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Tournament Tips

November 11, 2008

Here are a few tips for those of you planning on entering a tournament or competing for the first time.

Enter for the Right Reasons
Some enter tournaments with hopes to quicken their promotions. Others want to test themselves and their skills. And others may do it to be shiny gold medal champions.

The important thing is no matter what reason you have to enter a tournament make sure it’s a reason you are comfortable with.

Be Familiar with the Rules
Make sure you can pull off your favorite submission and wear your lucky gi ahead of time. To find out you can’t on the day of the competition puts a damper on things and takes your focus off getting ready for your matches.

Train with People Better than You
If you haven’t done so before, now’s the time to train with the big fish. Those purple belts and above. It may not seem like it but your game will improve and take several leaps forward, all the while perfecting your tapout skills (ha ha). Make sure they know you’re entering too. They’ll be more than happy to offer their own experience, tips and words of advice.

Drill with Your Peers
Seek out those in your weight class and drill moves over and over with them. While sparring with people in the same weight class is necessary, it’s not as important as drilling with them. Traing with better people sharpens your game; drilling with peers perfects it.

Watch What You Eat
Now’s the time to start a diet. You either have a few pounds (or a kilo) to gain to get to the top of your weight class, lose weight or just maintain your weight.

So no junk food. Eat healthy. You should be eating healthy anyway.

Relax
Don’t worry or stress over things you have no control over. Sound advice for life in general. Really great for the days leading up to the tournament.

Occupy your free time with friends and family. Do things you enjoy other than jiu-jitsu. The last couple of days before the tournament, don’t even think about jiu-jitsu.

Fight Soundtrack
Make a playlist of your favorite music and listen to it a few days before and on the day of your competition. It can help to relax you or hype you up for your fight. The choice is yours.

Reward Yourself
After the tournament, give yourself a treat for all your hard work. Give your an even bigger treat if you lose.

The Big Picture
At the end of the competition day be proud of yourself. Tournaments are tough and are definitely not for everyone. Heck, just training for a tournament itself is tough. And remember, win or lose, tournaments are only one part of the big jiu-jitsu picture.

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