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Five Tips for Competing in BJJ


Diving into the world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitions is an exciting endeavour that offers more than just the opportunity to enhance your skills; it's a journey of self-discovery and growth. If the thought of competing triggers a mix of excitement and anxiety, fret not. We've put together five essential tips from Black Belt Magazine Jiu-Jitsu to guide you through your first competition experience.

1. Consult with Your Coach

Your coach is your best resource when considering competition. They understand your strengths, areas for improvement, and whether you're competition-ready. Expect a candid conversation about your readiness. If your coach suggests waiting, it's with your best interest in mind. However, if you're given the green light, work closely with them to focus on specific areas and prepare effectively.

2. Choose an Appropriate Competition

While jumping into a high-level competition like the IBJJF Worlds may seem appealing, starting with a less intense event can be more beneficial. Local interclub competitions or smaller, independent tournaments provide a supportive environment, familiar faces, and valuable experience without overwhelming pressure.

3. Understand the Rules

A common pitfall for competitors, especially at the white belt level, is a lack of understanding of the rules. Knowing the basics—scoring, allowable submissions, and competition protocols—can prevent unnecessary losses. Familiarize yourself with the specific rules of the competition you're entering to give yourself the best chance of success.

4. Manage Nervousness

Feeling nervous before and during a competition is natural. Arriving early to acclimate, understanding the day's format, and using techniques to manage anxiety, like focusing on your breathing or listening to music, can help. Recognize that everyone experiences nerves and finding what helps you cope is crucial.

5. Embrace the Experience

Above all, remember to enjoy the journey. Competing in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is an opportunity to test yourself, grow, and celebrate your love for the sport. Stay present and cherish the unique experience of competing alongside your teammates. Competitions are not just about winning; they're about enjoying the process and learning from each experience.

Embarking on your first BJJ competition is a step towards personal and athletic growth. Keep these tips in mind to navigate the experience positively and effectively.

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