Different rule sets – Why is this good for Grappling?

Many will argue that most major sports in the World have one set of rules and that is fundamental for the sport to grow mainstream, others will speak about advantages of same standards everywhere, even I could make a case for better rules in BJJ and Grappling, but in fact I believe that multiple organizations with different sets of rules, weight divisions and diverse approaches actually benefit Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Grappling.

Let me make my point. For a grappler, competing always in a fixed rule set. As he evolves his technique and strategies, he starts to use the rules and his experience to win, and gets used to fight in such rules. That often happens to Judoists who are so used to play with such limitations rules, that most of them struggle against a Wrestler who is not limited by those rules that forbid two on one grips, leg picks and nowadays even Katagurumas.

We grapplers are lucky nowadays because we can compete in different organizations, Gi or No Gi, subs only or points system, with or no advantages, different weight divisions, single matches, sometimes with good money prizes (finally!) and that forces one to adapt constantly to different rule sets.

This is what pushes evolution. And evolution is the secret ingredient that brought Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Grappling to be more and more appreciated all around the World. Innovations are constantly changing the game and with internet and social media, this spreads like fire. Kids in Alaska and Singapore are learning how to berimbolo from Rafael Mendes online course, others may be training guillotines or heel hooks, and the exponential growth that we see in BJJ and Grappling all over the World is only the beginning.

The art has been evolving and growing since I started almost 30 years ago, and it will keep doing so as long as we are not trying to block it by adding more rules, and that’s why is so good for Grappling and BJJ not to be constrained by rigid rule sets in my view.

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