How is an in-house tournament beneficial?

I was talking with some people today about the in-house tournament, and why I encourage students to try it out. Here are a couple bullet points that I think are important.

1. First, an easy one. If you are at all interested in actual competitions, this is a great way to dip your toes in the water with people you already know.

2. Approach the in-house competition as you would any other rolling session. It's just a different format. That format is designed to evoke a different psychological response from the participant. You are sparring alone in front of a room full of people. Generally speaking, it is much more stressful than a regular sparring session. Why is that important? Because...

3. I put very heavy emphasis on what is known as 'stress inoculation.' The more you are used to doing jiu jitsu under elevated stress, the more effective you will be in the unlikely event of an actual attack. It's easy to get comfortable with your everyday training partners. Comfort is a nice thing to enjoy, but not a nice thing to grow accustomed to. Get out of your comfort zone inside of your own school with your own team.

4. Let's discuss a physical component associated with bullet point #3. You will feel a very different physical response during the in-house tournament. This goes hand-in-hand with the level of stress associated with sparring in front of your team and spectators. Cortisol and adrenaline soar. Your mouth dries out. Your forearms swell with blood and lactic acid. If this is your first competition ever, it will likely be the most tired you've ever been in your life.

After reading all of this, you might think "why does John want us to feel so terrible?"

I don't. At least not all of the time. But I'm a realist, and it would be very disingenuous of me to teach you guys/gals Brazilian jiu jitsu, and to tell you that it will work seamlessly in a real-life situation without first having some stress inoculation training.

The registration is open. I would never put undue pressure on anyone to compete. It's not for everyone. But if you're on the fence, let this be the push that you need! See you on the mats killers.