Daily Rickson interview series 1of24: What is the Jiu-Jitsu Global Federation?
BJJ Legends: Hi, Rickson. My name is Mafu Kobus. I’m here for bjjlegends.com. Welcome.
Rickson: Thank you, my friend. It’s a pleasure to be here with you and with the audience.
BJJ L: Thank you very much. Look, if you don’t mind we will just jump right in this. Lately you’ve been promoting the JJGF. Everywhere I have seen it, on the internet. Anywhere I go I see your face, talking about the JJGF. Why don’t you give us a brief introduction to what the JJGF is?
Rickson: Nothing can put me on the position to be more motivated than have this kind of special feeling of work for the sport and for the community. I feel like JJGF got me in a very needed time because we are not here to compete with any assistant, federations, associations, or so on. We are here to provide a very important service to the community and to the sport. I think service has to be our mission in order to fulfill the need, to resolve our biggest problem which is losing effectiveness. So in order for us to restore effectiveness in our beloved art, we have to work in a very complex way, and that is what the JJGF had been doing. We create a very nice digital platform to cover three different aspects of three different pillars of action. The first one is communication. Included in that communication aspect, we are going to try to inform the community with all the elements in jiu-jitsu from tournaments, to what is going on.
We’re going to have a master’s council. We are going to be there to be the voice, be active for the community. We are going to have a development council which made not from the high masters but from the guys are hands on, guys with many schools; they know what the problems are. So we are going to listen to them. We are going to create a personal profile for every athlete who would like to be involved a Facebook-like kind of thing because we believe by having their voices and asking to the masters, talking about what they feel about the community, about the sport, that will improve our sensitivity to get there. We will also create a very important element of not only communicating and listen, but also, like a directory. A free directory for every school and a paid directory for affiliated schools. But I believe the federation has to be compromised to expose everybody who do jiu-jitsu.
So if you have a jiu-jitsu school, you will be listed in our federation. So based on that communication aspect, I feel like these unifies the community and give a voice for everybody who has some kind of passion about the sport. That is the first important pillar for our federation. The second one is the competitive aspect which like for today is no matter if you are association, if you have a federation, or if you are just an independent promoter, in the today’s global competitive aspect, it is a big split. I mean, some associations or federations have tiny events a year. Some has 20 or 30. Some others have 10. So it is always split like a cake. And because they are not unified, because they are not thinking the growth of the sport, they all become different corporation. Which translate them and a good business for them but does not translate in the unified view of the sport. You cannot create a ranking.
So everything makes difficult for the sport to grow for the next stage. So I believe in order for us to reach the next stage which is unified rules, like for example, from the IJJF, they have 30 events a year. We can pick maybe 5 events, the top events they have. We can pick 5 events of NAGA. We can bring 2 or 3 from grappling class and U.S. Open. So we can get a bunch, maybe hundred events a year we produced. We may get 10 or 15 events to make our worldwide circuit. And giving a different flavor because if we can get in, that’s big sponsors, major sponsors like Galax, Nike, Bench, whatever. So in that way, if the sport is unified in a sense, we can grasp the possibility for Olympics. We can grasp all the possibility to make our huge growth, not only for the fighters as a premium top selected group of athletes, but also for the promoters, also for the audience, everybody who want to take advantage of it.
In order for us to create that unified rules, it is important for us to think about the future of jiu-jitsu. And if we are talking about the rules today, maybe this is the biggest element that jeopardizing the quality of our beloved art. Because, like I said in the beginning, our problem is restore effectiveness. Why I say that is because from the last 20 years or so, the evolutionary process of the tournaments, made the athletes be very strategic, very smart in a way for the medal. But that efficiency into going to the medal, does not translate an effectiveness in real life, in the cage, or any other self-defense situation. So what I try to bring back is the concept of training in tournaments is a good step to make you comfortable in life, to make you comfortable in any self-defense aspect which does not translate today. I mean, I love tournaments, I love to see fights, but at least 8 in 10 fights, I feel boring to them.
It is just positions, I call anti jiu-jitsu moves which are developed to give to practitioner more control to the situation, more capabilities in one’s move, able to get advantage or get a point or whatever, and then they stall again, and then they win the tournament. It is great for that medal but that is jeopardizing our culture which is dynamic action, motions, going to the cue, and by getting this progressive way. It does not matter if you would fight in the tournament or if you will fight in a real life situations. That is kind of very similar. But if you start to add those anti jiu-jitsu moves which are developed to exactly to stall the motion, and to keep everything in that visible control situation, you’re definitely jeopardizing the effectiveness of the sport. So, my intention is to bring back a new rule which keeps the fighter progressively looking for submission. And that hopefully would change the dynamic of the action and makes the effectiveness back to the sport.