Fabio Gurgel: “The New IBJJF Rule Change Is Good For The Growth Of Jiu-Jitsu”

Fabio Gurgel: “The New IBJJF Rule Change Is Good For The Growth Of Jiu-Jitsu”


IBJJF has recently changed the qualifying rules for black belts at the 2015 Worlds. From the 2014 Pan, points earned in competition in the adult division, will count to qualify for the 2015 Worlds, under the new qualifying rules set by the Federation.

Because the World Championship is the most prestigious event of the Jiu-Jitsu calendar,IBJJF wants that only the most accomplished athletes have a chance for the title.
Athletes eligible to participate in the 2015 World will be:
– Black belts with minimum of 50 points in the IBJJF black belt adult ranking
– Former Black Belt adult World champions
– 2014 Brown Belt World Champions (all weight divisions)

The Alliance ‘general’, Fabio Gurgel recently talked to Graciemag about why he thinks that this rule change was a good thing. He feels that IBJJF listened to the professors and that this rule will boost the number of competitors competing in all the IBJJF regional Open throughout the year:

GRACIEMAG : The change announced for the 2015 World Jiu-Jitsu Championship was requested by some teachers, right? The measure is fair, in your view ?

Fabio Gurgel : Just think of a simple example : you like to swim, right? You imagine enrolling in the next World Swimming Championship and even with no experience, being able to compete alongside Michael Phelps? Not likely, huh ? All sports have rules and mechanisms to prevent this from happening, and so far Jiu-Jitsu hadn’t. We had already discussed that sometimes, teachers and the IBJJF staff. It was common to see Rodolfo Vieira fighting a guy that nobody had ever seen, Buchecha in his first match against an unknown opponent. This occurred even in the early stages of the absolute. In my opinion, and that of other teachers the IBJJF heard, the Worlds needs to be a showcase of the sport, the venue for the people to applaud the best black belts in the world at that moment. The measure is therefore extremely beneficial for the sport and competitors. There is room for improvement, of course , but every change has to start from a point. In my view this news will make the Worlds more attractive to everyone: audience, athletes, schools.

And also for TV, right? If the sport wants to grow and be seen, nothing better than a championship with the cream of the crop to attract more attention.

Exactly. Those who see the measure as negative, always trying to find a conspiracy theory are wrong. I’ve read of someone calling a boycott. The first consequence is the Federation to lose money, it will have less people enrolling in the 2015 Worlds. The change will make the Opens more important, which is vital to grow the sport locally. It’s good for the Jiu-Jitsu in Manaus to have an IBJJF championship. It is good for Houston and the schools there to host an event. The IBJJF is just listening to the Professor, and who want to participate will help the sport . Who wants to stay out just complaining without proposing anything, will not cooperate.

Read the full interview here