IBJJF World Championships (Often referred to as the “Mundials”)
The International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation was created by Master Carlos Gracie Jr. The first Mundial was held in Brazil in 1996 and has been held every year since. Female Divisions were added for the first time in 1998, although they were allowed only two weight classes (Leve and Pesado) and there were no divisions for belt colors. 1999 saw the women’s divisions progress to two belt divisions: a Blue Belt Division and a Purple/Brown/Black Belt Division and each had three weight classes, although some were sparse on competitors (Pena, Medio, and Pesado). The first year of full real divisions (enough competitors to medal in each) was the year 2000, when each division had also progressed from three to four weight classes. The tournament was slowly gaining notoriety and competitors. Finally in 2005, there were enough women competing to justify splitting the purple belt division off from the Brown/Black belt division. And 2007 saw the big move of the biggest/most prestigious gi tournament to the United States where it has resided ever since.
Over time the women’s divisions are slowly progressing from “everyone who competes gets a medal” to super competitive divisions. This is not to say that there are not some competitive divisions and numerous extremely talented high level Brown and Black belt women. However, the number of competitors and skill depth in those divisions is not yet on par with the male divisions. What this means is that while impressive, it is not quite as difficult to win the women’s divisions as it is to win the men’s at this time. However, it is progressing in the correct direction with each passing year. Rumor has it that the Brown/Black split is already being discussed by the IBJJF and may occur as soon as 2012! This is an event we all look forward to as an important landmark in the progression of Women’s Jiu-Jitsu.
IBJJF World (Mundial) Championship Female Division Results
IBJJF Pan Ams
The Pan is considered the second most prestigious US gi tournament. Participation increases each year and with it the notoriety.
IBJJF Pan Am Championship Female Division Results
IBJJF Brasiliero (Brazilian Championships)
The Brasiliero is often considered the second most prestigious gi tournament after the Mundial – maybe the most prestigious for the lower belt levels. This is due to the fact that most lower belt Brazilians (and some of the Black Belts) cannot afford to come to the United States for the Worlds or Pan Ams. Not all, but many non-Brazilians make the trek to Rio to participate in this tournament. Here they have already made the Brown/Black split in the women’s divisions AND added additional weight classes.
IBJJF European Championship
Falls in order of importance after the three mentioned above. After the European Championship would come the Asian Championship. Next fall the various (and relatively new in 2009/2010) regional tournaments (ex: Houston, New York, etc).
IBJJF NoGi Worlds
The NoGi Worlds are held in California and coming up on their fourth year, yet are still considered well below the level of ADCC and the IBJJF Gi tournaments. Due in large part to the conflict over the IBJJF NoGi rule set, many high level submission wrestlers still refuse to participate in an IBJJF NoGi sponsored event. In the NoGi divisions, the IBJJF also took a step backward and combined the female blue and purple belt divisions.
IBJJF NoGi Pan Ams
Of course this means the NoGi Pan Ams are another notch down from the NoGi Worlds. Although not as far as one might think at first because it is widely considered the equivalent on the East Coast to the (supposedly greater) event on the West Coast.