Jiu Jitsu in the Olympic Games
Many people wonder why the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is not included in the Olympic Games. This question had been raised several times during the Beijing Olympic Games, London Olympic and even in the Olympic Games Rio – the birthplace of the sport. Just like judo and wrestling, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu deserves the world stage.
The main reason why Jiu Jitsu is not yet in the Olympics is that it has problems of its own. In order to be considered as an Olympic sport, it has to satisfy the following requirements:
It should have an international federation, recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
It should fully comply with the IOC’s drug testing policies and regulations.
It should have a set of rules widely accepted by people.
So, where is the problem? Well, Jiu Jitsu meets none of these requirements.
Jiu JItsu lacks an international governing board. Many will argue that there is the International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation. But IBJJF is not a body recognized by the IOC simply because it is a for-profit company with no elective board membership, as per the Olympic Charter.
In addition, doping has never been addressed in Jiu Jitsu. Even though they use the Band-Aid measure for testing athletes, this is not in compliance with WADA testing. Jiu JItsu will have to deal with this first before being accepted in the Olympics. The sport has been facing several allegations of doping over time with things like “la bomba” being common. There will be the need for out-of-competition testing which will help in fully sanitizing the sport. This is essential because one can beat a doping test by having a “supplement plan” for dodging the test during a certain date.
Moreover, the sport has to be accepted by the masses. It should attract a worldwide audience not only during the Olympics but also during its championships. So, how can they do this? Having shorter point matches, encouraging more takedowns, and having longer sub-only matches. Another way is making Jiu Jitsu more of a competitive and hobbyist sport. This will be a hard task but with Polaris and EBI taking the initiatives, this might be a reality very soon. Again, it will take years for the sport to reach the levels set by the likes of Judo and Wrestling.