My first bjj tournament next month. Am nervous and don't know what to expect.

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by Lookyoung, Jun 17, 2008.

  1. Lookyoung

    Lookyoung Blue Belt

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    I am new to this forum and a long time reader. I am going to be competing in my first bjj tournament next month. I plan on doing whitebelt gi absolute masters, and fighting in my division which is LHW masters. I am guaranteed at least 2 matches. My expectations are not very high being that this is my first tournament. I would be happy winning my first match in each division. SO if I go 2-2 and not get tapped I would consider it a successful tournament. Each match is 5 min long.

    My strategy is going to be to play the top game being that my guard isn't my strength. My biggest concern are obviously wrestlers. I am nervous about competing.

    A few questions for the members?

    How did you guys do in your first tournament?
    Were you guys nervous?
    Do you think its a good idea to compete in the absolute? I may have to go up against a 240 pound plus guy.

    Any tips and what to expect would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Art_Wanderlei

    Art_Wanderlei Brown Belt

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    Meh the first one is always the most nerve racking. Just get it over with, don't worry too much about taking the gold this time.

    Just expect all your energy to be sapped out of your body if you end up mounted.
     
  3. PervertHyena

    PervertHyena Yellow Belt

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    relax....the worst thing what could happen is to get injury or make doo-doo in your white gi.
    so make sure you have a good sleep, a good warm up and a good dump.
    in my first tournament my game was terrible, i dont have done anything, what i have trained for. this may not be the case in your tournament but dont expect too much from yourself.
    so take it easy and have good luck and dont be too hectic.
     
  4. LordarshynBJJ

    LordarshynBJJ Blue Belt

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    How did you guys do in your first tournament?
    1-2..one of them went to over time.

    Were you guys nervous? yes I was nervous but I handled it well. i got the butterfly feeling in my stomach and decided to embrace it rather than let it effect me. I read in bruce lee's book once that it's just your body preparing for violence...so i made it work for me.

    Do you think its a good idea to compete in the absolute? I may have to go up against a 240 pound plus guy.
    as a white belt? waste of time. honestly.
     
  5. Will_N.O.

    Will_N.O. Orange Belt

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    I did my first tourney last weekend, and felt completely like you did before I went. FWIW, here's what it was like for me:

    - A big part of being nervous for me was not knowing what level of intensity to expect - I had heard that it was a totally different level...was this going to be like a really intense training roll, or was I going to find myself in something like a street fight with BJJ rules? Answer: it was pretty much like a really intense training roll plus just a little more. Once the match got started, it felt pretty comfortable...so you can relax a bit on that score. Even if you're overmatched technically (and I was), it's not so different from rolling with a blue belt in training...being overmatched isn't the most fun thing in the world, but it's not going to be a 5 minute miserable nightmare either.

    - First match, I got the "adrenaline dump," big time. I am normally fairly relaxed when I roll and have pretty decent cardio, so I can go 3 full-speed 5 min sparring rounds with no problem in training. In the tournament, 3 minutes in and I was sucking wind. Next match was much better, however. I don't know what you could do to prevent that except try to be patient.

    - As soon as the match started, it was like my brain said "see ya later, guy." Ability to think tactically was close to zero. So it helps a lot to have someone to coach you on the sidelines and to be used to listening to coaching when you roll.

    - I also competed in the masters white belt open and wound up in my first match against a pretty huge guy (like, 6-3, 240-ish) who I am told is a judo BB. Did I have a shot in hell of winning? Not really. But I still think it was useful in terms of getting comfortable with the tournament situation. I got tapped by that guy, but it was no big deal...and now I think I'll feel more comfortable in just about any future tourney situation...I mean, it's unlikely that I'll fight anyone more challenging than that.

    - In terms of what to expect results-wise...how long have you been training? BJJ is mostly a skills game, and at the white belt level the differences can be pretty acute. In my case, I have only been training three months and I am certainly no prodigy, so I got schooled just about as bad as you would expect. But I think the experience of competing was useful anyway. Come next year I'll probably still be a white belt, but with 15 months of training I'll expect better results. If you're a high whilte belt, you'll probably do fine. If you're a low white belt, you'll probably get dominated. No surprise there.

    - I did have a great day in class on Monday, I felt really sharp on the mat. So there's probably something to be said for competing even if you get beat.

    Hope this helps. Good luck in your competition.
     
  6. fight4christ

    fight4christ White Belt

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    GOOD LUCK!!!....You'll be fine man...
    Enjoy it.
     
  7. Equinox

    Equinox White Belt

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    definitely was nervous the first time, first fight of the day more specifically, yet regardless of how you perform, its a learning experience none the less, lets you see how other schools train and where you sit with others in your division.
     
  8. Equinox

    Equinox White Belt

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    edit: 2x post
     
  9. Wrestleben

    Wrestleben Brown Belt

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    Hmmm...I am also in masters light heavy.

    Anyways it's a blast and you will love it. I went 1-3 overall in my first tournament and then 5-1 in my second. The first tourney just seems like it goes in fast motion; and everything I learned went out the window. Definitely work hard on cardio and work takedowns if you don't practice them regularly.

    Watch the higher belt divisions then watch the white belts...you'll see the white belts spazzing and trying to power through things. Use this knowledge to try to relax and work your game.

