BJJ World Champion Boycotts IBJJF: ‘An Unprofessional, Greedy & Unfair Organisation’

BJJ World Champion Boycotts IBJJF: ‘An Unprofessional, Greedy & Unfair Organisation’

The leading federation of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the IBJJF which is run by Carlos Gracie Jr. is planning some major changes for all IBJJF members.

IBJJF is a private for-profit company and even though they are regarded as the leading and most prestigious BJJ federation (followed by UAEJJF) they are not an official governing body of the sport.

BJJ practitioners of all belt levels from white to black belt will need to pay a yearly fee of 40$ for a membership card which will allow them to compete in IBJJF tournaments.

This rule change will come into effect from January 2019.

Up to now, that rule only applied to brown and black belt.

Deemed as “quality control” or “tradition”, this means that IBJJF will need to do the due diligence to make sure all memebers from white to black belts are training in academies, under instructors that are all registered (and paying for membership) with IBJJF.

The change was published on the IBJJF website:

2013 BJJ world champion and 2018 black belt European champion Vanessa English has reacted by ceasing her participation in IBJJF events.

Vanessa English
Photo: Graciemag

She wrote on her Facebook page:

“Glad to have made the decision to cease my participation in IBJJF tournaments until changes are made.
An unprofessional, greedy and unfair organisation.

I spent 2017 mainly focused on UAEJJF competitions and it was great. I felt looked after, I received prize money on the podium, there was amazing, professional footage of my fights, organised warmup areas all held in brilliant venues. Day before weigh-in’s, which (within reason) is healthier for the athletes and in theory could result in better performances.
This years 2018’s focus on IBJJF tournaments tells a different story.
Expensive membership and entry fees with no prize money at ‘THE MOST PRESTIGIOUS BJJ TOURNAMENT’ in the world??
Herded into the ‘bullpen’ (some plastic fencing) after your weigh-in where you are left to sit on the sticky floor ready for your fight. Here by the way, at the world championships, I got a mobile phone dropped on my head by one of the mat coordinators before my semi-final fight. During this fight my opponent was having a nice chat to the referee throughout the whole fight without being penalised. The podium experience at the IBJJF Championships in the black belt division, by the way, is beyond underwhelming. At least I received my T-Shirt though 👍

It is astounding how so many people still collectively make an agreement that IBJJF tournaments are the most prestigious. It’s enabling behaviour that, in my opinion, takes advantage of the athletes and BJJ community.
Where does it stop?”

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