All the kids had their gi’s on and their belts tied waiting for things to start. Some were sitting quietly thinking about what was about to happen. Some were unfazed by the moment and just saw another chance to play with friends in the back of the gym. I looked over each kids face as I wished them luck. I was trying to determine what they were feeling. Where they nervous? Could they even admit feeling nervous if in fact they were? As with most of these events, there was a big mix of feelings among the kids that were going to be competing at the Gracie Jiu Jitsu San Marcos and Gracie Jiu Jitsu Carlsbad in house tournament.
For a lot of the kids this was their first exposure to a Jiu Jitsu tournament. The in house experience is a great way to help get their feet wet. Sometimes starting out at a big tournament can cause the kids to get in their own heads to much and make them nervous. With the in house tournament the kids are surrounded by friends and familiar faces. The tournament was located at Gracie Jiu Jitsu Carlsbad which means, for a lot of the kids, it’s in a location that they have visited before. All these things make it a lot more of an enjoyable experience for them. It is important when kids start competing that they have fun. That way, they will be encouraged to keep going and trying more Jiu Jitsu tournaments. Competition may not be for everyone or even be a vested interest for a lot of people but it’s definitely a way to get better at Jiu Jitsu faster. The pressure of the tournament helps them grow stronger and the more they compete the more benefits they will gain from it. If we can create a happy and fun environment to help the kids learn their interest and passion for competing then we know we have succeeded at our in-house tournament.
Some kids have been competing regularly. They try and go to a tournament every month or so and have made it part of their lifestyle. For these kids it’s important to keep the rhythm going. The more consistent you become with competing the better you feel and perform. These kids had a chance to keep the ball rolling and gain some more experience. I can see the smile on their faces as they are waiting for it to start. They have unconsciously learned to turn that nervousness into excitement. With that excitement you get to watch them perform at their highest level.
Gracie Jiu Jitsu San Marcos and Carlsbad are so proud of all the students who participated. They put themselves on the line for a chance to learn and grow as a person (and win a medal). We look forward to having another one soon.