Category Archives: tournaments

Tips for Competing in a BJJ Tournament

While there are a number of people who read this blog and don’t do jiu jitsu, there are some, and maybe a few of them have thought about competing in the near future. This is by no means a complete list, but here are a couple of tips and things to keep in mind if you are thinking about competing:

  1. Get there on time– This is sort of obvious, but take a look at travel times, and take into account the possibility of traffic. I’m not saying get to the tournament 8 hours early, but if you are headed to say NAGA’s Battle at the Beach, which takes place in a New Jersey beach town, maybe add a little time in case you get stuck in beach traffic. You’ll also probably want to warm up beforehand, so I would say show up at minimum an hour or so beforehand.
  2. Make sure you have the right gear– if you’re not sure, see if the tournament has rules on the kind of gi that you can wear, belt, if you need to wear a rashguard reflecting your rank if you’re doing no gi, etc.
  3. Bring some snacks, water, possibly a yoga mat– It’s going to be a long day, so unless you want to roll the dice with the food and drink provided at the venue (which can range anything from a full meal to some hastily made PB&J sandwiches), you’ll probably want to bring your own snacks and drinks.  And if you’re looking to stretch somewhere before competing, it may not be a bad idea to bring a yoga mat so you can plop down somewhere and loosen up.
  4. Warm up– Related to the previous point, you should warm up. Stretch, jog, jump rope, do something to loosen you up before competing.
  5. Make sure you know the rule set– again a gimme, but don’t assume that all tournament organizations run with the same rule set. Some run their matches for different lengths of time, some allow certain submissions that others won’t, and so on.
  6. Keep an eye on the progression of the tournament and check on how they are going to call you to compete–  A lot- not all, but a lot of- tournaments will simply designate one, maybe two tables to a division and then corral the division by the table(s). If that’s the case, keep an ear out for your name, and/or just keep an eye on the general progress of the tournament. There are some tournaments that progress by rank from small sized competitors to larger sized competitors. So, if you’re a smallish blue belt and you’re watching some larger white belts on the mat, start to pay attention because you may be called soon.
  7. Breathe, and have fun!– No matter the outcome, you’re going out there and doing the thing! You’re facing your anxieties and stepping out on the mat. It may feel super stressful leading up to your matches, but afterwords you’ll feel accomplished, and can walk away knowing that you did your best!

Those are some tips for competing that I can think of off the top of my head- hopefully this is helpful to someone out there if they are thinking of competing in the near future.

Have a great day everyone!

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Happy Friday! Sometimes You Compete, Sometimes You Support the Competitors

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Happy Friday everyone!

I pretty frequently go to some of the smaller, more local tournaments to coach my teammates, sometimes to act as their videographer and sometimes just to offer support as a friend and teammate. While I get it, it’s a long day to sit around in a gym, if you can, I would encourage you once in a while to go and support your teammates if you aren’t competing. While it’s not a deal-breaker if you don’t, it’s nice to know sometimes that someone is in the crowd rooting for you.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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Karma and BJJ Tournaments

Talking about competing in the previous post reminded me of something that happened at a tournament years ago, and how karma sometimes can have more immediate results than we expect.

It was one of the Pans tournaments and I had placed (I don’t remember what place- again, they all just kind of run together at this point). I was intent on doing the absolute weight division (also known as the open, in case I switch terminology at some point) and as one does at these tournaments, I started to make my way down to the area in order to sign up for that part of the tournament.

As I got in line, from what I recall there was a girl behind me who had a friend ahead of me, and I offered to switch spots with the one behind so the two friends could chat. Then, as we’re waiting in line to sign up there was also one of the more popular competitors who also got in line, and they decided to jump in line ahead of me in a very intentional fashion. The girl that I had previously had the interaction with kept looking back in a sort of “wtf?” look on her face. I told her “it’s fine”- it wasn’t really fine, but we’re all headed to the same place and I’m not the type of person to cause a ruckus over a spot in a line. Risk is definitely not worth any reward in this situation.

So we’re moving up in the line and the first girl gets to the table, turns around and motions to me to come up with her, acting like we’ve been friends for years. She chats in Portuguese to the coordinator, they’re laughing, I’m standing their awkwardly because I just jumped past the line jumper – which they didn’t say anything at this point, and I’m not entirely sure what they thought about the whole situation. It was a bit of a surreal experience, to be honest, and one of those few moments where karma has a more direct cause and effect than usual.

