Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a grappling-style martial art that has been around since the early 20th century and has been slowly emerging throughout the world, today. It can be seen utilized in MMA matches like those in the UFC, thought it doesn’t offer its athletes a salary like the UFC. Because of its relative newness, few professionally organized tournaments offer the athletes any money, so earning a living solely on competition is exceedingly difficult.
The International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) is a for-profit organization in charge of running prestigious Brazilian jiu jitsu tournament. The IBJJF recently began offering monetary prizes in tournaments called the BJJ Pros, but they are doing so unfairly.
The cumulative prize money offered to male competitors exceeds $25,000, while female athletes are doled out a paltry $2,700 in total prize money; entry fees for both are the same. This large gap in prize money undermines women’s role in this tournament, along with minimizing the skills and efforts female BJJ practitioners put into competing in such events.
This is currently one of only a few IBJJF tournaments that offers any prize money, but even now, it’s exceedingly difficult for BJJ athletes to earn a living while meeting the rigorous demands of competition. As an athlete that has been doing this sport for over a decade, I believe it is imperative that the IBJJF offer equal prize opportunities for both sexes, who train equally hard in order to compete. Since women’s first appearance in the IBJJF World Championships in 1998, we have been fighting for improved competition conditions that were simply handed to men, such as more weight categories and general inclusion. This is no different.
Please sign this petition to give women an equal opportunity to win the prize money they so rightfully deserve.