IL House Bill 1490 rewrites the book on boxing and professional MMA in IL—regulation, fees and health requirements are all changing.
That's not all, however. The new athletic commission is essentially trying to force all Jiu-Jitsu tournament competition out of the state! Almost every traditional martial art is exempt from the bill—judo, wrestling, karate, kung fu, tae kwon do—but somehow, the oldest of all the arts, jiu-jitsu, has been left out in the cold.
This doesn't make any sense. Jiu-jitsu literally translates to "the gentle art," and far less injuries occur than in other forms of competition. The art doesn't even allow striking—it's pure grappling. Even jiu-jitsu's younger offspring, Judo, contains more brutal throws and chances for injury or health-related consequences, but it has been exempted by the bill based on its Olympic status.
Even non-practitioners can agree that jiu-jitsu tournaments are some of the biggest in the state, with people of all ages, genders and backgrounds attending. Thousands of people attend these events to compete or support their friends, and they come from all over the country. They come to Illinois in droves and they spend money, and this means jobs for Illinois residents.
If IL Bill 1490 is passed, those tournaments will be forced to go elsewhere. Even now, two separate mega-tournaments have cancelled their competition or taken the event elsewhere.
The bill has been passed by both houses and only awaits the signature of Governor Pat Quinn. Time is of the essence.
If you are a martial artist whose life has benefited from the thrill and family atmosphere of amateur athletic competition, please sign this petition. Make your voice be heard!