How you are winning gold in life before you even step foot on the mat come competition day.
There are a few different types of people found in every gym, you have the die hard competition guys/gals, the people who would compete but always find a reason not to, the ones who love the art but have no interest in competitions and finally those who are there only because it is a fun and different exercise. Yes those people exist. But ultimately I feel that everyone should try a competition at least once in their Jiu Jitsu careers because of the benefits that come from the preparation involved. Notice how I did not say the medals, the matches or any of that? That is because after many competition prep seasons I have learned that you earn the most out of the time leading up to the competition and not only from a Jiu Jitsu stand point, but overall lifestyle. Here are the most important lessons that anyone can pull from competing.
When we have a competition coming up we focus on eating clean, being as strong as possible and having our jiu jitsu skills be as sharp as a chefs’ knife. The day we start our “camps” and have a date set on when we need to be lean, mean, strong and fast for competition, is something special. That is because normally without any deadline, date or competition we will often say “oh yea Ill start strength and condition on Monday,” or “Yea I start my diet next week.” 9 times out of 10, those habits never start and are always pushed back because we have truthfully no reason and no sense of accountability pressing on us. When we have a competition set, we have a target. It no longer becomes a “diet” or “strength and condition” but rather it becomes a step up to get to the top. Then the next thing you know, it is no longer a chore, but rather an after thought and a routine. Then post competition you will find yourself continuing those habits through because they feel so right.
Have you ever cut weight? And I do not mean 5 lbs. I am talking 20lbs in 4 days…I have, and you know what. I thought cutting weight was not bad back when I cut 5 or 10 lbs. I would of continued to do so too if it were not for this experience. Everyone needs to have a bad weight cut in my opinion so you can feel and know for certain that it is not fucking worth the trouble and is foolish. You train daily at a certain weight, compete at it. Why? Because you are your best at that weight. Once you deprive yourself of food and water, you gain a new found respect and fondness for food. You become in-tune with how you feel with and without food in your system. You can tell when you have something greasy or a super healthy meal, you feel the difference, but without ever experiencing a void of it, you will have a cloud over your perspective.
Keeps us focused with short term goals in a long term sport.
Jiu Jitsu is a life long journey with massive gaps in time between those 4 major promotions. You are a liar if you say you have never had any lulls or drops in interest or focus in your training. Competitions though are your savior. You will gain a tighter focus on your training and you see a light at the end of the tunnel rather than some intangible amount of time until your next promotion. With a competition looming we forget about the next belt, we will forget about learning a bunch of new moves, we will not be bored and feel that we are just going through the motions. Our game will tighten up because we need to focus specifically on what we know best, we will fine tune the details and fall back in love with our game and ultimately the sport. Then the best part? Getting to put all the work to the test on the big stage rather than just getting to do the same moves on the same mat in the same class you did last week on the same day.
We find out who our true supporters are.
The last and most important benefit we gain is that we learn who our true supporters are. I personally do not have a coach, I have not had anyone by my side and focusing on my competition performance or at the very least at my competitions helping me out. Instead I have found who my true supporters are. Be it the training partners who will go competition pace with you day after day even when they are not competing, your instructors that help get you prepared and your family/loves. You know the ones who continue to support us even when they have to eat the same boring dinner as us while we are bitching about the aches and pains or never shut up about what you and Dave, my numbero uno training partner, worked on today. I regularly have a training partner and my fiance yelling time or points to me at competitions and am super grateful for that. There is a certain bond that is built through the preparation of competition. You weed out well…the weeds that are there just to tangle you up.
Go sign up for a competition that is a few months out, sit down with someone who has competed before and get a plan down and start to implement it. Worst case you will have a few hard months but ultimately they get easier and you will surprise yourself by the end because you will of pushed yourself harder and advanced more than only your jiu jitsu in the process. Keep your eye on the prize, the prize is not a medal, it is the lessons you learn on your way to the podium.
When you find yourself on the podium let’s hope you are wearing your Inverted Gear gi you got a discount on using the grapplergourmet coupon code. Also you will be needing premium nutrition in your competition prep so stock up on Q5 using GOURMET10 at check out. Of course you can carry all of those goodies in your Datsusara bag you got on discount using gg-5. Remember everyone while preparing for your next competition Eat well, train hard. OSS