Thoughts on recent BJJ Competition

I recently went to a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (bjj) competition over the weekend to watch a friend compete in Sydney. It was the final tournament as part of the New South Wales (NSW) state circuit for 2008.

It was my first time attending one of these tournaments for a number of years and it was quite strange to be there and not be competing. I haven't been to a proper bjj class for a while now. All that I've done recently has been getting together with friends and going through some moves and just rolling.

The Competition Buzz

Almost as soon as I got there, I really wanted to get on the mat and compete again. There was a real buzz there. All of the colour belts including black belt were competing. To me, the best belt class to watch has to be the purple belts. The purple belts have been training for some time and are really starting to get a really good game going but at the same time, they are not afraid of losing either like some more senior categories, so they really go at it and try lots of different manoeuvres.


The Road Less Travelled

The one thing that struck me, is just how dedicated the more senior guys are. They are supremely fit and focused when stepping onto the mat, in particular the black belts. These guys take this combat sport very seriously. It is plain to see. There body has grown and adapted to the special demands placed on it by the sport. It takes a lot of training to get to where these guys are at and it doesn't happen by accident.

It is also plain to see that they eat properly as well. They are lean and in good shape. Every one knows what healthy food is, but only a few restrict themselves to eating healthy food only. Many people find it too hard with too many temptations around. These guys don't.


My Parting Thoughts

Leaving the competition at the end of the day left me thinking... These guys are not afraid of closing with somebody and engaging in combat. They also have offensive moves in their repertoire. Not many martial arts teach offensive tactics. And this is not limited to bjj. The striking combat sports such as boxing and Muay Thai among others also do.

Most of the time, people are taught counters to attacks. That may seem a small thing but I don't think it is. Bjj is a challenging combat sport. Training sessions are hard and sometimes gruelling. It also develops a real willingness to close with an attacker and engage in combat. How important these attributes are to a person is really up to that person.


Do We NEED a Good Offence?

I guess the training that bjj practitioners go through can really give a psychological edge. That confidence in ones ability to apply offensive moves on a resisting opponent may make all the difference.
Like usual, it is always far better to avoid attacks than it is to beat down an attacker. But if an attack is unavoidable, that psychological edge may make the difference in the outcome of a real low tech combat encounter.

And yes, I am off to my old bjj gym tonight. I have the bug again...