By: Tyler Bishop
The 2013 Pan Jiu Jitsu Championship is in the books. We are starting our extensive study of the event this week, and the results of the study will be up in about a month. It will piggy-back off of our 2012 studies of the Worlds and 2012 Pan. We hope to include elements of comparative analysis from year-to-year, and will attempt to see how the game may be changing this year compared to last.
Until science can tell us what really happened, we will have to rely on our objective observations. So, what are 10 things that we learned at the 2013 Pan Jiu Jitsu Championship?
- Buchecha is the world’s best. He proved it last year, and gives us no reason to believe this year will be any different. Galvao made that last match exciting, but Buchecha had it well in hand.
- The rules are too complicated for the referees. Throughout the entire event you could see the same transitions and movements scored differently on every mat. The new penalties for stalling come quick, and often penalize the wrong competitor. And finally, advantages are often awarded carelessly and do not meet rulebook criteria. Ask a referee about any of these things and expect sightly different answers from most of them. The rules are in desperate need of clarification and simplification. The referees cannot keep up, and it’s not their fault. This is a major issue. To maintain the events professionalism, things will have to get better.
- Hard work pays off. Caio Terra has been competing more than ever, and finally overcame Bruno Malficine. Malficine has had his number as of late, but Terra was able to capitalize on Malficines recent injury and close the gap between them. The Worlds may be the stage for another epic rematch.
- Your gi is probably not legal. No seriously, this is not a joke. There is a strong chance that over 50% of the gi’s you own would fail IBJJF inspection. It had to be a record number of people sent away to buy gi’s and belts this weekend. I literally watched a checker walk through the warmup area and point at 8-9 people in a row and tell them that none of them would pass inspection. Those same 8-9 people simultaneously exploded. The rulebook criteria does not go over all the new specifications. This did not effect Jena or myself, but I watched hundreds of others turned away in a panic to find a new gi. This harkens back to #2 – the IBJJF has to communicate with the competitors better – and this starts with simplicity.
- Chokes from the crucifx/omoplata come on quick. If you missed Clark Gracie’s come from behind, last second victory over Lapela do yourself a favor and get on YouTube. Rarely can someone tap and pass out at the same time, that choke must have been tight!
- Berimbolo may be losing it’s appeal, maybe. The Budovideo’s crew tells me that there was less berimbolo incidents this year. Wait, what? Is that even possible? Was this popular new technique really used less this year than last? Our study will discover the true story, but these guys watch more matches than anybody else, so I trust their professional opinion. It will be interesting to see if this is really the case.
- While everyone slowly converts to Atos, Alliance quietly dominated the competition again. Atos is certainly in the presses for their individual accomplishments and rapid big name additions, but it is Alliance who continues to reign supreme.
- This is still a fringe sport. While thousands watched the stream online with careful attention, little did they know that in many cases only 10 people may have been watching the same thing live. Jiu Jitsu will continue to grow but there is very much a cap on it’s true popular potential.
- Gabi is big. Gabi Garcia was born to be larger than your average female. In fact, she was genetically gifted to be a lot larger. Unfortunately for her, there are very few others her size on planet earth, much less doing jiu jitsu. Her weight class is all but empty now, and the absolute – while entertaining to watch – has become empty to watch with her in it. All other females are outweighed by over a hundred pounds and give up almost a foot in height. How long will victories against these opponents be fulfilling for her?
- The last 2 minutes of black belt adult matches are when you should start watching. 10 minutes is a long time to fight for points. Oncea competitor gets up on points, many times this signals the end of the action. This is because the competitor down on points saves their energy to score at the end, and the competitor that is ahead bides his time and has no sense of urgency. This is why so many finals matches are boring to watch, and often all the excitement is in the end. Could there be a clean way to fix this?
We hope you have enjoyed these observations. Post your recent observations of the 2013 Pan below.