Verbal Grappling Episode 1: RECAP

Sunday, 9/20/15 marked the very first installment of a new podcast project, The BJJ Hour Vs. Jiu Jitsu Times: VERBAL GRAPPLING.  The purpose of this series is to take topics that the readers of Jiu Jitsu Times, and the internet BJJ Population in general are divided about, topics that carry with them controversy, and to analyze them in an open discussion.

We posted a preview of yesterday’s topic here Jiu Jitsu Times Vs. The BJJ Hour.  The topic is whether or not children should be allowed to compete in adult brackets.

From the BJJ Hour, Mike and Tommy held very different views.  Mike’s opinion is that it’s great if kids are able to compete against adults, and while there should be discretion, it should be welcomed.  Jiu Jitsu is, after all, supposed to be a demonstration of skill and technique over size and strength.

Tommy’s perspective was one of far more caution, feeling that both adults and minors are put in a bad situation in the event of kids competing.  On the adult end, some of these kids are as young as 13 years old, many adults are uncomfortable with the prospect of competing against someone young enough to be their child.  On the kid’s end there are many reasons that it can be dangerous.  Also there is the issue of ego, which can cause people to make really stupid choices in the heat of the moment.

My opinion was that it should be taken on a case my case basis.  The coach, the parents and the tournament should all have to sign off on whether or not a kid should be able to compete.  Even then, there can be instances in which there are unnecessary risks.  Many very talented children may not have the wherewithal or good sense to know to tap when at risk, and their maturity may not be where it needs to be.

There are kids out there at many tournaments competing against and in some cases beating adults.  We discussed some examples of kids who do very well in competition against adults.  We also discussed some of the potential major pitfalls, including an incident from 2 years ago in which a 15 year old Brazilian boy was paralyzed in a freak accident during a match.

Unfortunately the episode was cut short due to technical issues (which will be dealt with before the next airing.)  You can see the entire episode here:


The next episode is scheduled to air on Sunday October 4th and will cover another controversial topic.  Chances are at least one of us will voice your opinion, and at least one of us will really piss you off.  It’ll be fun.

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Emil Fischer is an active black belt competitor under Pablo Angel Castro III training at Strong Style Mixed Martial Arts and Training Center near Cleveland Ohio ( and teaching at Ararat Martial Arts and FItness Center. For more information, other articles, and competition videos check out his athlete pages at and Emil is sponsored by Meerkatsu (, discount code EmilKatsu), Eddy's On Coventry, North Coast Cryo ( NottaRookie, YM ( discount code COOKIES), Defense Soap ( discount code COOKIES) Impact Mouthguards ( discount code EMILIMPACT), and North South Jiu Jitsu Underwear


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