Preparing For You First Jiu-Jitsu Tournament

Photo by: Nakama

So you’re signed up for that big competition coming up and you want to make sure you take home that gold medal? Unfortunately, you are new to BJJ competition and don’t know exactly what you should be doing to prepare. Many new students run into this problem when they first begin training and look to compete. There are a variety of issues that can arise from not knowing how to properly prepare for your first BJJ competition, but no worries! Jiu-Jitsu Times is here to help!

  • Know The Rules– As with any sport it is vital to know the rules. In Jiu-Jitsu this can be an even bigger issue as there are so many different formats and rule sets. In general you should be looking at what you are and are not allowed to do (white belts are usually limited), as well as how points are scored or if they are at all.
  • Check Your Weight– You should know your own weight and the weight classes the tournament allows. You should choose the weight class that you feel is easiest to make and feel comfortable. While some people can thrive on little food it is always a good idea to be a few pounds under the morning of in order to ensure you can have a good breakfast.
  • Train Hard And Smart– It is important to take competition seriously and prepare for it. When I first began my instructor had a rule. If you wanted to compete then you need to be hitting at least 4-5 classes a week min. If you want to compete in a large tournament then you want to shoot for 6-7 classes. This can count multiple classes in a single day, but the important part is that you train hard leading up to the week of the tournament and then dial back and give your body time to recover.
  • Diet – This is related to #2, but deserves its own category. You should maintain a healthy diet in the months before competing. Shooting for lots of greens, whole grain and lean protein sources. This will keep your body in shape and able to handle the harder training sessions and promote overall health.
  • Mental Preparation– Often overlooked, the mental side of preparing is also important. You have to believe in yourself and your abilities, but you also can’t put too much pressure on yourself. It has been said in sports psychology that the biggest enemy you have to deal with is yourself and this is certainly true. One tip on this is to develop a strong sense of self which can be done in a variety of ways, my personal favorite being self-affirmations.


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