disclaimer: this is a longer post. so i did my first bjj competition today. it was our club's fall in-house tournament. overall i'm really happy that i did it, but i've got some questions for some of the more seasoned competitors. a little background: i'm 37, 9-10 month white belt, always been a pretty good athlete, came to bjj after getting a taste of judo at a hapkido school i trained at. first off, i'm not sure the whole competition thing is for me. but i'm interested, and want to try it out a few times before making that decision. additionally, competing makes me uneasy and tense. i generally don't like it, and it's rare that i perform as well as i do in practice or when i'm just goofing around and having fun. i got up this morning and my first thought was "i don't want to do this." nerves, fear, the normal stuff. and then other deeper stuff which, well, this isn't a therapy board so i'm not gonna take it there. either way it's nothing new i'm sure. in any event, the fact that i really DON'T like competing is one of the reasons i'm pushing myself to do it. i mean, if i try it for a while, get used to it, and still don't like it then fine -- i'm cool being a recreational player. but i don't want to let the fear of formally testing myself hold me back. i have this drive to make myself do anything that really scares me. almost like cutting off my nose to spite my face. make sense? alright, so here are my questions: 1. anyone come from a similar starting point and wind up actually enjoying competitions and doing reasonably well in them? care to share thoughts on your own process? 2. about half way through my second match i was doing alright. but i had this feeling: sure, i was nervous, but it felt like my muscles were shaking -- on the inside. i couldn't think clearly about what i needed to do (and i'd been in that situation and done it a million times in training), and i just suddenly got so fucking TIRED. so then there i was feeling really tired AND shaky. what gives? i guess i thought the nerves would go away once the fight started. my first fight only lasted a couple minutes, so i wasn't physically exhausted. i'd eaten well, was well hydrated, i'm not ill and i'm in good physical condition. but i felt like i was on bad drugs. what gives? seems like more than first time jitters ... ? 3. for folks who tried competing and decided they didn't like it -- what sorts of things influenced your decisions? was the juice not worth the squeeze? or did the nerves and mental struggles never subside? 4. is it simply a matter of practice? the more you do, the easier it gets? really curious for your thoughts. the more i do jiu jitsu, the more i realize i'm into it not just because it's fun and dynamic and tickles my brain as well, but because it pushes my buttons. i think it might be a great way to confront and overcome larger life stuff, and i'm curious about how competing might help or hinder that process. cheers!