Do you know who I am? Do you know how I’ve lived my life up until recent? I am the human embodiment of unorganized chaos (redundant much?).
To be successful in jiu-jitsu though, one must be organized. You can be good, but you can’t be successful unless you’re organized. During these next few weeks, I will have to be organized in a very traditional manner. The blinders come on. I must narrow my view of the game and specifically choose what style I will bring to the tournament. From each position, I will have no more than 3 go-to transitions and 3 go-to submissions. Heard of the term paralysis by analysis? Watch a jiu-jitsu tournament and you’ll see what I mean. Superb ground fighters freezing on the mat because they are unable to relax as they normally do in practice. Freezing leads to holding your breathe. Leads to hyperventilation. Leads to gassing out. Leads to fear. At that point, all is lost.
My plan is to come in with a basic game, simplify my mind, and cram it down my opponents throat. This is how I will practice until the tournament. I’ve gone so far as to create a map that I’ve drawn out, detailing my moves from each position. Making sure I’m not going to be thinking of too much at any one point. Starting on Monday, the 15th, the mood in the gym will change. We go from teammates to steel sharpening steel. When it’s go time, sympathy will make you weak. It doesn’t help you, it doesn’t help your teammate.
Now, with the mentality in the gym changing, my focus must also turn to the scale. My greatest foe. When I had competed in my final wrestling match, euphoria swept over my body. Not because a chapter was ending, but because I thought at that time, that I would never have to cut weight again. Yet, here I am, waking every morning, feverishly jotting down any fluctuation down to the slightest tenth of a pound. This is not to say I’m weight obsessed. This far out, there is not need for panic. By following the principles of the slow-carb diet with a few tweaks to make it more athlete-friendly, I am losing weight as expected. I’m currently down 8 pounds of almost pure body fat from when I started this. There has been no strength drop-off at all. In fact, I’ve gotten stronger! If I lose another 8 pounds during the second half of this cut, I’ll only need to sweat off 4-5 pounds of water weight. That may sound unhealthy and hazardous to some, but I challenge you to track your weight every waking hour for two days. You’d be surprised how much natural fluctuation there is. Considering this, that brief 4-5 pound cut doesn’t sound so dangerous. We’ll be putting up another article on how to effectively and safely cut water weight closer to tournament time.
I should note here that unless you are a grappler or compete in some other sport that has weight classes, WEIGHT DOES NOT MATTER! I usually recommend that females do the jean size and mirror test, while males do the mirror test only. Exactly what it sounds like. Are you able to wear smaller jeans? If yes, then you’re doing things right. Do you look better in the bathroom mirror, with the same lighting every time? Then you’re doing things right.
For those wanting more empirical results, getting your body fat % tested by a reputable source is the best choice. We’ll have an article reviewing the different ways to test your body fat, and which is the best value.
We have some articles coming up covering all sorts of different topics. I’m really excited about what we have coming down the pipe. Stay tuned!
See you on the mats,