BJJ Poll: Will BJJ Ever Be an Olympic Sport?

by Caleb on December 10, 2011

The idea for this week’s poll comes from – you guessed it – the most inquisitive mind in Brazilian jiu-jitsu: Ross, one of the Mighty 600,000 from Northern California. He wrote us here at FightWorks Podcast and said, “This is something that you’ve discussed on the Podcast several times, but I don’t think it’s ever been a poll question.”

He’s right! This is probably one of the most common debates on jiu-jitsu forums around the world, returning with the same predictable recurrence as debates over which attacks that target knee ligaments should be permitted in competition, or conversations about ACL healing times. In any case, here’s your change to formally cast your vote on the possibility that jiu-jitsu ever is something we’ll see in the Olympics.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike Wilson December 10, 2011 at 11:50 am

Perhaps you should interview old-school Olympic Wrestling and Judo coaches or historians about how the Olympics impacted their sports. I’ve heard complaints that the folks at the Olympics have further nudged Judo away from groundwork to avoid an overlap with Wrestling.

A BJJ & Judo conversation with the guys from The Judo Podcast might also be interesting.

Robert December 11, 2011 at 6:43 am

I wanted to pick the first and third options. It could be that there is a place in the olympics for jiu-jitsu as its own new sport and/or no gi grappling as a new type of wrestling category. Great poll…really had to think about this one!.

slideyfoot December 11, 2011 at 7:46 am

No, BJJ will not become an Olympic event. It falls down on far too many of the criteria to even become a recognised sport: it doesn’t have a proper governing body, it doesn’t have drug testing, it doesn’t have gender equity, it doesn’t have universality, etc. I go into more detail on that here, based on J-Sho’s awesome post from this thread.

The FILA version of grappling has more of a chance, but even that is unlikely. The IOC is looking to cut events, not add them. Not to mention it would probably be detrimental to become an Olympic sport anyway: the last thing BJJ needs is more rules in order to make it more ‘spectator friendly’, which is what happened to judo.

Piers Roberts December 11, 2011 at 9:13 am

with the ‘for profit’ organisation of the IBJJF our sole governing body will be one of the biggest barriers to BJJ getting a foot in the door with the IOC.

BJJ December 12, 2011 at 2:15 am

I agree 110% with Mike. As someone that practised TKD for many years, BJJ should stay away from the Olympic board. Too many politics, to many clueless people with no knowledge of the sport (or interest in finding out).

Olympics is all about the money. It is amazing the exposure they bring and the funds that come along with that, don’t get me wrong. But they will damage BJJ imposing their rules to make it more apt to their needs.

Leave BJJ where it is. It is growing steadily on its own keeping its integraty.

shane s December 12, 2011 at 3:56 pm

Yeah I signed up for 1 year of judo lessons before I moved to atlanta to train BJJ full time, I didn’t know it, but the rules have been changed to not allow double or single legs anymore in Judo. I understand why they did it, but it is kind of stupid in my opinion at the same time.

Dustin December 14, 2011 at 9:12 am

I believe one day Jiu-Jitsu will enter the olympics, but I also believe it will be the worst possible thing for the sport. Not many Judoka’s have good things to say about the Olympics and what it has done to their sport. If there were some way to keep it from being so watered down over time, then I would support it 100% but there’s no possible way to guarantee that.

Franck December 14, 2011 at 11:23 am

Yes I agree , I think the way bjj evolves right now is good enough, this being said on the last olympics some judo guys pulled up some ground game and got the crowd cheering , if you can interview guys like Dave Camarilo , Ronda Rousey , or Flavio Canto who by the way did some crazy Jits / Judo combos while he was competing ….
I think a good way to balance this out would be for judo to open up rules for ground games and therefore allow BJJ guys to compete. and the hold of Judo on the olympics is too strong to allow BJJ to exist as another olympic grappling sport ….but !
we do have too kind of wrestling within the Olympics though…Greco …and freestyle….

Franck December 14, 2011 at 11:24 am

Yes that’s very true Franck ! ;-)

BadSchnucka December 17, 2011 at 3:48 pm

Would love to see BJJ as an Olympic sport. But is “the gentle art” actually too violent? We ARE, after all, talking about joint hyperextension and choking people.

bmtz January 29, 2012 at 9:42 pm

Brazilian should be in the Olympics, it more poular now than ever before all arund the world. To present No-Gi as a competition would be rewarding to many.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: