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How to Compete In Jiu-Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training is incredibly fun and rewarding. But, at some point, every trainee asks themselves, “Should I compete?”

Between the noisy audience, the referee’s instructions, and your coach’s encouragement, it can get overwhelming quickly. And not to mention the opponent, who, like you, is eager to win the match.

To help you make your first official matches a success, we’ve put together this short post, outlining some of the most important things to keep in mind.

Be Prepared

Competing in BJJ is about displaying skill and wit. Ideally, you should spend at least a few months in serious training before considering competing. If you’re not sure if you should compete, your coach might help you figure it out.

Be At The Right Weight Before The Tournament

Competitors are divided into groups based on experience and weight. If you weigh more than you should, you might get disqualified, which can be disheartening.

So, make sure you know what weight you should aim for and achieve it well in advance. That way, you can free your focus for more important things like calming your nerves and performing well.

Arrive Early

If you are yet to compete in a tournament, arriving early is one of the best ways to adjust to the environment and give yourself enough time to collect your thoughts. This is also the time to get familiar with the different areas, where you might warm up in peace, and more.

As a rule of thumb, aim to arrive at least a couple of hours before your scheduled time.

Warm-Up Well

Just as you warm up for every training session, you also need to do so before official matches. This ensures you perform well, feel good, and are at a lower risk of injuries.

Respect The Opponent

Regardless of your expertise, you should always bring respect to the table. No matter who your opponent is or how confident you might feel about winning, you should always treat the competition with respect and compassion.

Despite being on opposite sides at that very moment, you are two individuals with similar goals, looking to improve.

Learn And Apply

Competing will bring its fair share of failures. You won’t win every bout, so you might feel a bit frustrated. For instance, you might feel you have an incredible defense, but another competitor might submit you quickly.

That’s okay. Every competitor goes through this. Your job isn’t to despair, but to recognize what works, what doesn’t, and improve for your next competition. It can also be helpful to have someone film your bouts to see yourself from the side later and spot mistakes more easily.


Competing in Jiu-Jitsu can be overwhelming and a bit scary. Besides the skill, cardio, and strength you need to compete, you need to consider other factors that play a role in your performance.

If you’re looking for proper Jiu-Jitsu guidance and support, come down to Dream Martial Arts and Fitness in Santa Clarita.

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