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Afraid of Competing? You Should Be

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Afraid of Competing? You Should Be

Afraid of Competing? You Should Be

You’ve been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for a while now. You’ve already rolled with every person in your BJJ class 20 or more times and know what moves they are good at. They also know what moves you are good at, and how to catch you. You end up in a routine-roll situation, defending against the same people and the same moves over and over.

It’s not that you aren’t training, or aren’t getting better, because repetition is key to practice, and practice makes perfect.

But what is the bottom line of taking a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class? What is your personal goal?

You may want to be a black belt, to feel safe about defending yourself, to get in a cage match… whatever it is, you have to learn to achieve all of those goals.

The bottom line is to learn.

Competitions, whether it is a tournament or just a friendly “gym-visits-another-gym day,” are necessary for learning. Competitions force you to think and act quickly in a new and unfamiliar situation. This is where you will discover how much you really know.

Competitions will also teach you who you are in the face of fear. Everyone gets nervous, whether for a month, a week or only five minutes, there is always a hint of anxiety going into an unfamiliar situation. This feeling is necessary as well. It is necessary to act while afraid in order to advance as a martial artist. The martial arts were created for battle, for defeating opponents in a life or death situation.

One of the best things about a tournament is that it is one of the rare occasions when the martial arts community comes together. Every tournament you will see a new face, and make a new friend. Especially for those who come from small Brazilian Jiu Jitsu schools, or especially female students, meeting others in your division and weight class is a refreshing change of pace. Making connections with these students and schools will only help you in your training as well as theirs.

To really master a fighting art, the closest environment to its lifelike application is in a competition. You will gain technique knowledge, self awareness, new training partners and friends, and most of the time a free t-shirt :)

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