Jiu-Jitsu A Sport Or A Martial Art?

Jiu-jitsu is yet to reach the kind of massive fan following that other martial arts have attained. There are tournaments and workshops conducted regularly, but according to experts the problem is that the jiu-jitsu isn’t really spectator friendly. Part of the problem lies in the fact that it is treated more as a martial art than a sport. Here are few reasons for why experts feel that jiu-jitsu should be considered a sport and not a pure martial art:

sports jiu jitsu

  1. People watching a fight tend to put the “boring” tag on a fighter if he stalls and tries to win points. It is expected that the fighter should always try to take risks and take the battle to the opponent. But just like other sportsmen, a jiu-jitsu fighter is trying to only win the fight. If it calls for defensive tactics, then it is in his best interests to employ them. Now in professional sports we see such strategies being applied all the time. Of course no one really creates a furor about it as these things are expected in sports. This leeway should also be given in the case of jiu-jitsu and this can only happen if we start looking at it as a pure sport.


  1. Purists tend to be dismissive of certain techniques in jiu-jitsu as they might not always be applicable in the categories of mixed martial arts or self-defense arts. But this is not really an apt comparison. Just because jiujitsu is similar to mixed martial arts does not justify comparison between the two. After all we never compare sports like rugby and football just because they are loosely related to each other. This is another major problem that fighters face because some people feel that jiu-jitsu should be fought in a particular way. If it were considered a proper sport where winning is the most important thing, then these unnecessary problems would not start cropping up.


  1. Jiu-jitsu is really a great art form that needs to be nourished and brought to a much bigger audience. This is only possible if it made more spectator friendly. After all, revenue is the backbone of every endeavor in today’s world. And unfortunately jiu-jitsu can be very dull to watch, even at the highest levels. Certain tournaments have gone ahead and changed rules to ensure that fights have a more direct result. Some organizers are also employing the submission-only format. These innovations have generally gone on to reap god dividends and people have started taking notice of jiu-jitsu. It is a welcome change but there is still a long way to before it becomes a popular combat art. And the first step to achieve this is to change our mindset and start looking at jiu-jitsu as more of a sport.


Some people are very supportive of this view and feel that this change in mindset is vital to the growth of jiu-jitsu. However many people are against this and a healthy discussion is vital among fans and practioners of this wonderful art. Everyone should have his or her say and we would love to hear your opinion on this heated topic.


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