Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is growing in popularity at a rapid rate. As it grows more and more people are looking to legitimize it as a professional sport. Here is where the Jiu Jitsu World League comes in. Rigan Machado and Matthew Tinley, the creators of the Jiu Jitsu World League, are spearheading the charge to make Jiu Jitsu a professional sport. On top of prize money you can win at their tournaments, they have added a point system that follows you through the JJWL. Points are accumulated by winning matches and winning divisions in these tournaments. The JJWL has also tweaked traditional BJJ rules to favor the more aggressive opponent. Stalling and other offenses will be punished by a deduction of 2 points, then 4 points, and finally the offender will be disqualified.
There is also a point disparity between “high” throws and “low” throws. High throws, where your opponent is launched above waist height, will give you 4 points. Low throws, throws below waist height, will only land you 2 points. In a great marketing move the JJWL have decided to use World Champion Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida as the face of their league. I think this is a step in the right direction for marketing in Jiu Jitsu. Machado says he wants to give back to the athletes by offering the prize money. This is a step in the right direction for the professionalism of BJJ. Even “Buchecha” says he can’t watch any BJJ matches anymore because they are “boring”. Changing the rules to favor the aggressor and punish stalling is an excellent idea and will help to bring in new viewers. Most of the BJJ audience today consists of practitioners, friends, and family. For Jiu Jitsu to take off more casual viewers are needed, and I belive the JJWL has the right idea.
Official Website: http://www.jjworldleague.com/