For the longest time, the marquee competition in the world of Jiu-Jitsu were the IBJJF World Championships. With the ADCC happening every two years, the community comprised of practitioners was more in tune with the largest Brazilian jiu-jitsu federation.
But the cultural tides appear to have turned. BJJ World Championships have lost their cache thanks to the fact that IBJJF is a for profit organization, mostly interested in preserving their autonomy.
Another key factor deteriorating the prestige of becoming an IBJJF champion is the fact that this can be accomplished at every belt level, age group and weight class producing a large number of fairly unknown ‘champions, in name only.
Recently, ADCC silver medalist Nick Rodriguez discussed these changes along with his co-hosts Ethan Crelinsten and Damien Anderson on an episode of their podcast.
“It is so long. It is grueling. It is harder every time also,” – Crelinsten described what it was like to part take in ADCC North American trials.
Anderson expressed remorse he wasn’t able to have it easy in the trials: “I wish I was able to do trials in like 2014 or something like that.”
Rodriguez went on to interject and offer: “Winning USA (ADCC) trials now it’s more valuable than winning Black belt worlds.”
Number of ADCC trials participants has been steadily rising in the US and it can be argued that it’s one of the most competitive events right now. ADCC just inked an exclusive deal with UFC’s streaming service. They’re expected to be broadcasting the trials as well, with the ADCC head Mo Jassim explaining he’s on contract to organize more than 20 events to their streaming service.
Ethan Crelinsten argued that winning the ADCC is much more effective in bringing exposure: “It does so much more for your career.”
Meanwhile Anderson stressed that ADCC trials rules allow for a more competitive environment:
“Blue belts or purple belts that are honestly better than a lot of the black belts. I think”