Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and grappling continues to go from strength to strength as a sport. There are more professional events than ever and there are more people making a full time living from competing in or teaching. All this is down to the fact that more people are getting involved in BJJ every year. It is very hard to put an exact figure on the numbers but all the indicators are pointing towards massive growth.
With this growth it is natural to assume that there will be changes. For example, in the last couple of years we have seen massive changes in our access to live professional grappling events and the explosion in the the sport of nogi submission grappling.
However one thing that has not changed yet is the level of access that the average grappler has when it comes to meeting the legends of the sport. The top stars of the sport (past and present) regularly do seminar tours and if you live in a major city there is a good chance you will be able to attend a couple. If you have the time and funds to travel you can usually walk into these athletes home gyms and pay to train for the class alongside them.
This level of access is extremely uncommon in larger sports. For example, if you are a tennis player can you imagine Roger Federer coming to your club to train. If you follow or play soccer, can you imagine getting a chance to book a private session with Christiano Ronaldo for less $200?
Now that the worlds are over the biggest stars in the sport are embarking on seminar tours that cross many different continents. Some seminars and camps can be expensive but there is also lots of value out there.
Take advantage of these opportunities while they exist as it may not always be this way. As it the sport gets bigger it is inevitable that this kind of access will become less prevalent. This is a shame but is part of the normal evolution of any developing sport.