A tournament is a culminating activity where BJJ artists get to test their strengths against other competitors. The excitement built up can be unnerving. After all, there is no way of knowing what your opponent can bring onto the table (or the mat). You can succeed in any tournament. But do ask yourself – have you done your homework before signing up for tournaments?
There are tournament mistakes that newbies commit. Often perceived as minor mistakes, they will take a toll (and a huge one) on your performance. But, the writers of Gracie Barra wouldn’t want you to fail. We want you to succeed. And thus, here we are enumerating tournament mistakes that can be avoided.
Not Warming Up
Revving your car’s engine after a cold start up is a bad thing. The rule is the same for BJJ artists such as yourself. Imagine the amount of strain that you are going to put on your muscles. When muscles aren’t warm enough, they won’t perform well. Not to mention the huge risk of getting injured. So please do take around 10-15 to warm up. You will be glad you did.
Not taking breaks in between matches
Whoa! this is a big one! You are so psyched that you won your first match. And the elated feeling makes you restless. Bad idea. When the adrenaline dump sets in while your body is not recovering in between matches, your body will take up cortisol (the stress hormone). This makes you a bit anxious. Take the time to calm down in between matches. Again, you would be glad you did.
Oh my. Seriously. Among mistakes of newbies in tournaments, this has got to be the easiest one to avoid. It’s a big day for you! Why be late? Imagine rushing into the venue all sweaty, and still without your gi on (running is a good warm-up, anyway), or worse, defaulting a match!
This is a tricky bit. When you do not make weight, some leagues will not even let you compete. Even boxers who do not make weight get penalized or will be asked to wear bigger gloves! Other leagues will allow you to move weight classes at the last minute. Good luck with that one.
Making too Many Changes in your Game Plan
Win by points or by submission? So you have decided to win by points, then all of a sudden, you felt this burning desire to submit someone. The question is: did you drill enough on your submission for you to be confident that you can submit someone? If the answer is no, stick to what you know. If the window of opportunity to submit someone opens, by all means do so… and vice versa.
You are new, but your path to BJJ success lies in doing these things right. Competitions provide the best learning experience for you! Priceless lessons for each BJJ follower out there. Learn to do things right the first time, and you can never go wrong!
Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone!