ADCC head organizer Mo Jassim has just announced the initial plans to create a kids version of the ADCC World Championship in 2024. It appears as though the plans have only just begun, as Jassim revealed that the idea came to him after hearing about the success of the kids divisions at the ADCC Sao Paulo Open 2023. Obviously there have always been talented young grapplers all around the world, but the rise in popularity that the sport has experienced recently has meant that the number of them has exploded.
Back in the early days of ADCC, most professional BJJ competitors started training in their teenage years and some of them would only have started in their 20s. While it’s never too late to start training BJJ for the enjoyment of the sport, over the years it’s become virtually impossible for grapplers starting as adults to catch up to the rest of the field. That’s because starting BJJ in the early teenage years has become the minimum expectation and many of the top competitors in the sport actually started as young children instead. This is reflected in the fact that the ADCC podium just keeps getting younger, with Kade Ruotolo actually becoming the youngest champion in history in 2022.
That trend has only kept on growing and now there are young children out there demonstrating the same level of skill that adult competitors would have just a few decades ago. Art of Jiu-Jitsu has long focused on developing the next generation of elite talent in the United States and Mo Jassim has seen that trend in Brazil too, specifically in the team that Melqui Galvao has built. Now Jassim has announced that he’ll be putting together a smaller version of the ADCC world championship just for kids to show their skills at ADCC 2024.
This is far from the first time that Jassim has made some big changes to the way that ADCC works and in the past, his decision have always worked out brilliantly. He has been talking about adding more women’s divisions since before 2022, and he was always open about his goals to sell out the stadium they booked for ADCC 2022 in order to justify a bigger venue. Fast forward just a few years and Jassim has added a third women’s division for ADCC 2024 and beyond, along with booking the T-Mobile Arena to fit a crowd of 18,000 fans. It’ll be interesting to see how well he manages to do the kids version of the ADCC World Championship and what new developments this might lead to further down the road.
Mo Jassim announced the news that he was going to stage a kids version of the ADCC World Championship in 2024 in a recent story posted to the official Instagram account of ADCC: