My advice for anyone who has not done a tournament before

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by Matt Thornton, Jul 17, 2005.

  1. Matt Thornton

    Matt Thornton Amateur Fighter

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    Alright. For those of you who are more experienced, what I write is going to be really obvious to you most likely. But bear with me for people who haven't competed yet.

    I just had my second tournament, and I did really poorly compared to my last one. I went 0-2.

    So afterwards, I went over in my mind everything that I did wrong. Well first off, I moved up in divisions. I did Teens Intermediate and Adult Beginner (I have 4 months' experience in No Gi BJJ and I just finished my Sophomore year of high school wrestling). So the competition was tougher.

    Okay, so for those of you who haven't competed yet, but think you're ready, the BIG thing about tournaments is (especially NAGA), the grappling is much different from what you're doing in the gym. Because you're going for short fights, and because it's a tournament, guys will go all-out. And they will be fighting you.

    For example, at my gym, I have been in 30 and 45 minute matches against guys who have up to a year of experience on me. And they're actually trying. But at tournaments, in those 4 minute matches, I actually get tired. Because people will be going all-out.

    So the big thing I came home with after yesterday's NAGA is that I need to learn to carry over my skills into competition. I came unprepared physically and mentally. I barely prepared for this tournament, and I got about 5 hours of sleep the night before. Now, I'm not saying I would've taken 1st place had I prepared and gotten sleep. No, I think I entered challenging divisions (for me), and I was up against good competition. But I got stuffed pretty quickly in both fights, and I KNOW I can do WAY better than I did.

    Again, anyone who hasn't competed, just remember this. That you need to come prepared for a war. Warm up before every match. You should have sweat dripping off your forehead when you come into a match. Mentally prepare yourself to physically exert yourself 100% for those 4, 5, or 6 minutes.

    Both matches, I had been sitting down the whole time (granted, there was no room to jump rope, and Kipp Kollar was asking that everyone sit), I had only had 5 hours of sleep the night before (thank you insomnia), and I just came in unprepared. When I stepped out onto the mat, I was with guys who were pumped, and full of adrenaline, and I was more nonchalant about the whole thing. As a result, I got caught because I made stupid mistakes both on and off the mat.

    Oh well. It was a learning experience. I'll come back next time and do better. Hopefully someone here can learn from my mistakes besides me.
     
  2. possenti

    possenti I knew all the rules-but the rules did not know me

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    Thanks for sharing your experiences. I haven't competed yet, but plan to next chance I get.
     
  3. phenomfan1529

    phenomfan1529 Brown Belt

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    Thanks for sharing, I just had my first tourney a couple weeks ago. I went 2-1
     
  4. Pale1

    Pale1 Blue Belt

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    That is some good advice. Training and competing are two differnt beats all together. I have the knack of grappling well in both, but striking in a competition I used to second guess myself too much, until I realized that who gives a F... Go with what you got...try and win...if you lose, learn from it and evolve.
     
  5. Mirada

    Mirada Brown Belt

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    Training and training to compete are also completely different.
     
  6. VagabondMusashi

    VagabondMusashi Banned Banned

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    Your insight is very valuable and I agree with you. I
     
  7. colinm

    colinm Brown Belt

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    good advice, here's my 2 cents:

    1. when training before the tournament, go 100% for 5 minute rounds and take 5-10 minute breaks between them instead of rolling for 30 minutes straight. being able to roll for 30 minutes straight at a medium pace isnt = tournament shape.

    2. dont practice submissions that arent allowed in your division, this is a no brainer.

    3. be prepared for people to be a pain in your ass: hands and forearms to the face, nasty crossfaces, working really hard and even face cranking to get the rnc., etc.

    4. great cardio > good technique later in the tournament
     
  8. dutchmasterj3

    dutchmasterj3 Blue Belt

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    Thanks for the tip. I'm trying to compete in the NAGA in Wildwood in the beginning of August. My instructor feels I still need time however to train and get better. But I will certainly be competing
    once I'm good enough to represent my academy.
     
  9. phenomfan1529

    phenomfan1529 Brown Belt

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    Yeah I hate that shit, this dude kept driving his forearm in my face. Its cool though, caught that bitch in a guillotine. :D
     
  10. killakoy

    killakoy Purple Belt

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    I have an off topic comment to you competitors:

    STOP SANDBAGGING!

