight Class
- Brazilian Jiu Jitsu still Lacks a Set of Official Rules
- Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Looks Boring to other People
- Brazilian Jiu Jitsu does not have any WADA Approved Testing
I will discuss them one by one in this article.
1. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu came from another Martial Art
One of the main problems is that Olympics don’t allow derivative sports.
Let me explain what this means.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu came from Judo, which is another grappling sport. The problem is Judo has been in the Olympics since 1964. Years ahead when Brazilian Jiu Jitsu became famous.
To compare, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu became famous in the 90s.
Now, derivative sport means that it is a sport that came from another sport.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu came from Judo when a Judo practitioner went to Brazil and taught the sport.
That means, since Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a sport that came from Judo, it is considered as a derivative sport from Judo.
In short, it derived from Judo.
This is one of the key reasons why BJJ is still not in the Olympics despite a following in USA and Brazil. It did not even came to the Rio Olympics which was conducted in Brazil itself.
2. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu lacks a following in other Countries
Imagine a competition where the winner will be obvious.
Most black belters in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu are Brazilian. This makes the competition boring.
To be able to be an Olympic sport, you need to have a global following. That way, it can have a healthy competition.
Currently, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is being practiced and famous in a few countries for example: Brazil, USA, Australia and New Zealand
That is not enough since most of the black belts are Brazilians.
Perhaps to solve this, we need two things.
One is to make BJJ more famous by promoting it to other countries. Two is to give it time because it takes an average of 12.51 years to have a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
That is too long so I don’t think we will see BJJ in the Olympics soon.
3. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is dominated by a Single Nation
As I said, it needs more following from other countries other than Brazil.
It needs more people from different nations to compete. It needs to be an equal fight between countries.
As of now, most black belters in BJJ are from Brazil. So it will be unfair to have this in the competition.
What we need to give here is time.
4. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu still Lacks a Set of Official Rules
There are lots of governing bodies for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and they have a different set of rule for each.
Some of the governing bodies are:
- International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation(IBJJF)
- ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championships
- Abu Dhabi Pro
- Sport Jiu-Jitsu International Federation (SJJIF)
- United Society of JuJitsu Organizations(USJJF)
As you can see there are lots of them and there are variation in their rules in competition. This is hard for BJJ because they need to have one governing body to start considering joining the Olympics.
Here is an example: Judo has The International Judo Federation (IJF) which gives them a concrete set of rules to follow. This makes sure that the rules are the same and standardized for all.
BJJ still does not have something like that and has variations in each of the governing bodies listed above.
There is one governing body in BJJ that almost dominates right now and that is International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation(IBJJF). But IBJJF still has a long way to go, and I still don’t think it will be the one governing body simply because IBJJF is a for-profit corporation.
5. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu lacks a Universal Weight Class
Other sports have a standardized weight class such as a specific weight requirements to be a Heavyweight, Welterweight, Featherweight and so on.
In BJJ, since there are lots of governing bodies, their standard weight classes are not standardized. This is important in Olympics.
It is granted that strength and weight don’t matter in BJJ, I know that but Olympics will not make an exception for this just for Jiu Jitsu to be there.
It boils down to we need an official set of rules from a single entity. That’s how we can solve this.
6. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Looks boring to other people
Olympics make money because people watch them. The problem is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a grappling sport which is similar to Judo.
To you who likes BJJ, it seems like it is really interesting. But to others who have no idea about the sport, it will just seem like two people falling in the ground locking each other out.
That’s a big problem since if they want more people to watch the Olympics, they want to include sports that many people will find interesting. Unfortunately, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is not that appealing to the eyes of the public.
Don’t get me wrong. When it comes to power, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has proven itself on MMA fights. But its just sad that it is not appealing to the eyes of the general public.
7. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu does not have any WADA Approved Testing
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu still does not have any rules regarding doping. Doping is still not addressed and it is very important to take note that the Olympics is very strict with regards to doping.
The lack of transparency testing for performance enhancing drugs is still a problem. What I mean by transparency is their list of prohibited substance are still not clear.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu still needs to conduct a WADA approved testing to be considered in joining the Olympics.
Will BJJ ever be in the Olympics?
In the future, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu may be involved in the Olympics. The reason is it is currently still a young sport, so it needs more following from different countries. Furthermore, it needs to have one governing body to have a concrete set of rules. But soon, you may be able to see it in the Olympics.
The main reason why BJJ is still not in the Olympics is mainly because of the reasons above. As you can see those 7 reasons means that BJJ has still a long way to go.
Many martial art started small, it is the same with BJJ. There are still few people who are involved in Jiu Jitsu. The way for it to be in the Olympics is for it to become more famous.
With the current trend of BJJ going upward, it may soon come to the Olympics. We just need to give it time and of course, we need some things to change such as conducting a WADA approved testing.
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Welcome to my recommended list of Jiu-Jitsu gear.
In this section, you are going to see my recommended Jiu-Jitsu gears both for beginners and pros.
When getting some grappling shorts, you first need to understand that the thing we are looking for in grappling shorts is the ones that will provide flexibility.
This means that we are not looking at designs but what we are looking for is how comfortable it is and if you can do a full range of motions while wearing the shorts.
If that’s the case, I recommend an IBJJF approved grappling short which has no pockets that can interfere with rolls, and most importantly, allows a full range of motion. This can help you in rolls since you need to have fluid motions to do some maneuvers.
Here is the link for the product: BJJ Shorts
Grappling spats are a great alternative to Grappling shorts and are sometimes used in conjunction with Grappling shorts.
The reason for using a Grappling spat is to prevent friction.
Remember that BJJ is focused on rolls, locks, and takedowns. This is prone to friction that can cause injuries such as burns and mat cuts.
In choosing a good pair of grappling spats, you need to take note that it is important that it is also flexible so you can easily do some full-range motions while rolling.
Furthermore, since you will be covering your whole legs with it, it is important for it to absorb some sweat while still being comfortable for the wearer.
If that’s the case, I recommend these Grappling Spats which are very stretchable making them good for fluid motion. Furthermore, it is well made to handle friction which prevents any unwanted injuries.
Lastly, its cloth is breathable which means that it is very comfortable for your skin.
Here is the link for the product: Grappling Spats
Think of a rash guard as the grappling spat for the upper body.
Rashguard helps in preventing friction that can cause injuries such as mat cuts and burns.
When finding one, it is important to find a comfortable rash guard which is breathable. Furthermore, have one that allows a full range of motion.
Thus, I recommend this rash guard which does all of the functions I’ve said: Rashguard
Knee and Elbow Pads
Personally, I am a victim of a knee injury. That’s why I always tell people to use knee and elbow pads when doing some physically intensive activities such as BJJ.
Because of my injuries, I can’t really last long with any sort of long physical activity.
So, while it is often neglected, I believe that Knee and Elbox pads are important.
Good Knee and Elbow pads are supposed to be comfortable while still providing maximum protection to both your elbows and knees.
Thus, I recommend these safety gears:
There are lots of cauliflower ear incidents with BJJ practitioners.
Even if this is quite an unpopular safety gear, it is important as we are preventing friction that can come from rolls.
In choosing an ear protector, you do not need to get something that protects you from strikes. Striking is usually not allowed.
So, what’s important is to find something that is very lightweight and protects you from friction.
If that’s the case, then you may opt for this which is really useful and won’t look weird on rolls: Ear Guards