MARCH 18, 2020, and another major grappling event has bitten the dust, as it has happened with every single jiu-jitsu show on the planet in the past couple of weeks. Today, sadly, it was the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) World Championship, the biggest, oldest, and most important jiu-jitsu event in our sport, which was due to take place at the end of May.
With the international stocking exchange plummeting and most countries in Europe exercising a full lockdown on their citizens in an attempt to stop/slow down the fast spread of coronavirus’ COVID-19, society has pressed a virtual pause button, for which there is no set date for a return to normality. According to President Donald Trump of the USA, where the IBJJF World Championship tournament is held, things are due to go back to normal on July-August of 2020, though many public health officials estimated early 2021.
These recent events have led the IBJJF to put a hold on World Championship as well. In a recent statement, the federation wrote:
Unfortunately, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we will not be able to hold the World IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship during the scheduled dates. We continue to monitor the developing situation and will be rescheduling the tournament for a later date once it has been determined that is safe to return to normal activities. The ranking season and point requirements for the Adult Black Belt division will be re-evaluated and adjusted accordingly once we are able to open registration for the rescheduled date. We will be posting further information to the event page as soon as we have any updates.
If – a very big IF, society goes back to normal by August, the athletes would still be required to have enough points on their record to make it to the tournament, a process that would require several months to acquire. Furthermore, all IBJJF International Opens, where athletes collect their Worlds points, have been canceled, and the setting the wheels in motion for those to happen will be a giant task. As such, and unless the rules of the event are drastically changed, there is a possibility that the World Championship could be scrapped from this year’s grappling calendar.
As a closing note, we would like to remind our readers that small businesses will suffer the most in these strange times we are living, and community services such as jiu-jitsu academies will struggle to survive such an extended period without an income – something we explained recently here. As such, when possible, we would remind people not to cancel their BJJ membership during these dark times. Failing to do so, could severely impact the lives of your instructors.