Considering the nature of this site, the focus will be on Brazilian Jiu-jitsu competition, but the concepts can be applied across the spectrum. I’m going to highlight some of the benefits you can attain if you just go out there, compete, and do it often.
Improves Your Ability to Maintain Calm in Adverse Situations
Now I consider this one of the most important benefits of competition. It can be attained in the gym by training hard and gaining confidence in your skills, but it is in competition where that calm is really put to the test.
So you have become confident in that environment because the psychological stress placed on you in training is very different from the stress you can feel in competition.
We all want to win when we compete, and it can be hard to be calm when things don’t go as planned. It is experience that helps you calmly assess the situation and move forward with the hand that you’re dealt.
Helps Focus Your Attention on Weaknesses
Win or lose, you sometimes run into situations where you could have done things a little differently. In competition, there is an increased likelihood of that happening since you may compete against individuals who have different styles than you are used to in your gym.
It’s a great thing when it happens since it can focus you like a laser on areas that you can improve in. It can also serve as motivation for you to improve since you likely want to do better the next time you compete.
Improves Your Training by Giving You Short Term Goals to Focus On
When you compete, you want to win. If not, you wouldn’t invest the money and time required to do so. Now given that fact, competition can focus your attention on the question of how you can improve in the shortest time frame possible.
Any extra effort you’re putting into your training for a particular competition is speeding up your progress towards being a master of your art even if it’s only by an inch. It all adds up over time, and you become better than you would have been if you had never competed.
Invest in Your Art
This is not a benefit of competition, but it is a reason to compete. Once sometime ago, after a class at Crazy 88, a question was asked about the difference between gambling and investing. The answer stuck with me, and I’ll explain it.
When you gamble, all that matters is winning and losing. There is no benefit that can be attained from lost, and no matter the odds, that principle still holds true.
Investment, on the other hand, is different. When you invest, you can benefit even from losses because luck isn’t the primary determinant of the outcome.
So if you go into competition with the mindset that you are investing in your skills, you will benefit. There is no doubt of that.