If you are a BJJ enthusiast and you trained long enough then you probably thought about going to a competition to test your skills.
However, the competition and preparation can be scary for the first-timers. There are a number of things that can affect your overall experience in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competition.
Your first match can be intimidating as the anxiety can overwhelm you and hinder the main reason you signed up for – to test your skills and most importantly to have fun.
But don’t worry, we got you. In this article, we are going to give you 4 great tips for your first competition.
Pick The Right Event
Back in the days when combat sports and particularly BJJ were not so popular, there were not a lot of events and competitions to choose from.
Fortunately, that is not the case in modern days and you have plenty of options to choose from.
When you prepare for your first competition, you should always choose the option you are most comfortable with. This is one of the most important factors to create a good overall experience.
Make sure to check the place, ruleset, and organization before signing up.
For a start, it’s better to choose a smaller local competition and build your way up to bigger ones. This will help you with the anxiety and will build your confidence.
The ruleset should be exactly like the ruleset you use in training. There are a lot of great tournaments with different types of rules but you can test them later.
The most important thing, for now, is to build your confidence and have fun.
One of the most frequent mistakes you can make is with the weight cut.
A lot of novice competitors cut a lot of weight to qualify for the lowest weight class possible. However, this is not always the best tactic.
Of course, you need to cut some weight but losing too much in a short time-frame can be a disaster for your energy and performance. Competing in a lighter weight class won’t help you if you are depleted and far away from your best shape.
Instead, you should try to cut the extra weight in the months before the competition and only cut a few pounds in the last moment.
You should feel strong and energized before entering the competition not drained and weak.
While it is important to be flexible during the match and change your strategy as you go, it is also very important to have a game plan first.
Where are you at your best? How are you feeling most comfortable and confident?
These are questions you need to think about and make a plan that is most beneficial for you.
Of course, things won’t always go according to your plan but it’s good to have a clear goal in mind.
Your game plan should be made around performing your best techniques and getting in positions where you can apply your best skills while hiding your weaknesses.
When you have a gameplan you will enter the mat with a goal of imposing your will and not just reacting to your opponent’s moves.
Know The Basics Of Every Position
An important thing to know before going in your first competition is the basics of every position.
Of course, you don’t need to be a master of it. But you should be aware of what you should do in every position.
For example, you should now at least one escape of the most popular positions like bottom mount, bottom side control, back control, while knowing how to attack from dominant positions.
If you are not familiar with some position – don’t panic. You will have some time to study it prior to the competition.
But it is important to identify what are your weaknesses and work on them.
By knowing the fundamentals of every position you will be able to avoid being hopeless in the middle of the match, not knowing what to do.
Competing for the first time can be stressful and scary. However, try to focus on the positive things, listen to the tips we gave you, have fun and enjoy the moment.
After all is done, you will be glad that you participated.
Remember, you are doing this for yourself and if you are not feeling ready – it’s okay, give yourself some more time because competing should be a good experience.
Have fun training and competing!
This article was written by our friend Asen from fighterculture.com