The Difference between BJJ Competitors and Hobbyists

The Difference between BJJ Competitors and Hobbyists

Over the years of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, practitioners are known in different categories. However, the most well-known category for BJJ is divided into categories: BJJ Competitors and BJJ Hobbyists.

1. BJJ Competitors

BJJ Competitions are packed with these guys and their inflated muscles, bulging veins, and ridiculous six-packs. For many people new to jiu-jitsu competitions, they seem like no more than simply an exhibition of fancy throws and chokes. But as with any new venture, it’s important to know where you stand before diving in head first. If your interests tend toward competitive endeavors, then becoming a competitor might be for you. But if it’s more about keeping fit with movement or learning self-defense techniques that can come in handy one day, then hobbyists may fit better for you. Competitors want to be challenged and test themselves against opponents. Competitors are eager o to hit up the tournaments in hopes of taking home gold. BJJ Competitors are likely to put in the extra work to stay in shape and eat right to health in the tournament and approach heightened intensity. Competitors are diverse in standard and ready to compete regularly and spend more time on the mats. Competitors are usually prepared for tournaments because they set themselves up for competitions.

1.1. What is the point of Competing?

Competitions allow you to access your skills and the physical challenge you have to deal with. A BJJ Competitor needs more training and techniques that are required to win the competition. In both cases of the competition, the competitors know how to improve their training. If they win the competitions then they practice more to deal with new challenges, if they lose then they practice for their improvements. Competing had the purpose of competitor development in such circumstances. Through competing, you will better understand your strengths and weaknesses. No one can take away the knowledge and experience when you battle with them and access your skillset.

1.2. Guide for BJJ Competitors

Some people are natural competitors, they practice there for the competitions. It allows you to get yourself out of your comfort zone and understand yourself better. No one can snatch the experience from you that you acquire from the BJJ mats.

BJJ Competitors should follow the guidelines for the competitions that help them better to understand the difficulties while training and practicing.

  • Create A Game Plan: Having a game plan will give the competition direction. 
  • Become Comfortable In a Bad Position: Knowing how to excel in a bad position will give you the confidence to lead the competition. 
  • Treat Competitions Like Training: Fight like there s nothing to lose.
  • Concentrate On The Game: Focusing on the competition includes knowing the tournament's ruleset that benefits you in competition. 
  • Do Not be Hard On Yourself So Much: Keep in mind no matter the outcome of the competition but not push yourself so hard that results in chronic pain. 
  • Be Prepared: The more you train the more you are confident. 

1.3. Competitors Training

Competitors need to train twice a day and consistently for better results in the tournament. Engage with the conditioning while training to improve cardio. Avoid overtraining that burns hard on your muscles that can cause ligaments to the muscles. Try to maintain consistency and make some sets of training. Train yourself in the morning by involving different partners at high intensity. However, you should practice the base and explosive exercises that are beneficial for jiu-jitsu. Training that included squats, power cleans, and pull and press.

1.4. Benefits to BJJ Competitors

  • Reward and satisfaction: One of the main reasons why practitioners compete is the reward for their preparation and effort. It is natural that when someone makes an effort and gets rewarded, their effort and practice develop more and also encourage them more to enhance their skill and expand their BJJ experience.
  • Help to fix the weakness: BJJ Competing helps to fix their weakness, competitors are always trained hard and try to be in the best physical shape when sparring with their great partners. If you trained with the same partner over and over then you won't be able to access the strength and weaknesses.
  • Expand your experience with BJJ Training: Competitors avail of various opportunities to understand and learn new techniques. BJJ is a full-contact martial art that allows the competitors to access and expand the BJJ experience which is useful for competition with different opponents and lead you to better results.  

1.5. Drawbacks for BJJ Competitors

One of the biggest drawbacks of competitions is the pressure they put on competitors to win. While most competitors are friendly and encouraging, there may be people who will try and push you to your breaking point. It’s best to not take these people too seriously and remember that the goal is to have fun. Competitions are also very time-consuming and come with a lot of pressure to perform well and win. You’ll want to make sure you have enough time to train and prepare for your match. Competing also requires a lot of mental and physical energy as well as discipline and commitment.

  • Excessive Training Lead BJJ Competitor to Physical Injury: Major drawback for the BJJ competitors is if you practice over then you might cause injury that makes you weaker. That is unfair to your body and the muscles do not nerve-wreck your muscles. Save energy and strength for the competition. 

2. BJJ Hobbyists

Hobbyists make up the bulk of every gym, which is not a bad thing in the slightest. Doing jiu-jitsu as a hobby that you love is admirable and it doesn't make you any less of a jiu-jitsu practitioner. BJJ hobbyists make it possible for the pros to earn a living doing jiu-jitsu. Things that matter is your progress, and that you are having a positive experience doing a hobby you are passionate about. The most important thing is to take advantage of the time that you do have. Then get in some rolls with your peers to challenge yourself, and get a competitive round. With the growth in BJJ, there has also been exponential growth in students joining BJJ academies. More people are starting to join Jiu Jitsu practice as professional career building in the future but some people are just recreational practice. Although practitioners may love BJJ smooch and anyone sometimes responsibilities and their lives don't allow them to pursue the world championship dream. BJJ hobbyists enjoy the jiu-jitsu lifestyle but they don't stress out over it. They can get swept up in the thrill of training with competitors and the headiness of learning from Masters, but they may not go to those extremes if left to their own devices.

