Expand Your Jiu-Jitsu World
The world of jiu-jitsu is far larger than you think. When we try to measure the size of the international community, we usually refer to its presence on online media. But the truth is, this online BJJ community is only a fraction of the size of the actual population of people who train in the world. You can see this for yourself if you visit a few gyms in your city. If you ask around how many people follow jiu-jitsu via the internet, you will be surprised. Many people don’t bother with it outside of their academy. Even if these people have Facebook, they don’t have any particular interest in following the larger jiu-jitsu scene.
There is nothing wrong with this as it is their personal choice. However, by being removed from the rest of the BJJ world they do miss out on many aspects that will not only enrich their jiu-jitsu, but could add a lot of fun to their lives as a whole. It’s also bad for the jiu-jitsu industry to have practitioners who are absent. This means less customers for BJJ events and brands.
Outside of major jiu-jitsu areas like California and New York, you will be surprised to know how many people don’t know of Roger Gracie or the Mendes brothers. In many cases, practitioners don’t bother to follow the sport outside of their own community. They can train five days a week at their gym and compete/attend local tournaments but still have no idea of what exists outside of that small bubble in which they live. Many of them don’t even know what the IBJJF is and to them, the reality of who is a top athlete in BJJ is skewed. Sometimes they will think that because someone won gold at a local tournament, they are at the top level of BJJ. This does exist - it’s not an exaggeration. Most everyone has run into this at some point in their time in the art, especially if you’ve been doing BJJ for many years.
The issue is that if these people don’t get exposed to this larger BJJ world online, it is up to other people in the gym (the serious competitors, teachers, and senior students) to educate others and excite them about the growing world of jiu-jitsu.
Jiu-jitsu is quickly becoming a sport that people can train both casually and competitively. They pick it up for similar reasons that yoga has become so popular – relaxation, fun, and developing strength and flexibility. So many people are satisfied with just those reasons. However, when these people are shown videos of big tournaments and are told about the abilities of the top athletes in the sports, they will hopefully develop an interest in learning more about the jiu-jitsu world. There are so many details to learn and areas to study. There are tournaments, products, magazines, websites, and videos out there that can only help more people to love the sport. This is also important for unifying the international community and building connections within.
How do you help to expand the jiu jitsu community?