We had an open no-gi tournament at my school a month back. The divisions were beginners (less than 18months), intermediate(less than four years), and advanced(over four years). A guy who left our club ten years ago as a blue belt to join a different instructor (and is still a blue belt with his new instructor who is apparently the best instructor ever!) had entered the intermediate division. When we called him on it he said that's what his coach told him to go in. So we bumped him up to the advanced division and he lost. That's the worst case of sand-bagging I've ever seen.
The funny thing is, these guys don't see that. You'd think that if their instructor is the best ever, and this guy has been training consistently for 10 years and he's still a blue belt then there's either something wrong with the instructor or with the students. They just claim that they've got higher standards.
My only tournament loss is to a white belt that had wrestled for 12 years before taking BJJ. He also had an amateur MMA record of 3-1 at the time. Funny part is he only ended up taking second. He lost to a guy who had wrestled for a D-I college. The D-I wrestler was in my division again at my last tournament, and he took third while I took first.
The moral of this story? I rule.
Sorry - bud but its such a bad idea without divisions.
You couldn't even have a tournament at that point. The skill disparity between white/blue and black belts is so bad that nobody would waste their time.
For example it is $70 PER DIVISION at grapplers quest this year. You wanna pay that much for one match where you are probably going to get killed so fuckin bad it isn't funny? Factor in waiting about 10 hours for that match, driving 10 hours for that match, and preparing for it for months.
I have enough trouble WITH the divisions.
Well,I'm glad we're telling stories I had this one ready when i noticed to somber posts this morning,So here goes.....
One of my last tournaments I got there in the morning, this time it was at a local elementary school. As I walk in the changing room and I started putting on my gi. This guys walks over to me and asks if I can explain to him on how to tie his belt. I was surprised and I asked him how long he's been doing karate. He tells me that it's his second week. I was like WTF? Your instructor sends you here to compete after ...what? 4 lessons.
After all day of watching the kids compete. I walk over to my area and wait for my division to compete. Now I was a yellow belt at this point. Which is more than a year of karate? The biggest problem with small regional tournaments such as these there's never enough people who can make the long drive to compete.
So as it turns out my only bout of the day is with the guy who just started Karate as o matter of fact. So our fight start. He immediately gives me push with his leg. Not a kick really but lazy push. So I attack him. Iím not nervous. So we slug it out for 1 minute. I decide to give him a knee strike to the stomach but the idiot decides to try and stop it and I end up kneeing him in the privates.
I don't remember much from the fight except that he was punching me harder than I was him. Although I was kicking more however he did back me up a lot when the fight ended the judges voted for him.
**** what a day. I thought I got beat by a white belt. So, I go up to him and I congratulate him and I ask about his experience. As it turns out he's had a lot of boxing experience. So that explains how he pushed me back a few times with just punches.
So this was not my only fight. I have on many occasions fought people of higher ranks than me. I once sparred a BB when I was a lowly green. I look at them as opportunityís to learn.Unless of oucourse I do get murdered in the ring.Than it just sad
There's always a possibility that you'll get a BJ Penn type character as a blue belt who could beat a black belt. however on the whole I think you'd still have the black belts winning the divisions. BJJ is not like karate where the only difference between white and black is two years experience. I think it would crazy and demoralising for blues, and purples especially to be put against black belts. I also don't see any benefit to this approach.
I sure wouldn't waste my money on tournaments if blacks could enter my division. $50-80 bucks so I can get subbed in under a minute in my first match?
They even had belts at bullshit open-style point fighting tournaments I used to go to. Ranks exist for a reason.
Originally Posted by JohnnyS
The solution is: breed more BJJ'ers.
My experiences (in Judo, not BJJ) are completely different:
As a wee lad, I practiced Judo and about once a month there would be some local competition. Divisions were by age and by weight. Period. That's it.
However, there were always enough people competing to make different "poules".
You'd fight everybody in your poule, get a point for each win and the 2 with the most points would carry on to a 2nd round (if necessary)/semifinals and then finals.
For example, say your division had 24 competitors (relatively big tourney). You'd end up with 4 poules of 6 people so even if you lost each and every one of your fights, you'd still fight 5 times. Yes, the higher belts will likely win (though the biggest turnaround in my personal career was ph34ring the blue belt in our division (I was an orange belt) until he ripped my gi pants and pissed me off. One ippon later I was on my way to my first semi-finals.), but you'll still get shitloads of experience.
Though, truth be told, the skill differential isn't going to be extreme because the brown belts and up won't be competing with you. It wouldn't count for Shiai, so they'd be busy actually preparing for Shiai.
This is why we need to invent Scouters (from DBZ) to measure everyone's power level and match them accordingly in tournaments.
As for sandbag...I think it's all related to political motives and it kinda sucks. But as for being sandbagged, if I walked away learning something. That's ok with me.
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