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BJJGround Forum >> Why BJJ will always be an amateur sport


5/17/13 5:13 PM
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Hywel Teague
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Posted this on my old coach's Facebook page when he was complaining about the expense BJJ guys put in for little to no reward

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The problem with jiu-jitsu is that you've basically got guys training and living like pros but competing in an amateur sport.

The opportunities to make money aren't there like in MMA, which being realistic is barely better than amateur status anyway given the massive expense to the fighters but the tiny reward they receive.

It doesn't fall upon the tournament organisers to provide some kind of income or funding for the competitors - a reward, possibly, but that's discretionary.

You need a non-profit federation or athletic governing body to handle things like distribution of government money, creating job opportunities, and so on. But ALL current jiu-jitsu federations in the world are for-profit entities.

Plus, the only money in jiu-jitsu comes from jiu-jitsu - there is no outside investment, practitioners fund everyone from the gi brands and retailers right up to to academies and tournament organisers.

And of course you can't receive funding without a not-for-profit governing body - which we'll never have because it's a chicken and the egg situation - nobody's going to form a council out of their own pocket for the chance to handle money that will never be their own.

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Sucks right? Who the hell is going to create the first non-profit BJJ federation? Plus what are the chances of anyone in the community actually supporting one anyway? I expect people would instantly distrust it and fail to help it develop
5/17/13 5:46 PM
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On the Mat
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i wrote something simular to this a long time ago. But i'd say it is more of a club sport than amateur. Amateur emplies to me that there is a pro too. i guess with more paid events like Metamoris coming out there might be some hope.

What ever happened to the IBJJF pro league? Was there more than 1 event?
5/17/13 6:29 PM
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demandango
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In Phone Post 3.0
5/17/13 6:35 PM
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Seedless619
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In for sure. Phone Post 3.0
5/17/13 6:48 PM
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joe_mama
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Not sure if I agree that adding in a non-profit entity would help per se. What about wrestling or Judo? Even with olympic sport status, where is the money for those guys? It seems that they're not that much better than BJJ guys.

And I would imagine that has more to do with their popularity over jiu jitsu than anything else. Ie, there are plenty of wrestling coaching gigs at the high school, college level across the country.
5/17/13 9:40 PM
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BJJBuster
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IMO it boils down to this: no one wants to see BJJ. No one wants to see judo, or tkd or wrestling, all of which have non profits.

A non profit can help, but ultimately without a strong fan base paying to see competitors there's not much $ outside being a coach. Phone Post 3.0
5/17/13 9:49 PM
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checkuroil
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You have to do bjj to really enjoy watching it. Phone Post 3.0
5/17/13 10:30 PM
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allthingsbjj phil
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I think there has to be a major change in rules to gain casual viewers outside of the sport. Major sponsorship and money will only come after a large enough audience has amassed. Thats not going to happen with double guard pulls, scooting, and footsie guards for advantages.

 

I think submission wrestling has the biggest chance to breakout, or maybe even save wrestling. How it happens? I'm not sure.

5/17/13 10:49 PM
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TheBulgarianAssassin
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Most of the money and fame is in MMA these days. Being a world class competition in BJJ, Judo, Wrestling, Karate, TKD and even kickboxing does not lead to being rich or well-known. Those that want the money/fame should go into MMA. Simple as that.
5/17/13 11:24 PM
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Team Python
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MMA is a long way to be competitive to boxing when it comes to purses. A boxer will makes more money in his pro debut than a MMA fighter in his. BJJ is not exciting to watch even I get bored watching some of the matches. So I can see someone that has no clue what BJJ is about would get bored right away and lose interest real quick. Metamoris has a chance to become popular and make money just off of BBJ fans with the submission only concept. Imagine paying to watch two guys in the 50/50 guard for 15 minutes....fuck that!
5/18/13 12:11 AM
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Jumbo Reverse Shrimp
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BJJBuster - IMO it boils down to this: no one wants to see BJJ. No one wants to see judo, or tkd or wrestling, all of which have non profits.

