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Dr. Whom
8/28/2013 9:47am,
Fairly new to BJJ ( I am a no-stripe white ) and have been studying for maybe 4 months now (2-3 hours a week). The head instructor at my school asked if I was doing a local tournament in 4 weeks. My first reaction was that I am not ready for a tournament and he remarked that as longs as my expectations were low and since there is no hitting in the face then I should do it. Since I am still struggling with movements and drills, should I just take the added experience from the tournament now or wimp out and wait until next year?

Not sure age has anything to do with it although I am 39 years old and wear kneepads in class to lessen the toll on my body. These would not be allowed in the tournament so I am going to be hurting after

Devil
8/28/2013 10:47am,
Fairly new to BJJ ( I am a no-stripe white ) and have been studying for maybe 4 months now (2-3 hours a week). The head instructor at my school asked if I was doing a local tournament in 4 weeks. My first reaction was that I am not ready for a tournament and he remarked that as longs as my expectations were low and since there is no hitting in the face then I should do it. Since I am still struggling with movements and drills, should I just take the added experience from the tournament now or wimp out and wait until next year?

Not sure age has anything to do with it although I am 39 years old and wear kneepads in class to lessen the toll on my body. These would not be allowed in the tournament so I am going to be hurting after


Others may disagree but I really don't see the point of competing with 4 months of training. It's just a waste of money if you ask me. I would suggest going to watch. You'll see how everything works without spending 90 bucks or whatever to flail around on the mat against someone else who will probably be flailing around on the mat.

Injuries are more likely at a tournament because of the increased level of intensity. A lot of the injuries occur from the falls during takedowns / throws. How much have you been working breakfalls in class?

BKR
8/28/2013 10:51am,
Fairly new to BJJ ( I am a no-stripe white ) and have been studying for maybe 4 months now (2-3 hours a week). The head instructor at my school asked if I was doing a local tournament in 4 weeks. My first reaction was that I am not ready for a tournament and he remarked that as longs as my expectations were low and since there is no hitting in the face then I should do it. Since I am still struggling with movements and drills, should I just take the added experience from the tournament now or wimp out and wait until next year?

Not sure age has anything to do with it although I am 39 years old and wear kneepads in class to lessen the toll on my body. These would not be allowed in the tournament so I am going to be hurting after

Well, I think you should trust your instructor first, but he is just asking so you of course can say "no". Being an adult and all that as you are.

Also, if you will be able to compete with guys your own age and experience level and size (which is doubtful), it would be better. Do you have any experience at competing in a combat sport? How is your overall physical condition? How well do you "roll" in practice? Do you have any preexisting injuries ? Do you really WANT to compete?

I'm a judo coach, and those are things I think about before considering whether a student should compete or not, particularly an adult beginner.

In the end, though, you get to decide what is right for you. At your age, there is no hurry.


Others may disagree but I really don't see the point of competing with 4 months of training. It's just a waste of money if you ask me. I would suggest going to watch. You'll see how everything works without spending 90 bucks or whatever to flail around on the mat against someone else who will probably be flailing around on the mat.

Injuries are more likely at a tournament because of the increased level of intensity. A lot of the injuries occur from the falls during takedowns / throws. How much have you been working breakfalls in class?

Good points all, Devil. We grown ups have to go to work the next day.

submessenger
8/28/2013 10:55am,
I did my first BJJ competition at 37 yo, as a 1-stripe white belt with about 6 months of training (minus 6 weeks or so for injury time-out). It's 5 minutes of your life. Do it.

Devil
8/28/2013 11:00am,
Yeah, I'm giving the same advice I gave my kid.

He wanted to compete early on. I made him wait. It happened to be right around the 10 month mark when a tournament came up and I thought he was ready for it. And that was training 3-4 times per week. He was probably ready a couple months before that, but the tournament schedule is what it is.

The main reason is that I wasn't satisfied with his breakfalls. I was afraid he'd get taken down and would break an arm trying to catch himself as he fell. Plus, it takes a while to build a little confidence and aggressiveness. It's really just not that much fun getting stomped and not being competitive.

It was a huge boost for him to go to his first competition and see that he could compete with other kids and not just get ran out of the building. Pretty much the same deal with adults, I think.

BKR
8/28/2013 11:59am,
Yeah, I'm giving the same advice I gave my kid.

He wanted to compete early on. I made him wait. It happened to be right around the 10 month mark when a tournament came up and I thought he was ready for it. And that was training 3-4 times per week. He was probably ready a couple months before that, but the tournament schedule is what it is.

The main reason is that I wasn't satisfied with his breakfalls. I was afraid he'd get taken down and would break an arm trying to catch himself as he fell. Plus, it takes a while to build a little confidence and aggressiveness. It's really just not that much fun getting stomped and not being competitive.

It was a huge boost for him to go to his first competition and see that he could compete with other kids and not just get ran out of the building. Pretty much the same deal with adults, I think.

Pretty much, although adults (may) be able to be a bit more philosophical about "losing". Hell, I didn't win a match the first few tournaments I did in Judo as a white belt.

Stupidly, even in Judo, where you think coaches would know better, I've seen kids and teens whose ukemi obviously was not beyond the static stage get hurt being thrown in shiai. Or they can't fall well to both side, get thrown left, and break an arm or get the wind knocked of them, concussions, etc. That is one reason I teach my students to throw left and right (and thus take falls to each side repeatedly) from early on in their training.

One thing I would suggest to anyone before competing, is go to another dojo/school and train/roll with people other than from your own school. This is hard to do if you live in a rural area as I/we do, but not impossible. It's not competition, but will probably be a bit more intense than working with your normal well known workout partners. In Judo, in Canada at least, there are also modified rule sets for kids, but, not, unfortunately, for adult beginners (there should be though).

This ^ is for everyone in general in this situation. Devil obviously is a thoughtful parent and did it correctly for his particular circumstances.