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Thread: BJJ as a olympic sport?

  1. #1

    Default BJJ as a olympic sport?

    I was just wondering if this would be possible at the moment as there is no governing bodey.
    I have also heard they are on about bringing Pancrathion back to the olympics as it is the only origonal sport not to be used in the modern games.

  2. #2


    Has been talked about on various forums before, have a search here, on the UG, on nhbgear. has a brief article i wrote on it regarding how BJJ stacked up in the criteria the Olympic Programme Commission use to assess sports.

    There are some areas where BJJ/Submission Wrestling would score highly [in the IOC's Olympic Programme Committee's assessment - click here to read, pretty interesting stuff]:

    * Best Athletes would compete in the Olympics
    * Established World, Brazilian, Pan-American, Pan-Pacific, European, African and Asian BJJ Championships; established ADCC World Submission Wrestling Championships (in addition to many smaller tournaments across the world)
    * Low Operational Costs
    * Low Venue Costs
    * Low impact of sport on environment
    * Increasing popularity of sport

    However there are many areas where the sport(s) would score very poorly and this significantly outweight the positives above:

    Not a global sport/Not a well subscribed sport
    Outside of Brazil and the United States, although there are thriving BJJ and Sub Wrestling scenes in many countries, the sport is very underdeveloped and the disparity between number of judoka and number of Jitsuka is huge (e.g. France alone has more than 600,000 licensed Judoka, probably more than the entire total of global practioners of bjj and sub grappling)

    Limited media appearances
    BJJ and Submission Wrestling appearances are limited to broadcasts over the internet or on small channels such a PremiereCombate in Brazil. There are few mainstream media appearances.

    Total Domination of the sport by 1 country
    If BJJ or Sub Wrestling were Olympic sports, Brazil would win ever medal in every category (the only potential exception to this would be in the Women's dvision). The depth of class and skill in Brazil at all weight categories far exceeds that of its nearest competitor, the United States and to date only 1 non-Brazilian has ever won a Black Belt Adult title at the CBJJ World Championships (B.J. Penn)

    No Anti-Doping policy
    Neither the CBJJ nor the ADCC has a drug-testing policy in place.

    High impact of judging on the outcome of a match
    The assessment of point scoring moves is quite subjective and can significantly affect the outcome of a match.

    Judging/Refereeing system has a poor reputation (undergoing refinement at the moment)
    Although the CBJJ are planning to introduce mat judges in addition to the actual refereee (as a result of controversial wins for Ronaldo 'Jacare' Souza over Roger Gracie in the 2004 and 2005 CBJJ World Championships) the standard of refereeing even at the highest level of competition is very mixed and not of a consistently high standard.

    No single governing body
    There are 2 World Governing bodies for BJJ, which is against IOC Protocol and no genuine World Governing Body for Submission wrestling, however the advent of the World Grappling Committee under the auspices of FILA may change this.

    Poor Gender Equity/Women's BJJ very underdeveloped in comparison
    Although improvements have been made in the past few years, the number of elite women grapplers is very low in comparison to elite male grapplers.

    Too similar to Wrestling/Judo
    Wrestling itself struggles to keep 2 variants at the Olympics, it is unthinkable that there would be 3 (if Sub-Wrestling were introduced). BJJ would also be too similar to Judo in the minds of the general public.

    Not Visually appealing enough/poor spectator sport
    Although this is generally confined to the lower belts, BJJ and Submission Wrestling are not the most visually appealing fo sports (although this is generally a result of the individuals involved in any match).

    Political pull of other Martial Arts
    As mentioned above, it is unlikely that other Martial Arts already either in The Olympic Programme or 'Recognised' by the IOC would support the inclusion of another Martial Art.

    Sports Jiu Jitsu already recognised by IOC/World Games.
    The Jiu Jitsu variant Sports Jiu-Jitsu (a cross between Judo and point-scoring Karate) is already recognised by the IOC and appears on the World Games Programme. It is unlikely that the IOC would countenance putting this SJJ on the IOC Programme, let alone recognise a relatively minor variant of it.

  3. #3


    Are their any submission based arts represented at the Olympics? Even Olympic Judo doesn't have submissions anymore does it?

  4. #4


    Olympic Judo still has submissions, but the time available to do newaza is very limited (most refs may give you a couple of seconds and the laid back attacking style of some bjj players just wouldn't suffice). More likely to be able to do osaewaza (hold downs) than locks, chokes or strangles.

  5. #5


    That is not to say there are not some judoka with excellent newaza games, but they don;t really benefit from using them in the competition context, in the same way many bjj players dont train their takedowns much since it is not a gamewinning move.

  6. #6
    Ever so slightly mental illegalhunter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    A far away land


    Rio has to have it as a Demo sport
    They guy who invented Burpees , is a secret child molester

  7. #7


    Quote Originally Posted by Malcontent View Post
    Are their any submission based arts represented at the Olympics? Even Olympic Judo doesn't have submissions anymore does it?
    Typically about 5% to 10% of judo matches end in submission.

    Using BJJ names I can tell you that the Americana, Kimura, Omoplata, Arm Bar, Mata Leo, Cross strangle, Triangle, Clock Choke, Bow and Arrow Choke, Thrusting choke etc ect etc are all legal in judo.

  8. #8


    They might be legal, but are they still taught much as part of most Judo schools syllabus?

  9. #9


    Quote Originally Posted by Malcontent View Post
    They might be legal, but are they still taught much as part of most Judo schools syllabus?
    I believe they're all in the BJA syllabus, but as to how much time is spent teaching and developing them, that would vary from club to club.


  10. #10
    Senior Member Rob T's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    South Wales


    There are no demo sports anymore. So it won't be demoed in Rio. -

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