Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Advice for your first grappling tournament

If you have never been to a grappling tournament, your first one will make you pretty nervous. Here is some advice that will help you perform better during you first tournament.

1) Practice take downs as much as possible. Most BJJ classes don't work much on takedowns because they often lead to injuries and it takes a lot of space. In tournaments they are key for success.

2) Learn and practice guard escapes and guard passes and drill them. One of the most common moves by white belts in tournament is jumping guard. Be ready for it. If you stager your legs when they go for it then they won't be able to get their legs around you and will fall on their butt. While they are in shock, step past their guard and take side mount or mount.

3) Only use simple, basic moves. The complex fancy moves you were taught last week is probably not your strongest move, only use move you know well and have practiced often.

4) You don't get any bonus for submitting your opponent. Try to get a few points from positional advantage and stall. Once you have gotten mount, it doesn't take much energy to hold a person down for the rest of the match. It is much less risky to hold your opponent in mount than it is to go for a submission. Failed submissions often lead to opponents escaping, even scoring points by mounting you or passing your guard. The one advantage of submitting a person early is that you don't tire yourself out. If you are able to get a low risk submission (like a collar choke), go for it but only if it is low risk.

5) Develop good endurance. Tournaments are unbelievably tiring, especially no-gi. Practice rolling hard so simulate what it will be like. Often you will have 4 or more matches in a tournament.

6) Try to be the heaviest person in your weight category. If you are in the middle of a weight category you should either put on weight (muscle preferably) so you are at the high end of your weight bracket or lose or cut weight so you in the next lower weight bracket.

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