Old School BJJ More Exciting?

Is old school BJJ more exciting than the modern day IBJJF version?

I say an emphatic “yes!”

I was watching a few videos of old school jiu-jitsu star Fernando “Margarida” Pontes who won an Absolute Mundials title in the early days of sport BJJ in Brazil.

Here we have two videos of Margarida (my all time favorite BJJ competitor) with an exciting submission-oriented style matched against legends Saulo Ribeiro and Fabio Gurgel.

I was struck at how much more action packed the matches seemed under the rules at that time!

It seemed more like the type of jiu-jitsu that we practice in the academies – going after it with submission being the goal.

The guys were battling for takedowns. There were some guard pulls, as Margarida seemed to be equally comfortable playing top or bottom, and submission attempts! There was absolutely no double guard pulling, stalling, playing for a sweep advantage.

In contrast, I watched a recent finals match between two top level competitors where neither attempted a takedown or a single submission in the entire 10-minute match. It was a sweeping / guard passing contest.

Perhaps I am guilty of doing what older practitioners always say: “It was better in the old days”. But watch these two matches and see if you don’t feel these were more excitin and better reflect the fighting spirit of jiu-jitsu?

Fernando “Margarida” Pontes x Saulo Ribeiro by X-COMBAT

Fernando “Margarida” Pontes vs. Fabio Gurgel


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