As a white belt thinking to enter a BJJ competition, you may be wondering what it’s like. This is especially the case for people who are new to martial arts or any competitive sports in general. The competing side of BJJ is completely optional, however, some gyms will encourage competing more than other gyms. This is because competing can be a great way to improve your overall jiujitsu game and put all of your hard-earned techniques into action. They can also be a very rewarding experience and a great place to challenge yourself.
If you’re considering entering a Brazilian Jiujitsu tournament, here are a few things you will need to know…
1. Ask Your Coaches
The most important thing to do before even considering competing is to ask your coaches if you’re ready. Some BJJ gyms encourage competing after only a month or so, whereas, other gyms would prefer if students wait at least 6 months and establish a suitable level of skills before entering competitions. This step is extremely important as you will be representing your academy and coaches whilst in competition. Your coaches will also be an integral part of your training in the lead up to competition and will help you to prepare.
2. All BJJ Competitions are Different
It is also important to know that BJJ competitions differ in many ways depending on the federation or organisation that is hosting. Do some research on the organisation and ask your coaches if the competition is suitable for you.
3. You Will need to Monitor Your Weight
Most BJJ tournaments are quite strict in the area of weight divisions. This means you will have to first find out how much you weigh and what division you fit into. Depending on the organisation hosting, if you weigh under or over your weight division on the day of competition, you will either be re-assigned to the appropriate division or disqualified. So, it’s better to be safe and keep an eye on your weight in the lead-up to comp. Most gyms will have a scale you can use, or you can invest in one of your own at home.
4. Competitions are Different to Rolling in Class
This may seem obvious to some, but there will be an increase of strength and aggression used in competition. If you are not prepared for this difference, it may come as a shock on the day. So, if you find you and your partners are using 70-90% force in class, you should schedule in some time with either a coach in a private lesson, or a friend, to spar with you at 100% intensity. Depending on what your coach recommends, you will most likely use a combination of these intense sparring sessions along with regular drills, strength and conditioning training in the lead up to competition.
5. Know the rules!
If you attend a respected BJJ academy like Gracie Parramatta, you would have been taught some simple rules of competition throughout your journey thus far. However, before you enter a competition, you will need to find out/double-check the rules of what you can/can’t do on the mats. Most rules set by BJJ federations are in place for good reason – to protect yourself and your opponent. Plus, the last thing you want to do is train hard for weeks and end up getting disqualified for something you didn’t even know was illegal.
There are also rules outside of the mats. These rules include grooming requirements, correct attire and not wearing any jewelry or accessories. These rules should come naturally from attending class, however, it’s always good to have a refresher and read over the rules of the competition you’re attending.
To find out more about BJJ, contact Gracie Parramatta on 96875480 or visit our website. We offer a variety of classes and your first class is free!