Do You Care About Sports BJJ?

I am a fan of watching sports jiu-jitsu. True, some of the matches can be a cure for insomnia when there is too much stalling, but I love watching the best in the world go mano-a-mano. How does the unstoppable guard passing of Mendes match up against the impassable guard of Miyao?

The Jiu-jitsu Times is often the first to bring you the results of competitions held around the BJJ world and interviews with the elite competitions; therefore, I assume that everyone who trains BJJ follows the top competitions and knows who the all-time greats like Roger Gracie, Marcelo Garcia, and Xande Ribeiro are.

Yet a curious thing happened the other day on the mat in BJJ class. “The IBJJF World Championships are happening this weekend in Long Beach!”  I attempted to start a discussion.

I was greeted with blank stares. “Oh ya?” someone responded out of obligatory courtesy.

“Do any of you know who Buchecha is?” I asked.

Several blank looks and a slightly uncomfortable silence followed. I explained, “He is a beast and the top jiu-jitsu guy in the world for the last several years.”


They just weren’t interested. The majority of the students are white collar professionals who train jiu-jitsu for physical fitness and the challenge of learning a new skill. Many jiu-jitsu students see BJJ as an activity that they do…not watch. I talked to one girl who had fallen in love with BJJ, bought several kimonos, and trained five days a week, but she had no idea who Royce Gracie was!

Perhaps it is not surprising. Many of us enjoy different activities without having any interest in the competition side of things. I enjoy weight training for fitness but have no idea who the Crossfit GOAT is. I ran before to develop my cardio, but couldn’t tell you a runner’s name other than Usain Bolt.

I read a statistic saying between 12 to 20 percent of a BJJ academy’s students are interested in competition. That leaves a whopping 80 percent or more of people who do BJJ for other reasons.

Yet many of the BJJ schools are run by instructors who are passionate about competition and center their schools around strategies and positions for IBJJF tournaments. A small number of addicts are up on all the latest results about who used a new guard style to win a championship and which team so-and-so is training with.

For most who love BJJ, it is about how they enjoy training, friends at the academy, and the satisfaction of learning a new skill.

How about you?

Do you care about the world of sport BJJ or is BJJ something you love for your own reasons?


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