Why You Should Compete


For some people competing comes naturally. For them, it is the obvious action to take with any hobby.  These people choose sports that have a competitive side, they search for activities that allow them to be competitive.  For other people, competing seems abnormal.  For these individuals, competing might be the last activity they want to partake in.  For natural competitors, there isn’t a choice. They must compete. They are constantly driven to compete.  But competing is just as important for people who don’t feel the drive to do so, if not more.  Why should you compete in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?  It improves your game, it helps you learn to control your body, it increases your motivation and your confidence. 


Improve your game


While training at the gym you run into limitations in your progress.  Consistently training with the same people means you learn each other’s games.  This can be good, because it forces you to try new things to surprise your partner. Unfortunately, it also means you know what to expect from them.  Instead of being ready for any sort of technique or combination, you fall back on countering the ones your training partners do frequently.  You might be able to get away with certain moves because your gym hasn’t learned the counters to them, and that can stagnate your growth. By competing you see new techniques, and get to attempt your techniques on someone who hasn’t watched you learn your game.  It is the best way to test your progress, and see what you should be working on next. 


Calm down during rolls


At first, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can be a nerve racking sport.  When you roll (spar) with someone for the first time, you might have a huge adrenaline dump. This is because you’re not used to the sensation of rolling.  The longer you train, the less intense that feeling becomes.  It is one of the great aspects of BJJ.  You learn to stay calm in very uncomfortable situations.  This skill transfers to life outside the gym, and certainly helps you grow as a person. As you become comfortable with training at the gym though, you stop having those panicked moments. This is good because you have learned to stay calm, but bad because you don’t get the adrenaline dump, and don’t have to force yourself to calm down.


Competing is like rolling at the gym, but more extreme.  You get the same type of adrenaline dump as rolling, but intensified. Even if you are calm at the gym, you will have more nerves during a competition.  Forcing yourself to deal with those nerves is another way to grow as a person.  After a competition, you will feel relaxed during the worst scenarios both in and out of the gym.  Since competing is that much more intense then rolling, you are learning to stay calm in even worse scenarios.  It is a great life lesson.


Grow Your Confidence

People get it right when they say that winning a competition is a fantastic feeling.  But losing can be mistaken for some terrible experience, when it really isn’t.  It takes confidence to step out onto a competition mat; to face an opponent who is going to try as hard as they can to defeat you.  By believing in yourself enough to even attempt competing, you are working your confidence like a muscle.  The more you flex that muscle, win or lose, the more you will believe in yourself. 


Increase Your Motivation

When you commit to a competition, you are committing to doing the best you can. That can be a great tool when you are feeling unmotivated.  Have a competition coming up gives you a goal to aim at, and something cement to work toward.  You have techniques to drill outside of class, an extra reason to eat healthy, and more motivation to work hard.  Some of the biggest leaps in your technical ability will come during a training camp.  Whether it is 4, 5, or 10 weeks, the time committed to being your best will improve your BJJ game overall.


If you are on the fence, jump into a competition.  You will come out of it a better person, and your Jiu Jitsu will improve because of it.

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