Competition Costs And Which Ones To Participate In
This is a great topic for discussion as there are several thoughts on which are the best or ones that are the most expensive.
So let's get into it!
The sport of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has grown into a pretty big beast in Australia with an estimated 35,000 athletes participating in the sport.
Albeit a very unique sport, it has grown with some Aussies making it to the top such as Craig Jones and Lachlan Giles creating waves overseas in the Nogi discipline.
With the sport growing, it has encouraged athletes to test their skills by way of tournaments that are either held locally or in capital cities.
The overarching federation is the International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) globally, and many countries now have their own Federation under the IBJJF. For us it is the Australian Federation of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (AFBJJ).
All AFBJJ competitions are conducted under the rule set of the IBJJF. But, there are many tournaments that make their own rule set up and it can be difficult to follow them especially if you are not familiar with them irrespective of which tournament you compete in.
Please note that comparisons will be made between IBJJF/AFBJJ and a competition known as Grappling Industries.
All IBJJF/AFBJJ tournaments are straight knock out tournaments. If you don't win the first round that's it for the day. This can be a really deterring factor especially if you have to travel to participate as logistically it can become very costly.
Not only this, some of these tournaments can be expensive to participate in especially if you are an adult participating in your age/weight division for both Gi and Nogi, and you then participate in the open weight for your age division.
If you lose each match at least you managed to get four wrestles in. But who goes in a competition to lose, no one right!
The flip side of this is that you can be guaranteed that you have a referee that is minimum brown belt and more often than not been a competitor.
Also these competitions are professionally run with scorers/timekeepers, mat marshal's, and very well organised.
Athletes that enter these type of tournaments should be training the house down so that they are prepared, confident and accept the risk of the loss.
Tournaments other than IBJJF/AFBJJ typically are smaller and cheaper. More often than not they offer a round robin style tournament so you are guaranteed to have more than one wrestle.
The flip side to these tournaments is you are not guaranteed the referee knows the rules or is a competent and confident referee having the crowd make the decision for them.
The tournament may not be very well organised in that matches get pushed way past the initial programmed time, timekeepers/scorers may award a win incorrectly, or there may not be enough medals to be awarded to even the overall winners.
I know first hand where competitive athletes have participated, beaten all their opposition in their division only to be told that they didn't get a podium finish.
To summarise; do you pay a premium price, for a premium event and run the risk of only one match (better train your butt off then), OR, pay for a cheaper event, have more than one wrestle, but run the risk of a poorly organised event and poor decisions or administration?
Which ever event you choose, you must; know the rule set, accept the outcome, but train hard for it!
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