BJJ Poll: Do You Think Performance Enhancing Substances Are a Problem in Jiu-Jitsu Competitions?

by Caleb on November 14, 2009


The idea for this week’s BJJ Poll came to us from one of the Mighty 600,000. He wrote us here at The FightWorks Podcast headquarters in San Diego and put it better than I might be able to so I’ll just pass along his comments:

After participating in a handful of jiu-jitsu tournaments over the last couple years and having been around a gym since the mid-1980s, I’ve come to learn what type of physiques are natural and what types are suspect. However, even a trained eye cannot always be 100% sure who is taking what substance and who isn’t, or who has worked hard in the gym and is equally gifted with great genetics. But sometimes you see someone and it just doesn’t look right. This has gotten me thinking, are performance enhancing substances – the kind you need a doctor’s prescrition for – an issue in jiu-jitsu competitions? Should there be some form of testing?

So what do you think, Family? It’s a very touchy subject indeed but I am very sure you have thoughts on the matter. Sound off! Vote in the poll above, leave a comment below, or even call us at 877-247-4662 and leave us a message we can use in an upcoming show!

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Fernando November 14, 2009 at 11:39 am

I think it shouldn’t be a problem now, but if Jiu-jitsu were to ever be an olympic sport, they better start coming up with a solution now before it does become a problem.

John November 14, 2009 at 6:14 pm

It is definitely a problem, but people just don’t know it. You would be shocked if you knew who uses the juice.

Gerardo November 14, 2009 at 10:05 pm

I don’t think its a problem now, because jiu-jitsu its so pure. Most jiu-jitsu practitioners want to get better by training hard, not by taking any substance to make them perform better.

xDanx November 15, 2009 at 12:57 am

I think a lot of guys use them but I dont really see an issue with it, strength only gets you so far.

BOAAAA November 15, 2009 at 2:05 pm

Top competition in practically every sport has their share of PED use.
If by “problem” the question is asking whether or not they are being used, then the answer is yes. Or, if by “problem” the question is asking if we see their use as morally wrong or against the nature of the art/sport, then that’s completely different. And not one I personally have an answer to.

“I think a lot of guys use them but I dont really see an issue with it, strength only gets you so far.”

Yeah, just World and ADCC championships.

O Rei November 16, 2009 at 8:36 am

I have heard several times from several top Blackbelts that in Brazil it is very common for BJJ guys to take Steroids and various other substances like Steroids. It is all word of mouth, so I don’t know how regular this type of substance use is. But I would like to know.

Jay November 16, 2009 at 3:10 pm

I would say most of the top guys in BJJ use something that would be considered ‘performance enhancing’. I know I’ve competed against some guys that just felt abnormally strong for their size. I’ve been around athletes and competetive sports my whole life and when I see the guys and girls at the top of our sport I have no doubt. With that being said Jiu Jitsu is a sport where this always doesn’t help the athlete and endurance, technique and mental strength can triumph! I’ll stick to protein shakes.

Liam November 17, 2009 at 3:53 am

It is a huge problem. If you see somebody clunking around like RoboCop, it’s probably because he is on juice (or “bomba”). If they started testing in Brazil, half the medals would be stripped from the black belt division.

Jen November 17, 2009 at 11:23 am

What year was it that they tested a bunch of black belts at the Worlds and so many of them tested positive that they decided never to test again?

Perhaps the word “problem” needs to be clarified.

A better question might be, do you think it IS a problem that most high level BJJ competitors use “performance enhancing” drugs that are not legal in other internationally regulated sports?

It seems to me that a lot of people would say no…since so many of them are using anyway.

It’s low level recreational guys who don’t realize how prevalent steroid use is in the top-levels of BJJ. The disbelief is odd because a lot of the high level guys don’t even try to hide the fact that they use steroids. They don’t care because it isn’t against the rules.

Martini November 20, 2009 at 12:36 am

It would be nice to believe all champs are clean. In training over 12 years in many different places I have experience a number of champs discussing the use of Bomba. Id say most use it for recovery because of the intense training.

David December 13, 2009 at 2:12 pm

If it’s prevalent in the sport then it’s a problem. When the skill level of two competitors is comparable, the added explosiveness and strength provided by PEDs can produce an unfair advantage that results in a tournament victory, so it’s a bit naive to think that it doesn’t make a difference.

Young competitors look up to the champs, and if it’s common knowledge that the top guys juice, and there’s no BJJ rules against it, what message is being sent?
And, if you don’t believe there’s an inherent problem or dilemma with using steroids and HGH, how young is too young to start? It’s a slippery slope.

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