Competition can be very stressful for most people. There are quite a bit of emotions that circulate leading up to tournaments and most of these emotions can be maladaptive unless they are regulated properly. Honing your mental skills is important for optimal performance. Most people understand this leading up to competition, but forget that honing your mental skills is also important for what happens afterward.
For a lot of people, losing is not very easily swallowed. Losing a tournament often leads people to think they aren’t good enough or that Jiu Jitsu is not right for them, but that is a matter of perspective. Competition is a great place to learn Jiu Jitsu because of the stress your body and mind gos through. Stress is important for learning within certain limits because the hormones involved in learning are released during levels of autonomic nervous system (fight or flight) arousal. Sometimes, stress can get the better of us if we let our emotions get the best of us. This takes the our experience from one of learning to one of failure. This especially happens when people compete in big competitions for the first time. There are strangers’ eyes everywhere, all focus is on you, you don’t know anybody but the handful of people you went with. It is best to start off small if you aren’t used to this kind of energy. A great way to start small is by participating in in-house tournaments. These are usually competitions hosted by your school in order to simulate the competition environment among friends and training partners. The familiarity helps to ease levels of stress, making everything a little more fun and less like a life and death battle.
Everyone should compete in in-house tournaments because they are a great way to test your abilities in very real setting without the intimidation of major events filled with strangers. The results of winning or losing are less consequential because you’re among friends and it is easier to put things in perspective. There are a ton of great effects of this including the most obvious (Learning), motivation, self esteem, etc.