By: Tyler Bishop
The 2013 Jiu Jitsu World Championship is in the books. History was made once again, and we want to congratulate everyone who stood atop the podium at the event. For everyone that competed and suffered defeat, keep your head up and keep striving towards your goals. The competition is fierce, and the stakes are high. The World Championship is the most prestigious event in jiu jtsu history, and will likely maintain that title for a long while – due to the incredibly high level of competitors that attend the event.
Just like every year, there is a lot that we can learn from this event. The BishopBjj.com team was in attendance every day of the event, and we did not miss a beat. We wanted to share with you a few of the important pieces of material that we learned at the championship, and hopefully you can share with us some of the things you may have learned watching at home.
- Buchecha is the new king, and it is now unquestionable. Prior to this event, there was little doubt that Marcus Almaeda was the champ, but now he is “the man”. After last years epic battle and a close match earlier this year, the Buchecha/Rodolfo rivalry still seemed close. We watched the absolute final match intensely. We wanted to see if today would be the day that Rodolfo took back the crown. Unfortunately for Rodolfo, June 2nd served as the exact date that Buchecha became the far-and-away better competitor. Buchecha simply dominated the match from start to finish. I honestly wonder what Rodolfo was thinking. I can’t imagine anyone has done the things Buchecha did to him in a very long time. It’s always a little off-putting when you recieve an unexpected beating in BJJ. I’m sure that goes double for Rodolfo. Welcome to the Buchecha dynasty.
- Blue belts take it seriously! The level of competition at the blue belt level this year was the best I have ever seen it. I remember being a blue belt 6 years ago, and the competition was not at this same level. Many of the competitors are training with the same enthusiasm and commitment that the brown and black belt competitors are. In fact, the other blue belts all know who the other top guys are… at blue belt. What does this hold for the sport in the future, and how should the average jiu jitsu competitor feel about this? It is the World Championships after all, and everyone has to start somewhere.
- You don’t win until you win. We saw it twice in the finals this year. You can’t win the match until your hand is raised. Ary Farias cost himself a World Championship by carelessly walking off the mats. I feel for the guy ( I really do), but when the stakes are that high – and your match was as close as that one was – wait to get your hand raised before you celebrate. The rules are the rules, and you simply cannot pick and choose objectively when they will be followed (they are hard enough to enforce as is). Another example of this was Augusto Taquinho’s tenacity in finishing his match with Rafa Mendes. It looked from my perspective like Rafa was looking to coast out at the end. Augusto simply had more fight him at the end, and with seconds left he stole the match. The meal goes to the dog who is hungriest.
- Acai is delicious but should not be eaten in a cage. I love acai, and ate exactly two bowls at the Worlds. I enjoyed neither of them. When you force me to stand in a cage to eat it you might as well punch me in the groin while you’re at it. This is CSULB’s thing, not the IBJJF’s, but regardless it is a travesty. #freetheacai
- Points are hard to get. I’ll never forget a conversation I overheard at the 2011 World Championship, it went something like this…
– Competitor (to referee): Why did you not give me points for passing the guard?
– Referee: **Dead lifeless stare**
– Competitor: I passed the guard and it should have been 3 points, I should have won the match!
– Referee: No, you lose…. it fair
– Competitor: (intensely)… But I should have won! Those points would have put me in the lead!
– Referee: (long pause… smiling now) Points are hard to get …. (pats the kid on the shoulder and walks away)
It had to be one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. The competitor was losing his mind, and the referee was on a totally different page. The point of the story is this – points are indeed hard to get. You have to earn them, and sometimes they are easier to get than others. Sometimes you might feel screwed, other times you might get lucky. When you are a top competitor you find a way to rise above it all. That’s why you consistently see the top names in every division.
- Gabi is busy getting stronger. Gabi Garcia wore a shirt on day 1 that read “I’m Busy Getting Stronger”. Meanwhile, all of the women in the black belt absolute grew even more fearful of what that might mean. How could she be any stronger! In all seriousness, Gabi simply is too much for any other woman currently competing in BJJ. She plows through her division just as easily as she does the absolute. She will be the champ of the absolute so long as she signs up. Fair, unfair, or any where in between, it’s the fact of the situation. She is a woman without any true competition.
- Atos has a bad day. The team that was stocking up on top talent, and seemed poised to showcase themselves this year fell flat. Galvao, the Mendes Bros., Calassans, and Keenan all fell short this past weekend. It could just been a fluke, but it seemed almost too much of a coincidence that the team performed to far below expectations. Again, it’s the World Championships, and everyone is good, but it was surprising to say the least that a team with so much fanfare underachieved to this degree. Maybe it really was as simple as a bad day.
- Braulio Estima is a bad man. Estima showed up on the competitor roster at the last minute on a whim, and dominated the competition – closing out the bracket with teammate Romulo Barral. He is truly a character as well. As Galvao attempted a footlock at the end of their match, Estima certainly hammed it up for the enjoyment of the crowd. Hopefully we will see more of him in the gi in the future.
- The gi-checkers took the day off. Remember how just about 50% of the gi’s were illegal at the 2013 Pan? For some reason the IBJJF did a 180 on this procedure. I witnessed very very few competitors being turned away for gi disqualifications. I even witnessed several gii’s in action at all levels that were noticeably outside of normal perimeters. I’m not sure if the IBJJF specifically lightened up or if it was simply some new employees, but this change was noticeable. I even thought about wearing a bath robe to test this policy, but alas I had no bath robe to wear.
- (Personal Note) It was an incredibly special day for me and my family. My wife, Jena Bishop, and close friend, Nick “Moose” Schrock, both added “world champion” to their resume. Jena took 1st in her brown belt division and 3rd in the absolute, while Nick took first at purple belt medium-heavy. It is an incredibly emotional experience to witness first hand all of the blood, sweat, and tears pay off. It’s easy to see why jiu jitsu is such a passionate experience for so many. This past weekend was one of my most memorable and enjoyable of my entire life. Part of jiu jitsu is living through the sacrifices and training with your teammates, and when they experience success you share in their victory.
That’s what I learned at the 2013 World Championship.