“The jiu-jitsu industry is taking a turn where the standard format is a ten-minute match with points in different positions, and mainly top positions. So if you get in certain top position, whoever gets the most recent and most number of positions ends up winning the match,” Metamoris founder Ralek Gracie told MMAWeekly.com.
“As a result, over time, what happens is people desire very eagerly to become champions in jiu-jitsu, they effectively train for a very positional game. And you end up seeing something that is kind of a different sport,” he said.
Aside from taking promotional queues from mixed martial arts and leveraging the appeal of fighters like Shinya Aoki and Brendan Schaub in its events, Metamoris is also changing the fundamental structure of the competitions. Metamoris matches consist of a single 20-minute round where winners are determined by obtaining a submission or a clear-cut decision.
“Our objective is to say, hey, let’s release jiu-jitsu from this kind of control and let’s create something that really creates more freedom and more space for this really open experience of a grappling match and essentially of a fight. But a grappling fight with much more technique and elegance and timing and principles that essentially creates a very positive, non-violent viewer experience,” said Gracie. “Something that is really more spiritual than anything. We want to really promote that more spiritual, more honorable side of what it means to be a jiu-jitsu competitor and just warrior in general.”
Gracie explained the goals of Metamoris.
“It’s to basically create the pinnacle of jiu-jitsu and create a place where jiu-jitsu can live free and be this thing that people can learn from and experience and watch and see the best in the world compete. On top of that, to educate people on the level of character that we see a lot of times within the high levels of jiu-jitsu and in jiu-jitsu in general,” he said.
“A huge part of it is storytelling and introducing people and building people, that’s a lot of the long term goals as well as create champions, keeping champions and maintaining a presence worldwide.”
Once Metamoris crowns a champion, the titleholder can only lose the title by being submitted.
Gracie believes jiu-jitsu has international appeal much like soccer.
“Jiu-jitsu, in my opinion, can be bigger internationally – internationally it’s almost like jiu-jitsu is going to, like, soccer. Soccer worldwide is bigger than it is in America. Worldwide, soccer is the most practiced sport. I feel like jiu-jitsu kind of has that worldwide appeal and in a way is kind of on the same path. And I think in America it is growing very fast as well,” said Gracie.
“Jiu-jitsu is something that changes people’s lives. It has that life changing element. People become happier when they do jiu-jitsu on many levels. It’s something I’ve seen my entire life and people are just now catching on to it.”