Tom DeBlass knows a few things about competition. As an IBJJF World Champion, an ADCC veteran, and multiple time ADCC North American Trials Winner, he has stepped on the mats with many of the best in the world. 2016 has seen and will see his students and their students competing in all of the major pro events as well, namely Polaris, Fight2Win, EBI, Metamoris and many others. In this video, Professor DeBlass addresses one of the most common decisions a new practitioner will consider: Should I compete?
Some key points or questions to consider:
Do I have to compete? Absolutely not. Can competition be a positive addition to your development as a BJJ practitioner? Yes, absolutely, but it is not mandatory. According to Professor DeBlass, 90% of the students at his Academy do not compete. The 10% of students who do choose to compete come from all walks of life. There are competitors who work full time jobs and compete and there are competitors who are able to train many times a day and in between. Each has their own personal reasons for competing. DeBlass himself has been high level competitor since high school and looks at BJJ competition as simply another day on the mats, not adding more unnecessary stress to the situation.
If I don’t compete, am I less important to my school or academy? Nothing can be further from the truth. The non-competitor makes up the bulk of most schools. Without the non-competitors there would be no school or academy.
Do not compare yourself to others, especially the competitors. BJJ growth requires challenging your limits. Once you’ve made the commitment to compete, you’ve accepted the many challenges and high standards of training that are necessary to get you to the top of the podium. The average practitioner who doesn’t compete should not compare their training to those who want to compete. Attend as many classes as you can and when you’re in class, give it 100%, be a great student and training partner–but never judge yourself or your training on the schedule of the competitors.
Competition should be a natural extension of your love of Jiu Jitsu.
What is Jiu Jitsu’s meaning for you?
We step on the mats for a variety of reasons. Some are more common, to build self esteem, get healthy, or for self defense. By walking in the academy on the first day, you competed and defeated all those negative thoughts that steer others away. By sticking with it through those first tap filled months, you’ve competed with everything in your life that would tell you it’s easy to quit and walk away. Perhaps someday, walking on those competition mats, you will find another aspect of Jiu Jitsu to love. But if you don’t, you’re still a winner.
Check out Professor DeBlass’ Academy Ocean County BJJ Here