Competing in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu isn’t as simple as just „going out there“ and „giving your best“. Sure, it’s important to enjoy the experience and have fun; but if you want to create results, then you have to put in a bit more effort. And not just into the competition itself, but the training prior to it.
That is to say: if you want to achieve, you can’t just think about training as hard as possible. You have to be smart about it, especially if the competition ruleset is different from the one you’re used to.
So, without further ado, here are the three things you can do to prepare for a competition under a different ruleset.
STUDY THE RULESET
Of course, the first thing you have to do is study the ruleset of the competition you’ll compete in. No, this doesn’t mean that you’ll just glance over the rules and call it a day; it means that you’ll devote time to really studying it.
Here’s a suggestion: study the ruleset way before you think you should. Why? Because you want the ruleset to be ingrained so deeply into your mind that there’s no way you’ll falter on the mats. And it’s not just about knowing which moves to do or not to do; but it’s also about knowing about the point system (if any). The time you’re going to have available; what if it’s the ADCC ruleset, with the first half without points and then the second half with points?… You need this info for developing your gameplan, just as much as you need it for not getting DQ’d.
Which brings us to the second thing in your preparation that is absolutely vital.
FOCUS ON YOUR GAMEPLAN – AND PRACTICE IT
Now that you have the understanding of how the ruleset looks like, you want to develop your gameplan for that competition. It doesn’t have to go too much into detail, but the focus needs to be on which techniques and transitions you want to go forward with.
Meaning, the best way to prepare for a competition is to train with the moves allowed under its ruleset. However, you can’t practice every single move. You have to choose the exact moves you want to work on – and then work on them.
The goal of this approach is to train these techniques so much (both while drilling and rolling) that they’ll become stuck into your brain and body by the time the competition day arrives. So, when you get to compete, you won’t have the case of „brain fart“; not knowing what to do in a given situation, and then – later on – questioning yourself about the reasons behind this, because „it’s so obvious you should’ve done that and that“.
Therefore, you need to train a certain batch of techniques so much so that they’ll become automatic once you’re on the competition mats. Combine that with the fact that these moves are allowed under the ruleset, and you’ve increased your chances of success by a tenfold.
SIMULATE THE COMPETITION
And thirdly, if possible, try to simulate the competition in training. This could mean having more rolling sessions in the end; where you and your training partner roll in accordance to the point system under which you’re competing. Or it could simply mean that you’ll make it a point during your regular rolls to fight in the same manner and according to the same gameplan you’ll use when competing.
Combine this with the previous two tips, and you’ll be well prepared for the competition. No matter what sort of a ruleset it entails!