What’s your first atemi nationals going to be like?
The TJJF Jiu jitsu nationals are some on the largest and coolest single art events in the UK. Over 2 days you will train with more people of you same grade than you will almost anywhere else.
If this is your first nationals chances are you are going as a white or a yellow belt. I remember this can be a little unnerving/exciting! Key to remember is that there are many people there in the same boat!
So what to expect? Lots of people, a huge mat and a bunch of instructors wearing lots of black! Rei onto the mat and get warm, instructors will get you mentally and physically ready for the session (while some of them stand around chatting!). Then the lead instructors will rei on the session. These will be some of the top instructors in the country, very cool.
Then training all morning with people of your own grade, different ideas and perspectives on how to be great at jitsu for your level. Get to know as many as you can from across the country as you might be competing with them later! In non-covid times you would also be making friends for the social in the evening but this might have to wait till next year.
This can also give you the chance to see some of the browns and dans having some fun too, always cool to watch.
After lunch the competitions happen. Somewhere there is a list of which mat to go to. Listen well to the instructions, it’s a monster to organise and the guys are great at doing it. The competition is a judged competition. You do you bit and the panel score you. A tip, if you want feedback after, tell them before 🙂 Remember you are not actually fighting anyone, train hard but by damaging others you create bad blood and may even be disqualified. Get in there, try hard and enjoy it. There may be more than one round.
In the evening back to the accommodation and grab some grub. The choice of evening entertainment is up to you but I have had some awesome nights at these events.
Next morning back on the mat bright and keen/ feeling awful and sluggish (depending on your choices from the previous paragraph) but whichever… you make it onto the mat!
More training in the morning, you know your partners better now so more fun! A couple of hours getting better at jiu jitsu, awesome.
After lunch, the finals! The last round of competitions at all grades. Maybe you made it through or not, watching or partaking this is a great part. All this then leads up to the brown belt competition, attacking each other with coshs, sticks, fists, feet, training knives and swords, chains and whatever else they can think of! After this is the crowning moment, the open competition. The browns and dans enjoying themselves, some of the best jiu jitsu you can see in the year.
Then medals and presentations and long goodbyes (not to mention putting away the biggest mat you have ever seen!).
In short, training, competing, learning, socialising, watching, trying, smiling, sweating, laughing and leaving it wanting more.
Enjoy it, respect your partners, through yourself into it, train safe and smile. I hope you love it.