Advantages – BJJ Rules part II

Not long time ago I wrote an article criticising some aspects of the rules used in BJJ. Scroll down the page, read it on and then come back here. Done? Now is time to analyse advantages. What is an advantage? The concept was created not long ago, to adress the problem of many matches ending without a clear winner. Back then it was common for the referee to decide which fighter has won when the scoreboard was equal. Given the partiality of the refs, complains were the rule. The fair solution should be an overtime, but this is asking too much from the not so clever people that manage our sport. They came up with the advantages.

Now lets think a bit, and we will see why this is so wrong. What is an advantage? Is a point scored for the fighter who almost passed the guard, or nearly swept the other, and so on. Now try to imagine this same rule in football, to see how absurd it is. A player kicks the ball to make a goal, and nearly scores it, but the goalkeeper defends it. Now think of a rule that would give the attacker team half point, and if nobody scores a goal, his team will win. Ridiculous, isn’t it? In real life, advantages could be scored too, when you almost make up with the girl of your dreams but end up alone after one hour talking to her. Should you earn points for a failure? Thats the concept behind advantages, you are awarded for things you haven’t done, you get an advantage when you almost submit your opponent, you get another when you control him in the half guard, and so on, never mind that you actually did not finish him or passed his guard, what matters is that you tried.

Does it sound fair to you? Now what about the argument that matches were too stalled and they needed more movement to make BJJ more interesting to the general public? Many fighters used to slow down the pace when they were 2 or 3 points ahead. Now, all it takes is one or two advantages and the stalling starts. People used to stall after passing the guard, now they stall inside the half guard.

Keep it real, our sport has grown a lot over the last 15 years all over the World. Thanks to Royce Gracie, the UFC and the whole MMA scene, nowadays everyone knows what is a ground fight, gyms are busy in both sides of the Atlantic and everyone is enjoying the ride, but if BJJ does not evolve, it can fade away just like Karate not long ago.

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