Would you fight a teammate in the finals?

Discussion in 'Grappling / Brazilian Ju Jitsu / Wrestling' started by Pyrock, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. Pyrock

    Pyrock Green Belt

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    If you and a teammate (and good friend) must face one onother in the finals of a local tournament would you fight or would you flip a coin?

    My son is most likely going to face this situation and his head instructor stongly suggested that they flip a coin out of respect for each other and the academy (he's old school) but his friend will most likely want to fight because he's very competitive. During training, it's a toss up but in a tournament, my son has the edge because he thrives during tournaments while his friend gets nervous. All else is equal except for age. The other boy is 1 1/2 years older.

    I ( and the instructors ) am suggesting they flip a coin but I hear that his friend wants to fight.

    I was considering moving him up a weight division that's another team mate who is much better but they would flip a coin. Are there any other options such that he doesn't have to face a teammate? Another age or weight division? Move up a belt division?

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. jthomas1600

    jthomas1600 Blue Belt

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    Is this a common practice? I heard the Williams sisters were accused of doing this in some of their tennis matches. I don't like the idea myself. I would have a hard time telling my son he had to forfeit based on a coin toss.
     
  3. Pyrock

    Pyrock Green Belt

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    Yes, this is a common practice even among the black belts at the Mundials (Worlds) or Pan Ams. Some guys end up rolling when they get back to their academy and decide it there in private. I was told that it is a sign of respect for your teammate and academy. BTW, my son's instructor is a HIGH LEVEL black belt and his last name starts with a G and ends with an E. :)

    At the worlds (or Pan Ams), two of our instructors split the 1st place prize. The one who usually wins in practice got the title and the other got the actual medal. It is common especially in Brazil. I just want some input on how to go about avoiding the situation for little kids.
     
  4. Bruno@MT

    Bruno@MT Senior Master

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    Personally I think it's a cop out, and an insult to the people who have come from far to see 2 high level fighters fight. I think the reason a coin flip is suggested is to prevent needless injury (after all, the team wins anyway) and to prevent hard feelings and bruised ego between team mates. Especially with kids, they should learn that losing is one of the possible outcomes and that sometimes, the other person is just better, even if it is their friend.
     
  5. Pyrock

    Pyrock Green Belt

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    Good points. At least I know that my son has no problems losing. He would actually prefer competing in a higher weight class or higher belt class than to compete against his friend. At least there's a chance that both of them can go home with 1st place trophies. I think my son just has a hard time winning if it's at his friend's expense. He would rather take second place by losing to a heavier kid than to for him to win while his friend lost
     
  6. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Damn right I'd fight them, and do my best to win, to do anything less is disrespectful.
     
  7. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    I've flipped for first with a teammate before. For me, it depends on the teammate and on the level of the competition.

    I don't think that it's a cop out at all. It's completely up to the individuals involved, and it's very, very common.
     
  8. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    I'm never common. :) I'd fight.
     
  9. Tanaka

    Tanaka Purple Belt

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    Is this Brazilian tradition?

    I would tell them to respect me by giving me their best, and I will respect them in the same manner by giving them my best.
     
  10. Stac3y

    Stac3y Master Black Belt

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    Saw this happen with two brothers recently. In the circuit I compete in, you fight, or both of you are disqualified. I don't know why it would be considered more respectful to flip than to fight--seems backwards to me.
     
  11. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    Different culture, I guess. The way I look at it, I'm not competing to win a medal. I'm competing to gauge my progress and analyze my game. I'm measuring myself against my peers by rolling with guys who don't know my game inside and out. What's the point of competing against someone with whom I train? I won't learn anything new, and neither will he.

    I don't see a problem with it either way, but to suggest that it's disrespectful to do either is crossing a line. Either way, whether you decide to compete or not, the intent is to show respect.
     
  12. Bruno@MT

    Bruno@MT Senior Master

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    Sorry, but I disagree.
    You decide to fight when you sign up for the tournament. Otherwise you're just cheating the spectators and the organizers out of their final bout. Entering a tournament means taking the good with the bad. If you can't do that, then don't enter the tournament.

    Not fighting deserves a disqualification.
    I mean if you don't care about who wins or loses, then you have no business complaining about being disqualified. You didn't care, remember?
     
