There is a small BJJ tournament approaching and some of the students at my academy are really excited to ramp up their training and ready themselves for it.
The majority of the students in many BJJ academies will not be interested in the tournament aspect of BJJ. Instead, they will train for other reasons like self improvement, self defense, fitness, and the joy of learning a cool new skill.
That said, I still urge students to train harder right alongside the students preparing for the competition. Some increased physical conditioning and a higher intensity in rolling are part of getting ready for a tournament. I urge the non-competing students to train almost as if they were entering.
Why? Why should they expend the extra effort if they are not planning on entering?
For two main reasons.
They Will Build A Sense Of Common Purpose
It is a metaphorical “us” against “them” and they need to put their efforts together to be best prepared to win the tournament.
They will feel compelled to attend training sessions because they need to support their teammates.
When they show up to cheer for their teammates on tournament day, there will be added excitement and pride in being part of something bigger than themselves.
After Rafael Dos Anjos had captured the UFC Lightweight title, he gave a thanks to his training partners and said “If you rolled even one round with me during my preparations for this fight, you deserve some credit for the win!”
Everyone Is Pushed To A Higher Level
There is a great quote from former US President John F. Kennedy:
The rising tide lifts all the boats.
When the core of the academy trains hard to get to a higher level, everyone in the academy is lifted along with them.
Those extra burpees they did in the warm-up. The extra rounds of rolling. The increased drilling of the guard passes. They raise everyone’s skill level.
The target of the approaching tournament motivates each to reach beyond their comfort zone and go to the next level.
Being pushed by each other will help them reach levels that they never could have reached on their own.
So, even if you have little interest in stepping on the mats on tournament day, I urge you to raise your level and work together with your teammates who are competing!
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