It’s been a long road for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in France but it’s finally reached a point where the French Sport Ministry will officially recognize it as a sport and can now offer teaching diplomas and salaries as a result. France actually has more BJJ black belts living and training within it’s borders than any other country in Europe, with over 500 at the time of writing. This comes as a result of it being one of the very first countries in the continent that had Jiu-Jitsu introduced to it by the Gracie family, something that can be traced back to a Rickson Gracie seminar back in 1999.
The CFJJB (A French Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu federation that is closely affiliated with the IBJJF) has long had plenty of critics within the country, due to the fact that it had no real legitimacy. Despite the name, up until this point the CFJJB has not actually been a federation at all and had no real power over the Jiu-Jitsu world in France, similar to the IBJJF elsewhere in the world. As of July 1st, 2021 however, all of this has now been changed.
The CFJJB has managed to sign an agreement with the French Judo Federation to become an associated discipline. This allows the Jiu-Jitsu federation to maintain it’s autonomy in decision-making, while also gaining the advantages that come with now being officially recognized by the French state. These benefits include teaching diplomas that allow salaries and high-level status for any BJJ competitors that would meet the criteria.
While this might seem inconsequential to those outside of France, this is actually a huge step towards the world-wide recognition of BJJ. This is just one of many moments over the last few years that have added to the legitimacy of the sport and the more major organizations/nations that support the sport, the better it is for competitors everywhere. The news was announced in a post to the official Instagram account of the French Judo Federation, including video footage of the signing of the agreement between the two organizations: