Today, we’ll explore the question: When should you start competing in BJJ?
Some People say you shouldn’t start too early, and some say you can start competing right away.
I had my first BJJ competition when I was 6 months into BJJ. I got 3rd place, losing 1 match and winning 5.
Competing was great, and I felt like it was the perfect time to start. I had a basic knowledge of BJJ and wasn’t completely lost during my matches.
So I’d say you can start competing a few months into BJJ. But let’s dive deeper and explore whether you should start competing in BJJ.
Reasons Why You Should Compete Early
My Coach always said: “1 competition equals 1 month of training”. At that time, I didn’t know what he meant – I was naive about it. I thought I was just gonna do a few rolls.
But after my tournament, I understood what he wanted to tell me. And I felt like I grew a lot in this competition. I understood my mistakes and got a better understanding of the art of Jiu-Jitsu.
A big plus is that your matches will be recorded when you compete. Looking back at the footage was huge for me. So I also started filming my rolls during practice.
So competing early will make you progress faster in BJJ. It’s the perfect time to test yourself, to see your weaknesses, and to grow as a BJJ athlete.
Concerns about Competing Too Early
Some coaches would tell you not to compete too early. That’s usually because if you compete too early as a white belt, there is a possibility that you will be completely crushed.
It’s possible to lose all the matches, and you go home demotivated.
It can crush your ego to lose all the matches.
Also, when you compete too early, you won’t have an understanding of Jiu-Jitsu yet. So you won’t even notice your mistakes that much. You won’t take too much out of that tournament.
So if you don’t feel like you know what you’re doing in practice, then I wouldn’t recommend competing.
How to Know if You Are Ready for Competition
I have seen people competing in their first month of BJJ, and I have seen people not competing until Blue Belt. Or not even competing at all.
So how do you know if you should compete?
- Fitness Level: Competitions are tough. I had 6 matches within 2 hours. In the end, my body was pretty worn out. So you need to be fit to compete.
- Expectations: If you’re okay with losing, you can go. If you go there with the mindset that you have to win at all costs, then there’s a high possibility of your ego getting crushed.
- Ask Your Coach: If you are training in a good gym, your coach will know whether you should compete or not. Ask!
- Understanding the basics: Do you know 1 sweep, 1 takedown, a few submissions, and a few escapes? Then you can compete.
- Evaluate Practice: How are you doing against others at your gym level? Are you getting crushed, or are you able to survive or even submit somebody? If you get tapped out within seconds, you probably shouldn’t compete.
When Should You Start Competing In BJJ? Final Words
I’d say if you have visited 20 -30 BJJ sessions, you are ready to compete. If you train at a good gym. It will give you some basics, and if you don’t have too much ego, go ahead and compete.
Of course, only you know. But sometimes, our fears can hold us back from competing. But the truth is, tournaments helped me a lot to get better faster in BJJ.
You’ll learn a lot about yourself and about the art. So if you’re on the fence about whether you should compete or not, you should probably do it. Just don’t set your expectations too high.