With myself and a number of The Arena team heading to the World Masters in Las Vegas on September 25/26 I thought I would pass on the items that I think need to be considered and addressed early on.
1. IBJJF Registration
2. Competition Registration
As soon as the competition is announced you should register for your division, without delay. There are a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, these competitions do reach capacity and sell out, causing registration to be closed early. Secondly, within the rules under section 5.2 of the General Competition Guidelines:
“5.2 Each academy has the right to register two athletes in each weight/belt/age/gender division”
So even if the event is not sold out, you may not be able to register if these two spots are taken. Something to remember when Zenith has in the region of 150 clubs competing under the Zenith registration.
3. Planning Travel
Las Vegas has an altitude of around 2,500 feet, which combined with the dry air, jet lag and training intensely twice a day can take some getting used to. It typically takes me a week to adjust to before I start to feel like I’m training when I’m at home. Also, for the first time the competition will be held in Las Vegas, not Los Angeles which is closer to sea level. Ideally you would want a minimum of two weeks of training in Vegas before the competition, but if that doesn’t fit in your schedule, try to make it more than a week.
If you are training twice a day, you will need a minimum of three gis. Two of these should be patched and competition legal. You will only have a minimal amount of time to change if there is a problem with your go, or otherwise be disqualified:
“6.3.2 When an athlete’s gi is rendered unusable and he/she is unable to exchange it for a new one within a period of time stipulated by the referee.”
You may want to have your two competition gis be royal blue and white, which is a requirement for black belts.
“8.1.4 In the adult black belt divisions (mens and women’s), the event’s organizers may demand that athletes have two gis of different colors (one royal blue and the other white), in order to distinguish between the two athletes in a match.”
I would suggest purchasing your gis closer to the competition so you have time to patch them and wear them in, but they are unlikely to shrink significantly from numerous washes.
5. Weight Division
Start thinking about the weight division you want to compete in. Lighter is generally faster, but heavier is generally stronger. Whatever division you choose, try to be at or near that weight as far in advance as possible. You don’t want to spend months training a particular game, and then change major physical properties and find your skills don’t apply or adapt to these changes quickly.