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WHAT IS ABSOLUTE DIVISION IN JIU JITSU?
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WHAT IS ABSOLUTE DIVISION IN JIU JITSU?

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There are many popular combat sports in the modern era of Martial Arts, but none more popular than Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Even through the notoriety of Mixed Martial Arts, BJJ has become heavily embedded into its infrastructure. Many jiu jitsu legends have taken their skill sets into MMA, and not just for the money, but for the challenge. Battle testing a grapplers game style is how a student will improve their skills, and the best way to do that is by stepping into the limelight. Nowadays Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has an extremely diverse platform, where competitors can step into the televised international scene of grappling.

What This Article Covers:

There are many platforms for grapplers these days, like the ADCC, the IBJJF, Who's Number One, Fight 2 Win, Grapplers Quest, Submission Underground, and subversiv bjj. Through all of these platforms most competitors will commonly enter their respective weight categories, but when they want to challenge themself then they will enter the absolute division. This division is also known as an open weight category, as the division is made up of athletes of all different weight levels. The idea behind the absolute division is to see which athlete is the best pound for pound grappler in any given tournament.

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enter the absolute division

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HOW TO PREPARE FOR BIGGER AND STRONGER OPPONENTS 

Training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is extremely addictive, but it comes with its fair share of difficulties. To become successful in the combat sport, students need to put in the hard work. This means consistency on the mats, as students should be developing all aspects of their game style. It is common for students to excel in certain facets of the BJJ game, but what they will find is even though they have mastered an armbar, they may struggle to execute this move on a stronger, or higher level opponent. This is why continuity is vital, so they can practise their techniques on all different body types. When a student rolls against someone who is twenty kilograms heavier, most of their techniques will struggle to work. BJJ was designed for the smaller and weaker students to defeat the bigger and stronger opponent, but what they don't teach you when you start BJJ is how to use a strength advantage to maximise BJJ. When a student knows how to use their strength in the right manner it makes it next to impossible to break down their posture, so this means students need to add strength and conditioning to their training regimes.

To be successful in the absolute division as a smaller athlete, students need to work on their explosive strength, and the durability within their muscles. It can be quite easy for a stronger opponent to out muscle a student, this is why increasing their overall strength is imperative. Fighting against larger, and stronger opponents means that a student will need to stay extremely tight, and keep their elbows in. A bigger opponent has more downward pressure, meaning it can be easier to expose a smaller student's limbs. Once a student can understand these principles they will have more success against bigger opponents in the absolute divisions. Getting underneath big opponents will ultimately help students to navigate through the flow of Jiu Jitsu, without receiving too much pressure from their opponent. Now this is all good in theory, as putting it into practise is a whole nother ball game. Students will need to replicate all of these principles that they execute in training, and do them flawlessly throughout the bjj comp system.

HOW TO PREPARE FOR SMALLER AND FASTER OPPONENTS 

Having a definitive size, or strength advantage in a fight may not always be a good thing. The bigger and stronger a student is, the less range of mobility they will have. This also means they may be slower than their opponent which can be detrimental to winning the transition battle. BJJ is all about transitions, and the student that can secure the position first no doubt has a definitive advantage regardless of size, or strength. This means that bigger, and stronger students need to work on their speed, and their flexibility, so they can maximise their chances at securing all of the relevant positions needed to win the fight. Trying to subdue smaller opponents can prove troublesome, as they will have shorter spaces which can help them to move easier, and escape from positions. This makes it rather easy for smaller opponents to escape their hips, or retain their guard. This is also similar for certain submissions, as a bigger opponent that tries to triangle a small opponent, may find it hard to take away all of their opponent's space.

Preparing for a smaller opponent means the bigger, and stronger students must roll with as many smaller training partner's inside their academy, as they can. This is a sure fire way to get used to neutralising a smaller competitor. A good idea for bigger students is to train their cardio at an explosive speed, this will help them to match the speed, and agility that a smaller opponent may bring to the fight. Just because a student is bigger, and stronger doesn't mean they can't be just as fast as a smaller opponent, it just takes hard work, ingenuity, and constant repetition of all of their systematic movements. Sometimes when a bigger student meets a smaller opponent in an absolute division competition match, they may get ahead of themselves thinking they can easily win. This couldn't be further from the worst mentality that a bigger student needs, as they must respect all of their opponents regardless of strength, weight, stature, or age.

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WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE CROWNED AN ABSOLUTE CHAMPION

Becoming an absolute champion winner is every competitor's dream. The BJJ community are all enthralled by world championships, or pan am brazilian jiu jitsu competition, and watching the best of the best win the open weight divisions, is a sight to see. Becoming an absolute champion winner means regardless of size, and weight, the winner is the best of all competitors. Every athlete aspires to become pound for pound the best champion of all, and winning the absolute division final is the best way to achieve this. It is even more impressive when a lighter student can take out a bigger, and stronger opponent, on their way to the top of the division. Winning a gold medal in a student's weight category is still impressive, because every athlete that competes on the mats is a warrior. Be that as it may, winning the absolute final is the pinnacle of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, as all the top athletes in the world strive to become the absolute champion.

