At the end of the 2015/2016 season, the entity will award the leaders of the male and female rankings with $10,000.
The immediate reaction to the news was mostly positive with a few critics.
On GRACIEMAG’s Facebook page, the post with the news had 45 shares and 124 likes.
Some readers thought the money should go to more people on the rankings, not only the leaders.
Various athletes welcomed the great news.
Gabi Garcia wrote a comment on GRACIEMAG’s Instagram account: “Now you’re talking, IBJJF. I knew I was not going to retire.”
Mackenzie Dern, the current female black belt leader, also left her comment: “I’m gonna go after that! Not only for the money, but to be the actual number 1 in the world. Thanks IBJJF.”
Many people celebrated the fact that both men and women will receive the same amount.
“Due to a fantastic effort from Dominyka and her equal pay for women movement, the IBJJF has reached their demands,” wrote reader Chris Klahn, mentioning the campaign started by the 2015 black belt open class champion Dominyka Obelenyte in favor of equal pay for men and women in BJJ.
Kim Terra, bronze medalist in the light-feather division of the 2015 Worlds, found unfair for men and women to receive the same amount of money: “It’s absurd for the female ranking leader to get the same amount as the male ranking leader. No offense to the girls, the level of male Jiu-Jitsu is infinite times superior to female Jiu-Jitsu. There’s no dispute to that. Overall, it’s a great initiative by the IBJJF, but they should have done a better job “slicing that cake”. To use a legal term of “equity”: treat those equal in a equal way and treat those unequal in a unequal way.”
Kim’s opinion generated a heated debate on social media.
World champion Hillary Williams posted a comment on her Facebook page giving her opinion on why men and women should get the same prize: “Most of the current female black belt champions have been grappling every bit as long as the men. Bia Mesquita has 16+ years of training under her belt. We pay the same fees for training, competing, traveling, and as shown in this thread, still receive less than men. If you’re not using that logic to justify less for men’s super light weight divisions as well as the super heavies (the light-middle heavy are the most stacked divisions), then it shouldn’t be applied to the women.”
Gabi Garcia also posted on her Facebook page about the issue of men and women receiving the same amount: “You train just like the men do or sometimes even more. You are victim of prejudice when you chose a career said to be for men. You give up the body and the life of a regular women to live your dream. You get paid less your entire life. Then when some kind of equality comes along, you have to deal with this kind of mentality. I’m in a new moment in my career, but I will try to conciliate both [MMA and BJJ] and compete for that I fought so hard to see happen. Congratulations to the IBJJF”