You win some, you lose some. Recently, I experienced the latter.
Last weekend was the Pittsburgh Jiu-Jitsu Classic. It had been a few months since my last tournament and I’ve been looking forward to competing in the blue belt division since my promotion on Cinco De Mayo. After many tacos and margaritas, I was itching to put my new blue powers to the test.
Spoiler alert: I lost on points.
I dictated the pace of the match and I was in either mount and back control the entire time. Unfortunately, I wasn’t awarded points because my legs weren’t in the proper scoring spot in the positions (body triangles are apparently worthless).
It sucks to lose and it double-sucks to lose on a technicality, but c’est la vie. On the plus side, I feel like I belong in my new division and I know which techniques and positions I need to improve (i.e., all of them). Despite the outcome, I’m happy that I competed and I’m ready for the next one!
Although I say I’m “ready” for the next tournament, I have a love/don’t love (if I hated it, I wouldn’t do it) relationship with competition.
There’s nothing more exciting than putting my jiu-jitsu to the test in front of my coaches, friends, and family. This is what I practiced for, right?
Whether I’m cheering for my teammates or they’re cheering for me, competition brings us closer together. The team with the raspiest voices at the end wins.
Scroll through your LinkedIn feed to find a quotation about growth lying outside of the comfort zone. I wholeheartedly agree with the idea.
Competition stresses me out—that alone tells me that I should push myself mentally to compete as often as I can. And when I’m in a match, I push myself to grapple harder than I would during a friendly rolling session at the academy.
The price tag.
On average, a jiu-jitsu tournament will cost around $80 to $100. I understand that organizing events is expensive and the promoters need to make it worth their time, but the price is a tough pill to swallow every time.
I hated this ever since my high school wrestling days. I usually walk around at 173-ish and my competition weight is 170. This seems like a small cut, but I’m a hungry boy.
Not only is a tournament going to take up most of a Saturday that I could be using to watch cartoons or frolic in a meadow, most of the time goes towards standing around and waiting. Oh gee, I’m glad I got there early in the morning to stand around until lunch time.
As I wrote my lists, I noticed that it was easier for me to write the “Don’t Love” list than the “Love” list. Maybe that says something about me as a person or the culture that shaped my worldviews. Or maybe I’m a little cranky right now. Either way, let me say that the pros outweigh the cons because in the end it doesn’t even matter it’s jiu-jitsu.
I still get the butterflies in my stomach for every tournament, but it feels like I digest one or two of them each time I compete. This is probably something I can apply to my regular life.
Onward and upward!