Competing for a New White Belt
Its competition season again and there a few new faces at the gym looking to get out there to compete. This is a great thing because competing is a tool that can greatly improve your Jiu Jitsu by applying it 100% in a new setting. There are a couple of things I would like to discuss in preparation for the tournaments coming up. Don’t focus on winning or losing, but the match itself. Every exchange you could potentially have is a focal point during the match. In that aspect, you want to impose your will on your opponent so it’s important to have a game plan and execute it. Visualize the game plan in your mind and think about the steps you need to go through to neutralize your opponent and get the victory. You are going against an opponent of similar size and skill to you so you may run into trouble executing your designed plan. In the event that happens, don’t panic. Sometimes you have to roll with the punches and improvise. In these situations, it’s important to fall back on the basics to get yourself back on track. Second, it’s okay to lose. That’s how we learn and get better. I’ve lost a few times now and in those situations what’s important is what you take away from the loss. Was there something that you did that cost you the match? If so, get back in the gym and fix the problem. Third, and this is a big one, TAP. If you get caught in a bad spot and need to tap, just tap. Your opponent doesn’t know you are at the breaking point and will keep at the submission until you do. Sometimes this can lead to unfortunate injuries that could have been avoided by just tapping. Finally, have fun! Competing is a joyous occasion. You get to test yourself and see where you’re at as well as meet new people in the community. Again, don’t worry about the wins and losses, just get out there and have fun.