I want to introduce my friend and continuous writer for the Jiu-Jitsu Times Emil Fischer as a guest contributor on my, "From The Ground Up" blog. Emil is an active blue belt competitor under Pablo Angel Castro. Emil was gracious enough to share his thoughts on why YOU should compete! Enjoy!
When we first get started with jiu jitsu, we begin to hear about all of these different competitions that take place all the time. There are many different organizations out there, many different rule sets, and it can all be extremely daunting. Any seasoned competitor will tell you: compete as often as you can.
One common excuse I hear from people for why they don’t compete is that they are not interested in competition. My response to that kind of person is: why are you doing jiu jitsu?
Chances are at least part of why you do jiu jitsu is to be able to know how to fight/defend yourself. It’s too taxing an art to learn for giggles, so chances are there are motives in there that can be benefitted by competition.
Competition exposes us to people who are not concerned about our well-being but are rather interested in winning that gold medal. If you are training jiu jitsu to be able to learn how to fight or defend yourself, this gives you the very best possible exposure short of going ahead and doing MMA. If you actively compete in jiu jitsu, you will have a level of experience that a casual non-competing practitioner cannot have.
It also offers us stress inoculation. The first time you compete, you’ll be a nervous wreck, but the more you compete, the better you’ll be at handling that stress. For this reason, I try to compete as often as I can, which to me translates to once a month because I live in a region that doesn’t have as many competitions as many others do.
This stress inoculation compounds upon itself, each time you compete you get a little bit calmer. There are some competitors who show up to competitions and are completely calm, chances are these people have competed a lot either in jiu jitsu or in some other sport. Competition numbs stress.
Another aspect of competition that makes it a powerful tool is that of loss. If you compete often there’s a high probability that you WILL lose and each loss if analyzed from an unemotional perspective can show you parts of your game that you need to improve upon. This is important as, on the long run, we need to expand our view of our own game.
Every time you compete, you will learn something new about yourself, and you will expose yourself to stressors that we just don’t experience in the quiet comfort of our academies and gyms. The reasons to compete are endless, and the reasons not to compete are often superficial. Make experiencing competition a priority and your jiu jitsu game will prosper from it.
Emil Fischer is sponsored by Pony Club Grappling Gear, The Original Amy Joy Donuts, Gladiator Soap and Cruz Combat. For more information, other articles, and competition videos check out his athlete pages at www.facebook.com/emilfischerbjj, www.twitter.com/Emil_Fischer and https://instagram.com/emilfischerbjj/
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