    Good luck, and hopefully I'll get to roll with you someday since we're in the same division and all.
     
  10. Bill_Carson

    Bill_Carson Brown Belt

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    Expect your forearms to hurt like HELL! They will feel like you were doing grip practices for 5 hours. Even if you only do stand up for like 30 seconds. lol

    For some reason, it happens to EVERYONE!

    My first ever match lasted under 45 seconds. I got immediate takedown, side mount, full mount, Ezekiel choke.

    After, my fore arms hurt like never before.

    Since the first match, they have never hurt again.

    I was told it would happen to me, and didn't understand just like you don't now. But it will happen. And when it does you will remember Bill Carson.
     
  11. JoeHall

    JoeHall Amateur Fighter

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    I went 3-0 and won my first tourney. My wrestling background helped, but not because I took people down at will, I was able to stuff most of the guys attempts and counter. The only points I gave up were on a botched throw by myself, which allowed my finals opponent to land in side control. I swept, and Americana-ed for the W. Just relax, biggest thing I can tell you. Don't put a lot of pressure on yourself to go out and win, enjoy it, and do what you've been taught. The rest takes care of itself.
     
  12. Tony Manifold

    Tony Manifold Brown Belt

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    The biggest single piece of advice is don't try and stiff arm all the time. Try to relax as much as possible.
    If you are concerned with wrestlers work your sprawl and work going to the ground on your own terms. Sometimes, you just can't beat the take down but the sprawl will allow that second or two to pull guard or attempt a counter.

    How did you guys do in your first tournament?
    I think I went 2-2 in the first wrestling tourney I was in but that was like 15 years ago so I may be wrong. Won my first MMA fight, Bronze medaled my first Judo tourney. Gold in my first BJJ tourney. OK, that last bit is just positive thinking as I competing in BJJ for the first time next month.

    Were you guys nervous? I have been competing in combat sports for about 15 years and I still get nervous. Not in the sense that I am terribly worried about the outcome but those butterflies and sense of excitement in your muscles before a match. That never goes away until you step on the mat and the ref says go. All that adrenaline will make you a better fighter unless you spazz. Go in with a game plan and try to stick as best you can to it to start with, it will give you something to concentrate on. The other thing I like to do is find a corner, put on your mp3 player (low enough to hear your name is called) and relax. I like to visualize my matches, going over the game plan in my head. What is my first option from closed guard, half guard, on the feet, etc.

    Do you think its a good idea to compete in the absolute? I may have to go up against a 240 pound plus guy.
    I like the idea of fighting open weight because there is no pressure when you fight guys bigger then you. I wish the tourney I am entering in July had open weight. Just remember that there is no shame in tapping, Tap quickly rather than risk injury.
     
  13. Chinaboxer

    Chinaboxer Blue Belt

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    i'll let you know next week. I'm in the same boat as you are. Having my first Gi tournament this Sunday. =D
     
  14. Lookyoung

    Lookyoung Blue Belt

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    Thanks for all the great advice. I am going to be competing in the C3 combat classic tournament in indiana on july 12. I have been doing bjj for a close to 2 years but have not been going to class steady. I took a few breaks breaks meaning each break 3 months or more. I am a 4 stripe whitebelt at my school. I probabaly have the experience of someone who has been doing bjj for about 1 year at 3 days a week.

    My school is great but we work very little takedowns. Basically our school does not specifically prepare us for tournaments. Most of the whitebelts at my school even the ones that had 1 year experience didn't medal. The ones the medaled had wrestling experience. The The LHW is 178-192 pounds. I am going to try to cut down to 175 pounds and be a middleweight. This will probably give me an edge in that division.

    Thanks guys for all the tips. I know I will be nervous but the tournament is going to bring up my game for sure.
     
  15. saywhuuh

    saywhuuh Brown Belt

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    wheres the tourney? so cal?
     
  16. Fwogz1

    Fwogz1 Blue Belt

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    Went 3-0 and won. Got all the take downs, and was down in pts in my first and third match and was able to come back and finish by taking their backs about 20 seconds before time ran out. Tournaments are a good way to see how much heart you really have. I was down 2 and was getting held down by a stronger opponent and was able escape side control and take the back with 20 second or less to go.

    I Wasn't nervous, went in there with a "its a learning experience" attitude, a clear mind with no expectations. But I felt confident in my abilities, my team, and my training.

    I think its a good idea for you to do absolute, at least you know you'll get 2 matches. Size wise you should be fine.

    I also think you have a good strategy. I use a similar one, take down, pass guard, get to mount, control from the top. position then submissions.

    Good luck and have fun.
     
  17. Wrestleben

    Wrestleben Brown Belt

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    I'm in Michigan and will probably be going to the EGO. Better cut that weight :icon_twis
     
  18. Lookyoung

    Lookyoung Blue Belt

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    I am at 184 pounds now and have about 13 days to get down to 179 pounds(middleweight division). At the C3 they weigh us with the gi. I can't figure that out. I think Ego is going to have another tournament on september 20 and I may compete at that one also.

    Anyone else have some last minute tips?
     
  19. sprite

    sprite Banned Banned

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    here is what to expect:

    you will be a better bjj player from this experience i guarantee
     
  20. ~Tommy~Da~Gun~

    ~Tommy~Da~Gun~ White Belt

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    Just go in there and bring your best game and you will be fine.
     

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