A non profit can help, but ultimately without a strong fan base paying to see competitors there's not much $ outside being a coach. Phone Post 3.0

Yup. It's pretty obvious that BJJ is not a good spectator sport. The money is in TV contracts and PPV. Not gonna happen in BJJ. It may be different if there is ever a huge participant pool, but I don't see it.
5/18/13 1:51 AM
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EddieBravo
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As long as there are points there will be stalling. Stalling kills growth. We've had Bjj tournies in the states for 17 years and still no tv. Why???? Stalling. Points breed stalling, judges breed stalling. Submission only is our only hope. A system that rewards the combatants heavily for not stalling. A system with massive incentives for not stalling. There have been many different point systems and none of them have gotten Jiu Jitsu on American tv. Jiu Jitsu will never be on American tv as long as the stalling problem exists. As long as we have point systems we will have stalling.

Imagine a 16 man sub only nogi tourney with Gracie Worlds rules and the 1st place prize is 1 million dollars. Marcelo, Jean Jacques, Kron, Rafa.

Now imagine the same tourney with IBJJF rules.

Which one has the best chance of getting on TV? Phone Post 3.0
5/18/13 2:01 AM
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TheBulgarianAssassin
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EddieBravo - As long as there are points there will be stalling. Stalling kills growth. We've had Bjj tournies in the states for 17 years and still no tv. Why???? Stalling. Points breed stalling, judges breed stalling. Submission only is our only hope. A system that rewards the combatants heavily for not stalling. A system with massive incentives for not stalling. There have been many different point systems and none of them have gotten Jiu Jitsu on American tv. Jiu Jitsu will never be on American tv as long as the stalling problem exists. As long as we have point systems we will have stalling.

Imagine a 16 man sub only nogi tourney with Gracie Worlds rules and the 1st place prize is 1 million dollars. Marcelo, Jean Jacques, Kron, Rafa.

Now imagine the same tourney with IBJJF rules.

Which one has the best chance of getting on TV? Phone Post 3.0

That sounds good but the only problem is what if the matches go on for too long? If one match takes 3 hours, that'll kill ratings.
5/18/13 2:04 AM
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EddieBravo
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15 minutes. No sub = double DQ. No time limits promote stalling.

The finals are 15 minutes with a special OT submission based round Phone Post 3.0
5/18/13 2:18 AM
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BJJBuster
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15 min is too long for the average spectator. People will stall the same in sub only tournys, and the longer the round the more they can stall to recover to keep going.

I'd like to see something like shorter rounds with periods like wrestling.
Personally if I had 2 min vs 15 to win you bet I'd be more active.

But even that isn't spectator friendly.

I don't really think there's much of anything to do: no body wants to see folks rolling on the ground. Phone Post 3.0
5/18/13 3:56 AM
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cawsie77
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Karl Tanswell put a very good quote on fb yesterday. Basically MMA fighters get £60 to fight on regional shows. Whilst top level BJJ Players have to pay to enter and cover costs. Phone Post 3.0
5/18/13 3:58 AM
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JZilla
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Exactly. We don't need rule changes to be popular. That killed judo.

Eddie - sub only doesn't work because double Dq is bullshit. Why would the same guys who get two points and stall for 9 mins in ibjjf not play Ryron in sub only and just defend. They get dq but they also don't get tapped. This is bound to happen. Let's not over estimate the integrity of bjj players. Plenty can handle a double Dq better than being subbed.

Even metamoris has now gone to judges decisions, which is what ibjjf had before everyone moaned about those decisions and bias etc so they introduced advantages so everyone can see why player x is ahead even though he hasn't scored a point. Then the players realised they can just work the advantages and win.

