How to Prepare for Your First BJJ Competition

So, you’re ready to compete in BJJ? 

By this stage, you’d have consulted your coaches and chosen the competition you’d like to enter. No matter if your competition is an internal club competition or an external competition hosted by a BJJ federation, the ways to prepare are quite similar. So here is a run-down of the top ways to prepare for a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competition:

Check your weight (and monitor it)

All BJJ competitions have weight divisions and most are quite strict. So, the first thing you should do is find out how much you weigh and what division you will fit into. From here, you should also monitor your weight in the lead-up to the comp, especially if your weight happens to be on the higher or lower end of your division. 

Stick to what you know

In the month or so leading up to a comp, it is best to drill techniques that you are comfortable with and sharpen them for use at the tournament. Of course, you can still attend regular classes and learn new skills, however, when it comes to rolling and drilling, it’s important to consider what currently works for you. Being aware of the skills in your current arsenal is an advantage to you when the time to compete comes around. Not only will you be extra familiar with the sweeps and submissions you know, but you will have practiced them many times in drills and rolls that will, in turn, become an essential part of your muscle memory.

Clean up your lifestyle

When you compete, you want to be your healthiest. This means that in the lead-up to the competition, you should be eating healthy, following a training routine, and getting adequate sleep. Try not to overthink eating healthy and keep it as simple as cutting out processed foods and sugar and ensure you get enough protein and carbs to replenish your body before and after training. As for sleep, 7-9 hours is the standard for most people to feel refreshed, however, some people need more depending on their lifestyle. Also, try to wake and sleep at the same time each day as this keeps the body’s immune system strong. 

Keep a consistent training schedule

Sit down and look at all aspects of your life such as work and family that are important outside of training. You should always follow a consistent training program; however, this is even more crucial in the lead up to the competition. Communicate the importance of this competition to your family and friends so that they can understand if you are less available for the weeks leading up to it.

Ask your coaches for assistance where needed

Your coaches will be the most important people for guidance as you prepare for your first competition. Ask them any questions you have before or after class. If you have private lessons, you can also take this time to make a specific game plan or options with your coach for when you are on the mats. 

Plan the big day

The best way to make peace of mind after completing all of the above is to create a plan for the big day. This plan should include simple things like what time you will wake up, and when you will eat. Also, incorporate your warm-up routine and any exercises you find useful to calm and focus before getting on the mats such as meditation or breathing exercises. Pack your bag the day before and check with your coaches if your Gi’s are in appropriate condition. 

Competition Class

Last but not least, one of the best things you can do to prepare for comp is to come to comp class. Gracie Parramatta holds comp classes weekly and the aim of the classes is to build up fitness & stamina while refining and sharpening techniques to execute in the comp!

It may seem like there is a lot to think about when it comes to preparing for competition. However, all of these aspects are simply ways to ensure you present your best self when stepping onto the mats on the big day!

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