IBJJF Black Belt Pro League


IBJJF Black Belt Pro League



Finally it has happened.  The IBJJF (International Brazillian Jiu Jitsu Federation) is having a super tournament which cash prizes on the line and some of the top black belt fighters from all over the world.  This is a nice change from the usual IBJJF tournaments which offered great efficiency in running the tournament but also did not offer any sort of prize incentive which is missing in a lot of Brazillian Jiu Jitsu tournaments.  Top level fighters should be awarded for their efforts, especially at the black belt level and the IBJJF is starting to put together a very interesting format for this.

The format is simple, if you compete in IBJJF  tournaments and place, you will earn points in the IBJJF ranking system. Certain tournaments are worth more points. The larger tournaments such as the Mundials and the Pan Ams earn 7x the points for a medal versus local tournaments such as the Toronto,Montreal,Chicago and New York open tournaments which are 3x points.  Larger international tournaments such as the Brasileros and the European Championships are big too and encourage black belt fighters to register not just locally but internationally as well. An example of the scoring system is below:





Weight Divisions:
1st Place– 9 pts
2nd Place – 3 pts
3rd Place – 1 pt

Open Class:
1st Place – 13.5 pts
2nd Place – 4.5 pts
3rd Place– 1.5 pts

Worlds – 7x
European, Pan Ams – 4x
Brazilian Nationals – 3x
American Nationals, South American, Asian Open– 2x
International Open – 1x

2012 – 3x
2011 – 2x
2010 – 1x

Examples of How to Count Points
1st Place Medium-Heavy weight Worlds 2010 = 9 pts x 7 x 1 = 63 pts
2nd Place Absolute Pan Ams 2011 = 4.5 pts x 4 x 2 = 36 pts
3rd Place Light weight Houston Open 2012 = 1 x 1 x 3 = 3 pts

 Source IBJJF.org

At the end of each year points will be tallied and the top fighters from each weight class compete against each other in a cash tournament. This system seems similar to NASCAR or other automotive racing sports where the overall winner of the most races wins the overall title. This format encourages the best BJJ players not only to just show up at worlds but to compete all over the world to have a chance to get invited to this tournament.

What does this mean for the future of competition BJJ? This is a step in the right direction where top athletes can be awarded with money in tournaments instead of relying on seminar tours, sponsorship and money from their academies to earn a living in this sport. ADCC and other tournaments started offering money and now this concept for a black belt pro league is starting to offer an interesting incentive for competition. This is a major step forward if we want to see Brazillian Jiu Jitsu evolve into a professional sport where athletes get rewarded for their performance and they are able to make a living through the competition circuit.



Written by: Mike Bryers


Mike Bryers is an active BJJ competitor and Blue belt under Dan Moroney at Bravado Jiu Jitsu/Gracie Woodbridge. He is also a graduate BS.c Honours in kinesiology from York University.

Make sure to check him out on his Blog: http://www.invertedbjj.com


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