Skip to content

How to Prepare for BJJ Competition by Chad "The Dad" Myers

Introduction Starting your journey in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) is a commitment, but the real magic happens on the competition...

How to Prep for BJJ Competition


Starting your journey in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) is a commitment, but the real magic happens on the competition mat. This guide is your go-to for getting ready—mind, body, and strategy—for the intense world of BJJ competitions. Whether you're a seasoned pro or eyeing your first match, we've got the inside scoop to help you not just survive but thrive in the BJJ arena. Together, let's unravel the secrets that go beyond wins and losses, boosting not just your skills on the mat but your overall personal growth. Join us as we tap into the full potential within, showing you how competitions can be the key to becoming a better martial artist.

Who is Chad "The Dad" Myers?

Chad "The Dad" Myers is a distinguished Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt, renowned global competitor, and the visionary founder of Flow State Jiu-Jitsu. More than just an instructor, Chad embodies the role of a mentor, weaving together his extensive worldwide experiences, MMA achievements, and wrestling background into a comprehensive and holistic learning experience. As a seasoned competitor, Chad not only comprehends the intricacies of the competition mat but also imparts invaluable insights acquired through a rich martial arts journey. Beyond his martial prowess, Chad is the innovator behind the Simulated Contextual Immersion Technique (SCIT) for language learners, an author of the “Philosophy of Flow” series, a staunch practitioner of stoicism, and a devoted father of four.

The Psychology of Competition Preparation

Embarking on a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) competition is not just a test of physical prowess; it's a psychological battlefield. Understanding the intricacies of competition preparation is crucial to navigate the challenges successfully. Let's delve into the psychology of gearing up for BJJ competitions.

The Competitive Mindset: A Game-Changer

BJJ competitions are won not just on the mat but in the mind. Cultivating a competitive mindset is key – the ability to strategize, adapt, and thrive under pressure. Uncover the components that make a champion's mindset, offering insights into elevating your mental game.

Embracing the Mental Rigors of Competition

The mental aspect of BJJ competition cannot be overstated. From handling adrenaline spikes to overcoming setbacks, this segment provides a comprehensive understanding of the psychological challenges you might encounter. Learn how to turn mental hurdles into stepping stones toward victory.

Visualization and Mental Conditioning

In competition preparation, mental conditioning is as vital as physical training. Gain insights into visualization techniques and mental exercises tailored for success. Equip yourself with tools to visualize triumph, cultivate focus, and build mental resilience.

BJJ Strength & Conditioning Program

Physical Preparation for BJJ Competition

As the date of your Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) competition approaches, honing your physical capabilities becomes a critical component of your preparation. Let's delve into the strategic training regimen designed to elevate your strength, endurance, and overall conditioning for peak performance.

Crafting a Purposeful Training Regimen

In the weeks leading up to the competition, your training should evolve into a targeted regimen. Explore the nuances of a well-structured routine that addresses specific aspects crucial for success in BJJ competition. From conditioning drills to strength-building exercises, understand the science behind crafting a purposeful training plan.

The Role of Isometric Workouts: Building Strength and Endurance

Discover the significance of isometric workouts in cultivating the strength required for BJJ competition. Unlike traditional exercises, isometric training focuses on static muscle contractions, mimicking the demands of grappling. Learn how integrating isometric workouts into your routine enhances your ability to exert force, endure extended matches, and maintain optimal performance.

The Losing Game: Mental Toughness Training

Mastering Adversity

The losing game, a unique mental toughness drill in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ), goes beyond victories and taps. It's about intentionally placing oneself in disadvantageous positions during training to develop unparalleled mental resilience.

Navigating Challenges

Facing adversity consistently refines problem-solving skills, adaptability, and composure. The losing game isn't just a drill; it's a crucible for personal growth, transforming setbacks into stepping stones towards success.

A Mental Chess Match

BJJ is both physical and mental. The losing game ensures practitioners aren't just physically fit but mentally tough, providing a strategic advantage on competition day.

Beyond Scoreboards

Victories in BJJ extend beyond scoreboards. The real win lies in the mental fortitude cultivated through the losing game. Each challenge contributes to a winning mindset that transcends immediate match outcomes.

Navigating Adrenaline Dump: Physical Preparedness

Understanding Adrenaline Dynamics

In BJJ competition, the body's natural response leads to an adrenaline dump, enhancing physical and mental capabilities. Effective preparation requires not just understanding but strategic navigation of this response.

