Competition is a fun and exciting way to test your skill sets in Jiu Jitsu! As an instructor I highly recommend competing at least once in your time as a practitioner. That being said, if you decide you never want to compete, It’s all good! My personal philosophy about competition starts with the actual word “Competition”. In Latin “Compete” is actually the compound word “Cum-petere” which loosely translates as “seek together”. As all of you have probably noticed, Jiu Jitsu cannot be practiced alone. It is imperative to have a cooperative training partner and more importantly to have a safe training environment. My job as an instructor and coach is to help implement these conditions and pass on knowledge about techniques, concepts, and encourage spirited “play” on the mats. As students, you too have a job to do! The most important one of all is to be present on the mats. What do I mean by that? In the most basic sense, that simply means showing up to class, but it doesn’t simply end there. When arriving to class we must be present in our minds and in our intentions. As a courtesy not just to the Academy but to our fellow training partners we must come to class with our “thinking caps” on, clean uniforms, good hygiene (showering before and after, trimmed nails, etc.) and an open mind intent on learning and helping others. “Competition” can be in the context of a tournament or even with ourselves. Jiu jitsu presents many challenges and in my mind, many opportunities to grow and learn not just as a practitioner, but as a human being. I encourage all of you to examine what it means to “compete” and ponder how we can implement this new idea of “seeking together” in order to grow as both individual and as a TEAM!