IBJJF is Going Down the Path of Olympic Judo

One of the new rules in 2012 for the IBJJF is that black belts are required to bring a blue gi and a white gi to distinguish the competitors from each other. This has been also the practice in major judo competition for a few decades now.

When this new rule change (among a few others) is brought up among my fellow cross-training judoka, they are worried that international BJJ competition is going the way of judo, that is towards more and more restrictions.

I personally think that this new gi requirement, while a pain in the ass, is a great idea for the spectators and referees. However, I share the concern that the rule change was probably made by a small group of people that may or may not be representative of the BJJ community.

Last year, leg grabs (double legs, fireman’s carry, etc) were made illegal in judo. This is widely considered to be an outrageous decision by fans of the sport. But more importantly it goes against the spirit of judo as a martial art: a fighting and grappling system. I hope IBJJF will not embrace some of the same flawed restrictions, perhaps in the pursuit of being included in the Olympics.


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