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Tips For Your First Tournament

Tips For Your First Tournament


So you’ve finally decided to pull the trigger and start competing.  

For most people there’s going to be some nerves involved. But with a little bit of extra knowledge and preparation, you’ll be able to eliminate many of the issues that come up at tournaments and be able to focus solely on your grappling.

WEIGHT. Recheck your weight on the last day of registration. The last day of registration is also the last day that you can make changes to your weight. If this is your first or even second tournament, you shouldn’t be cutting any weight. You should be competing at whatever you naturally weigh. That being said, you still need to be accurate with your weight when it comes to registration. At most tournaments, if you do not make your registered weight, there’s a good chance that you won’t be allowed to compete.

Add the classic butterfly guard to your game! Click Learn More!


Plan on getting to the tournament early. Most tournaments will have several hundred competitors, and once everyone is there it can be a little chaotic. Learning where and when you need to be somewhere, beforehand, is very important.

Bring Snacks and Water. Most tournaments will have a concession stand, but their selection is usually very limited and mostly junk and candy. Since some tournaments can last all day, you will want real food. Especially if you’re competing in Gi and NoGi divisions. There’s going to be a long break between the two and you’ll want something clean to eat and drink in between. Something to keep your energy up, and that’s also not going to upset your stomach during your next match.


Please make sure that you’ve showered. No one wants to grapple with a stinky person. There really shouldn’t need to be any further explanation past that.

Hair ties. If your hair is below the bottom of your ears, it MUST be tied. French Braids work very well. Ponytails will come out easily, and in some tournaments they’re not allowed at all. (Hair ties CANNOT contain any metal.)


Please make sure that your uniform is CLEAN and in good condition. Again, no one wants to grapple with someone who stinks. So be clean.


Your Gi should fit so that :

    1. Your Jacket Sleeves come down to within an inch of the wrist bone.
    2. Your Pants come down to within an inch of the ankle bone.
    3. Don’t forget your Belt!!



NoGi attire should be as follows:

  1. Tight fitting short sleeve or long sleeve top. Compression shirts are preferred.
  2. Shorts that fit so that the bottom is above the knee caps.
  3. Leggings or spats are optional (many tournaments now require that shorts still be worn over them).
  4. No pockets on any items of clothing.
  5. No metal of any kind. Zippers, Buttons, Clips, etc….. This includes bras for girls. They should wear sports bras with no metal.

Remember to have FUN!!!

Learn to sweep every opponent with this amazing guard!  Click Learn More!


Getting out in front of a crowd of a few thousand people while another person is trying to strangle you, can be a stressful situation. Hopefully these tips will help ease your burden for the day so that you can focus on the task at hand. Tournaments are a great way to help you grow your skills. But they can be both terrifying and exhilarating, so try to remember to have fun and enjoy the experience.  

Gain Skills With Adam Wardzinski. Check out Butterfly Guard Rediscovered where he shares all of the dynamic sweeps and entries to this classic position that everyone should make use of!  You can get it here at BJJ Fanatics!



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