How Long Should You Train BJJ Before Competing? Important Tips

Are you getting ready to compete in your first Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournament? If so, you’re in for an exciting experience! BJJ tournaments can be a lot of fun, but they can also be intimidating if you’re unprepared. That’s why we’ve put together this guide – to help make your first competition as smooth and stress-free as possible. We’ll talk about how long you should train before competing, what to bring with you to the tournament, and some tips on performing your best on the mat.

So, how long should you train BJJ before your first competition? Generally, it depends on your experience level and how comfortable you feel with the techniques. If you’re brand new to BJJ, we recommend at least three to six months of training before competing. 

This period will give you enough time to learn basic techniques and get a feel for what it’s like to spar with an opponent.

You might be ready to compete sooner if you’ve been training longer than six months. The best way to know is to talk to your coach and see their thoughts. They know your skill level better than anyone and can give you a good idea of when you’ll be ready to compete.

How Long And Intense Should You Train?

The answer to this question depends on several factors, including your natural ability, previous experience, and the level of competition you’re planning to enter. Suppose you have no prior experience in any martial art or combat sport.

This is especially true if you’re planning to enter a tournament with experienced opponents. In that case, you’ll likely need at least six months to 1 year of regular training before feeling confident enough to compete.

Athletes With Some Experience

Suppose you have some prior experience in another martial art or combat sport. In that case, you may be able to get by with less training before your first BJJ tournament. However, it’s still essential to put in the time and effort to ensure you’re as prepared as possible.

If, for example, you have had previous wrestling experience, you may be able to compete in a BJJ tournament after just 3-6 months of training. This is because the skills you’ve already learned in wrestling will transfer over to BJJ and give you an advantage.

Since this is your first BJJ competition, you will enter it as a white belt. You will most likely compete against other white belts who have had a similar amount of training time as you. If you want to have a successful tournament experience, you’ll need to put in the work and be prepared.

Athletes With No Experience

Let’s say, for example, you are not in the best shape of your life or have never competed in any tournament. Then, you might want to spend a few months just focusing on learning the techniques and getting into better physical shape before worrying about competing.

In general, the more experience and ability you have, the less time you’ll need to train before feeling confident enough to compete in a BJJ tournament.

Suppose you have attended many open mats and have “won” against your peers in training. In that case, you may be confident going into your first tournament. This is a great attitude to have and will give you the motivation you need to do well.

The most important thing is not to get discouraged if you don’t win your first tournament. Remember that everyone was a beginner at one point and that it takes time and practice to get good at this sport. Just keep training hard and competing often, and you’ll eventually find success.

Ultimately, the time you need to train before your first BJJ tournament will depend on various factors. It’s essential to consult with your coach and ask their opinion on how long you should prepare before competing. They will be able to give you the best advice based on your individual situation.

How To Prepare For The Competition?

Sharpening Your Skills

One of the best ways to sharpen your skills ahead of a BJJ competition is to attend as many training sessions and open mats as possible. This will help you improve at the sport and allow you to try different techniques against opponents.

In addition to attending training sessions, watching footage of past competitions is another excellent way to prepare for a BJJ competition. This will give you a good idea of what to expect and help you develop a game plan.

Finally, getting plenty of rest and eating healthy is also crucial in the lead-up to a competition. This will ensure that you are physically and mentally prepared to compete at your best.

Extra Tips For Preparing

The following tips will help you to get ready for your first BJJ tournament:

  • Train regularly leading up to the event. This means attending BJJ class 3-5 times per week and supplementing your training with private lessons and/or open mats. The more time you spend on the mats, the better prepared you’ll be when the tournament day comes.
  • Have a game plan. Before you step on the mat, know your goals for the tournament. Do you want to win? Place? Or compete and have fun? Once you know your goals, you can start to develop a game plan with your coach on how to achieve the best.
  • Visualize success. It’s essential to believe in yourself and your ability to succeed. One way to do this is to visualize yourself winning your matches at the tournament. See yourself executing the techniques you’ve been working on in training. Imagine the feeling of triumph when you raise your hand in victory.
  • Stay calm and focused. When you’re competing, it’s essential to stay calm and focused. This can be easier said than done, but try to block distractions and focus on what you need to do to win. If you let nerves or outside factors get the best of you, it will be difficult to perform at your best.
  • Have fun. Remember that tournaments are supposed to be fun! Don’t put too much pressure on yourself and enjoy the experience. Even if you don’t win or place, you’ll still walk away with valuable experience that you can use to improve for future competitions. Sometime later, when you get more experienced, you will start competing more often. You will have your time to win a medal. Until then, try to have fun and gain valuable experience.

