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вторник, 3 июня 2014 г.

Competing in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

While it may have been the original intention of Helio Gracie's to develop a martial art for real life combat, sport jiu jitsu is flourishing around the world and growing at an impressive pace. The United Kingdom is just one example of this. While 10-15 years ago there was almost no opportunity to train the art form/sport, now there is a good selection of clubs to choose from with many of the established teams operating in the country including Gracie Barra, Checkmat and many others. There are dozens of competitions around and there are rising stars that have trained in the UK that are slowly gaining prominenance. Perhaps it will not be long until we see the first UK born black belt world champion.

Whether you like competition or not, there is no denying that the sport aspect of BJJ sharpens skills and the fighter's abilities. To see this, you only have to go to a full-time BJJ academy and spar with a competition-focus player or a blue/purple full time athlete. These guys are often miles ahead of their peers both technically as well as in terms of athleticism. Just remember how Draculino said it about the blue belt - the blue belt is not a joke. Some blue belts submit brown belts!

After all just look at the top players in the game and the ease with which they can man handle even good level black belts. There is a huge difference between a casual jiu jitsu player that trains 2-3 times a week and often teaches instead of training, and a serious player, that is completely focus on his goals, training every day, improving his conditioning and doing all the extras: eating right, getting enough sleep, taking care of the body.

Self defense is part of the curriculum but I think you should have a choice. If I'm 20 or 30 years old, I would rather achieve something on the competition circuit and make my mark. After all I can focus on self-defense aspects later if that is what I'm interested in.

I think there is nothing more fun is to go as a team to a major competition and represent. Your instructor at your side its a great opportunity to learn and understand where you have to improve. At white belt, I learnt that I need to develop my guard. At purple I am now getting more focused on my guard passing game.

The competition environment is very different to a sparring session. After a while you get used to it, but it is important to learn how to perform under pressure and focus on technique.

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