Recent news on the new background check by IBJJF will probably make Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu one of the most respected martial arts (if it isn’t already). IBJJF’s recent move is to certify and submit black belt applications to a thorough background check. The goal is to ensure the safety of those who will be getting into sports. The recent move, though, is slowly creating some noise in the BJJ community.
Now, just a disclaimer: this article is not of Gracie Barra’s opinion, nor its founders or management. This is solely a writer / BJJ enthusiast’s perspective. Feel free to share what you think on our Facebook page.
So it’s a move by IBJFF to make sure that BJJ remains a safe environment for everyone thinking about getting into the sport. While I have yet to obtain the actual requisites of the document, I am very much optimistic that there will be a strong follow through, which is good. I think that all sports, regardless of whether it’s martial arts or otherwise, should hold to a strict standard when it comes to certifying those to be recognized as top-notch athletes.
Here are my thoughts on the matter:
Surprisingly, the move entails a detailed background check on anyone who is applying for certification and recognition as a professor / black belt. This includes criminal offenses, convictions, etc. Ergo, before being recognized as part of the IBJJF, a professor must have a clean slate /good background. Sounds simple enough? Anybody who wishes to read more about it can click the link.
There are however, several outcries about IBJJF’s move. Some say that it simply is impractical. That it holds no bearing on the future of the sport. Meanwhile, others are for it. Some say that it discriminates against those who may have found BJJ as a means to starting anew.
We all know how BJJ saves lives, how it gives direction to those looking for one. We’ve read those stories. Regardless of the past, these individuals have chosen to move forward with their lives and actively do so. Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future, to quote Oscar Wilde.
The path to jiu-jitsu greatness doesn’t stop with recognition, though. But, then again, it all depends on the individual’s pursuit and their own vision for greatness and eventual growth. I think doing BJJ for the right reasons will surpass any form of recognition. A black belt is just a piece of cloth you wrap around your waist, anyway.
With much respect to IBJJF, I commend the men who strive to make BJJ an entity for personal growth. Making it safer for those who will to follow its path.
Recognition is great. But for an individual to recognize his self-worth and growth is far greater than anyone else’s.