Hello everyone! My name is Jared “Bear” Conques. I am a Purple Belt under Tim Credeur, instructor at Gladiator’s Academy of Lafayette, head instructor of BJJ Revolution Team Alexandria as well as a fresh face here on BJJ Lafayette. I am coming at you with 4 top-notch knowledge bombs dropped on me by Master Tim Credeur over the years. Use these tips to help you cope with the stress of one the more rigorous aspects of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, competition.
TOP NOTCH TIP #1
Don’t over hype the tournament to be something bigger than what it is.
View each match at the competition as you would a regular sparring roll at the gym. Work the techniques you are most proficient with. Whenever you find yourself in a tight spot, don’t panic. Instead, revert back to your favorite escape and realize that as long as you did not tap, you will live to fight the rest of the match. If it has worked for you in the gym, use it in competition. Competition is not the time to be trying out new techniques like that inverted-double over hook-foot in the face-tornado guard. Bring the tools that you know will work for you to the mat. Remember, while competition is important to our growth as BJJ players, a competition loss is not the end of your BJJ career. I have gained more from my losses than my victories throughout the years.
TOP NOTCH TIP #2
Here’s a quick story to demonstrate what I mean by this. After this one particular tournament, I went a swift 0-3 and ended my day rather quickly. I was 2 years into being a blue belt and felt the need that I had to prove to everyone in the gym that day that I was the Alpha. What transpired was anything but that. I put so much pressure on myself that I forgot to just be Jared and enjoy my time on the mat. Be yourself on the battlefield. My teammates have shared the spoils of victory with me, and more importantly, have never abandoned me after a loss. They love me and are my friends me because of who I am. They will do the same for you as well.
TOP NOTCH TIP #3
Leave your friends/girlfriend/wife/boyfriend/husband/parents/whatever at home if they are not competing.
This is a lesson many of BJJ players have learned the hard way over the years. Anyone who has been to BJJ competitions know they can be a war of attrition until your match begins. There is a long, and let me stress it once again, LONG time to wait before your matches most of the time. The wait for these matches can be devastating to your competition mindset as you abandon thought of the competition at hand and focus your attention to explaining why it is taking so long for you to have your match. Significant others, while we love them to death, also bring added pressure to the competition. We feel the need, even if it is unconscious thought, to impress them. Like I have stated before, competition is arduous enough, why would you want to make it harder on yourself? But Bear, what should I bring to the tournament? Bring your gi, board shorts, rash guard, bananas, gatorade or water, and a positive attitude.
TOP NOTCH TIP #4
Have fun and make friends.
While we all come from different teams and will be competing against one another at tournaments, we all share a common love for BJJ. I have made numerous friends throughout my years in competition. Friends that I still keep in contact with today and we always share a smile and a story before we hit the mats. The guys that you compete against on the local and state circuit will more than likely be the same guys you compete against your entire career as you come up through the ranks together. Competition creates a bond that is unique only to those who have experienced it together. Relish this opportunity, make friends and be a great representative for the academy in both victory and defeat.
I hope these 4 tips will be as much help to you as they were to me whenever Master Tim shined his light on me. I would encourage anyone who will be competing in the up coming weeks to try these methods out. They have worked for me and I am sure they will work for you.
Until next time, train hard and train often! Oss!