“Thoughts On Competing Part 1/2”

Ok so I have two of my students competing today and I thought I’d take a moment to share some of my thoughts on Jiu Jitsu competition and its value. To begin with Jiu Jitsu Kingdom is not a competition school so to speak although we have produced several champions in the competitive arena in Gi, No Gi and MMA competition.

At Jiu Jitsu Kingdom our focus is on developing the individual into the very best person and Martial Artist he can become, using Jiu Jitsu as the vehicle of development! We practise Jiu Jitsu with the goal of using maximum efficiency and minimum effort to control and submit our opponents on the mat as originally taught by Helio Gracie.

The Jiu Jitsu we teach comes from the Gracie family and can be used to learn how to protect yourself and your loved ones from violence and can even be used by women and children as an effective method of escaping and fighting off a much larger and stronger attacker. Jiu Jitsu has something to offer for everyone!

Jiu Jitsu techniques are a fundamental building block in the MMA arena. Through the use of leverage, technique, and strategy in Jiu Jitsu you can protect yourself and defeat a stronger more aggressive opponent in the cage/ring (MMA/Vale Tudo) just as easily or at the very least save you from receiving a beating and possibly being maimed/seriously injured.

Jiu Jitsu can also be used in competitive Gi and No Gi Jiu Jitsu matches as the use of leverage, technique and strategy can be applies equally even in these environments however our goal is always to submit our opponents not win by points or advantages. At Jiu Jitsu Kingdomwe teach our students to always “Hunt for the Submission” or at the very least to “Climb the Ladder” so that we are advancing our position and heading towards a position where we can create an indefensible situation and submit our opponents!

Granted this may not always be the best strategy in sports competition but our focus is always on the overall development of our Jiu Jitsu not the trophies and medal we earn if we win. Don’t get me wrong, winning is great but it is the lessons we learn from competition that is most valuable to us in the long run. What we learn about ourselves and our games is vastly more important than the end result of a win or a loss.

What were our mistakes?

How was our mindset? Were we nervous, excited, afraid etc?

Did our emotions cloud our judgement?

Could we have done something better to create a submission opportunity?

Should we have changed our strategy or tactics?

How did you deal with the pressure and could you have dealt with it better?

What would you do differently next time?

There is so much that can be learnt about yourself when you step on the mat to compete and while we all aspire to win, it is the lessons we learn and how we use them to grow as individuals and Martial Artists that matter most. Something I always remember 2004 Judo Olympian Rhadi Ferguson saying is “If you lose, don’t lose the lesson”! This is some of the best advice I can offer regarding competing.

If you gain experience, learn more about yourself and your game and what you need to work on then you could hardly say that you really lost! And if you won that’s great I am sure it will help build your confidence but still take the time to analyse what lessons you learned from the experience and how you can use this to become a better Martial Artist. Everyone who faces their fears and steps on the mat to compete or even just train Jiu Jitsu is a winner in the game of life.

In the part 2, I will talk about some of the major positives of Jiu Jitsu competition and how it can help fuel the innovation and growth of the art! Why I encourage people to compete at least once and how competition can expedite your learning curve!


Good Luck with Your Training and Happy Rolling!

Felipe Grez

Jiu Jitsu Kingdom



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