As always, the IBJJF tries to not only uphold its international network of tournaments, including the World Championship and Pan American Championship, but they also have their city tournaments. Every year they add new cities to the mix, so if you haven’t had a local IBJJF tournament in your area yet, it could happen this year.
Although the IBJJF has been criticized for being too focused on moneymaking rather than upholding values that are best for the sport, they have made developments in areas like steroid testing and creating the Black Belt League where medalists receive financial compensation for performance.
The IBJJF can definitely do even more than this and they do have the monetary means, so hopefully they can continue to do more, especially since they are considered the premiere organization in jiu-jitsu.
World Pro Trials
The World Pro circuit is the IBJJF’s largest competitor in terms of prestige. Many professional athletes actually consider the Abu Dhabi World Pro to be a much more important organization since they seek to really professionalize the sport by giving money prizes to the winners at both the trials and the finals. Their efforts greatly exceed that of the IBJJF in this regard, but still, the IBJJF hosts the more prestigious tournaments.
2015 will introduce new talent to the international BJJ community. The trials for the World Pro are some of the most efficient competitions for exposing the most talented athletes of all time, like Rodolfo Vieira and Marcus Almeida. It’s exciting to see if the winners this year could become new world champions!
New Events – FIVE, Jiu-Jitsu World League, Jiu-Jitsu Global Federation, BJJ Tour
With the quick international growth of jiu-jitsu, there are more and more business opportunities opening where people can begin to compete with the more stable tournaments like the IBJJF and World Pro.
These new events are spearheaded by some of the top figures in the history of the sport, like Rickson Gracie with the Jiu-Jitsu Global Federation and Rigan Machado with the Jiu-Jitsu World League.
There are also older organizations that are taking a more professional twist to their competitions, like the BJJ Tour, which includes tournaments all over the US (including the US Open – a very professional and online-streamed event).
FIVE Grappling is another one of these events that holds tournaments all over the country to seek out the best American champions. These are only a few of the popular events developing within the jiu-jitsu scene and there are plenty more.
Copa Podio Grand Prix and Metamoris
These are two different types of events with the same goal in mind: to make jiu-jitsu as visually entertaining as possible. Metamoris is based out of the USA, so they try to appeal to their audience via invitational super fights. Copa Podio, although they also have super fights, focus their events on a Grand Prix style tournament. Whichever method looks best to you, both these events continue to develop and push the envelope as far as what they can do to make jiu-jitsu entertaining. This includes modifying the rules and creating the best possible matches.
Hopefully we can see both these events take huge leaps in 2015. Metamoris will surely create some more championship divisions, having already created a heavyweight championship in 2014. Copa Podio is also known for flushing out new talent, similar to the World Pro.