BJJ Poll: If Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Became an Olympic Sport, Would that Be a Good Thing?

by Caleb on January 7, 2012

Last week’s Brazilian Jiu-jitsu poll asked you whether you think BJJ will become an Olympic sport and if so, what it will look like. Lots of interesting points of views came out in the comments section, and here at FightWorks Podcast headquarters we received a phone call on our toll free line 877-247-4662 raising the possibility that BJJ as an Olympic sport may not necessarily be a positive development. The caller referenced judo in the Olympics and suggested that acceptance as an Olympic sport may have a negative impact on the martial art.

What’s your take? Do you think BJJ would be better off if it were an Olympic sport, or do you think it’s best if jiu-jitsu is never accepted into the Olympics? Let us know in the comment section or feel free to leave us a voicemail on the phone number above!

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

slideyfoot January 8, 2012 at 10:22 am

The last thing BJJ needs is more rules. If it somehow got into the Olympics (which fortunately is not going to happen in the near future, if ever, given how many of the criteria BJJ fails to meet), it would go the same way as judo, with rules being added to make it more entertaining for uninformed spectators. I’d hate to see that happen.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu San Diego January 8, 2012 at 12:18 pm

What makes BJJ amazing is that it focuses on submission in actual combat. An Olympic rule-set would water down the art and make it not as effective.

On paper, it sounds good to be included in the Olympics, but when looking at the end-game, it would not help this art.

André January 8, 2012 at 12:34 pm

1st of all, BJJ will not be am Olympic sport. It’ll never be an Olympic sport as long as Judo is, and no way will it knock Judo off.
Then, and adding to what Slidey wrote, I think it would have a good side because it would mean BJJ would be much better represented as far as associations and federations go, tournaments and general competition wouldn’t be the chaos it is now, BJJ teaching and grading would be taken much more seriously and so on.

But anyway, I think some people still spend way too much time thinking and discussing this piece of utopia. Let it go, BJJ has way too much to worry about before it can even be considered as a candidate.

Andrew January 8, 2012 at 3:45 pm

I think at first the idea of BJJ in the Olympics sounds like a good one, but when we step back and take a look at Judo we can see pretty clearly that an Olympic form of BJJ probably wouldn’t be BJJ at all. It would have to conform to so many new rules and standards, firstly to make get it sanctioned by the Olympic governing bodies, and secondly to make it interesting for uneducated people to watch.

Neither of those is likely to happen, which is great news for anyone who loves BJJ as it is.

Rodolfo January 8, 2012 at 5:39 pm

Brazilian jiu-jitsu was developed as a martial art, so it only purpose is SELF DEFENSE. Turn an “art” into a “sport” is kill it. Judo is the best example.

Bob Aman January 9, 2012 at 4:30 am

Rodolfo: I really disagree on BJJ as primarily self-defense. Practically speaking, it’s actually not all that strong in the self-defense realm. It’s certainly much more effective for dealing with the types of encounters that women tend to be concerned about, but there are just so many other self-defense scenarios where the last place you want to be is on the ground.

I see BJJ as already being primarily a sport martial art.

Alex January 9, 2012 at 12:00 pm

I’m a judoka and although there are self-defense katas for judo, I feel judo isn’t really a system for self-defense. That said, I don’t see how BJJ is such a system either. Both are fairly sport oriented, which likely explains their popularity.

Tom January 9, 2012 at 8:17 pm

@Alex, @Bob Aman
I guess we should tell the US Army that BJJ isn’t useful in real situations , because they seem pretty pleased with it..

Justice Department studies have found that majority of violent crimes in the U.S. are a single person being attacked by an unarmed single person, and in that situation BJJ and Judo are both very applicable. Against weapons or several people, the effectiveness is reduced, but you aren’t less able to defend yourself because you know how to grapple.

John January 12, 2012 at 7:37 am

I rather much prefer that jiu jitsu create its own organization for competitions rather than being governed by other bodies.

I do think that when jiu jitsu comes under an umbrella organization like other Olympic sports, it becomes governed by people that dont know jiu jitsu, never trained in it, dont know what it is about.

I think the organization like ADCC should lead the charge. If grappling is to become an olympic sport or not, it should still be governed by ADCC organizers and lead by them, even if the events are organized as part of the Olympic games.

Brendan @ BJJ Gi Reviews February 8, 2012 at 11:18 am

I don’t think it would be a good thing. Rules to make it “more exciting” would be put in place and I don’t agree with that.

Dieter Schwing March 27, 2012 at 1:27 pm

it would suck if bjj were forced to react to all of the corruption and nationalistic hoo-hah associated with the olympics.

not only no to BJJ in the Olympics, a general, loud “NO” to the olympics in general.

jennifer couto April 5, 2012 at 4:50 pm

i think it would be a great opportunity for the future. Our children can have opportunities at schools, universities, scolarships ect. I am hoping it makes it to the olympics

JRL April 24, 2012 at 7:40 am

BJJ currrently has little or no chance of entering the Olympics. Forget the fact that Judo is already there and they are simply to similar to allow both and Judo is till the most widely practiced. The deeper problems is that BJJ is WAY to fractured with no formal governing body to represent it to the IOC. The IBJJF is a “for profit” organization, as well as its subs like the USIBJJF. A national governing body MUST be a nonprofit organization to even be CONSIDERED as the rep to the IOC. Also, with all of the BJJ orgs/associations out there such as Barra, Humiata, Machado, Alliance, Carlson .. do you think they will all come to an agreement on a single Governing Body here in the US? Unlikely. Judo is unique in that it was created by one man who was quite a significant figure in the history of Meiji Japan .. he was a very recognized individual in both the Political and Educational institutions of Japan and was able to approach the IOC as the undisputed “Leader” of Kodokan Judo. I just dont think this could occurr with BJJ.

Shaun Deeny July 5, 2012 at 7:18 am

BJJ should be in the Olympics. It is exciting enough as it is so I can’t see that the rules need to be changed that much. The biggest issue in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is the continued drug use and the non-governance of this issue. The IBJJF does not do mandatory drug tests and neither does any other BJJ body. This will ruin the sport. The sport I love. It isn’t fair to compete against people who are using drugs to enhance their performance. Including BJJ in the Olympics will mean that these cheaters are tested and caught. It will mean tighter restrictions on drug testing which is what the sport needs. As for those that want to learn it purely as self defence this will not affect them. BJJ is sport and self defence orientated. Use it for whatever you want.

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