“The hardest part of a competition is training” – or it should be. 

That said, this needs to be the most difficult time of your competition life if you’re to have an easy one when you step on those mats.


You do not have to be a professional athlete to train like one. However, at your own level, which is usually amateur for BJJ folks, you can be a real force to be reckoned with. You just need to adopt the mindset of a champion, and more importantly, the BJJ competition training system of one. 


The main error most people do is to keep underestimating the difficulty and demands of BJJ tournaments. After reading this article you should certainly organize your training in the best way. All you need is to follow a few simple steps. The point of it is to get you ready for any eventuality out there with a calm head. 


Create your training schedule and routine 

It starts with you identifying the tournament(s) you’d like to compete in. By this stage, you’d have consulted your coaches and chosen the competition you’d like to enter. If not, head to “AFBJJ 2022 JIU JITSU OFFICIAL CALENDAR FOR NSW’ and the one that best fits you. 

The important moment here is to look for official events, understand weight classes and pick the right one for you. 

Back to your training routine, the first condition is to find your training partners and make sure that they’re in the same mindset as you and are willing to really push. Here it comes our work at Gracie Sydney for putting together a list of athletes and setting the competition team ready for glory!  

Once you have the best among you, make sure you’re willing to drill more than you’ve ever done before. You’ll also be doing them after class as well. In fact, drills and specific sparring should be the majority of your technical work pre-competition.


Have A Game Plan

Homework time! 

Sit down with your instructor and organize your game plan. A template and guide for your Game Plan can be found at “GRACIE BJJ GAME PLAN”.


Watch High-level fights (not tutorials)

Watching at high-level matches is extremely important. To that extent, you need to watch those grapplers you’re trying to emulate or have a  similar build/game plan to yours. The other aspect here is to watch what people tend to do in tournaments. 


Know the Rules 

How come can you play a Sports if you don’t know the rules? Before you start asking thousand questions to your professor, read the Rules! Read and then you make notes and start asking. Avoid the type of questions that starts with “and if …..”. These kind of questions usually are hypothetical. Focus on real situations that would come across your fight. 


There is more than BJJ 

You have to be in great shape to get through a bunch of matches at a tournament. There’s no BJJ competition training camp without a good strength and conditioning program. 

Nutrition is also a huge factor here. Remember that you need to eat right to be able to train right. That means that you’ll have to plan your nutrition in advance so that you are at the right weight on time. Otherwise, you’ll risk losing energy and focus if you deplete yourself too much during the last few days. 


Train Takedowns

The more you can start rolls from the feet, the better. Moreover, make sure you also spend a good amount of time drilling takedowns and doing specific sparring. You’ll need to develop both great offense and impeccable defense if you want to be able to become a champion. Don’t forget that competition preparation means you’re training for a specific ruleset. To that extent, make sure you finish every takedown drill in a strong and stable position and hold it until you get points. 


Before the match

The secret to winning in BJJ competition stems not only from your knowledge of technique but also your mindset. You can develop this mental preparedness through small habits that will serve as a strong foundation as you face your opponents on the mat. 

Find your level of stimulation. If you go into a match too hyped or to excited it could turn into nervous energy. If you go into competition with your energy too low, then you will have a slower reaction time and are at a greater risk of injury. 

Visualize success! When warming up before your match, visualize the moves and tactics you want to perform successfully. To win and be successful you have to believe you will be successful going into the match. 

Try to get plenty of sleep (7-9 hours) while not oversleeping and becoming lethargic. 

And finally, warm-up! Take the necessary time to properly warm-up and step on the mats sweating! You will be ready for any outcome, as you are prepared for that because of your time training with your instructors and teammates. 


Time for Glory

If you manage to organize your training in the way we outlined above, or a similar one, you’re setting yourself up to succeed. A training plan is a perfect time to polish your best techniques and train them to perfection. However, you can’t actually learn or try anything new during this time. Going into unknown territory is going to take away from your focus and from drilling your game plan. 

And remember, there are no losses in a BJJ competitions, or you win or you learn!


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