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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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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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Happy Friday! Last Day for Super Early Bird Registration for Pans 2018

Super early, I know- but today’s the last day to shell out under $100 for Pans. It may be a little too far ahead for some, but I know that’s the one tournament that I always attend throughout the year so I’m comfortable signing up.

For anyone else that’s fairly sure that they are also going to be competing at Pans, sign on up and have a great weekend!

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Training, Coaching and the Like

Hey Everyone,

I know last week was a little bit of a doozy- rest assured I’m still training

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….and still working on trying to be photogenic. Also, contrary to what the photo may suggest, I do not have jaundice.

I’ve also been helping to coach/support our team:

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Just haven’t been posting much: I can’t totally promise that I’m back on the wagon, but I’m making an effort.

This past weekend we had a group of competitors raise money and compete in Tap Cancer Out: it’s a great tournament for a great cause, and if one’s coming through your area I would highly suggest checking it out.

Have a great day everyone!

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Results and Thoughts on EBI 12

Last night was the 12th Eddie Bravo Invitational, or EBI 12. This one was particularly interesting because it was an all women card. I was only able to watch the first round and two matches in the quarter finals (because of that whole pesky “work in the morning thing”) but it seemed to be a pretty exciting event.

The eventual winner was Erin Blanchfield over Gabi McComb via armbar in overtime- good for her.

The only other thing I’ll say about the event is that while combat jiu jitsu- striking while on the ground- seems like a good idea in theory, watching it in practice I’m not totally sold on it. I think it’s more appropriate if the match is being stalled one way or another, but in the little I saw, it seemed like competitors were trying to strike one another while a legitimate submission attempt was going on, which was a little silly in my opinion.

Those are just my thoughts. Also, having an event at 9pm on a Sunday night would not be my top pick for an event. Especially while Game of Thrones is running. Just sayin’.

For those who watched, what were your impressions? Also, for anyone who missed the event, you can find them here.

Have a great day everyone!

 

 

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NAGA Philadelphia- Ladies Team Bringing Home the Gold

This past weekend there was a NAGA Philadelphia (actually it was about 20 minutes outside of the city but psh, details). Our team did fantastic, but our ladies team really knocked it out of the park. Everyone did wonderfully, win or lose, and I was really proud to see everyone go out there and do their best.

naga-philadelphia

Great job, ladies!

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Competition: Going with a Group vs a “Lone Ranger” Competitor

We have a policy at our academy that may seem a little strange to some, but it works pretty well for us: when it comes to a jiu jitsu competition, unless there’s some special circumstance, no one competes alone. You at least have one other person with you (preferably a coach) and under ideal conditions we bring a whole team of people to a tournament.

I’ve seen the “lone ranger” sort of competitor: the guy without a coach or even another teammate to cheer them on. I’m curious to hear if someone prefers it this way. Personally, I like the idea of having an entire team attend an event, to share the experience and memories with.

Do other people prefer it the other way? If so, why? I imagine there’s some benefit that I’m just not aware of, and am curious to know what it might be.

Let me know- otherwise, have a great day everyone!

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Pans, day 2

So we’re headed over to the venue for day 2- our guys fought hard, and I expect nothing less from our guys today

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The face of a warrior. Stuffing said face with rigatoni.

Reception in the venue isn’t that great, but I’ll still keep trying to post stuff on twitter and Instagram.

Have a great day everyone!

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