IBJJF Pan American competition just finished up today.
Apparently, 4 black belts divisions are a closed-out by team mates.
It means 2 persons walk in on the mats and will not compete for the gold medal and instead will let one win it by default.
It is dread full and many people do not understand why.
They fear that it is not good for the sport.
Imagine having the world championship live in TV and no one wants to fight.
Even if they were cash money and force to fight, I image that they will take it easy and the outcome would already been decided in the changing room.
Getting a gold medal in the Pan American could seal someone reputation as a successful competitor.
It would mean sponsorship, seminars, DVD deals, working and teaching at your own academy.
What makes a competitor gives up his medal or at least his chance to fight for the gold?
Lot of people thinks that since they are team mates, they already trained a lot together and they already know who is the better fighter.
It could be true but sometimes with politics, once person can be forced into bowing out by the coach for example for the "good" of the team.
I do not think Judokas would think twice about fighting each others.
They just accept it as part of the sport.
So why is it different in Jiu Jitsu?
Have we gone too far with the team mentality?
Is the balance of the team is more important that the individuals?
In the smaller stage, I can understand that guys that train together on a daily basis would already know which one the best.
But for the powerhouse teams, I am sure many of the competitors representing would not train together apart a couple of time in the year as they are located around the world.
If you look at the IBJJF system, you can only enter 2 reps per belt and weight categories.
That rule can be bent as you can enter someone else under a modified team name (but it will not add up to the tally of the team score of the original team).
But it still does not solve the problem as 2 team mates would still meet in the finals and defeat everyone else to meet in the finals.
Should they only allow 1 rep per team in the future?
That would solve the problem but the pressure on each team will be massive.
I could see people splitting team just to be able to compete.
|Team cheering from all around the world|
However, without having a team of killers to train with you are likely to fail in training with the best people.
In a way, I am proud of the team mentality and I think BJJ is a sport where people trains and compete beyond the national boundaries.
It is no longer about nations, it is about Teams.
I mean people from different nations would be sitting and cheering their champions irrespective of the nationality.
Where else would you find such thing? It is amazing?
So should we stop people entering more than one rep.
The 2 rep policy still has flaws and does not ensure a fight in the final
Enforcing one team rep, it would be positive discrimination where you are punishing the bigger and more successful team by only allowing one rep.
Surely, it would go against the belief of competition and sport philosophy.
Is the IBJJF to be blame for implementing the team points?
You add medals collected by each team and one team get the gold/silver/bronze.
It has a major impact as training, teaching in a champion team would mean fame and money.
The goal should be to promote the sport, not promoting the business of the bigger already established teams.
The smaller teams have no chance to attract/retain students as they will feel the "brain drain" of the upcoming/talented competitors moving to bigger team.
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