"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone."
Ever thought of stepping out of your comfort zone and into the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competition scene?
Testing your skills against someone who is roughly the same weight, grade and age - and just as eager to prove themselves as you are...
I've just got back from competing at the European Sub Only Championships in the under 70kg advanced division. I drew a tough first match against Josh Williams (brother to Ash Williams) and lost.
As much as I'd like to hit reset and try again, I also massively value the experience of getting out there and putting my skills on the line. So much can be learned from doing so...
Competition is not for everyone but it can certainly be one hell of a catalyst to growth.
Here's 5 Reasons why you should compete in BJJ:
1) See where you're at
Competing is a great way to see where you fall against other people. Most comps will run the categories by grade so that you only compete against people of the same belt level...
In these situations the circumstances are almost perfect to determine whether you are low, mid or high tier within your belt grade.
The main factor in who wins is the technical proficiency of one athlete vs another because unlike most rolls in the gym, for once, all else is equal. You and your opponents should be roughly the same experience level, weight class and age range.
So if you lose convincingly you can be sure you need to work more before reaching your next grade, whereas if you win convincingly this is a good sign that you're nearing the next level!
2) Test your skills under pressure
There is no doubt that the pressure of competing is more than just the pressure of rolling within the gym.
The nerves are real, the adrenaline is pumping and the spectators are watching. Medals, reputation and bragging rights are all on the line. And you're at the centre of it all. The pressure is ON.
BUT this is good because it allows you to see if your skills can translate under pressure or if you'll crumble like a McVitties HobNob.
At the end of the day you need to be able to execute your techniques under pressure (just in case you ever need to) and one of the best ways to learn how to do this is to COMPETE!
3) To give yourself a goal/challenge
Some of the best, most productive and healthy times of my life have been during the period where I'm preparing for a competition.
It gives you a reason to do all the right things with your eating, sleeping and training. And it makes you WANT to do those things because it will give you a better chance on the day.
I have seen some amazing transformations in my team mates when they are preparing for a competition. It seems to give people clarity on their daily habits and how they should approach the basics of living in order to optimise their performance.
If were lucky these healthier habits might leak over into our everyday lives.
4) TO FEEL ALIVE
Modern day life can de dull, numbed by technological addictions, junk food and sedentary jobs which make us feel sluggish.
It's nice to have a complete contrast to all that by fighting tough and nail to pull someone's head off whilst they're attempting to do the same to you.
The thrill of the adrenaline and the rush of the chaos within the matches creates a feeling of ALIVENESS seldom experienced by most people in everyday life.
5) Make friends and meet new people!
A jiu jitsu competition is typically held in a sports hall which throughout the day will be jam packed with BJJ enthusiasts...
What better chance to make friends with people who share your passion!
Networking for your business, or just spreading the love and enjoyment of the art, BJJ competitions are a fantastic opportunity to get talking with new people.
It is not uncommon for people who have just competed to exchange Instagram handles and become acquittances for life!
Competing in BJJ has many benefits and we think that mostly everyone should do it!
We should quickly say that competing isn't for everyone and it isn't necessary to achieving your black belt in BJJ. Some people simply can't put themselves in the situation with all the nerves and adrenaline and that's ok, for those people just rolling in the gym is probably enough for now.
It's not going to be easy for anyone, especially first time out. You will feel nervous and you might ask yourself why the hell you chose to do it in the first place, BUT if you see it through, you will be glad that you did.
So what are you waiting for? Will you benefit from competing in BJJ in the ways we've listed above? Have you competed before and experienced things slightly differently... Let us know. Drop a comment, send us a message and share with your friends.
Thanks for reading!