How to Prepare for a BJJ Tourney


BJJ tournaments can be daunting for new students. There’s a lot to keep track of, such as signing waivers, meeting new people at the front desk, and choosing which classes to attend.

IBJJF, one of the foremost BJJ organizations, hosts multiple tournaments each year that offer both gi and no-gi divisions. Each game operates as single elimination brackets; therefore, any loser moves on until one winner emerges.


Preparing for a BJJ competition takes both practice and preparation. A typical student will spend several weeks training intensively, honing their game plan, refining techniques to perfection, and working on strengthening and conditioning in preparation for cutting weight for competition. The better prepared a student is, the greater their performance on the mats will be.

Students often begin competing at local events like MMA open mats or local grappling tournaments hosted by their academy. Such events provide students with valuable experience competing in front of other people while giving them time to gain comfort with competing before moving up to larger tournaments such as ADCC tours.

Students entering their first BJJ competition should expect some nerves. To be as mentally prepared for this event as possible, practicing visualization exercises to ease nerves and boost performance on the mats is advised.

Rehearsing a game plan before an event is also vital, as it will keep students focused and increase their odds of success. A standard error students make is entering a competition without any plan in mind; practicing their plan beforehand allows students to focus on improving their techniques while eliminating mistakes that could cost them their match.

Research your opponents prior to attending any tournament or competition; this will give them an in-depth knowledge of who they will face at the event, as well as provide them with the information needed to create strategies and outwit their adversaries. Finally, try not to consume too many calories on tournament day, making sure you have sufficient energy reserves.

First Class

Start competing in BJJ with this tournament, where half of your entry fees go directly to Alex’s Lemonade Stand, an organization dedicated to treating and curing cancer in children. Plus, this event is super relaxed – a great place for meeting fellow competitors!

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg made headlines this weekend for competing in his inaugural jiu-jitsu tournament and winning two medals, posting about it on his Facebook page to gather over 40,000 comments – among them from UFC star Conor McGregor and jiu-jitsu legend Bernardo Faria!

Post-Class Recovery

After each class, it’s essential to spend some time stretching. Stretching can improve flexibility and ease tension, as well as help prevent injury and muscle soreness. Many individuals skip this portion of their workout; this is an error: stretching is essential in BJJ for proper recovery and should never be forgotten!

BJJ tournaments follow an elimination system established by the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation, whereby winners are decided by points, submission, or advantage as determined by a referee. Athletes must wear uniforms approved by their instructor and conform to all competition rules and guidelines.

Some BJJ promotions provide multiple tournaments, while others specialize in one specific type. Tap Cancer Out has both Gi and No-Gi events and donates half the entry fees to Alex’s Lemonade Stand, which aids with pediatric cancer research and treatments. Participants in these relaxed events have an enjoyable experience!

Mark Zuckerberg recently competed in his inaugural jiu-jitsu tournament and took home two medals for the Guerrilla Jiu-Jitsu team at the Silicon Valley competition. At an estimated worth of $80 billion, the tech titan could do anything he desired with his wealth, yet chose instead to sweat and test himself physically in a gym setting.

Santa Cruz BJJ Tour provides age and rank divisions for competitors of various ages and ranks. All competitors must bring valid identification to check in, with adults needing their driver’s license/passport or IBJJF card, while juvenile competitors will be required to show either their birth certificate or passport to compete in these tournaments.

Hanging Around

After studying and training hard, it’s time to step back onto the mats and compete in a BJJ tournament. Competing will put your skills against other practitioners and highlight any areas for improvement; plus, it can act as motivation to train harder during classes!

There are various BJJ tournaments to suit any style or level, with one of the most acclaimed being Fight 2 Win’s monthly Gi and No-Gi events held across different US locations each month. Their rulebook contains plenty of helpful information before competing in any of their events.

Tap Cancer Out tournaments offer another great option and are hosted throughout the year across the country. Half of their entry fees go directly to charity while these events provide tons of fun – their only drawback is that they may be smaller and less structured than some of the other competitions.

Your best bet for smaller events may be to look locally – such as the Santa Cruz Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Championships – which offer plenty of excitement and often include some famous figures competing. Last weekend, Facebook founder and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg won two medals at this tournament by entering both no-gi Master 1 White Belt Feather Weight divisions representing the Guerrilla Jiu-Jitsu team.

Camarillo expressed shock when they saw Zuckerberg working out on the mats at his gym. He commented that with all his money at his disposal, the billionaire could do whatever he pleased, yet he has chosen instead to push himself physically on those mats at his gym.