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18 Tips To Help You In Competition and Why Comps Are a Good Idea

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    18 Tips To Help You In Competition and Why Comps Are a Good Idea

    Why It's a Good Idea to Compete and
    18 Tips to Help You Get the Best Experience Out of Competition
    Author: Jason Scully

    • The love of competition
    • How are you going to handle the crowd?
    • How are you going to handle the butterflies in your stomach?
    • Are you going to remember your techniques?
    • Are you going to freeze up, or are you going to stay calm and do everything you do in the gym and win?
    Those are just a few of the tests that you have to face in competition and it is great to see how you would do. Competition helps to let you know where you stand in the larger scheme of things by giving you a realistic look at where you stand against other guys with the same experience level as yourself.
    • The experience and learning
    I have never participated in a competition and not learned something or gained a greater experience of grappling, whether I was to win or lose. Every time I step off of the competition mat I step off a better grappler, a better person, and someone who wants to work harder.
    You may want to compete even more, or you may not want to compete any more, but you will not be able to walk away from that competition without learning something.
    • I have learned how to test myself in uncomfortable situations.
    • I have gained confidence.
    • I have learned many things that I need to work on and trust me I have worked on those areas.
    • I learned that I am better than others.
    • I learned that others are better than me.
    • I learned that if feels great to win.
    • I learned that I will learn more every time I compete.
    • The people I meet
    Here are some tips to help you make your first competition go smoother:
    • Do some sort of yoga or meditation exercises the night before. By doing this it helps you relax the night before and clear your mind. Keeping you from getting nervous the night before and losing sleep. Doing some relaxation yoga or meditation exercise before you go to sleep will help you get a better nights sleep.
    • Expect a long day. Unfortunately 95% of all grappling tournaments last forever so if you know what to expect right in the beginning it will help you get mentally prepared. So if you read this you now know that there is a big chance you will be waiting around for a while to compete. Make sure you stay focused and tell yourself that you knew it was going to be like this.
    Out of all of these the biggest tip I can give you is to have FUN

    Originally posted by jasculs
    • Unfortunately 95% of all grappling tournaments last forever
    Quoted for funniness, as well as truth.

    Cool article. Definitely rings true to the tournament experience I have so far.


      Yeah....pretty much most, if not all of these tips are from my own tournament experiences.


        My roommate had a series he wrote on tournaments. Below is the first part:

        I've been participating in tournaments and competitions ever since I was 15. Sometimes as a participant, sometimes as a coach, sometimes as a referee, and I've even been one of the "behind the scenes" guys making sure that everything goes smoothly.

        The activities these tournaments and competitions have included wrestling, tennis, poker, jiu-jitsu, chess, Magic: the Gathering, baseball, swing dancing, billiards, government, and (believe it or not) math.

        This series is going to explain the different roles of people in tournaments and the things they need to do to make things enjoyable and smooth for everyone.

        To start off, here are some general tips for everybody, whether you're the organizer,a spectator, or a participant.

        1) Meet people

        I cannot stress this enough. I may be a bit biased towards this, as I'm a talker, but meeting people is by far one of the most important things I've found to make a tournament enjoyable.

        Why do this?

        -Everyone there has a similar interest. Easy ice breaker.

        -A lot of people travel a long way to participate. Believe it or not, their style and practice regimen is probably going different than yours. You can probably pick something new up.

        -If you do a lot of tournaments, you're going to start seeing the same people over and over again. You may as well get to know them.

        -Meeting your opponents is a good way (at least, for me) to become less nervous. At the jiu jitsu tournament I was just at, one of the guys in my bracket is a soldier for the army stationed in Fairbanks, Alaska, one is from Boise, Idaho, and another happened to be from the same hometown as me (he just happens to be five years younger, so we never met). Walking into a match with someone I'm friendly with always seems to relax me.

        -Meeting people gives you more incentive to watch their matches. It's fun having an (albeit, small) emotional stake in each match.

        I have a bunch of stories from tournaments involving people I had made the effort to meet. Some are as simple as hanging out in the stands cheering each other on; one involves a wrestling tournament where we each went by ourselves (with no family or coaches), met, and ended up coaching each other to the finals where we faced each other.

        -Meet the organizer. If you introduce yourself beforehand, it will mean more when you say he/she did a good job, and will make it easier to give constructive criticism on how to run it better next time (if it comes to that).

        2) Watch

        Too many people show up at a tournament, do their thing, and leave. Spend the day there. Watch other matches. You're going to see some great stuff throughout the day, regardless of skill level. Some of the best matches I've seen have been absolute beginner versus absolute beginner. If you're at a non-athletic competition (perhaps a jazz festival or swing dance competition), there are going to be some great performances from people who have worked hard. Plus, the more spectators at competitions like these, the more motivating it is to get up and do a good job.

