For some people, when asked if they plan to compete in Brazilian jiu jitsu, the obvious answer is yes. It’s obvious for any kind of sport or hobby by choosing activities that allow them to embrace their competitive side. Meanwhile, others may find competing to be the very last activity they want to take part in, bringing with it unwanted anxieties and doubts. But no matter which side you fall on, competing can be an important next step in your journey to black belt. While it isn’t mandatory, it can only help you grow.
Builds Motivation and Discipline
When you officially commit to competing, you also commit to training more, eating better and staying mentally ready. When you complete your registration, the motivation is shifted into gear and you’re probably feeling pretty good – but it takes more than just motivation to get you on the podium. You will also build discipline, to stay within the mindset of training with a purpose and watching what you fuel your body with. Learning these skills can be transferred into all walks of life, in which you must commit and stay committed to accomplish a goal.
Improves Your Jiu Jitsu
Training every day with good partners is great to advance your skills. But after a while, you start to know each other’s games and are able to expect what’s coming next. When you compete, it will likely be against someone from another gym who you’ve never seen before. Because of this, you must work even harder to use the technique you know, both offensively and defensively. When doing this, you get to see in real time where your weaknesses are and what holes in your game need to be filled. The next day, win or lose, you can come to class knowing you were strong in one situation, but need to improve in another. From there, you only get better. The time-old phrase saying “you win or you learn” is exactly right in regards to competition, thus preparing you for the next one.
There is no other feeling quite like fighting for six minutes and then getting your arm raised by the ref to a crowd of your coaches and teammates. It symbolizes every ounce of work you put in during the previous weeks. And you’re tired, out of breath, achy and already feeling the bruises forming – but you’re so happy and proud. Whether it’s the first time or the hundredth, it’s always the same feeling of fulfillment. Then, standing on the podium, a medal around your neck, everything feels worth it. Your confidence grows with each match, and no matter the medal, it’s a huge achievement to even step onto those competition mats.