The Less-Than-Commonly-Mentioned Benefits to Competing in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Tournaments
Competition Has Many Unseen Rewards
There will always be a discussion over whether or not a person should compete in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournaments. Some schools of thought in BJJ place a great deal of emphasis on competition, while others will not emphasize it. Ultimately, whether or not you compete will be up to you. However, if you have been led to believe that there is no value in competing, you have been somewhat misinformed.
Practitioners take note - there is an enormous amount of value to be found in competing in BJJ events. Those who may not have thought much about competing may wish to reassess their plans.
Not Always About Glory
Most will assume the only purpose of competing is to bring home a gold medal. There is certainly nothing wrong with winning the Gold. However, there are other benefits to entering into a BJJ tournament. Even if you only compete once a year as a BJJ hobbyist, accessing the benefits might still be possible
The Main Benefits of BJJ Competition
To list all the benefits of competing in a BJJ tournament could take an entire eBook. Yes, there are that many. Among the most valuable benefits would be:
Your skill level will increase logarithmically. If you train very hard, with serious intent, with the proper mindset, and have good coaches and training partners, chances are you'll see your skill level increase immensely. 30 to 60 days of this type of focused training comes with potentially enormous improvements.
You may overcome nervousness, anxiety, and self-doubt. No, this is not a suggestion that competing in a BJJ tournament will help you overcome deep-rooted psychological or anxiety-related issues. (Then again, maybe it will) What it definitely can help you overcome is stage fright. Honestly, many concerned about competing suffer from stage fright about stepping on the mat in front of a crowd. The best way to overcome this is to just do it. After one or two tournaments, stage fright is eliminated thanks to your experiences of having done it.
You might end up lucky and lose. Okay, this might seem like an oddball benefit to competition, but it is not. If you end up losing or not performing as well as you should, you can reassess where things went wrong and correct your training accordingly. You might discover the feedback from the loss is incredibly valuable.
Toughness levels will increase. The tournament scene is not for the meek. Grappling at the higher intensity levels on the tournament scene will make you all the tougher.
You gain a sense of accomplishment. This benefit might sound like another bit of pop psychology calling, but it is nothing out of the ordinary. Once you have to compete in a competition, win, lose or draw, you can take great pride in what you have done. Not everyone experiences that same level of self-satisfaction and accomplishment. For those reasons alone, you can feel proud about what you have done.
Giving It A Try
BJJ tournaments can accommodate all belt ranking, ages, and weight classes. Some contests rank as major ones, and then there are the less-publicized small ones. In short, there is likely a tournament you can safely and confidently as long as your coach says you are capable.