        3) Have fun

        Think about the tournaments you're going to enter. What is the point of them? Unless you're a world class athlete, or a professional poker or Magic player, most of these tournaments are designed to <em>get people with a common interest together.</em>

        Winning? Sure, that's always fun. But you could be the Northwest's best Magic: the Gathering player and 95% of the world isn't going to care. Same with wrestling or tennis. Besides, there's always someone better than you somewhere in the world.

        The point is, make sure that you enjoy yourself. I have as many good memories from tournaments where I've been blown out as from tournaments where I've dominated. The moment is stops being fun is when you stop going.


          Great Additional Information



            Good stuff. Thanks for the post!


              Originally posted by PizDoff
              Welcome to the site, hope you are stick around.

              Thanks. No more need to keep posting your website like this, the site was spammed when it was first started earlier this year.
              Got it...definitetly not trying to spam...I'll keep the links for only articles I post in the future.


                There's a few key, key things that don't really seem to have been covered yet so I'll throw them in (from a judo perspective but a grappling tournament is a grappling tournament).

                1) Warm up. You really, really need to figure out what works for you. Some guys don't need much of a warm-up and others need a ton. Personally if I don't feel like I've had a match already I'll come out to my first one like I'm asleep. Figure out how much of a workout you need prior to your first match. This can be further complicated by the length of the day and the time interval between your warm-up and when you actually compete. I usually do a heavy warm-up before the tournament starts and then a lighter one just before I go out. I also do about ten minutes of heavy visualization, going through the process of a few matches in my head. I know it sounds hokey but it made a huge improvement on my focus once I started it. If you are a slow starter it might make a big difference and I'd recommend going to a sports psychologist who does it to get started.

                2) Stay warm! There's no point in warming up then throwing on a t-shirt and shorts and walking around barefoot. Wear sweats throughout the day and keep socks on. You want to maintain yourself in a loose and warm state throughout the day. I found that it helps psychologically as well, taking off the outer gear becomes a cue that it's time to really go. Once you're done each match, bundle up again so you don't cool down and stiffen up.

                3) Eat appropriately. This is going to be different for everyone. I knew guys who ate steak and eggs the morning of a tournament and that worked for them. Marmalade and toast was my thing. You need to figure out what you can eat and not bother your stomach. This is even more important throughout the day. Eat lots of light things and try to keep eating as far away from your match time as you can. There is nothing worse than not being able to really try to escape out of a pin because you're pretty sure if you really arch and push you're going to hurl (been there).


                  Hey Judobum....Great Additions!....I definitely agree with being warm before your match.


                    I have only been in a few. But I will say from my point of view, it's the speed at which things happen. In competition people always grip harder, move quicker and can fight longer. Think about it. Your up against people who have had a few months notice to prepare. Thats a few months to get their cardio and technique in top condition for the big day.

                    You won't be fighting anyone after a 2 hour training class. Everyone turns up fresh and strong and the better person wins. That alone has a whole new feeling.


                      It's been a while so I figured I'd bring this up for those who haven't read it.


                        Thanks a lot for the post. I've competed before as a kid in Judo. I then went on hiatus. Competed in HS wrestling, then graduated. I've started Judo back up (5 years after hs) again and next week is my first competition. I'll do my best to remember my mindset, but this post has given me a lot of ideas too. So, thanks!


                          Some things/observations I'll add from my very limited competition experience.

                          Staying warm is key, usually in BJJ tournaments my training partner and I will do very light rolling before our division is called, just to get the blood flowing and keeping us warm.

                          Unlike training, if you see something (an opening, whatever) go for it. Do not hesitate or think about it. You may not get another chance, and it can mean the difference between a win and a loss.

                          During your match, do not rest. You can rest after. You'll regret resting if you narrowly lose a match.

                          Edit: Because I didn't see this in here.

                          Don't try anything for the first time in a competiton. EVER. Stick to what you train and you'll have a much better success rate. I've won matches because people who've obviously never trained a double leg takedown attempted one and ended up eating my 275 lbs sprawl.
                          Last edited by Bustardo; 8/13/2008 1:08pm, .


                            I entered my first tournament a few weeks ago. Here's what I learned...

                            * Some people may have to wait around for hours for your division... or, you walk in the front door to your division being called, and since your name starts with an A, you're not only first match of the day, but your opponent is already on the mat waiting for you.. and you're not even in your gi yet, let alone warmed up.

                            * Drilling takedowns for almost half of every class leading up to the event is not particularly helpful when all of your opponents immediately pull guard.

                            * Cutting weight for the first time ever, at your first tournament ever, is a fucking stupid idea.

                            * You don't get points for reverse mounting somebody... even if you do it 3 times.

                            * Bring somebody who's voice you know well to pick it out from the crowd.

                            * Listening to their coach's advice can be helpful.

                            * Know your limits. Gi, No Gi, then both absolute divisions after it may sound like fun, but unless you train like a maniac, you'll be out of gas by the end, especially if they're even remotely close together.



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