Ending the Gentlemen’s Agreement

Marcelo Garcia & Sergio Moroas Gentlemen's Agreement World's 2009

The trend for teammates to settle final’s matches in Jiu-Jitsu tournaments by way of a Gentlemen’s Agreement is bad for the sport. It’s boring for the spectators and contrary to Jiu-Jitsu’s roots of provingĀ  your mettle on the mat.
To have even a slight chance of being recognized as an Olympic calibre sport, this practice has to end. There is no other Olympic sport in the world where determining a champion by pre-arranged agreement is acceptable. It’s silly to promote a champion who didn’t have to win the championship to the rest of the competitive sporting world. This practice makes Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu look amateurish and not mature for the world stage.

The very core of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is that the techniques are tried, true, and put to the test on a continual basis. What attracts so many followers to Jiu-Jitsu is the fact that Jiu-Jitsu works. Stories of the small man using Jiu-Jitsu to beat the large man are repeated over and again because they’re true. The live sparring puts one’s ability to apply their techniques to the test. There are no paper black belts in Jiu-Jitsu. There should be no Gentlemen’s Agreement champions either.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is real. It requires humility, hard training, and courage. Competition should reflect that effort. Honor the art and all those who train day in and out who are not the black belts or stars of the the sport. End the Gentlemen’s Agreement.

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