Usually when a competition hosts an absolute division there are many competitors to make up the divisions. This makes it extremely hard to win an absolute final, and students that achieve this should be really proud of themselves. In a lot of cases students will need to win 6 to 12 matches in order to become the absolute champion, and this takes an incredible amount of energy, and strategy for students to achieve. Many students who have won the absolute final end up moving up in rank, as their coaches have no choice but to promote their students. Even though it's not about moving up in rank, becoming an absolute champion will ultimately help students reach their goals of moving through the belt ranking system. Students are always looking for inspiration, as many of their role models have become absolute champion winners on the international stage. So for a student to reach this exemplary standard it does mean a great deal, not just to the student, but to their academy, and their coaches.

THE MOST ICONIC ABSOLUTE CHAMPIONS IN BJJ HISTORY 

Becoming an absolute champion in any Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competition is an incredible achievement, as some of the best nogi jiu jitsu fighters in the world achieve this regularly. One of the most iconic legends to achieve absolute champion status is Marcelo Garcia. Even though he has not won an abundance of gold medals in the absolute divisions, he has still showcased an exceptional competition ferocity like no other. Considering Marcelo is only 77 kilograms he has mixed it with the best of the best. Marcelo won ADCC bronze in 2005 losing to Ronaldo Souza in the semi final, and then securing a rear naked choke against Alexandre Ribeiro to win third place. In 2007's ADCC Marcelo defeated his first 7 opponents by submission, winning the gold medal in his weight category, before losing his final match against Robert Drysdale to claim the absolute silver medal. Marcelo finished third in 2004, and in 2006 in the absolute divisions at the IBJJF world championships, at the same time winning gold in his weight category for both years. Marcelo has proven how formidable he is competing against heavier opponents, as he is arguably the best pound for pound fighter in the world. 

Marcus Buchecha Almeida is another champion who has become one of the biggest stars in BJJ. The 6 foot 3 powerhouse hails from one of the best bjj teams of all time, the Checkmat academy. Marcus has 13 IBJJF world titles, with 6 of them in the absolute division, he has also won 2 No Gi world titles including one absolute win. In the ADCC Buchecha has won 6 medals including 2 golds in the 99 kilogram weight class, and 2 bronze, and 2 silver with 3 of them in the absolute division. Along with many of his triumphs, Marcus has also won 6 Abu Dhabi World Cups including 3 in the absolute division. Marcus Almeida has proven to be one of the most powerful BJJ athletes on the planet, and for a big man his amazing technical skills have showcased exactly how incredible the art of BJJ can be.

Roger Gracie is considered to be perhaps the greatest Brazilian Jiu Jitsu athlete of all time. Through his innovation of the sport, the grandson of Carlos Gracie has showcased his incredible talent for competing at the highest levels. Roger has been a formidable competitor who has won 10 world championships, including 3 of them in the absolute division. Along with his exceptional record, Roger has also won 5 absolute silver medals. In the ADCC Roger won double gold in 2005, defeating Ronaldo Souza with a rear naked choke in the absolute division final. Roger has also won absolute gold medals at the European Championships, and the Pan American Championships, making Roger Gracie one of the most prolific competitors to ever step foot inside the international arena of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Another champion of the sport, and one of the most iconic innovators of BJJ today is Bernardo Faria. The Brazilian champion has become one of the most recognised figures in modern Martial Arts due to his charismatic nature, and pioneering through his famous instructional video platform bjjfanatics.com. Bernardo has also showcased his exceptional talent competing in the absolute division throughout his career. Out of his 5 world championship gold medals two of them have been in the absolute division, including a double gold haul in 2015. Bernardo has also won 13 other gold medals in events like the European Championships in both Gi and No Gi, the Brazilian Nationals in both Gi and No Gi, and the Pan American Championships. Among his outstanding gold medal tally he has secured 3 Pan American absolute titles, 1 Brazilian National absolute title, and a No Gi European absolute title. Bernardo has had an amazing career, and has shown the BJJ community just how successful he has become. 

One of the best female bjj fighters on the planet is Gabrielle Garcia. This iconic Brazilian born superstar has paved the way for many up and coming female athletes. Gabrielle won double gold at the world championships for two consecutive years in 2011, and 2012, an incredible feat that led her to becoming an IBJJF hall of fame member. Among many of her accolades she has also won 4 ADCC world championships, and 11 Pan American championships including 5 in the absolute division. Gabrielle Garcia has recently retired from IBJJF competition but is still an iconic figure fighting in the ADCC No Gi world championships. Gabrielle also had a successful Mixed Martial Arts career, as she enjoyed a 6 and 1 win loss record, including 4 wins by submission. 

Tom DeBlass is ready to show how to counter all of the techniques in his legendary HALF DOMINATION series!  Get it now at BJJFanatics.com.

absolute division in jiu jitsu

Beatriz Mesquita is arguably the most successful women's BJJ fighter in the world, as she has achieved a tremendous amount of highly prestigious gold medals throughout her career. Her incredible run through the women's division includes a combined medal tally of 38 gold medals. Beatriz has won all four IBJJF Grand Slams multiple times, including 10 World Championships, 5 No Gi World Championships, 8 Pan American Championships, 4 European Championships, 3 Brazilian National Championships, 7 No Gi Brazilian National Championships, and an ADCC World Championship. In total Beatriz has won 10 gold medals in absolute divisions throughout her outstanding career. The Gracie Humaita prodigy who trained under Leticia Ribeiro, has become the record holder for the most IBJJF world titles as a black belt, and is now an IBJJF hall of fame member.

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