POC president Tolentino settles grappling issue

Published December 10, 2020, 2:51 PM

by Kristel Satumbaga-Villar

Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Bambol Tolentino mediated between the country’s wrestling and jiu jitsu associations regarding a grappling issue.

Tolentino met with wrestling’s Alvin Aguilar and jiu jitsu’s Choy Cojuangco on Wednesday, assuring them that both associations could co-exist for the benefit of their athletes.

“Both federations have their own grappling events, but harmonious and united they are now,” Tolentino said. “This is good for the athletes.”

Both sports employ grappling as one of the most effective techniques but because they belong to different international federations with respective regulations, they didn’t meet halfway – until Wednesday.

Cojuangco clarified it wasn’t really a deep issue but he was pleased that things are already settled. He added jiu jitsu has its own international federation, which will have the final say on their respective events.

“We’re happy we already settled what we needed to be settled. Our federation is open to any clubs and we’re not barring our members to participate with them or their members to join us including those who want to qualify for the national team,” Cojuangco said.

Aguilar also welcomed this development, saying that they all needed to find mutually beneficial grounds regarding their sports.

“Jiu-jitsu under the JJIF [Jiu-jitsu International Federation] and Grappling under the UWW [United World Wrestling] will co-exist in our country the way it does all over the world. Our respective NSAs each have their own athletes and different programs,” Aguilard said.

With the issue settled, Tolentino said both federations could now concentrate on their athletes’ preparations for next year’s Asian Indoor Martial Arts Games set May 21-30 in Bangkok.