    Gi isn't as bad as no gi. But when you have 2 yrs bjj and are an all-state wrestler, you shouldn't be proud of 1st place in the novice division... you know who you are.

    Rant over.
     
  11. S.D.Force

    S.D.Force Blue Belt

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    excellent post! Yes, training to win in competition is WAY different than just "rolling" in practice. In competition it's more of a 100% all out, sprint. If you're not ready for it, it can be very stressful. The other BIG problem at seemingly most tournaments is the lack of good warm up areas. Usually they are crowded or non-existent. And warming up is very key to good performance. The other thing is that you never really know when your name will be called. They will just call your division out of the clear blue sometimes and BAM! Next thing you know, your out on the mat.
     
  12. MTJJ_PuMpED

    MTJJ_PuMpED Guest

    thanks for sharing mang.
     
  13. Rip Van Winkle

    Rip Van Winkle Last Login 2009

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    lol
     
  14. Matt Thornton

    Matt Thornton Amateur Fighter

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    Haha. Some guys just really want those 20 dollar Samurai swords Kipp gives out for first place.

    To me, it's not a huge deal though. If you want to be a coward and sandbag, and lie to other people so you can pretend you won a hard-fought victory, you're really only cheating yourself. If anything, it's kind of helpful to me, because I can enter the division that I'm supposed to, and if I fight sandbaggers, I get experience against guys who are better than me.
     
  15. Izwar**

    Izwar** White Belt

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    Im 18 and just recently competed in NAGA in ft.laderdale the vids are posted in the multimedia secton if you wish to see them. But i come away with the same thoughts that i wasnt preparred physcially, and got winded fast. Its a different intensity completely in those 4 minutes it felt like a full BJJ class at school. After the second fight i cramped up and quit in my biceps and hamstrings.

    ALSO IMPORTANT get ready to WAITTTT, i had to wait 9 fucking hours to fight i got there at 9 to weigh in and ended up fighting at 6 pm. Mabie this was my mistake but it was my first tournament so i did not know when to arrive. Also there was no warm up place once the tourney started. AND i couldnt beleive how much bull shit it was with sand baggers fucking ridiculous ass guys in begginer no gi. I competed in begginer but the guys i went with i felt were much more experianced then me. hehe w/e i tapped them anyways lol.
     
  16. shupe

    shupe Fokai for life!!

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    i think when your training for a tourney its best tomake sure the guy your rolling with does not go easy on u and u should get a timr for five six minutes if dont have one then have some time the match and have the person your rolling with always keep a steady pace and not a lay a wait for dominent posion mentallity aloways work for submissions and dominant position.and that should prepare u a little better for tourneys.
     
  17. sir037

    sir037 Forever Noob

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    Some great info. Keep your chin up Iceman, fighting against better fighters will make you do one of two things: Quit or Train more and harder.

    I'm hoping to compete in a tournament for the first time later this year.
     
  18. wildcard_seven

    wildcard_seven Purple Belt

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    Hell yah. Also, you really need to practice takedowns. So many of these tournaments are wrestler dominated, and I found that they love the hell out of getting a takedown, surviving many sub attempts (some good, some bad in my case) and winning it 2-0. Or, getting a good position, and not moving for nothin', no subs just good old fashioned "holding." I'm focusing again on "going to war", getting takedowns, and sweep/sitout when on bottom.
     
  19. Rip Van Winkle

    Rip Van Winkle Last Login 2009

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    I'm doing my first tourney in Ohio on the 30th of this month...so alot of these tips will hopefully be invaluable.
     
  20. Commissar

    Commissar Gold Belt

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    Agreed with all the posts.

    Also, don't get too relaxed between divisions. I fought my hard fought, epic Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu matches after waiting for a couple hours (so, pretty much warmed up like 3 times). Lost my match, but then got nice and comfortable for another, say, 4 - 5 hours, watching my teammates fight their Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu matches.

    So, about 5 hours after my match, feeling like I could sleep, my coach approaches me and notifies me that my no-gi match is next. So, I pretty much had time to only take my gi off before the match started - my opponent was ready to kill, and I was ready for bed.

    I nearly had him in a kimura - a huge upset, I think, since I rarely train no-gi - and I was up on points, but he caught me in an armbar and I failed at escaping.

    My point? You'll be tired after for first matches. Don't rest. Stay warmed up, and get ready for your next matches.
     

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