Cut the time limit for ibjjf down. Copa podio, world pro, world cup and various other events in Brazil all do shorter rounds (mostly 6 mins). Shorter time for either explosive matches or at least the stallers get off the tv screen quicker Phone Post
5/18/13 4:09 AM
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JZilla
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Cawsie -
Comparing bjj to amateur mma is nonsensical because the mma event has 30 competitors, the bjj comp has 300uch more refs, table space and fighting area in bjj so running costs higher



Forget ibjjf,there are other organisations paying money eg in London we have the de la riva cup coming up, there's Grapplers quest pro, want vs need etc

Blue belts don't need to make money, the same way Sunday league pub footballers don't either.

I think everyone should forget about making this a big paid sport and just focus on little things that make what we have better
Eg I don't know a comp in the UK which gives you free entry next time if you win gold this time.
Grab and pull organise loads of comps in the UK and also made good gear. Why no free gear to winners? maybe not every division maybe just absolutes or purple and up. But Something... Phone Post
5/18/13 4:13 AM
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thesalfordmongoose
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I agree with Hywel in that the first obvious step would be the creation of a governing body, as it would give us a chance at making the Olympic games, allowing central investment, opportunities for being on school curriculums etc. These factors will raise the profile of the sport and reach out to a wider audience of competitors and spectators.
However I agree it's a huge restructure and a lot of people will not like the strict guidelines a regulatory body will have to impose, for example uniform rules across the board, I think our sport benefits from
It's versatility in this regard, and that would change and become more like judo with lots of sweeps and subs being banned.
Even if we get the required structure in place and create the right conditions for a professional sport, the bottom line is I don't think it's spectator friendly. I actually disagree with Eddie in that sub only is less stalling. I do think 3 or 4 minute rounds would help. But double dq's could potentially eliminate our best athletes in the first round if their opponent chooses to stall. Phone Post 3.0
5/18/13 5:35 AM
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cawsie77
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JZilla -  Cawsie -
Comparing bjj to amateur mma is nonsensical because the mma event has 30 competitors, the bjj comp has 300uch more refs, table space and fighting area in bjj so running costs higher



Forget ibjjf,there are other organisations paying money eg in London we have the de la riva cup coming up, there's Grapplers quest pro, want vs need etc

Blue belts don't need to make money, the same way Sunday league pub footballers don't either.

I think everyone should forget about making this a big paid sport and just focus on little things that make what we have better
Eg I don't know a comp in the UK which gives you free entry next time if you win gold this time.
Grab and pull organise loads of comps in the UK and also made good gear. Why no free gear to winners? maybe not every division maybe just absolutes or purple and up. But Something... Phone Post

But surely the top level BBs shouldnt pay? A lot pay entry to see them compete. I know there are comps were there are good prizes, but nit that many

5/18/13 5:45 AM
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JZilla
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In the UK there are lot of comps where browns and blacks don't pay to enter

I think in small comps have black belts enter free but at the worlds you can't gave a whole day of free competitors where it's an open ie not every black belt competing is elite
That's why I think giving free entry next time to medal winners or podium guys makes sense Phone Post
5/18/13 5:48 AM
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Shemhazai
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If you want to make money, do MMA. It's hardly a human right to be able to make money competing in a sport of your choice. At least you can make a living teaching BJJ.
5/18/13 8:19 AM
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Hywel Teague
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cawsie77 - Karl Tanswell put a very good quote on fb yesterday. Basically MMA fighters get £60 to fight on regional shows. Whilst top level BJJ Players have to pay to enter and cover costs. Phone Post 3.0
My old coach :) Phone Post 3.0
5/18/13 9:17 AM
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cawsie77
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Hywel Teague -
cawsie77 - Karl Tanswell put a very good quote on fb yesterday. Basically MMA fighters get £60 to fight on regional shows. Whilst top level BJJ Players have to pay to enter and cover costs. Phone Post 3.0
My old coach :) Phone Post 3.0
My coaches old coach!! Went to brown with him!! Phone Post 3.0
5/18/13 10:26 AM
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Truemanc3
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Yeah bjj is a labour of love!

There is no money in it.

BJJ may cost you alot of money though lol!

I do it for other reasons than money... if it was money I wanted i'd do longer hours at work lol!

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