This guest post is from DirtyRancher, my favorite poster on Jiu Jitsu Forums. He’s part “Old Man,” part brown belt, part competitor, all awesome. He has rock solid competition advice. With his permission, I’ve put together a series of some of his best competition advice. This one is from “Is Competition for Everyone?“
I love competing, sadly, I have not had the opportunity to do so in BJJ as of yet. My reasoning is simple – I cannot afford to get hurt. Sole income in the house with people that depend on me.
Then by all means do the following:
- Get catastrophic insurance and disability insurance
- Quit jiu jitsu, you have a better chance of getting hurt at your school, having no medical experts there, or having an ambulance there, than at a “good” tournament.
I’m not 20 any more and don’t want to get injured which would put me away from bjj and other stuff and I think there are more chances to get injured in comp then any class, so I’m staying away for now…
I find that argument to be completely wrong. You don’t want to compete, so be it, don’t have to explain, but that isn’t the best excuse. Truthfully, you don’t need an excuse. But, I really don’t buy into the “if you go to a comp, you will be pulled out in a stretcher deal”.
I cataloged all of my injuries, the bad ones.
The worst: blue belts that are still spazzes, more specifically, blue belts that have a chip on the shoulder that actually “tell me” why they won’t compete. One didn’t explain to me until we were brown belts, the dude actually “sat me down” to tell me that I don’t understand why he doesn’t because he is 220 lbs and would be at superheavy. This guy not only throws elbows, he actually kicks blue belts in the head when he gets flustered. wtf???? I compete in the open every time I compete. I’m a lightweight, and I have won and lost to guys at superheavy… I didn’t need a sit down for that reason. Regardless, those are where my worst injuries came from.
Competing? That’s where guys look out for each other, maybe not at white belt adult, where the moms, and the dads, and the uncles, and the cousins from South America, Asia, Europe show up with chickens they brought on the airplane are in the stands, but the absolute best guys at rolling and respect (sure a few that were off – but none for me so far) have been at comps.
A soon-to-be blue belt bumps heads with me at the academy and I get close to a concussion. I go to pan am or nationals as a purple belt. I’m warming up for my match. Bill Cooper and some other dude fly into the tables and the barrier knocks me in the head in the same spot as where I got hit from the white belt.
Luckily, unlike when I’m at real BJJ class, the two main IBJJF medics run over to check me out. Do you have medics with all their gear at your school?
Jiu Jiu’s note: Have you let your fear of injury stop you from competing? Have you been injured in a tournament? What was your experience like?