I competed in many Jiu-Jitsu tournaments before I started training at Lincoln BJJ Center, and except for the ones that took place at the dojo, there were usually only a couple of us from my school competing, so I never really felt like I was part of a real team. Even though my instructor Conan was always present at the tournaments, he was busy reffing, so he wasn’t able to coach me. Luckily, although they never competed, Amy and Kristy (from the women’s class at the dojo, which is now Ethridge class), always came along to coach and support me.
The Circle of Iron that took place a few months ago was the first time I had entered a tournament in about a year and a half (since before Lincoln BJJ Center opened), and it was also the first time I knew what it felt like to really be surrounded by teammates when I was competing in an unfamiliar place. The Professor, and my bros who were there, were able to coach me, and cheer me on. It was amazing to have so many supportive people around me, and it really solidified me feeling as though I was a part of Lincoln Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
The drawback to it was that since women compete first at the Circle of Iron, all of my teammates were watching me. I generally detest being watched at all, but I don’t really care what the average spectator thinks about me or my skills, and I do care what my instructors and teammates think, so it was even more nerve-wracking!
Lincoln BJJ is bringing approximately the same number of competitors to the Circle of Iron tomorrow as we did last time, but for the most part, it’s a different group. There are some injuries going around, and we have more brand new competitors this time. I’m thrilled that the students at Lincoln BJJ are embracing competition, and even though I wish they could coach and cheer without actually watching me, I’m really glad they will be there.
Jiu-Jitsu is truly a solitary sport, people can try to help you, but it’s just you and your knowledge out there, working to get it done against someone else who is trying their best to do the same. However, the things that we learn when we’re competing don’t just help each of us personally, we bring those lessons back to our home mat, and in a way, everyone learns from them. Self-improvements gained from competition raise the overall level of our school, because as one of us gets better, we all do. I am so happy and proud to call myself a member of Team Lincoln BJJ!