Training for Exhaustion

Simulating worst-case scenarios, including moments of exhaustion, is key. This prepares practitioners for physiological changes linked to adrenaline, ensuring peak performance even when fatigued.

Isometric Workouts for Specific Endurance

Isometric exercises, mimicking grappling tensions, build targeted endurance. These workouts go beyond traditional cardio, ensuring individuals can maintain effectiveness in grappling situations.

Simulating Stressful Scenarios

Training should extend beyond physical fatigue. Simulating worst-case scenarios helps acclimate practitioners to the mental stress associated with adrenaline dumps, fostering positive stress adaptation.

Setting Realistic Goals: The Pre-Competition Mindset

Redefining Success Beyond Medals

Entering a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) competition involves more than just clinching medals. It's an opportunity for personal growth and learning. Setting realistic goals that extend beyond victory is crucial for a positive pre-competition mindset.

Subjective Wins and Losses

Instead of fixating solely on the outcome, understanding subjective wins is essential. These are personal achievements, be it facing competition anxiety or executing a technique flawlessly. Embrace the process, appreciating every step forward.

Managing Expectations

Avoiding rigid expectations helps ease competition anxiety. Acknowledge the unpredictability of matches and focus on self-improvement. Celebrate small victories and recognize that success in BJJ is a continuous journey.

The Power of Adaptability

A pre-competition mindset should emphasize adaptability. Every match, win or lose, contributes to growth. It's about evolving as a practitioner, refining techniques, and refining the mental game.

Dealing with Competition Anxiety

Addressing Anxiety

In the world of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ), competition anxiety is a common adversary. Understanding its nuances and developing strategies to navigate this mental challenge is crucial for practitioners seeking success on the mat.

Personal Anecdotes on Overcoming Anxiety

Sharing personal experiences of overcoming competition-related anxiety can resonate deeply with fellow practitioners. Narratives of triumphing over nerves and panic provide reassurance and motivation to those grappling with similar challenges.

Techniques to Calm Nerves and Stay Focused

The article delves into practical techniques to calm nerves during competition. From mindfulness exercises to focused breathing, adopting strategies that align with individual preferences can significantly impact anxiety levels. Staying centered and focused enhances performance under pressure.

The Final Days: Fixing Mindset and Establishing Wins

Strategies for Mental Preparation

As the countdown to competition narrows, mental preparation becomes paramount. This section explores strategic approaches to fine-tune the competitor's mindset in the days leading up to the event. Techniques such as visualization, positive affirmations, and goal-setting contribute to a focused and resilient mental state.

Establishing Personal Wins and Losses

The article emphasizes the importance of defining personal wins beyond the match outcome. It encourages competitors to establish subjective victories, aligning with individual goals and progress. By celebrating small achievements, practitioners can build confidence and reinforce a positive mindset going into the competition.

Why Compete?

Beyond Winning Medals

Competing in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) offers benefits that extend beyond the pursuit of medals. This section delves into the multifaceted reasons why engaging in competitions is essential for personal growth and skill development. It highlights how each competition serves as a unique learning experience, providing insights into both strengths and areas for improvement.

Real-Life Stress Simulation

BJJ competitions act as a valuable arena for stress testing one's skills under pressure. Drawing parallels between the stress of competition and real-life scenarios, this section explores how the competitive environment sharpens practitioners' ability to navigate challenging situations. The unpredictable nature of a live match serves as a catalyst for adapting and refining one's martial arts skills.

Becoming an Accomplished Martial Artist

To become a truly accomplished martial artist, regular competition is emphasized. By pushing the boundaries of stress tolerance and remaining calm under pressure, competitors transition from an "animal mindset" to a composed "human mindset." The section outlines how this transition signifies a higher level of mastery in BJJ, echoing the philosophy that true growth occurs outside one's comfort zone.


In the world of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, competition serves as a catalyst for growth, both mentally and physically. Embracing the challenges, setting realistic goals, and navigating the adrenaline dump are all integral aspects of becoming a more accomplished martial artist.

Your Next Step

For a thorough exploration of competition preparation, strategies, and mental fortitude, dive into our comprehensive guide, "How to Prep for Competition,” authored by Chad Myers, a seasoned competitor with a global reach. Drawing from worldwide competition experience, MMA insights, and coaching expertise, Chad offers a unique perspective that enriches your understanding of BJJ. With Chad's guidance, you're not just rolling; you're growing, evolving, and transforming each competition into a stepping stone on your martial arts journey.

Select options