Just wanted to share that little story with you all: the moral of the story being be kind and courteous to those around you- not only because it’s the nice thing to do and we need a little more kindness in the world, but also because of the fringe benefit that karma is a thing and will reward you at some point in some fashion.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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BJJ and Competing: It Gets Easier, But Never Easy

We had a couple of teammates compete in DC Open this weekend (due to a family obligation I was unable to attend) and afterwards I asked a teammate how they did. They admitted to losing towards the end of the match, and said “I have never been that nervous in my life”

I wish I could tell you that competition becomes a breeze the more you do it: that after doing enough tournaments your heart rate barely raises right before you go out to compete. But then I would be lying, and I respect you all more than to lie to you.

Admittedly, it does get a little easier as time goes on: but you will never quite lose your nerves when it comes to competing. And that’s ok, because it means you care about doing well: totally understandable. It does become a little easier to face those nerves, fears, insecurities as time goes on, because essentially you’re exposing yourself to them, and still competing in spite of them.

So, the bad news is that competing will never truly become “easy”, it will however become easier the more you do it.

That’s all for now folks- have a great day!

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Kyra Gracie Organizing Women’s Only Tournament

Well this is pretty cool: according to FloGrappling, Kyra Gracie posted on her instagram account that she is organizing a women’s only tournament. only down side? It’s March 24th and in Rio de Janeiro. March 24th in the States? I would totally be scouring for some flights. Rio de Janeiro and in say December? I would be saving up my pennies and looking into arrangements (and ways to avoid raining spiders), but the two together unfortunately just don’t work for me.

March of 2019, maybe? I would be down for that. Anyway, check the article out and have a great day everyone!

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Article on Top Black Belts never Winning a World Title

Hey Everyone,

Flograppling has an interesting article about 5 of the best black belts out there, that have never won an IBJJF World Title. #1 will shock you!….

Jk, I’m not into clickbait: it’s JT Torres, which I am frankly surprised about: I figured he would have won at least one of them.

Check out the article, and have a great day everyone!

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Purple Belts will Need IBJJF Membership Starting in 2018

Huh, well that’s something: according to White Belt BJJ, (and then I checked on the IBJJF website- not due to lack of trust, I just wanted to see where this was mentioned) purple belts will need to register with the IBJJF in order to compete in tournaments, starting in January of 2018.

I imagine as time goes on they will work their way down all the way to white belt. Check it out and if you are a purple belt who wants to compete in an IBJJF tournament, be sure to sign up for a membership!

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IBJJF 2016 Worlds Recap

Hey Everyone,

So with everything going on I totally forgot about the IBJJF Worlds.

Check out this article from Bloody Elbow about the results, and let me know what you think- otherwise, have a great day everyone!

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IBJJF Upcoming Tournaments: The Calendar’s More Full Than You May Expect

I was pleasantly surprised when I started marking tournament dates on my work desk calendar (I’m not the only one that does this, right?) and realized I had to dig all the way into October to mark all the potential tournaments I want to compete in for 2015.

I think it’s great that the IBJJF is getting all their dates together now. While it’s no secret the organization has issues, it really is one of the bigger tournament circuits around, and to have the dates for tournaments set so early will presumably make it better for competitors to plan out the competitions they would like to attend over the year, and smaller tournament circuits that don’t want to compete for registrations by holding a tournament on the same day as a local open.

And on a personal note, it makes it so much easier to plan what vacation days I need to take off throughout the year. Score!

Based on the current calendar, are their any tournaments you are already planning to attend? Let me know- otherwise, have a great day everyone!

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Updates on Jiu Jitsu Worldwide League

The Jiu Jitsu Worldwide League has been updating their site, so I would say if you are interested in possibly competing in these tournaments you should periodically check their site.

It looks like they are adding to the rules, updating the weight divisions, and some other updates: I personally would like to see where they are holding the other 11 tournaments throughout the year: again, we’ll just have to check back and see.

Anyone keeping an eye on this as well? I’m interested in seeing how this progresses. Check it out and let me know what you think. Otherwise, have a great day everyone!

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