BJJ, Compete or not compete....


Orange Belt
Nov 8, 2004
Reaction score
How many of you guys compete. I have been training now for 5-6 months, and there is a big tourney in minneapolis that has a beginner (under 1 year) division. its like 8 hours away and i am trying decide weather i shoul go or not. Do most of you compete?? or do you train just for the exercise or love of the sport?? i am very competitive, i thought i would just start bjj for excercise but now i want to see how good i am. any thoughts???
just go do it.. its for the experience... competitions are a good way to learn your strengths and weaknesses... and youll know what to work out next time.. I competed a few weeks ago for the hell of it and won a sword..
I beleive you learn more by competing than just training, doesn't matter if you win or lose you'll gain a lot from it. But then again 8 hours away is long way to go, if the travelling isn't an issue for you then you should go for it.
cant tell ya too much about bjj comps but having done wrestling competition tells ya what you need to work on based on the results of your matches....the more I competed the better I became in and out of the practice also tayght me that I had holes to fill and I was able to tailor my game to minimize the holes during comps as well as allow me to work on those same weaknesses during practice. I figger its about the same for bjj.
Competing is excellent. Hard, but great in improving your game.

If you win you will feel great and want to train harder to compete at the next level.

If you lose, you can do 2 things.
1) Get so discouraged you give up BJJ (AKA; real losers)
2) Take a valuable experience away and become more motivated to train harder

However, 8 hours is a long way to go. Are there no competitions nearer to you that you can start in?
haha, at first I was going to say that 8 hours is a long way away for your first competition, but my first competition was in AZ (I'm in CA), but it was more of just a road trip with the academy. I compete because I love the energy and nervousness I get. I think it's one of the best ways to improve though, or at least see where you are in skill level. It's hard to judge where you are at your academy because everyone you roll with know the moves you're doing, but in a tournament, the people you fight have learned other techniques.
competition lets you know if the shit you do in your local gym is worth a damn, imo. it lets you know where you stand.

being a fair drive away isn't so bad in this case. you get to the differences in reigon, though this might be less of a big deal in bjj than it is for wrestling.

edit- many people just get used to rulling with the same 15 guys over and over in their gym that their styles are built towards those guys. this will show you how you compare on a broad scale.
I would definatley go, even if you lose you know where you stand and where the holes in your game are, Im going to the tournie in minneapolis and win or lose you get a lot out of it. What team do you train with in Canada? as for the drive I will be makeing it myself and its short to some of the other one's Ive gone to.
If it is about competition then do it. You will learn alot regardless if you win or loose (actually you will learn more from your lose). Before my first competition at the Arnold Classic 2005 I had been only training for 2 months. My second comp was just recently.

If you go don't be so worried whether you win or loose. Go there to learn.

If you are worrying about the 8 hour drive then wait for a closer comp.

I've actually never participated in a pure BJJ competition. I've managed to get injured four times before a competition (injured foot, elbows etc). But competing is an excellent way to see where you are at with your BJJ game. And I can guarantee that it will be awesome if you are competetive.

Though, 8 hours is a long way to go. But if there are no other competitions nearby, and you want to go, then do it!
Loaf10 said:
i am very competitive, i thought i would just start bjj for excercise but now i want to see how good i am. any thoughts???
That's exactly what happened to me. I've only competed once but I look forward to doing it again. At 5-6 months you'll find yourself less experienced than most of the guys in the 1 year and under or white divisions. People rarely compete with 2-3 months or training.

Like everybody else said, competing really helped me understand where I needed to improve my game. In my case it was offense and sweeps from the guard. BTW, if your gym doesn't work on takedowns you should tell your instructor that you're going to compete and get 1 or 2 basic takedowns so you're not just winging it.
Competitions bring out both good and bad. I think they are a way to magnify some ones personality that might otherwise take you years to learn in just normal conversation.

I have a very diff view on tournaments though. Comming form a military background I find it really improtant to have a close nit group of guy friends that you knwo will lay it down on the line for you. Growing up in the city you really had to rely on your friends to have your back in case the shit went down. As I grew up and joined the military you have to rely on the man next to you to keep you alive. Soldiers excel at weeding out the weak links in the chain. Almsot to a lord of the flies mentality. Now that I am older and live in the suburbs and am married with a child, I often think back and wonder why I dont have close male companions anymore.

So I recently joined a new BJJ school 7 months ago. It has taken a while to get started and now has about 15 members.

Competition does something to a school. No one cares if you win or loose, but the fact that you guys sweat and bleed together. You are focused on a common goal. You all pack up in a SUV and drive across the states to stay in a cheap hotel and get exhausted in a all day long trial that sets man against man an more improtant man against his self.

BJJ sport will teach you to deal with your own psychy. Most men will never step into a ring. Most men will never step onto a mat. Just by going out their and putting it on the line is a win for you. No one will give a shit if you are a begginer or if you loose but ... you will build life long friendships with your team mates. You will gain a great deal of personal insight that takes most men years and years (if ever) to realize.

I hope you do your tournament; and please post your thougts of what you think (thougt).
I competed twice. I won my first tournament, beat 2 opponents one by sub one via decision and drawed the other guy in the final. In my second tournament i lost in the first round. It was hell of fun and helps me to become better in my game.
I will probably go to holland in december to compete again.
Also If I could get on my soap box one more time ...

When you go to a torunament do it right. GO there with alot of money. If we dont support the people who support our sport there will be no sport. People like On the Mat, Howard's, Sinister, Red Nose, and the hundreads of other companies that are out there take some of their profits and give it back to our professional athletes in form of sponsorship. We are a small community but we need to give to each other. And if spending 25 Dollars on a T shirt with cool graphic some how ends up giving chuck liddel a little money in his pocket so he can be a full time fighter than I feel all that much better for supporting the sport.
competing doesnt show how good you are, you can have an off night.

I competed twice. with several more oppurtunities that I turned down.

it is really interesting experience though.
Fucking do it bro, once you commit you find youself training harder cause you now have a goal in mind, you'll start to second guess why your doing it as it gets closer to crunch time, but after you've done it you be glad you did.
ichimonji said:
BJJ sport will teach you to deal with your own psychy. Most men will never step into a ring. Most men will never step onto a mat. Just by going out their and putting it on the line is a win for you.

Yeah but the worst thing that can happen in a BJJ tournament is that you get submitted; you tap, you walk away with no injuries. You're not really putting anything on the line, but in a boxing match or MMA match, you can get pretty damn hurt if someone hits you HARD and continues hitting you hard and you get KOed or TKOed bad.
im doing grapplers quest november 12th in the novice division. by the time the competition comes, i will have been training for 5 months