The Importance of BJJ Competition
Here at Ronin Athletics, we encourage all of our team members to compete. We have a strong Competition Team, with many of us consistently bringing home hardware. We acknowledge that competition isn’t for everyone, but we feel that if you can fit it into your schedule, you should enter one of the many tournaments, both for Submission Grappling and BJJ in NYC and the surrounding areas.
There are relatively few Brazilian Jiu-jitsu tournaments held in NYC proper, but there are many of them around Manhattan, usually in New Jersey. Most of them are on the weekends and they tend to come in two seasons – one in the fall and one in the spring. These provide many opportunities for someone to compete locally at every skill level, from brand new to extremely experienced. We’re very fortunate in this, as other parts of the country have much less access. Because it is so convenient, why not participate in one of the competitions for grappling in the New York area?
Competing brings myriad benefits.
It acts as a stress test, so that you know what parts of your game are strong and which are weaker. You might have a really strong half guard, but learn that you need to work on escaping side control. There are holes in everyone’s game, and by competing, you can identify and then fix them.
Competition exposes you to a larger variety of grappling ‘styles,’ some of which you might not see in your MMA / BJJ gym day to day. We have a good mix of games at Ronin, but that doesn’t mean everything in the diverse world of BJJ is represented. Tournaments give you a chance to both see and experience how other teams play the game.
The intensity that comes with tournament preparation can help you move past any training plateaus, as well as accelerate your rate of learning. There’s something about knowing you’ll have to put your techniques to the test against other skilled athletes that focuses the mind.
It’s a part of the BJJ and grappling experience. You’ll often hear teammates talking about their BJJ competition war stories, both good and bad. It’s nice to have memories about the crazy things you’ve seen at a tournament, those awesome moves that someone pulled off, that epic come-from-behind victory or that match that, for whatever reason, always sticks in your mind. Furthermore, by broadening their horizons, competitors come back to their MMA / BJJ gym and make all of us that much better.
Most importantly, though, it’s fun. Most of us aren’t trying to be the next Roger Gracie; we’re not trying to medal at ADCC. But there’s something indefinably awesome about being at a tournament, with your teammates and coaches cheering you on, experiencing all the highs and lows and the intensity that you can’t find anywhere else. Ask Brian, Mark and Dave, some of our most recent competitors. Even through a fire and a historic hurricane, they went to compete and had fun doing it.
If you’re curious about competing, ask one of our coaches, and they’ll point you in the right direction. See you on the mats.