Martial Arts is no longer what it used to be I mean in terms of numbers, I hear of many clubs closing through lack of membership. Some forms of Grappling are kicking the trends not the traditional style like Judo and Sambo but the relative new ones lick Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and MMA.
Some tell me Brazilian Jiu Jitsu BJJ will soon take over Judo in the UK in being the most popular Jacket Wrestling Sport. I much prefer Judo and Sambo to BJJ but then I would say that I have spent the last 55 years doing Judo and 35 years doing Sambo. Sometimes you have to move with the flow BJJ is very well organised with rules, syllabus and uniform and has a large World wide following. My main criticism is that there is no National Body representing the whole of the UK (to my knowledge any rate) I have for several years tried to get a BJJ section established at my DOJO in Sittingbourne, I have emailed several people but get no reply! I am not interested in running a BJJ club but want to offer my Dojo for rent as I know that my Sambo, Kurash, Judo clubs will benefit by having a BJJ section. So let hope sooner then later we get a National Body here is name for you BJJ UK or GB BJJ.
After complementing BJJ I can not say the same for MMA, this lot of rag a muffins start clubs up with no qualifications no experience. OK maybe I am to hard, some have credibility but not many, I have a name for it STREET WRESTLING, this where a group of youngster just chuck a couple of mats down and start rolling around the floor and all of sudden they are doing MMA what ever that means. I recently saw a MMA competition on YouTube what a mess, they were on some inferior mats the competitors looked like they had just come from the beach with those ridiculous shorts, the referee looked like some hippy from the 1960’s and the audience were all standing on the mat which had no demarcation area. I very much doubt if they had any insurance and totally ignored any health and safety issues but what was most frustrating was that the Wrestling itself was pretty good and enjoyable to watch There is light at the end of the tunnel FILA the International recognised Wrestling organisation has taken on board a lot of the more of the out landish grappling style such as Grappling- Pankration- Combat Wrestling – Beach Wrestling – Belt Wrestling. The British section of FILA is the British Wrestling Association and they have formed FILA GRAPPLING which run by Paul Ivaenus and Oliver Ellif while FILA COMBAT which covers the rest of the Grappling Styles this is run by Andrew Brownbridge who is also President British Grappling Association with these guys in charge Grappling can be become main stream with some credibility but lets get away from the name MMA.
Many years ago my club used to practise Freestyle Wrestling as I did myself, I also once organised a British Junior Wrestling Championships at Herne Bay, with the interest in Grappling I have decided to get the club to rejoin the BWA and get my members to learn how to do wrestling properly