Thursday, August 16, 2012

Uninformed Opinion of the Day: BJJ should be in the Olympics because....

Click HERE
for the ( often) poorly written/articulated attempt at something resembling an article on Bleacher Report:
Apparently, BJJ will have more finishes (than TKD or Judo). I've seen plenty of awesome BJJ matches go for 10 minutes and alternately I've been less than enthralled by 8 minutes of inverted guard followed by 2 minutes of action. Some of the best high level matches I saw as of late were the super fights at the World Jiu-Jitsu Expo. But then, I clearly remember Malfacine riding out his 2 points for a takedown on G. Mendes for nearly 7 or 8 minutes at the Pans this year. Scintillating? Not particularly.

The article also uses Shinya Aoki and BJ Penn as proof that BJJ is an internationally competitive sport when in reality the world champions have at the black belt/male level have virtually (with a handful of exceptions) come from one country and only come from one lineage of the sport's origin (minus Rodolfo).

The sad (for spectators anyway) truth, just like with high level Judo, is that at the highest level when a point or an advantage, or a mistake can mean the difference between advancing or busting out early, is that a more reserved game plan is statistically the preferred route amongst many competitors.

A sport should be in the Olympics because of its own merits not b/c "it's better (supposedly) than the current sports".

As a spectator, I would love to see Sambo in the Olympics. It has the pace that I wish I saw more of in Judo, has leg locks, and has big throws as well as pretty consistent action and scrambles. Hell, I've seen plenty of Female Sambo matches that were far more spectator friendly than high level Judo and BJJ matches.

I'm not going to go into the plethora of obstacles for BJJ to enter the Olympics (the lack of PED testing which according to Caio Terra is adamantly blocked by the superstars of the IBJJF), no qualifying system in place, what will the rules be, what about NoGi et al) but what I don't want is backlash to a sport that is still in many ways sorting itself out as a competitive sport. We call BJJ a combat sport, but it will not appear that way if it turns into 8 min's of leg scissors or 9 minutes spent clinging to an advantage.

If anything, I'd support the Abu Dhabi Pro Trials format which produces faster paced matches, but alternatively often makes the takedown more important, but can make it easier to stall out on a sweep or a takedown.

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