We recently read a stat that stated that 90% of white belts walk away from the sport before reaching blue belts. The fun in the sport of jiu-jitsu is found in the growth and progress that we see on our waist in the form of belts and the development of our individual game. BJJ Competitions are the best way to poke holes in our game and fine-tune it which ultimately forces us to progress.
Jiu-jitsu is still a fairly new thing to us and we are taking you along our journey. We will be the 10% that stay and want to be writing for the 10%. To get there, those two issues listed above need to be top of mind. Here’s how you can think about them so you don’t become another statistic:
BJJ Competition: Growth & Progression
You should see the growth in your game within the first 6 months of practicing jiu-jitsu. It is like night and day from when you first walked into where you are. After about 6 months (of going to advanced classes) you probably know some cool moves, how to get out of bad positions, and putting up good fights against higher-ranked white belts.
How can you take it to the next level?
First off, showing up is the most important thing. There are a ton of people who make all the excuses in the world to not find time to go. Those days when you do not feel like training are the days you need to push yourself out the door. Get to the gym and get those rolls in.
You going for 6+ months straight shows a level of commitment to yourself which is the first step to everything revolving around progress. The only way you can leapfrog to another level is by competing in tournaments. After determining if you are ready or not, you should at least try to at least compete in two tournaments within the first year of practicing.
If the mats are the lab, then tournaments are the microscope to help find the bacteria. They are crucial for your growth. There is no better way to progress fast than you go and put yourself out there to compete. It can be nerve-racking but once you get a couple under your belt you will be ready to take your weight class by storm.
Technique is the most important aspect of BJJ/grappling performance. But want to increase your chances of landing submissions, finishing takedowns, and maintaining position? This program will have you man handling your opponents making them ready to tap.
Stay Focused on What Matters
We are here to tell you if you only focus on stripes and belt progression you will not have a long-lasting career in this sport. Your coach will promote you when the time is ready and when they believe your skills have improved. They notice more than you think.
With that being said, a lot of white belts get excited seeing the progress within their game with no tangible way of showing it. You may be embarrassed telling people you’re a white belt even though you think you’re pretty badass. This is the ego jumping in and telling you these types of things and it is important to recognize it. Your journey is all that matters. No one thinks about you the way you think they do, focus on working on the techniques to sharpen up the style of play. You cannot control when your coach is going to give you a stripe or that new belt. Do not bother focusing on something you cannot control, it is a waste of time and mental energy.
Mentally and physically you are progressing for yourself. That is all that matters.
Competing will expose holes in your game that you never knew were there. It’s like you are the captain of the ship and until that giant wave comes and smacks your boat, you don’t know what blind spots are. Losing is probably the best way to expose those tiny holes but winning is just confirmation of the progress you have been looking for. Drilling day after day and seeing incremental progress carries over to your real life. You will watch yourself become more process driven versus outcome-dependent. This will be a game changer for you mentally and may take you to new heights as a human being.
Put your game under the microscope and take the risk of putting your body on the line. It may be a nerve-racking task but you will make out the other side a better human.