  13. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    Okay. Philosophically, I guess we'll have to disagree. You're certainly entitled to your opinion. I still believe that whether you decide to compete against a teammate or not, the intent is to demonstrate respect, not disrespect.

    Practically speaking, entering a tournament means nothing more than agreeing to compete according to the rules of the tournament. It depends on the rules of the tournament and the culture of the specific martial art in question. Bruno, I don't know what MA you train in, but if you forfeit a match in a tournament, are either of the competitors disqualified? I've never heard of that. If that's the rules, well, there you go. In BJJ/Grappling competitions, neither is disqualified. The person who forfeits loses that match and the bracket moves forward accordingly.

    In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, it's not uncommon to see two teammates pick a winner even at the highest levels of competition. Happened last year at the Mundials (the World Championships) in SoCal.
     
  14. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    Stac3y, just to clarify in light of Bruno's post. If you and I square off in the finals against each other and I forfeit the match, why would you be disqualified? Would I be disqualified if I had to forfeit due to injury?
     
  15. Bruno@MT

    Bruno@MT Senior Master

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    I don't compete anymore, but most places I know here, the person who decides not to fight is disqualified. So technically you could still flip and have 1 person forfeit, but it means that that person is fully disqualified and does not get second prize.

    Look at it from the spectator pov if you want: How would you like it if you paid money for watching a high level tournament, and the best bout of the evening gets cancelled because the contestants decide that they don't want to fight each other, but still get to go home with the certificate / cup / medals / prize money?
     
  16. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    I see your point. I just don't agree. But you're not saying anything that isn't said within the grappling community, as well. I don't want to make it sound as though I represent all of BJJ or grappling at large. I just don't think it's that big a deal. It's not uncommon, and people just accept it. It's also completely okay for them to compete. Either way, it's just not that big a deal. Nor is it disrespectful.

    Honestly, it's that last claim only that I take issue with. As I said before, it's entirely respectful. It's all about respect within the context of the grappling culture. And in exactly the same way, choosing to compete is all about respect. Either way, respect is central to the decision. Not disrespect. If the culture of your competitive circuit is different, that's great. It's different. Not right. Not wrong. Just different.
     
  17. Stac3y

    Stac3y Master Black Belt

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    I'm sorry; if only you refuse to fight, you are dq'ed, and I am the winner (my phrasing was missing something there.) The bracket would continue from there. If, because we are team mates, or siblings, we both say to the judges, "We refuse to fight each other," we would both be disqualified. If you forfeit a fight due to injury or any other reason, you are disqualified from fighting further in that tournament (you couldn't fight again if it's double elimination, for example.) Once you quit, you're out.

    So, no; you wouldn't get me dq'ed by refusing to fight me; you'd just get yourself dq'ed. And I wasn't really thinking about brackets, as the OP pertained to the final round in a division.

    I have to say that I disagree somewhat with your assertion that you couldn't learn anything from fighting someone who knows your game--to me, competing against someone like that gives me an opportunity to stretch and try to come up with something to surprise my opponent. Also, you have the benefit of being able to analyze the fight more thoroughly afterward. YMMV, of course.
     
  18. Stac3y

    Stac3y Master Black Belt

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    BTW, I should mention that coming to this decision together (rather than one person just saying he wants to drop out of his own volition) is considered the same as "fixing" the fight, and can get you suspended. Perhaps they figure if people will make deals for wins based on personal relationships, they might also make deals based on money. "Hey, dude; I'll give you $20 bucks if you bow out; I need the points." Like that. I'm just guessing that's the reason, though.
     
  19. Ybot

    Ybot Blue Belt

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    Personally I would prefer to compete, but I would abide by my instructors judgement, and wouldn't look down on anyone who chooses to flip a coin to decide.

    That is an interesting point... and I could definitely see how the practice of "flipping a coin" would be more concretely poor sportsmanship, and unethical if the outcome of a match would make a difference in something grater than the individual division at hand. Thing is that the only thing outside of the division that is effected in Jiu-Jitsu tournaments is team standings at that particular tournament. If teammates make it to the finals against each other, then that is a wash anyway.
     
  20. ETinCYQX

    ETinCYQX Master Black Belt

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    Certainly my line of thinking. But I don't attach much ego to my fighting either.123
     

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