“The IBJJF Medal Has No Value”

“The [IBJJF] medal has zero value. It means as much as this tablecloth right here, but people still kill themselves to try to get those medals.” –Hey I didn’t say it, but Ryon Gracie did at the press conference after the Metamoris Pro. I agree and disagree and I’d love to hear your points on it.  In case you’re an in between-er” I posted some other responses from prominent competitors at the bottom of this post to help you out. (All reposted from BestofBJJ.com).

For me personally all of my medals are in a shoebox in the back of my closet. Will I hang them up one day? Probably. But for now it’s not so much about parading around in my bling but more so about what obtaining the bling represents.  It’s a confirmation that ALL the training hours, days without chocolate, two-a-days, morning runs, night bike rides, etc. paid off.  It’s confirmation that not only am I not out of my league but I am capable of great achievement.  Granted, I gotta work my ass off to obtain it but I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I think that’s why the IBJJF medal right now, or any BJJ medal, is considered the light at the end of the tunnel.  I think I speak for most grapplers when I say that the creme de la creme show up for that medal.  It’s an awesome feeling to fight to the death (ok I’m exaggerating here) with someone and squeeze out the win. Or for the guys with the division of 30+ people (i’m happy for there to be 4 of us lol) to medal is a great achievement as well as they typically have 4, 5 even 6 matches to win the entire division.

On the other hand I understand Ryron’s point that in the big picture winning a medal is not more important than defending your life.  I respect him for being bold enough to say it. In the grand scheme of things it is more important for a student to grasp the basic concepts of survival and if competition should follow then that’s fine.  I think that is the outlook we have at our gym for the most part.  Although everyone seems to be bit by the tournament bug which is fine too.  If a person comes in and they don’t want to compete, nobody hounds them. We back off in that respect and emphasis jiu jitsu for fitness, or survival.

Here are other perspectives i‘ve hyperlinked this entire section as it originated from the BestofBJJ.com go there for more perspectives on this issue.

Jeff Glover: He has his own style, and I love it. I think they both have something to offer the bjj world.

Samir Chantre

Samir Chantre: I think Ryron and everyone with his last name doesn’t need to do anything to be known, but we do! That’s what they don’t get. I don’t think I would be having the opportunity to give my opinion if I was hanging on my grandfather last name. Do you know who Mr Chantre was? that’s what I figured.

The medal itself may not mean much, but the visibility that you get from your win does, and a lot! People can only talk bad about IBJJF when they make a better, more organized and more visible tournaments than what IBJJF does.

Some people say it’s easy to play on the IBJJF rules and win, in my opinion, it is way easier to defend yourself only not to get submitted, let the guy get all the positions and draw!

Caio Terra: If people are killing themselves and they had the best black belts competing at it, it does have a lot of meaning which gives it value.
I think he probably meant to say something else, because by saying this, he’s basically insulting all the jiu-jitsu competitors, all of us who are doing his family a favor of spreading this art that they are credited for.
Anyways, he should compete in it and maybe he will find the value.

Keenan Cornelius: I dont know the context of when he said that, but it sounds like he is trying to say that it is just a game and people shouldn’t be so serious about it. but medals are a symbol of accomplishment to prove to ourselves we are improving, winning, whatever it may be. just like the belts in jiu-jitsu are symbolic of experience and knowledge. Maybe its because Ryron doesnt compete alot but i think alot of serious jiu-jitsu competitiors would agree with me when i say its not about the medal anyways, the medal just is something to look back on and remind us what we went through to achieve our goals. personally every medal i have won just gets thrown under my bed and collects dust.(unless its silver or bronze, i throw those away at the first trashcan i see) i guess i can see where he is coming from if he is looking at it like that. however i dont agree with his mentality of competition about just defending.. thats really lame. and boring. its not hard to just defend in jiu-jitsu that why i personally like the point system more because you cant just just lay there if you are down on points you have to fight to get out which opens up submission opportunities.

Victor Estima: I really think that of competing on Ibjjf it’s not worth it why would he want so bad to compete again one of our champions. To be a world champion is a achievement in life. It’s changes people’s life and give opportunities to many people to live out of their passion. If he says it isn’t worth it. I guess he has never needed to prove that. People are different so it might not have any value for him. This is his point of view but might not be the right one. Winning a world title at Ibjjf has change my life. I had a tough life. It was the only way to achieve success for me. Ryron has all the attention and has no need to win to get success as his Dad done that for him. I respect the Gracie family. I represent them with all my heart. I am happy and I raise my family with the results of the Competitions so I guess it’s worth my life

5 Responses to ““The IBJJF Medal Has No Value””
  1. SavageKitsune says:

    That is an awesome action shot of you at the top of the page!

  2. Ronnie Brown says:

    Although I haven’t competed (yet), my friend just took home silver at the IBJJF World Masters in the purple belt (heavyweight, I think?) in L.A. last month. I watched him train intensely day after day and put in a LOT of work, time, sweat, blood (literally), and tears to get that position. It was amazing watching him fight to the very end. He lost by an advantage and no one scored on him the entire time. I knew he was good, but to see him fight harder at the tournament that he did here at home was pretty amazing.

    So, yes, it’s obviously just a medal. But it’s unquestionably also representation and confirmation – as you said – that all the training hours, as well as everything else put into the preparation, paid off…

    Great post and thanks for sharing. The pic is awesome, btw! – Ronnie

  3. I agree with the opinion that medals matter only to the extent that they represent all of the consistent effort that person has put in up to that point. They are like little milestones, but the journey doesn’t end.

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  1. […] “The IBJJF Medal Has No Value” | I Wonder As I Wander – Oct 21, 2012 · “The [IBJJF] medal has zero value. It means as much as this tablecloth right here, but people still kill themselves to try to get those medals.” –Hey …… […]

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