Weight Cutting

You should also know that weight cutting is standard in martial arts. If you want to compete in BJJ, you should reduce your weight a few months before the competition. This will help you gain weight on the event’s day and give you a competitive advantage.

Don’t worry too much if you are still of your desired weight for your weight class on the day of the competition. There are usually weight classes above and below your own, so you can still compete even if you don’t make weight.

If you’re a fighter who is looking to make weight for an upcoming bout, there are a few things you can do to cut weight safely and effectively. Here are a few tips:

  • Drink plenty of water in the days leading up to your weigh-in. This will help you stay hydrated and flush out excess water weight.
  • Avoid salty foods, as they will cause you to retain water.
  • Eat light meals leading up to the weigh-in. Avoid heavy foods that sit in your stomach and make you feel bloated.
  • Cut out all unnecessary activity in the days leading up to the weigh-in. This includes things like working out, running, etc. You want to conserve as much energy as possible.
  • Try to sweat as much water weight as possible on the weigh-in day. Wear a sauna suit or take a hot bath to help you sweat.
  • Make sure you weigh yourself regularly in the days leading up to the fight to know how much weight you need to lose. This will help you stay on track and avoid cutting too much weight.

Cutting weight can be challenging, but if you follow these tips, you’ll be able to make weight safely and effectively. Make sure to listen to what your coach says since they have much more experience than you.

The Formalities

Once you’ve decided that you’re ready to compete, the next step is preparing for the tournament. The first thing you’ll need to do is sign up and pay the registration fee. You can usually do this online or at the gym where you train. Once registered, make sure you put the tournament date in your calendar so you don’t forget!

Now it’s time to start thinking about what you need to bring with you on the day of the competition. Most tournaments will provide a list of items that all competitors must bring, such as a gi (uniform), belt, mouthguard, and ID. You also want to get a water bottle and a small snack to eat between matches.

As the tournament date gets closer, it’s essential to start thinking about your mindset. Remember, this is just a competition – there’s no need to put extra pressure on yourself. Focus on having fun and doing your best, and don’t worry about the outcome. If you do that, we’re sure you’ll have a great time!

What to Expect on Competition Day

Many people will be milling around when you arrive at the venue on competition day. The first thing you need to do is find the registration desk and sign in. Once you have registered, you will be given a wristband that will allow you to enter the competition area.

Be sure to warm up properly before your first match. This will help prevent injuries and get you mentally prepared for competition. You will have to let someone know you have arrived and will participate. Don’t worry. Your coach will be there to help you out. When it’s time for your match, the referee will call your name, and you will enter the ring.

Once the match starts, it is crucial to stay calm and focused. Remember to breathe and stay relaxed. If you get tense, it will be harder to execute techniques effectively. If you find yourself in the wrong position, don’t panic – try to stay calm and think about your escape.

The match will end when one competitor submits or loses by points. If there is no submission, the match will be decided by points. The competitor with the most points at the end of the match will be declared the winner.

After your match, shake your opponent’s hand and congratulate them on a good fight. Always show respect to your opponent regardless of whether you won or lost.

Tips for Success

The following general tips will help you to succeed in BJJ competitions:

  • Train regularly and attend as many training sessions and open mats as possible.
  • Watch footage of past competitions to get an idea of what to expect.
  • Get plenty of rest and eat healthy in the lead-up to the event.
  • Weight cut if necessary, but don’t worry if you don’t make weight – there are usually other weight classes you can compete in.
  • Arrive at the venue early and warm up properly before your match.
  • Stay calm and focused during your match. Breathe and stay relaxed.
  • If you find yourself in the wrong position, don’t panic – try to stay calm and think about your escape.
  • Listen to your coach; he might give you valuable advice.
  • After the match, shake your opponent’s hand and congratulate them on a good fight.


We hope this guide has helped you feel more prepared for your first BJJ tournament. Ultimately, it all comes if you and your coach feel you are ready to showcase your skills and compete. The sooner you start, the more experience you will acquire. Just remember to relax and enjoy the experience – it’s supposed to be fun! Good luck!

Gregori Povolotski

I have been practicing martial arts since 2007. For as long as I can remember, I have always had a huge passion for combat sports, especially Muay Thai and boxing. Helping people on their martial arts journey is what drives me to keep training and learn new things. Read More About Me

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