I started BJJ with the intention to learn some self defense and then see where it went.
Now, almost 5 years later, I have earned my brown belt and have become an avid competitor (mostly IBJJF and F2Wpro). I’ve probably competed in well over 50 competitions and 10 pro BJJ matchups (one being a title fight), so I’d say I have some experience in competition.
Competition is not for everyone, but I think everyone should try it once…. actually scratch that… twice.
My first competition was within my first 5 months of training and was the IBJJF Boston Spring Open 2014… I jumped right into the bigger comps. Why? Well I wanted to ensure there were enough ladies and IBJJF can almost always guarantee that. There is no combining weight/ belt classes. You register for a division and YOU choose your weight division. Ok, enough about why I like IBJJF for women. My first match I won… yay… I was super excited. The second match I lost and earned bronze. Not bad for a first outing. I have been addicted ever since.
I feel competition tests your strengths and weaknesses against opponents your size, your rank, and your age.
You don’t get that often at home at your own academy.
It’s the true determination of how you are progressing in your BJJ journey.
The first competition is always the hardest.
The nerves, the anticipation, the anxiety. Just get out there and do your best and see how it goes. As I said, I think everyone should also give competition a second attempt. Then, once you have the idea on how a tournament is run, the second one will be a little less daunting and nerve wracking. So, give it one more shot!
And if it’s not for you then fine, but keep training for the health, the exercise and the family you have made so far.
Staying with it also shows your kids that you want to be the healthiest you can for them. It’s really good for you both mentally and physically.