Author: Bryson Smith
BJJ Blue belt
Different Types of BJJ Tournaments in Queensland
In this article we will discuss some of the different types of BJJ tournaments available in Brisbane to the aspiring Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner.
The most difficult part of learning jiujitsu is the first six months. During this period success can be rare, and it is common to feel as if you’re often hanging on for dear life. Sure, if you’ve developed athletic prowess from previous training, or are naturally larger, you may find success through overpowering your equally inexperienced and smaller training partners, though once you share the mats with an experienced practitioner, size-difference is less important and the power of strong technique cannot be ignored.
As you move through the challenging early times of developing this new skillset, your attitude toward competing in a jiujitsu tournament may look like one of the following;
“I would consider competing if I felt more confident in my ability”
“I’m not interested in competing in tournaments, I just want to casually learn jiujitsu”
“I might consider competing when I improve my general fitness”
All the above attitudes are reasonable, but the point stands that the best way to improve your grappling ability is to train hard, compete in tournaments, reflect on what worked or didn’t work and learn from any mistakes. Competition-level intensity is full resistance, and your techniques will be put to the real test. So, if you want to challenge yourself and take powerful steps in improving your abilities, then relieve yourself of expectations (other than to learn) and sign up for a local tournament!
Outside of COVID times tournaments typically run monthly, and are located all over the greater-Brisbane and Gold Coast area. Different tournaments have different rulesets, so here are four of the different types of BJJ Tournaments you can expect to see around the place.
IBJJF or AFBJJ Tournaments
International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation / Australian Federation of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournaments abide by the same knockout-style tournament structure. If you lose your first match, you do not continue with another match, and to win the tournament you must win every match. Talk about pressure! This tournament style teaches you the importance of executing a game-plan and reinforces the consequences of your in-match decisions. Like most tournaments, you can compete gi and no gi, and each division is broken up by weight and belt-rank. The star-ranking attributed to different championships is indicative of the size and point-value of placing in the tournament. More information here : https://afbjj.com/new-events
Grappling Industries Tournaments
Grappling Industries tournaments follow a round-robin format, that is; all adult competitors get four matches (if the division fills to five competitors, plus finals if you make it). This tournament style is great for getting your competitive reps in. Even if you lose each match you will still have four matches on the tournament mats. Repeated exposure is the best way to improve your approach and reduce your nerves – plus having several matches in one day will teach you the value of wise energy expenditure!
Australian Girls in Gi
Australian Girls In Gi is a supportive community of women grapplers hosting female-only tournaments and get-togethers/camps. Their competition structure follows the round-robin format (like Grappling Industries) and can be a great way for ladies to learn how to compete in an encouraging environment.
Sub Only Tournaments
Sub-Only Tournaments follow a double-elimination structure, so you cannot compete for the championship if you have lost two matches. In the gi, matches follow the IBJJF point-scoring ruleset. The no-gi matches follow ADCC style sub-only rules, where no points are scored unless the match goes into overtime. This ruleset encourages advancement to seek out submissions whilst also discouraging stalling tactics, though it can lead to more match-draws with less time to score points in overtime.
If you are enjoying the challenge of learning jiujitsu I would strongly encourage you to consider competing. Voluntarily putting yourself under pressure to perform is a great way to develop yourself and sharpen your techniques!