A lot of people at the places where I roll don't want to enter any grappling competitions or tournaments even as beginners. They say they want more practice first. I don't understand this reasoning at all! I feel that tournaments are a great way to motivate yourself to work extra hard during practice. They also provide a concrete structure to your training regime. And they are better goals than simply "lose weight and get in shape the BJJ way." Since starting grappling/bjj six months ago, I have competed in virtually every tournament in the area (about one a month). Each time, I gain a lot more understanding on what I need to study and a lot more insight into grappling in general. Granted I don't do well all the time especially during those tournaments when I had only a few weeks experience. ;-) But who cares about that? As long as I'm having fun I want to roll as much as I can! You got to roll with new and better people to get better yourself. I don't understand why people don't want to enter competitions.