7 Jun 2010

It was like being there!

Thanks to Budovideos.com for hosting an awesome weekend of live Mundials on the internet. Props too for the excellent commentary by Shawn Williams and Caleb from The Fightworks Podcast. Caleb also worked hard on Saturday's live blog, which was fun as you could contribute your comments as well.

To sum, there were so many great matches but of course, how could you not be in total awe at watching Roger storm his way to the gold medal in super heavyweights? But he did come up against some resistance in the final. Many thought that Roger had a certain armbar but his opponent would not tap and, but rather than snap his arm in two, which Roger could have done, he let go to find another position. Echoes of his match against Jacare many years ago may have played on his mind, or maybe he felt sorry for him, as one person on FB suggested!

Another superb genius of the mat was Rubens Charles, aka 'Cobrinha'. This man does not know the meaning of the words points victory - Cobrinha goes for the kill each time. So it was sad IMO that his final with Raphael Mendes was a bit of a 50/50 guard snore fest. Technically awesome, but not very interesting to the layperson.

The ladies had some amazing matches. Hillary Williams just snuck in a win against very tough opposition. She used some very intelligent gi lapel grips to break her opponent's posture. Penny Thomas lost her crown to Michelle Nicolini - who was fighting three or four weight classes above her normal one, for no other reasons that simply because she felt like the challenge of a heavier weight group. Amazing!

Also amazing were Leticia Ribeiro winning with her awesome attacking display and Kyra Gracie who I think had a very narrow win.

As of 2am Monday morning Romulo Barral looks like he may not get his absolute match against Roger due to a knee injury sustained in his weight division final against Tarsis Humphrey. I guess I'll know the morning.

Oh and it was really cool to see Mauricio Gomes honoured with a red and black belt - which is what you get whe you reach 7th dan and spend over 30 years as a black belt. Sweet.

There is so much more to talk about and the forums and BJJ news channels will be abuzz with the stories, gossip, controversy and footage for many days to come. Once again, thanks to the guys organising the live stream, it has made countless fans around the world very happy indeed.


About the Author


Author & Artist

Meerkatsu is the artist name for BJJ black belt Seymour Yang.


André said...

I know I was. Budovideos.com did an amazing job. The IRC chat sucked but that's because of the ever present trolls... no amount of moderators choosing not to watch the mundials in order to constantly kick/ban people would be enough.

One thing that is becoming obvious to me is that there has to be some kind of strict criteria for decisions. In Kyra's final against Luanna, Kyra won as - the way I see it - she was the most aggressive despite the tie. Then in a men's final (médio?) the most defensive won. The same rationale that gave the win to one could've (should've?) given the the win to the other and vice-versa... but no. And when a world champion crown is on the line, that's just no good, especially for a sport that aims to be Olympic (which I bet is not gonna happen, but I digress).

Another thing was something one of the interviewees said: having the best in world having to pay ~$150 to be able to compete in the ultimate gi proving ground when most of them already have to fly in, pay the federation fees, etc is just bullocks... and I'm not even taking into account the money the org makes just with sponsorships alone, which at this point has to be worth some serious dough.
There's already no money in the gi world, and if this trend continues, not only the 'professionalization' will be a distant point in the horizon, they might as well forget about Olympic prospects. No-gi, submission grappling and probably even Judo and MMA will steer more and more people away.

Meerkatsu said...

Thanks for your thoughts Andre, certainly the money aspect is very contentious.

It has been much commentated on that the IBJJF are particularly expensive even when all other things (such as venue hire, staff fees, overheads etc) are taken into account. They have not made an official response to this, but I would imagine it goes along the lines of "hey, don't wanna pay, then don't come, simples".

But in my view there has to be a balance. IBJJF needs star players as much as the players need a well run organisation with huge tournaments for exposure. At some point, they may realise that something has to give - either reduce the entry fee, or offer prize money. However, judging by what Carlos Jr said in his interview, it looks like they will expand even further the number of competitors until it reaches 3,000, and then include trials in order to ensure only the top grapplers get through (which I imagine will be paid-for events too).

It's shame that the money involved is perhaps and arguably not used for the complete benefit of the sport, but there is little else in the way of competion to what the IBJJF are doing. The CBJJE are trying and growing, but has nowhere near the power or influence.

Your final point I disagree with. Alreadyt clubs up and down the UK are reporting fast reducing numbers of students who choose to take up judo. As for MMA, yes that is growing fast but not at the expense of BJJ, in fact visa versa, it is benefitting BJJ numbers. Not sure about the no-gi scene, I don't follow it (even though I just interviewed a female no-gi grappler a couple of posts back).

As for the Olympics, I agree, BJJ will never be an Olympic sport, and I'm glad. Who wants our beloved sport to be watered down and made more palatable for TV audiences?

André said...

Well, I just don't see most of the top guys going astray as they seem to be either family or close friends. As long as that's the case, the best interest will not be in the sport itself but in personal lobbies to maintain the current state of things which is pretty damn good the top academies.

We don't really disagree, I just did not elaborate as well as I should. In regards to Judo I was thinking along the lines of much more professional competition and organization. Here in Portugal for instance, Judo is considered a "national interest sport" and there are Olympic programs for the top judoka. Also, it's fine tuned to the point that little kids around the world are able to have Judo as a sport in their schools and such. I don't see any such things happening in that direction as far as BJJ is concerned. I just see unnecessary bureaucracy, fees and other dodgy stuff.
Regarding MMA I meant that the pros will no longer compete in BJJ (or at least Gi BJJ) because it's just not worth the bother, expense and risk. One such case is Jacaré, but there are many others (BJ Penn, Maia, etc). Exception will probably be Roger, but unless he works on his standup I'm betting his MMA tint will be rather short anyway.
But yes, BJJ in general has been gaining notoriety through MMA, I just don't think it'll translate into more people competing with the Gi at that level.

The thing with no-gi is that there is "direct" money for the top guys and much less politics regarding ranks, fees and whatnot. That ought to make a world of difference by itself in the long run.

That we agree, but let them have their "dream".

Meerkatsu said...

Damn Andre, you should write a blog ;)

Thanks for your comments, good points.

André said...

If I do, I promise it'll have less typos :D

Georgette said...

US Judo is now going to include gi and nogi grappling at its tournaments. Two big jiu jitsu tournament promoters (Fight to Win and World Grappling Circuit) are jumping in with both feet, in the hopes that this will make jiu jitsu more likely to become an Olympic sport. Pretty cool, I say.

Meerkatsu said...

Very cool I agree, thanks Georgette!


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