Has BJJ Changed For Better Or Worse Over The Years?

Has BJJ Changed For Better Or Worse Over The Years?

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is growing all around the world. Sport style Jiu-Jitsu is flourishing while the traditional Gracie Jiu-Jitsu for self defense is instructed by a few dedicated instructors. Parts of the Gracie family are maintaining the tradition and not wanting to teach sport based techniques that do not have much use in a street fight.

In a interview with Submission Radio, Royce compares Jiu-Jitsu’s evolution to Taekwondo:

“What’s ruining martial arts today is tournaments. Tournaments like point system tournaments. Like a taekwondo for instance. Taekwondo wasn’t built to score points. It was built to hit and knock the person out, but then the tournaments now, they don’t even have to hit the opponents. If they get close enough they score the point. It’s teaching the fighters how not to hit somebody. It’s like people want to compete. No. People want do martial arts. They don’t do the martial art because they’re interested in competing. They look for martial arts because they want to learn some kind of self-defense.”

Carlos “Carlinhos” Gracie, Jr. is a 7th degree Red and Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), founder of the Gracie Barra Academy in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and is head of the Gracie Barra Jiu-Jitsu associations.

He recently gave his opinion on the very controversial Self Defense vs Sport Jiu-Jitsu debate.

For Carlos Jr, self defense is the first basic stage of learning Jiu-Jitsu when you are learning how to defeat someone that is ignorant to Jiu-Jitsu. Once you have learned it, you need to focus on the next stage, defending against someone who knows Jiu-Jitsu.

In an interview in Portuguese for Gracie Mag, he said:

When a person walks into a gym, and they have no ideas of jiu jitsu, they will begin by learning how to defend a hypothetical attack in the street. They will learn how to defend a set of positions, possibly more common in the street, people like to call this self defence. Someone called it self defence, maybe to give more emphasis [to the street side of the positions].

In self defence, you learn how to mount a layman, he does not know how to defend the mount, but a knowledgeable fighter, a coloured jiu jitsu belt, he will know the defense. He won’t let you, so you need to perfect your technique, to mount him. This is a perfected form of self defence.

John Will, one of the first Western BJJ black belts in the world shares how BJJ changed over the years and how he feels about it.