Jujitsu Competition 101: A Beginner's Guide to Navigating Your First Event

If you're a beginner getting ready for your first jujitsu competition, you're in for an exciting and challenging experience. Jujitsu is a martial art that requires immense skill, strength, and strategy. Whether you're competing for fun or looking to build a career in the sport, navigating your first event can be overwhelming. From the rules and regulations to the various weight classes and divisions, there's a lot to learn before stepping onto the mat. But don't worry, we've got you covered. In this beginner's guide to jujitsu competition, we'll walk you through everything you need to know to prepare for your first event. From training tips to mental preparation, we'll help you gain the confidence and skills you need to succeed in the ring. So, get ready to learn the ins and outs of jujitsu competition and get ready to take your skills to the next level.

Preparing for the Competition - Mental and Physical

Preparing for a jujitsu competition requires both physical and mental preparation. It's essential to train hard and consistently leading up to the event, but it's equally important to mentally prepare yourself for the challenges you'll face. Here are some tips to help you prepare both physically and mentally.

Physical Preparation

To compete in a jujitsu competition, you need to be in top physical condition. This means training consistently in the weeks and months leading up to the event. A good training program should include strength and conditioning exercises, as well as jujitsu-specific drills and techniques. It's essential to work on your cardio, as jujitsu matches can be long and grueling. You should also focus on improving your flexibility and mobility, as these are critical for executing techniques and avoiding injuries.

In addition to your regular training program, it's a good idea to do some specific competition training. This means drilling techniques and strategies that you're likely to use in a match. You should also practice sparring with partners who have a similar skill level and weight class to you. This will help you get used to the intensity and pressure of a real match.

Mental Preparation

Mental preparation is just as important as physical preparation when it comes to jujitsu competition. Competing can be nerve-wracking, and it's essential to have a plan to manage your anxiety and nerves. Here are some tips to help you mentally prepare for your first event:

- Visualize yourself winning: Spend some time each day visualizing yourself winning your matches. Imagine yourself executing techniques perfectly and coming out on top. This will help build your confidence and reduce anxiety.

- Develop a pre-match routine: Having a routine before each match can help you get into the right mindset. This could include listening to music, doing some light stretching, or practicing breathing exercises.

- Stay focused on the present moment: Don't let your mind wander to what might happen in the future. Focus on the present moment and the task at hand. Take things one match at a time and try not to think too far ahead.

Understanding the Rules and Regulations

Before you compete in a jujitsu event, it's essential to understand the rules and regulations. Jujitsu competitions can vary depending on the organization, but there are some basic rules that apply to most events. Here are the key things you need to know:


In jujitsu competition, matches are scored based on points. Points are awarded for takedowns, sweeps, and other techniques. The person with the most points at the end of the match wins. If there is a tie, the match may go into overtime, where the first person to score wins.

Weight Classes and Divisions

Jujitsu competitions are typically divided into weight classes and skill levels. The weight classes can vary depending on the organization, but they usually range from featherweight to heavyweight. The skill levels are typically beginner, intermediate, and advanced.

Prohibited Techniques

There are certain techniques that are not allowed in jujitsu competition. These include striking, eye gouging, hair pulling, and biting. It's important to familiarize yourself with the prohibited techniques before competing to avoid disqualification.

Choosing the Right Competition and Division

Once you understand the rules and regulations, it's time to choose the right competition and division for you. Here are some factors to consider when making your decision:

Skill Level

Make sure to choose a competition and division that matches your skill level. If you're a beginner, it's a good idea to start with a beginner division to get a feel for the competition. As you gain more experience, you can move up to more advanced divisions.

Weight Class

Choosing the right weight class is crucial for a fair and safe competition. Make sure to weigh yourself before registering for an event and choose the weight class that's closest to your weight.

Location and Timing

Consider the location and timing of the event when making your decision. Make sure you have enough time to travel to the event and prepare beforehand. It's also a good idea to choose a competition that's close to home, so you don't have to travel too far.

What to Expect on Competition Day

Competition day can be nerve-wracking, but it's important to stay calm and focused. Here's what you can expect on competition day:


Arrive early at the event to give yourself enough time to warm up. It's important to get your blood flowing and loosen up your muscles before your matches. Do some light cardio, stretching, and jujitsu-specific drills to prepare yourself.


You'll need to weigh in before your matches to ensure you're competing in the correct weight class. Make sure to bring your ID and any other necessary documents with you to the weigh-in.


Once you've weighed in, you'll need to wait for your matches to begin. This can be a nerve-wracking experience, but it's important to stay calm and focused. Use this time to visualize yourself winning and go over your game plan.

Once you've arrived at the competition, there are certain things you can do to help navigate the event and stay focused on your matches.


It's important to warm up properly before your matches to prevent injuries and get your body ready for the intense physical activity. Do some light cardio, stretching, and jujitsu-specific drills to prepare yourself.


Make sure to weigh in before your matches to ensure you're competing in the correct weight class. Bring your ID and any other necessary documents with you to the weigh-in.


It's common to have to wait for your matches to begin, so use this time to stay focused and mentally prepare yourself. Visualize yourself winning and go over your game plan.

Getting to Know Your Opponent

Once you know who your opponent is, it's a good idea to do some research and get to know their style and tendencies. Here are some things you can do to prepare:

Watch Videos

Search for videos of your opponent competing to get a sense of their style and techniques. Take note of any weaknesses or tendencies you can exploit.

Ask Around

Talk to coaches and other competitors who have gone up against your opponent to get their insight and advice.

Focus on Yourself

While it's important to know your opponent, don't get too caught up in their style. Focus on your own game plan and executing your techniques.

Strategies for Winning Your Matches

To win your matches, you need to have a solid game plan and be able to execute your techniques under pressure. Here are some strategies to help you succeed:

Stick to Your Game Plan

Before your matches, develop a game plan based on your strengths and weaknesses. Stick to your plan and don't get too caught up in your opponent's style.

Stay Calm

Jujitsu matches can be intense and physically demanding, but it's important to stay calm and focused. Take deep breaths and stay focused on the present moment.

Look for Openings

Pay attention to your opponent's movements and look for openings to execute your techniques. Be patient and wait for the right opportunity.

Staying Safe and Avoiding Injuries

Injuries are a common risk in jujitsu competition, so it's important to take steps to keep yourself safe. Here are some tips to reduce your risk of injury:

Stretch and Warm Up

Make sure to stretch and warm up properly before your matches to prevent injuries.

Tap Out

If you're caught in a submission, don't be afraid to tap out. It's better to lose the match than to risk getting injured.

Communicate with Your Opponent

During the match, communicate with your opponent to avoid accidental injuries. Let them know if you're feeling uncomfortable or if you need to adjust your positioning.

Post-Competition - Debriefing and Learning from Your Experience

After the competition, take some time to reflect on your experience and learn from your matches. Here are some things you can do to debrief:

Review Your Matches

Watch videos of your matches to see what you did well and what you need to improve on.

Get Feedback

Talk to your coach and other experienced competitors to get feedback on your performance.

Set Goals

Based on your experience, set goals for the future and work on improving your weaknesses.