Competing is scary. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first time or your 250th time.
That’s because your competition rises with your skill.
You could be the best white belt competitor in the world. Get your blue belt and immediately get demolished.
And that’s an important part of competition.
It’s a humbling experience that really shows you what you’re made of.
It doesn’t really matter how well you do. But how you react under pressure.
Are you able to perform your techniques against a unfamiliar and fully resisting opponent?
I can tell you that many traditional martial arts were missing this aspect.
They became eco chambers of antiquated movements and techniques.
Which is why Jiu Jitsu was such a breath of fresh air when it first came on the scenes in the United States after the first Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
It originally was all about techniques that could and would help you in a fight.
That arm bar that you’re learning in class will work against a mugger trying to steal your wallet.
That choke hold that you learned in your very first lesson can also be used to subdue an assailant.
Ideally, everything you learn in Jiu Jitsu can be used to help protect yourself and is constantly being reinforced through drills and sparring.
Going back to how tournaments are a great experience for you.
Well, you can think of a match as a simulated altercation which can seem a bit off putting.
However, it’s a good approximate.
Because very often you won’t know the person you’re competing against.
Giving you the unknown factor because you probably won’t know their move set, strength level, aggressiveness, etc.
Lots of unknowns that you can’t plan for. You will have to use your training to adapt to your opponent as best you can.
And most importantly, is dealing with nerves.
This is where a competition is really great for. It exposes you to that adrenaline dump that you get when you feel threatened.
That very primal instinct deep inside everyone.
That flight or fight response that we all have and helps familiarize you to it.
Of course, the nervousness that comes with it never goes away. But it does become easier to control and eventually harness.
So if you’re on the fence about whether or not you should compete.
Give it a try at least once in your life.
Test yourself and see what you’re really made of. Because it could help save your life one day.