What are the Benefits of Traveling to Compete and Train?
By Alec Baulding
Plateaus happen to everyone at every level. When they happen some Jiu Jitsu practitioners may decide to take a break or to do cross training in sports like rock climbing, yoga, etc. to mix up their routine. However, one simple solution that you can try to bring new life to your training is to travel. There’s nothing that will break up the monotony of everyday training like putting yourself in an unfamiliar place. There are so many tournaments being held nationally and internationally that you can even plan your vacations around them. There are tournaments happening all over the world with people with completely different styles than your own that are open for you to try.
Of course, it can be scary. Nothing’s worse than being lost in a foreign country with no WiFi. Traveling and doing Jiu Jitsu will show you that doing Jiu Jitsu is not only a fun hobby but also an activity that will bring you closer to strangers and give you a home away from home. No matter where you go, if you manage to find a Jiu Jitsu academy you will find a place that you will be able to fit in and easily make new friends, a must in a foreign city. Being outside of your comfort zone really shows you where your Jiu Jitsu level is at. How you roll after being jet lagged and out of your element is a true test of your skill.
If you’re a little short on cash and can’t afford to travel to a foreign land that’s alright. A really fun way to break up your training that is more affordable is to visit a different academy in your city that offers something that your academy doesn’t. Maybe another academy is hosting a seminar with a world champion that you’ve always wanted to train with or maybe an academy is hosting a camp for a tournament. If every training session is the same for you of course you will get bored of it eventually. That’s why you have to actively seek out ways to make it interesting as a student of Jiu Jitsu. That’s not to say that Jiu Jitsu will always be fun and exciting.
If you want to progress there will be a lot of days when you will work the same techniques or concepts until you get them down. That also means a lot of drilling and sparring, which while good for you isn’t always sustainable for more than a few weeks. Part of living the Jiu Jitsu lifestyle is getting out of your comfort zone. That’s why competition can help elevate your game. Because it’s not comfortable, it forces you to rise to the challenge. However, competition isn’t for everyone. In that case, you can use traveling to another academy to almost mimic that same kind of feeling you get when you go to compete. It’s the feeling you get from rolling with new training partners and against different styles that you aren’t used to.
So use traveling as a fun way to break up getting into a boring routine. Push yourself to see what your Jiu Jitsu skills are really capable of and you might just make new friends and have fun experiences along the way. Where have you traveled for Jiu Jitsu and how did it help your game? Let us know in the comments!