The Great Debate

19 06 2011


The Great Debate

Eddie Ramos and myself touching knuckles before our match

This past weekend I attended a local tournament here in the Houston area. Although the tournament was not that large, the open divisions were some of the most stacked divisions I have ever been witness to. With likes of jiu-jitsu black belts such as Carlos Diego Ferreira, Alexander Ceconi, Eddie Ramos, and even Andre Galvao, there was no shortage of excitement on the mat. The scheduled super fight between one of Texas’ best competitors, Carlos Diego Ferreira, and the jiu-jitsu all-star Ander Galvao turned into a very technical match. Galvao ended up pulling of the win on points via passing Carlos’ guard. Then, in the no-gi expert absolute divisions, there was no surprise to see Galvao in the finals taking on larger and very game opponent Alexander Ceconi. Galvao displayed great suplex take downs along with superb control and ended up winning the match 16-0. Finally, in the gi brown/black belt absolute, again it Galvao would meet Ferreira, except this time would gather the win via wrist lock. Overall the tournament was extremely exiting to be apart of. However, a major issue arose that I have come to see repeated time and time again at the local tournament level.

I worked the tournament as a referee and , much like most other smaller, local tournaments, we started off the day with a meeting of all the refs and the tournament organizer to discuss the days rules. At the majority of these tournaments, the rules meeting is simply a discussion of how the rules will differ from federation rules, or the rules invoked by, for all intents and purposes, jiu-jitsu’s governing body, the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF). Throughout the day, I found myself torn between making calls that were true to the rules set forth by the tournament organizer, and making calls that stuck to the rules set forth by the IBJJF that I knew to be correct. On top of this, when I made a call that was not within the rules of the IBJJF, coaches and notable black belts whom I know and respect would be upset and try to argue for their student. The hardest part of the day was trying to explain to them that even though I agreed with them that the federation rules dictated otherwise, I had to make the call as I did because of the rules of the tournament.

These kinds of situations happen at nearly every local tournament that I have been involved with. It has sparked the dilemma: Is it better for the sport of jiu-jitsu as a whole for everyone to adhere to the rules set forth by the IBJJF? My personal take on the matter is that for the sport overall, it will be better in the long run for most tournaments to adhere to the rules that have been established as the most widely used rules in the sport. As soon as we can unify all of jiu-jitsu under a series of rules and regulations, our sport will have the opportunity to grow greater than it ever has. In conclusion I want to pose this question to all of you: What is your opinion on the variance in rules of jiu-jitsu from the local circuits to the IBJJF standards? Should all tournaments no matter the size adhere to the federation regulations and what would be the benefits/repercussions of such standards have on the sport of jiu-jitsu overall?  Post all of your comments bellow.




2 responses

19 06 2011

I can understand where you’re coming from, but the teachers should of known the rules And explained them to the students first of all, tournaments will have different rules. Just like in MMA or any other sport. Some MMA you can stomp and knee on the ground, would it be fair if all the tournaments changed to their rules because it was mostly used? I’m very interested What everyone has to say.

20 06 2011

I think tournaments should adhere to a consistent body of rules, whether they be IBJJF rules or some other set of rules. Personally I’d rather they be IBJJF as opposed to, say, NAGA rules (I don’t like heelhooks!)

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