Andre Galvao Calls Out the IBJJF

IBJJF Falling Short?

In an emotionally expressive rant on Facebook, Andre Galvao multiple IBJJF world and ADCC champion, expresses his distress from experiences at the 2012 Pan Jiu-Jitsu tournament.

According to Galvao, the IBJJF only had one referee per match where three should be expected.  Referees work all day managing the matches under a lot of pressure and scruitiny.  The referees are often one of the most talked about items on the IBJJF events.  The points assigned and calls, often in the past its been widely understood that the decisions are often weighted or political.  The IBJJF has tried to counter that notion by establishing schooling and seminars for their referees.  Assembling a structured program and education, however the idea still prevails amongst competitors.

It goes on –

[social][/social][bjjad][/bjjad]One of Galvao’s students he says lost their bracket and was never called to fight after fighting 2 fight.  Going on to say that his student lost time at work and expense to attend the IBJJF.  Not to mention the training for weeks that goes on with each of the competitiors, then not to fight as an oversight, is a mark of an uncoordinated group not representative of the expectations of the IBJJF.  That is a fair statement all should recognize.

Galvao rounds out his thoughts with a call for freedom of use for the image and video at the tournaments.  The fighters, families and more are asked not to video or photograph since these rights are limited at the event.  The thought is that if videos prevail then the DVD sets of the action can’t be sold at the same quantity.

IBJJF Too Restrictive on Video?

Maybe, the IBJJF officials as far back as at least 2007 have asked that no video be taken on site at many of their tournaments. Estpecially the ones that get packaged by partners as a DVD set.  The NFL, NBA, MLB, and NASCAR have all the same rules – no rebraodcasting.  But this has eased up even with the major leagues and the IBJJF should take note.

Today and in the future many league brands are asking their fans to post their favorite images, videos and commentary to further expose new possible fans and keep the current fans coming back.  This free exposure is magnified geometrically by the number of new devices that can take high quality video and photos.

There are two schools of thought:

1) Retstrictive – allow no access or rebroadcasting, it infringes on our ability to make money as the IBJJF and others tend to state.

2) Open Access – allow all forms of media and promotion. It further exposes fans to the events, the fights and the people who make up the DNA of the sport.

Advice to the IBJJF from BJJ Legends Magazine

Open the access.  Realize the benefits:

1) More Exposure from more people, it will promote and grow the sport and by definition the IBJJF

2) Understand that camera phones, flips, ipads, etc.. although they are grabbing a video for the event it’s not in a quality that people will likely gravitate to see. Think about on the spot or scene news video – always choppy and hard to watch – the same with videos of the sport.

3) The expected loss from sales is always minimal.  Fans will always buy the DVD sets and those looking to get it for free will ask to borrow them.

4) Heroes and Promoters of the sport – such as Galvao, Mendes Brothers, Leticia Ribeiro to name a few are open to promoting the IBJJF and themselves, their students and the sport.

Don’t lock out your biggest fans, supporters and promoters – it’s free press that, after all, Gracie Mag can’t always get to.  Plus, it may have unexpected positives like fan and fighter commenting, promotion of fairness between fights, consistency of regulation and scoring.

Think about it – we, the fans, will be secretly using our phones to video as we wait.

Andre’s Message on Facebook.

“Congrats to all competitors of the Pan American 2012. Good job guys. I was coaching my guys all day long. I saw a lot of good fights and competitors. The BJJ is going to the next level. But the IBJJF is doing a very huge mistake for having only 1 referee per mat. I see a lot of mistakes. I know the rules. I did my seminar rules with professor Alvaro Mansur. I think all matches should have 3 referees. It will be much better and more fair during the judgement of the points and decisions. Why just 3 refs for the finals and semi finals of the black belt? We got 3K competitors this year and the IBJJF don’t like to expend money with that. That is wrong. How the biggest organization of our sport still having this kind of mind. I think the IBJJF should start to think more about the athletes. 3K times $100 USD (registration fee) equals $300K Plus sponsors. So why? Why not? Some refs stays there all day long working on the mat. It is a lot of pressure. I understand when they have some mistakes over the decisions. It is sad. We can’t record the fights, we can’t have our images rights, we can’t put some fights on youtube because they don’t let us use our own image. Don’t you think something is wrong. That is crazy. I wanna to help my sport and I do my best for my sport. Did you guys see what happen with my student Jeremy? He fought 2 fights and they stopped calling him after that. They finished the brackets with out calling him. Then they finished the bracket and my student lost the Pan Ams “not losing” not fighting. They recognized the mistake but what about his life. He didn’t work, lose money, etc etc for it. This things can’t happen. The time schedule is perfect. But it is not enough. I can’t sleep tonight with out saying it. I hope the IBJJF understand me and I’m always here for helping my people. I will be fighting for my sport ever. Have a good night guys, God bless all you guys.”

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