Lessons from a Jiu Jitsu Competition

Over the weekend, Airlock Jiu Jitsu participated in our first ever jiu jitsu competition under our own name! Well, two of our members competed under our banner, and from start to finish it was an exciting launch into the world of competition. Coach Rei Villa has of course competed many times and brought all the know-how we needed to step a firm foot into the competition landscape. We all learned new things, made new plans, and were thrilled to be able to represent our new gym in the competitive world of jiu jitsu. We had many takeaways from the weekend that we thought we’d share with you:

  1. Pick Your Jiu Jitsu Tournament Organization

Our 2 competitors Tyler and Athan both competed in the Grappling Industries competition in Austin. Overall, we felt the competition was well organized and staffed, fair, and enjoyable! And we learned some things from participating in this tournament as well. For one thing, a few of our other members were planning to compete but were unable to due to a lack of matchups in their divisions, including Coach Rei. Austin is a busy town with many jiu jitsu competitions, some bigger than others, and this one also took place the weekend before Thanksgiving. There are so many factors that may impact how many people sign up for a competition and in which weight classes/belt divisions. But there’s a reason we’re always on the hunt for learning about various tournament organizations: it isn’t always easy to find a matchup for your belt and weight class. Participating in this first event officially as a gym, it’s a goal of ours to make sure that we’re always on top of researching the next event that will have great matchups for our members!

  1. Train For Everything

With this jiu jitsu competition approaching, we started training for the rule set and the points system that would be used. We already wrote about how we’ve been training for competition, and everything we said before still applies. While no one at Airlock is required to compete, everyone is welcome to compete and encouraged to do so if they want to! It’s crucial that you work on your jiu jitsu competition skills – a slightly different skill set than our day-to-day jiu jitsu or jiu jitsu for self defense. Points matter greatly in many competitions, so you have to understand the points and how to accumulate them or avoid losing them to your opponent. Additionally, your opponent is likely to bring a level of force to your match that you just don’t experience every day on the mats. Compared to our friendly, team-atmosphere rolling, competition makes you feel like a gladiator in a fight to the death! (If it’s good) You’ve got to be prepared for everything.

  1. Learn From Everything

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right? Jiu jitsu competition is going to expose the weakest parts of your jiu jitsu game, push your strength and cardio to new limits, and test your emotions as you try to make your teammates proud. It is quite simply one of the hardest things you’ll ever do, but if you think like we do, you already understand that doing the hardest things makes you the strongest. 

And by the way, Airlock Jiu Jitsu’s first competition went swimmingly, with Athan receiving a Gold medal in his white belt division and Coach Tyler receiving a Bronze medal in his blue belt division. Way to go guys! Want to earn your spot on the podium? Come on in and let’s start your training.

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