Tournament Prep: The Basics

by prototypemmeh

There are a lot of first-time competitors out there, and inevitably they all go through the same mistakes.  I’m here to try and help inform them of what they can do to help prepare.

Tournaments take some getting used to; the mass of people, the jitters, the adrenaline dump … sometimes the only way to prepare for those is competing in more tournaments.  My first few tournaments I was quite nervous, coupled with a bit of weight cutting to make a lighter weight class made me a bit lackluster in my performance.

But there are a lot of small details to look after, details that can become big problems if left unchecked.

We’ll start with the basics: Gi and No-Gi.

Most tournaments won’t let you compete with a dirty Gi, which means you’ll want to have two clean Gis that are tournament legal.  Check with the tournament to ensure what colours they’ll allow.  Typical legal colours at the National level are black, blue, and white.  Pink is seen among the female competitors.

The same rule applies for No-Gi: bring two sets of shorts and rashguards.  Make sure your shorts don’t have front pockets, you’ll fail inspection and be required to change or forfeit.  I personally dislike any outside pockets on my No-Gi shorts.  Competitors can use a t-shirt, but I again personally dislike that: they’re loose and baggy, and fairly unhygenic.  There are fewer rules at the National level for No-Gi, but check the rules anyways just to be safe.

Wear whatever footwear you want to the competition, but take along a pair of sandals to wear after you’ve changed from street clothes.  This will make it easier for quick bathroom breaks in between divisions while still keeping your feet off the bare floor.

Here’s part 1 of your tournament checklist:

-two (2) IBJJF-legal Gis
-two (2) pairs of boardshorts, no pockets
-two (2) rashguards
-one (1) pair of sandals

Keep your eyes peeled for Part 2, coming soon!

–Kiyoshi “The Prototype”
Your #1 Canadian eh?