BJJ Community questions answered 24 JULY 2020

BJJ Community questions answered 24 JULY 2020

The UKBJJA as an organisation is dedicated to supporting its members and committed to working hard in all areas that benefit and progress this sport. In order to progress and evolve, we always welcome questions and discussion with the BJJ community.

In response to a recent Q&A session on Facebook from the BJJ community, the UKBJJA would like to provide an update on the questions and topics below.


(Question) How is elite status feedback information reported back to the UK BJJ community?

(UKBJJA) The return to training is highly controlled, with data on athlete health taken before every session and monitored by UKBJJA Head of Data and Analytics, Dr Yorrick von Ohlen, PhD in Microcellular biology and overseen by UKBJJA Chief Medical Officer, Dr Steve Murray.

This data is minuted and available on the UKBJJA website. For more information on the Elite Academy Programme, please see the FAQs here: Elite athlete return to sport application.


(Question)What steps are they taking to allow grappling to once again be practiced in the UK? Which MPs and other governing bodies are they talking to?

What power and influence do they have that makes them best suited to speak on behalf of the BJJ community.

(UKBJJA) The return to full training in a safe manner and in line with the current government and Sport UK guidelines for each of the home nations is of paramount importance to the association as we know it is for our members.

We are in regular contact with Sport England (as they are leading on processes for the home nations). We have been in contact with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care with a view to open up our elite athlete study on coronavirus for wider participation.

Contact has also been made in Scotland with MPs who have worked with us in the past and the deputy minister for Culture, Sports and Tourism in Wales.


(Question)How far away does the UKBJJA perceive themselves to be from gaining official recognition by Sport England, and what changes would that bring?

Additionally, what specific advantages would that then lend to UKBJJA affiliated clubs?

(UKBJJA) We were informed in 2019 that we were at the final stage and were commended on the detail of the full application. The Recognition Panel would then make their recommendation to the boards of the four Home Country Sports Councils. Covid-19 has no doubt not helped the Recognition panel in what is known to be a lengthy and complex process

Full recognition would allow all member clubs to tap into the wealth of support that is available from Sport UK for recognised sports. (Including Grants, Funding, support in commercial innovation and programme development, access to public sports facilities and reduced rates to name just a few).


(Question)When they made a press release a few days ago about being the first to bring back live professional Grappling to the UK, did they miss off GrappleFest as a mistake?

(UKBJJA) UKBJJA and Grapplefest will continue to discuss their relationship and the ability to support future events in-line with UKBJJA policies.


(Question) Does the UKBJJA consider IBJJF events when compiling their rankings?

(UKBJJA)  Due to the nature of the ranking system, events must opt-in and provide the UKBJJA with results and data in a timely fashion as well as ensuring that set standards (Provision of medics, qualified officials etc) are in place. We are happy to consider applications from any event as long as it satisfies these criteria.


(Question)Has the UKBJJA received any guidance from DCMS regarding the elite athlete framework or getting academies running again?

(UKBJJA) We are following currently published DCMS guidelines. In due course we are anticipating a need to submit an action plan to the DCMS and/or Sport England for a general return to BJJ training. The work that has been done on the Elite Academy programme will form the basis of that action plan.

If you wish to discuss anything mentioned here further or have questions related to the progression of UK BJJ please contact us at