Now that you're registered to compete in your first jiu-jitsu tournament, you're probably busy training and wondering what the experience will be like. While it's normal to be nervous, excited, and a little stressed in the weeks and days leading up to the competition, it is important to remember why you are competing in the first place. You are fighting because you love the sport and you're ready to see how your skills stack up. Here are some things that first-time competitors need to know about their first Raleigh jiu-jitsu tournament.
Choose the Right Tournament
When it comes time for your first tournament, choosing the right one is essential. You want to have a positive experience your first time out, and maybe even a little fun. Small in-house tournaments that are put on by your coach or someone that is recommended by the gym you train at can provide an excellent first tournament experience. These events are typically less stressful, don't require much travel, and are less likely to take themselves too seriously. All of these factors are important when you are going into the competition space for the first time.
Another excellent option for a first time tournament is one that is professionally run like the IBJJF. While there are fewer opportunities to compete in this type of competition and the entrance fee can be a little more expensive, this is one time when you are getting what you pay for. These tournaments are run by a professionally trained staff with exceptional referees. Typically they run like clockwork. One drawback to these competitions is that they are single elimination so it is possible you may only have one match in a day.
Have a Pre-Tournament Plan
The night before the tournament, get all your gear in order. This includes backups of anything you must have to compete. Many fighters also find that headphones and their favorite playlist are a great way to beat pre-match nerves. Also, plan to eat what you usually do before the competition. The day of the tournament is not the time to try something new. Be sure to pack your own snacks and a refillable water bottle. The food at tournaments can be somewhat limited and having control over your options is key.
Rely on the monitors throughout the tournament to tell you how long you have until your match begins. Also, plan to arrive earlier than you think you need to in order to get through the check in process, claim a warm-up spot, and allow yourself time to rest and get mentally tuned in to what is going on around you. Rest more than you think you need to and stay hydrated.
Most importantly, enjoy your first tournament experience. Regardless of the outcome on the mat, having a good time and learning about yourself and the sport you love makes being there worth all the hard work.
Best Raleigh Jiu-Jitsu Classes
The team at Gracie Raleigh is ready to help you take your Raleigh jiu-jitsu skills to the next level. We know what it takes to be the best and invite you to call or come by the gym to learn about all the martial arts training options at Gracie Raleigh.