So you have signed up for your first jiu jitsu competition. Congrats! Going to your first competition is a big stepping stone in your journey as a jiujiteira.
Getting ready to compete is super exciting, but it can also be nerve-racking. There is a lot to think about, but making sure you have everything you need will help you focus on your game plan and have fun in the process!
FOOD + DRINK
Most competitions are an all day event, so at some point you will need to eat. Lots of places will have food to sell, often there aren’t healthy options. If you have a lot of matches, fueling your body properly is essential.
During a competition, you’re going to want foods that are easily digestible and make you feel your best. If you happen to have a large chunk of time between matches, you can usually have a bigger snack or a small meal.
Some suggestions of food to bring:
- Protein bars: (make sure you have had these before! Some will upset your stomach)
- Energy bars: (Think Clif bars, power bars, etc)
- Fruit/Gummies/energy Chews
- Pretzels/Crackers (Something to crunch on that is salty)
- Sandwich(s): (pb+j or a simple meat sandwich is perfect!)
- Electrolyte Packs or Sports Drinks: you will need fluids, and making sure that you are replenishing your electrolytes appropriately
- Large Water Bottle(s): Some places won’t have water bottles for sale, so make sure you have enough for the day just in case
- Caffeine: Your choice here, but having the option for more caffeine during the day can be very helpful
On comp day, you obviously want to bring your competition gear. But it’s advisable to have a spare set just in case; especially if you’re doing both gi and nogi on the same day.
Our advice, bring 2 rash guards, an extra pair of bottoms, and if you’re competing in the gi, keep an extra on hand. Some competitions are pickier about gi fit/sizing, so make sure you have options so you won’t get disqualified.
Making sure that you stay warm between or before matches is imperative for your muscles. So make sure you have comfy sweatpants and a hoodie to stay warm.
You don’t need a whole wardrobe, but having options to change into just in case will be incredibly helpful.
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Between warming up, waiting, and just trying to get in the zone, Headphones are a must! It can be really helpful to have a competition playlist of your favorite songs ready to go.
You will be at some comps for well over 8 hours. Remember to bring something to charge your phone with!
Many vendors at competitions will not accept cards, so it’s important to have cash on hand for food. Plus, you can buy a T-shirt or something to remember your first competition.
PERSONAL HYGIENE ITEMS
While you may come to the competition with your hair already done, the likelihood that it will get messed up is high. Bring a brush and some extra hair ties, so you’re not stuck competing with your hair in your face.
Baby wipes/feminine products are a great thing to just have in your bag as well. It’s better to be safe than sorry. If you don’t end up needing it, someone else probably will.
As you compete more, you will develop your own preferences and needs when it comes to packing your jiu jitsu bag, but this list is a great place to start.
The most important thing you need to remember to bring to your first competition is a great attitude. Have fun, enjoy the process, and take lots of videos and photos. You will want to look back at them some day.
About the Author
Becca is a contributing writer to Alchemize, and fellow jiujiteria. She is a life-long athlete, nutrition coach, and mother of two boys. You can usually find Becca doing one of 4 things: at the gym, cooking, with her kids, or coaching her athletes. Practicality is the name of her game, and making the best of situations is her specialty.