Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Tips for Competing in a Ju Jitsu Tournament

Brazilian ju jitsu is becoming one of the world’s most popular martial arts. Many people are interested in learning this style for self-defense, while others are interested in competing in tournaments. Competing in a tournament can be pretty intimidating for white belts that have never trained before. Here are some tips to improve your odds of winning matches.

Preparing for Your First Tournament

If you have never competed in a martial arts tournament before, then you will need to familiarize yourself with the setup first. Different tournaments have different rules regarding scoring and the types of techniques that are allowed. Here are some differences that you will need to be aware of:
  • Some tournaments use three point scoring systems. This means that the first person to score three points wins the fight. Other tournaments have timed matches, so the person that scores the most points wins the match.
  • Some techniques that are allowed in some tournaments are prohibited in others. For example, some tournaments allow or even require grappling techniques, while others ban them. It often depends on whether the tournament is exclusive for ju jitsu practitioners or includes people from a variety of other martial arts. You may be at a disadvantage in tournaments that allow multiple styles, because they tend to base their rules around karate and taekwondo participants, since they make up the majority of attendees.  
You will need to read the rules of competition before registering. You should ask the judges for clarification before the match if you aren’t sure how scoring works or what types of contact are prohibited.

Studying Your Opponents

Understanding the style of your competitors is a major part of competing. You have probably noticed this while sparring against other students in your own Brazilian Ju Jitsu class. Maybe someone telegraphs a certain move by turning their left foot or blinking twice. You have probably already used this to your advantage after sparring against them many times.
Of course, you don’t have the same experience with fighters in a tournament unless you have competed against them before. You will want to watch their fights against other competitors and monitor them training to get a sense of their style and know when they telegraph.

Learn to Break Your Opponent’s Guard

Breaking your opponent’s defenses is one of the most important things that you need to do to win a ju jitsu competition. Here are some things that you need to do:
  • Take advantage of angles to throw them off balance.
  • Know how to trap their wrists while sweeping their legs.
  • Constantly move around them to keep them from maintaining a static posture.
Throwing your opponent off will make it much easier to break their guard and take them down. You will need to exert more effort if your opponent is highly agile or has a strong guard, but you can eventually wear them down if you are persistent enough.

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