When preparing for competition, we all have our own methods for strategy or choosing our weight class. We all have a different view on competition and how we approach it. In general, I believe that there are three general areas we need to consider when we decide to compete. If we are able to analyze these three areas from an outside view we can better understand what we need to work on in order to do well.
The first I will call the physical aspect of competition. Although we train a martial art where “skill conquers all”, the times have changed. Often times we are so equally matched skill wise that what can make the difference is strength and cardio. Strength and Cardio make up what I consider the physical aspect of BJJ. There are many things that we can do to improve these, but that is better left for another time. I feel it is very important when you decide to compete to analyze how much muscle endurance you have and if your cardio is where you would like it to be.
The second area is what I consider the technique aspect. Obviously you can’t compare your technique to your opponents because you haven’t yet faced him/her. However you can focus on your own technique. Are you training as much as you should? Do you drill the situations you favor most? Have you worked on a “gameplan” in class? All of these are very important to BJJ competitors.
Last is the aspect most people simply fail to see. This is the mental aspect. This covers everything from nervs to expectations and pressure. Everyone has shown up to a competition only to find their heartbeat racing and their mind full of doubts or “what-ifs”. This is a hard area to tackle because so little has been done in BJJ in this field. However there is no doubt that if you can conquer your own mind and fears your true potential is unlocked. There is one man doing something I believe is great in this area. His Name is Gustavo Dantes and there is a good chance you have already heard of him. He has now started a program giving workshops and speeches on the subject, created a dvd and is doing video blogs as well. If you want to learn more about mental preparation you can check out The BJJ Mental Coach online.
These three areas are what make a truly great competitor. Although these areas can be expanded on, they are a general guideline to follow and consider when you sign the registration form.
Till next time- Kris Reid