When it comes to embarking on a new journey in life, whether it be a hobby or a new passion, there must be an end goal and, arguably more importantly, there must be intermediate goals throughout the journey. When it comes to Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), especially non-combative arts like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), Judo, and Grappling, many students turn to competition.
It’s important to note that entering grappling tournaments is not always about winning. In fact, for most it is- or should be- about having fun and experience (read: learning). Many people fail to address the internal pressure they apply to themselves and thus, fail to enjoy the experience.
At Paramount, most of our students do not compete. In fact, only about 8% do. But here’s the funny part- every day you train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or Grappling you are competing. You’re facing off against your teammates and attempting to apply the techniques you learned in class.
Guess what? It’s the same thing in a BJJ tournament! The only difference is you haven’t met your opponent before hand. Is that really what’s so scary? No, the truth is the pressure you put on yourself to win is what’s so scary.
If a person focuses on what they can control- training properly, being mentally prepared, doing a good warm-up, and the fact that they’re doing this because they love Jiu-Jitsu (or whatever style of Martial Art they’re competing in) then they’ll have a great time and perform better.
Things that are out of your control, like who your opponent is and how good they may be, how good or bad the referee is, what time you compete (if the tournament is running late), etc. must be ignored. You have to “roll with the punches.”
Even though most of our students don’t compete, the truth is it is extremely beneficial. Not just in learning about what aspects of the martial art you need to improve, but also in how you handle pressure and what you can do to improve stress management. That’s something that will benefit you at home and at work, make no mistake about it.
Martial Arts is a metaphor for life, how you deal with adversity in Martial Arts is how you deal with adversity in every day life. Do you avoid it? Do you fall apart? Martial Arts will teach you how to face adversity with the excitement of overcoming a challenge.
We never pressure students into competing at Paramount, but if someone is curious about it I do suggest giving it a try. You’ll learn a lot about yourself.
For more information on training Martial Arts, BJJ, Muay Thai, Grappling, Boxing, or MMA click HERE.