Bloody Elbow published an interesting article about how (professional) jiu jitsu is outgrowing tournaments run by the IBJJF (International Brazilian Jiu JItsu Federation, for anyone who isn’t sure). As the sport grows, as jiu jitsu players turn professional and more events offer super fights and a cash prize, the IBJJF will become more irrelevant.
I agree with the author- while I think a number of higher competitors will continue to register for these events, these events will no longer be a high priority. As discussed in the article, we’re already seeing this trend with some of the bigger names in jiu jitsu: if there is a tournament to prepare for that will pay cash, competitors will opt out of the IBJJF tournaments.
I think there is still value in the IBJJF “brand” (for lack of a better term). There is still the impression of prestige to these events, but the organization is going to have to step up their game and offer more financial incentives if they want to keep star power at the larger tournaments. I think they have taken a step in the right direction with the BJJ Pro tournaments, in which winners are given a cash prize- I just hope it’s only the beginning to something more, and not the only action the IBJJF is willing to take.
What do you guys think? Let me know- otherwise, have a great day everyone!