Well the third grab and pull competition is less than week away, this will be my 4rth big comp so I thought i would post my thoughts on what to expect if its your first competition.
Competitions generally start in the morning at around 9, when you get there you will need to register and try find out what time you will be fighting. This is sometimes posted up on the wall, if not just bug someone till you find out when because if its right away you'll want to go warm up and if its alot later on you can think about when to eat, and maybe chill out and nap for a bit.
White belts are typically on first usually in order of weight. The order of purple, blue, brown varies with any black belt fights near the end however this varies from comp to comp. You will be weighed just before you fight, so make sure if your a white belt you make weight the day before as there is unlikely to be any time to run around and sweat it out.
Most competitions are elimination style i.e. if you lose your first fight then you'll only get to fight once, to get to the finals you may have to have about 8 fights especially in popular categories such as white and blue belt light-middle weight.
For all us female competitors we usually all compete at roughly the same time in the afternoon. You will usually have a couple of people in your weight category with the option to fight in an absolute later in the day. Be aware that sometimes if theres smaller numbers it can feel a bit unfair when theres no one to compete against and you have to move up and fight heavier competitors especially if you've worked hard to cut weight, or conversly have someone heavier grouped with you.
Its for that reason that i wouldn't recommend making huge cuts in weight particularly at white belt level. To me I would rather maybe fight someone a bit bigger and have eaten a good amount of food and kept my strength up the week before than be starving and grumpy the day of the competition. I would expect about 1-3 fights in your weight category and possibly more in the absolute division if its not held too much later in the day.
what to bring?
Food: Brazilian jiujitsu competitions usually start early and finish late! you don't want to be running around trying to find food while your there, with the exception of a cheeky 5 quid acai berry shake, so its important to bring enough with you.
fruit - bananas and oranges grapes always go down well and are good to eat before your fight as they are quickly digested and provide an immediate source of energy
A nice carb meal to refuel after your fight particularly if you have been cutting weight all week
Plenty of water and a couple of carb drinks if you prefer a quick drink over food
Clothes: as competitions tend to be a drive or a train away i usually wear something comfy and loose and bring along a pair of flip flops for once you've changed into your gi
Music: if its your first comp its nice to chill out and drown out the sound of people frantically talking bout last minute game plans. You should go into the mat feeling as calm as possible with a clear mind if you've trained hard then stick to what you know
You might want to bring a pillow/sleeping mask to have a quick nap if you got up early and arnt fighting till later on.
Camera: to get some some pics of your fight, sometimes professional photographers take pictures and film the fights check out http://www.cagefilm.com/ and efnsport.com for info about pictures of competitions
The week before
This week i'm planning on going to training on Monday and Wednesday and going over escapes and positions with maybe a few light rolls, try and avoid rolling with some of the heavier crazier people in the run up to a competition, the last thing you want is someone messing you up with a week to go!
Intense exercise increases the stress hormone cortisol, which can decrease our immune system functioning, this is another reason to go easy the run up to the competition as you don't want to get a cold or,, dun dun dun the dreaded swine flu.
As alot of people are still cutting weight the week before competition your body probably isn't getting all the nutrients it needs which is another reason to take a good multivitamin.
Make sure you get plenty of sleep and rest maybe do some yoga or go get a sports massage, in my mind with a week to go I've trained as hard as I can so i like to give my body and mind a few days to chill so I'll have plenty of energy on the day.
Peace 4 now, i'll leave you with this Rickson Gracie clip