Denys Darzi Talks to Jiu Jitsu Global Federation Vice President
The Coral Belt spoke with Carlos Gama, JJGF Vice President, about the main focus of the organization:
“Development of teaching and teacher training”
With extensive Jiu Jitsu experience, Denys Darzi boasts no less than the 6th grade black belt in the sport. Professor at Soul Fighters, where he runs one of the academy's branches in Boca Raton - USA, Carioca has been practicing the gentle art for over 40 years, and has been teaching classes for about three decades.
A reference when it comes to passing on the techniques of the sport for generations of athletes, Denys will join the Jiu Jitsu Global Federation, an organization chaired by Rickson Gracie that came up a few years ago with a new concept for the sport. As the kickoff of this partnership, the black belt spoke with Carlos Gama, the organization's vice president about what JJGF really is.
Carlos Gama has been a black belt for 22 years. He started training Jiu Jitsu in 1974 with his uncle Pedro Gama Filho, received his blue belt from Carlson Gracie, from Rickson he received his purple belt and from Royler Gracie his brown and black belt. A communications graduate from UCSD, with an executive MBA from Coppead, specialist in digital video production from NYU and digital marketing from UCLA, Carlos Gama was invited by Rickson Gracie in 2013 to found Jiu Jitsu Global Federation and became Vice President, being responsible for the strategy of international production and distribution of educational programs.
Check out this chat with these gentle art beasts below:
Denys Darzi: When Jiu Jitsu Global Federation – JJGF was founded? How has it been expanding?
Carlos Gama: JJGF was founded in 2014. Today it has affiliates in over 50 countries: 38 teams and associations, around 350 academies and over 1000 teachers, fighters and practitioners. Last year, an affiliate category for academies and other martial arts practitioners was created that has sought out JJGF to gain access to jiu jitsu knowledge and self-defense.
Denys Darzi: What are the goals of the JJ Global Federation for the coming years?
Carlos Gama: Continue to produce educational content and structure a system of training and certification of instructors and teachers. Following the success of the "Self-Defense Unit" program, where JJGF President Rickson Gracie updates the core Jiu Jitsu and Self-Defense curriculum created by GM Helio Gracie, we are producing video lesson program to convey his vision of how Jiu Jitsu must be taught in group classes. Training and certification programs for instructors and teachers in different areas of Jiu Jitsu are also being produced and structured.
Denys Darzi: What is the biggest difference from JJGF to IBJJF or UAEJJF for example?
Carlos Gama: IBJJF does a great job organizing competitions, and UAEJJF has been investing a lot to create a professional circuit and make Jiu Jitsu an Olympic sport. That is, the focus of these two organizations is competition and the development of Jiu Jitsu as a sport. JJGF has an educational focus. Its mission is to provide services so that associations, academies, teachers, instructors, fighters and practitioners have access to the best instructional content and can then evolve, grow and expand by increasing the number of people involved with Jiu Jitsu so that they can truly have their lives transformed by the benefits that the practice of our martial art offers.
Denys Darzi: How does the registration of teams and athletes work? In addition, what are the advantages?
Carlos Gama: We format the membership system according to the current Jiu Jitsu organization, that is, teams/associations join, and their leaders have the exclusive power to approve the membership of academies, teachers and practitioners under their banner. It was a way to strengthen the teams that formed in the last decade and their leaders. The leader or manager has a password, and when an academy, teacher, or practitioner on his or her team signs up, he or she receives an email, enters our platform, checks the membership and graduation data, approves or disagrees, and approves or not the affiliation. In the case of independent academies as well, their main teacher undergoes a lineage analysis and documentation, and if approved, has the prerogative of approving their students. In the case of gyms that we call "educational unit", because they are not Gracie or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, practitioners and teachers do not have the degree in their profile and consequently there is no approval process. This category was created because many academies, teachers, and practitioners of other martial arts turn to JJGF to gain access to the knowledge we offer, and our mission is to include and expand Jiu Jitsu. Our affiliates may apply for rank validation diploma, as they will need to go through a document review or have their rank validated by their association leader and teacher, and then put their profile, photos, videos and related links on their profile to your Jiu Jitsu story. Affiliated academies can be certified and listed in our global directory and map, which has a great search flow, ie they are recognized as Gracie Jiu Jitsu or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu academies and this leads many people who are looking for a gym to start learning Jiu Jitsu from your website and its doors. All affiliates have received free 28 Self Defense Unit module 1 video lessons and access to workbook content from all 5 modules. We have already launched the first four and the fifth and last will be released and September. Affiliates who want to purchase video lessons from the entire program are 50% off as we have partnered with Gallerr platform to provide access to video lessons. We also provide our affiliates with a "student retention guide" that contain valuable information about how to provide excellente service to its students.
Denys Darzi: What can you tell us about the organization in terms of education and self-defense?
Carlos Gama: president Rickson sees Jiu Jitsu as a martial art that should provide practitioners with a personal and spiritual evolution based on gaining trust, emotional balance and health. That is, a martial art, practice and philosophy that goes far beyond the sport of competition. The benefits that Jiu Jitsu offers taught from the Self Defense perspective are very broad and reach the day-to-day life of the practitioner on the mat and especially off the mat, as he or she acquires tools to maintain calm and emotional balance before adversities, problems and challenges. Added to this are all the benefits of physical activity that increases your physical strength, cardio-respiratory ability and flexibility. The friendships that form through this personal developmental path that always happens in groups, are, undoubtedly, one of the greatest benefits that Jiu Jitsu provides and our programs consider that by providing didactic guidance for practitioners to help and evolve together. JJGF's mission is to provide means of developing and expanding teams, academies, teachers and practitioners.
An innovative initiative is the Self Defense competition. The last one was held this year in Scotland, Glasgow, at the last Rickson Gracie Cup. Jiu Jitsu practitioners were able to demonstrate their skills and were evaluated against other practitioners for the degree of technical difficulty, efficiency and execution of their techniques. Self-defense.
Denys Darzi: The goal is to unify the organizations? Do you think about creating a kind of unique ranking?
Carlos Gama: No, since the performances of other federations are related to the promotion of championships and JJGF focuses on the development of teaching and teacher education, we do not see this possibility on the horizon. However, the JJGF is fully open to participate in any such initiative.