Within the next week or so the BJJAT team will be getting together to review the 'good' and 'what could be better' about this year's Thailand Open. We'd appreciate some constructive feedback from those that attended, both competitors and spectators. Please feel free to post your thoughts on this thread or e-mail me directly at luke@bjj-asia.com.



Anonymous said...

I think something should be done to better implement and enforce rules allowing referees to dismiss coaches who are giving refs a hard time (examples: as calling them stupid and insulting their mother's in Portuguese), or disqualify that coach's student. The level of competition is making large strides in the area which is having the ugly side-effect of the wrong kind of competitiveness i.e. poor sportsmanship.

The crap that refs and organizers had to put up with in this tourney, and also the Taiwan tourney this year has been horrendous.

I hope this is seen as constructive

louisa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LUKE said...

There were several cases where competitors were using fowl language either in disrespect to their opponent or protest of the ruling.

Should there be a difference in how we treat coaches and competitors about their conduct at future events?

It is true we are dealing with a growing community and increasing level of skill. So we hope to make positive changes to accommodate such growth while maintaining a safe and respectful competition environment.

Anonymous said...

Maybe bringing in a few more qualified ref's.

It would be nice to have a tournament where the black belts are paid to ref the matches. At times it seemed like refs were just making decisions as the matches went along rather than understanding the rules.

LUKE said...

I would love to see a larger body of refs to employ at our events, that is for sure. We did offer modest pay for our refs but everyone that took part was on volunteer basis by choice.

Here is what I would like to see:

1. larger body of refs coming from all schools within the area that have gone through some level of training for CBJJF.

With a bigger body of refs to pick from we will also avoid the overlap of refs ruling over their own teammates when that is an obvious conflict of interest.

2. involvement with team leaders/head coaches to go over amendments to CBJJF rules to accommodate for safety. That is where we had disputes because there were clauses on ref's power to stop the match if he/she felt the players were at a danger.

All refs were accountable for the rules and put safety first and I stick by our refs for that. We will make even more transparent what these rules are in future events.

3. We have an opportunity to set the tone for the SEABJJ community apart from the rest of the world that may support heating arguments/fighting. Let's make sure that we don't let disagreements get the better of us and fall to misconduct ourselves.


Anonymous said...

Webber here. I think the "safety first" rule is imperative since most players are away from their home country with no local health insurance.

Also I don't think refusing to tap to a locked in arm bar is a valid defense (I don't care if people refuse to tap to a choke, all that does is put the player to sleep). Don't force the dominant player to pop an elbow; don't encourage mad cranks to submit. It's supposed to be the "gentle art" at the end of the day. So I applaud your concern about safety.

Secondly the community needs to accept that there will be bad ref calls sometimes. The refs try their hardest but sometimes they just make mistakes. What Mark said at the beginning is true - in the long run the favorable and unfavorable ref calls tend to balance out. For brown and black belt matches (maybe even purple belt matches) maybe two refs would help, but how are you going to staff?

Peter, who volunteered to ref after dropping out of brown belt competitions, was not paid, did not get a free tee shirt, I don't think he got any food, and he was on his feet 10-12 hours. Yet he had a wonderful time with absolutely, positively no regrets and would do it again in an instant, because he loves the sport and appreciates the many new friends he made.

That having been said, I hope you come up with some creative solutions, because as a visitor from the States the thing I love most about the interregional BJJ scene is the cameraderie that seems to cross academy and national boundaries. Please don't lose that grubbing for a medal!

And the regional competitors need to keep in mind there are also Japanese and US tournaments (Pan Ams, Mundials, but also some less well known but equally intense) if you want to see what those are like (there are bad ref calls there, too, and booing of refs). Since most of these take place in Southern California right next door to Disneyland, it's an opportunity to visit the States, take the kids to Disneyland, AND do BJJ. That's a pretty good combination right there!

So please keep BKK clean and friendly!

Anonymous said...

as Webber said, Peter was a brown belt and I think a couple of others were brown and there was black belt. So I think they know the rules pretty well!
Tough at time for them given some situations. seems like a thankless job and they did a good job as it was a great tournament.

LUKE said...

Thanks guys and thank you Mr. Webber.

All our refs were either purple, brown or black-belts in BJJ and or have extensive experience in grappling/jiu-jitsu. They've all have previous experience reffing and put the safety of the competitors first.

Unfortunately we need more guys like this. We lucked out with Peter Doyle (Ralph Gracie Berkeley) and Ali Sulit (VPF).

If people have problems with the reffing at our tournament or any tournament in the SEA scene, I suggest you take a course in reffing under CBJJF rules and make a difference. See what it's like to be a ref and deal with the coaches/competitors screaming at you for advantage points.

The BJJAT was formed so that we could just that. Have like-minded people come together to produce events for bjj-fighters by bjj-fighters.

Anonymous said...

Heckling referees over every decision is fun pastime for the Brazilians but I wish they wouldn't do it here. The same goes for coaching your students to deliberately push the opponent off the mat a few times to eek out an advantage.

This leaves a bad taste in my mouth and if Daniel Charles or Gordinho organized events in Macau or Singapore respectively, I just wouldn't feel like supporting them. Many peers at my club think the same way.

Anonymous said...

i was only there on the 1st day for the gi part.. it seems like everything turned out peaceful and quiet. there wasn't too much insulting the referee and fellow competitors...can someone fill me in on the no-gi part?

hoin from hk