BJJ practitioners sometimes may be called hobbyists, but it's not an insult, the majority of students fall into the hobbyist category. BJJ as a hobby can be a very passionate, challenging pursuit, even if you are not trying to become a world champion or open your school. The hobbyist makes for good all-around training partners and they are what holds the jiu-jitsu community together. Hobbyists provide everyone with the eager training partner we all need. They can adapt to the hard training that competitors need even if competition is not their primary goal.

2.1. Why Hobbyists are the most important people?

Physical hobbies have clear psychological benefits because they increase both your heart rate and brain function. Other benefits include lower blood pressure, weight loss, building muscles, strengthening bones, and an overall increase in energy. BJJ as a hobby inspires you to tap into creative outlets at their work. First and foremost, the biggest difference between competitors and hobbyists is the motivation behind their training.

Hobbyists train to better themselves through physical activity while competitors often train with the sole purpose of being able to compete. This is not to say that competitors don’t also improve themselves; they just have the extra motivation that drives them. Competitions also tend to focus on a specific skill rather than general overall self-defense or something like cardio training. Competitions such as Gi or no-gi Brazilian jiu-jitsu, submission wrestling, Sambo, or judo tend to focus on a specific sport and require specific training to master. Simply showing up and rolling with someone one day won’t prepare you for a tournament. Competitions also often have weight divisions and other rules to follow.

2.2. Professional Hobbyists

Professional Hobbyists are not competing sometimes. Despite that, they still go to training a lot. BJJ is the most important activity to perform, it is just like worship for them. Professional BJJ Hobbyists are more advanced in vulnerable techniques, and other people often learn from them. They are in more categories than normal BJJ Hobbyists. They have a great skill set other than the normal practitioner who pursues BJJ as a hobby. It is not like BJJ is a world for them, they often train in BJJ whether for fun or for competitions. What makes them different from the competitors and the true hobbyists is that they have a life outside of BJJ. Due to frequent appearances in the competitions, they have a good skill set in techniques from normal BJJ Hobbyists. Professional Hobbyists are more devoted to the BJJ practice.

2.3. Real Hobbyists

Without practicing they can not survive, for such practitioners, BJJ is their food, sleep, and in other words life. This is the group where the practitioner took the training above from friends, school, and family. They just love to train BJJ when they are free or loaded with work. However, this type of person just took training three times a week. Their particular task is to find a hobby, that is for their pleasure and self-satisfaction. For such people, it can be BJJ or Muay Thai. They just want the physical rolling activity to spend a lot of time for some particular reasons, through a such activity they can count their aggression and more good lifestyle.

3. BJJ Competitors vs BJJ Hobbyists

3.1. Life Scarifies of Training Daily

For some, a typical training schedule will involve a BJJ session in the morning and evening. Often this involves weight training for BJJ competitors for optimal strength. With this said, you cannot expect to have much social life outside of grappling.

In comparison to BJJ hobbyists, they train once every two days with their job. It implies a significant amount of their time is used at work and training BJJ is a fun activity. BJJ hobbyists can enjoy a social life after their job is done.

3.2. Risking Everything to be the Best

Contrary to most sports, BJJ doesn't pay well at all. Being a competitor can be very expensive with international treacle involved and even with teaching or privates involved, the money will only last so long. It implies that the risk of failure is terrific if you do not win something about the note.

However, BJJ hobbyists have another profession for well-living aside from BJJ training and practice as a recreational activity.

3.3. Physical Problems

Being BJJ Competitor will most likely train twice a day because of this the body of the competitors is more conditioned. However, BJJ's competitors' body more likely to have more typical niggling injuries such as knee and arm pain. On the one hand, BJJ will improve massively while training double or triple causing chronic pain and long-term effect on your body.

BJJ hobbyist's body is more likely to have less conditioning. However, BJJ hobbyists have fewer long-term injuries.

3.4. Difference between BJJ Competitors and Hobbyists

4. Famous BJJ Competitors

4.1. Roger Gracie

Roger Gracie is the best BJJ competitor who steps into the BJJ sport to beat some significant people. Roger Gracie is arguably known as the best BJJ competitor of all time. Roger showed great talent and in BJJ they enrolled to follow his family tradition. It was tough for him to be in the Gracie family where expectations were high.

Roger Gracie dominated the black belt division and became a BJJ competitor awarded the world championship many times. This is the difference between BJJ competitors and Hobbyists Competitors earn gold and a reputation in fighting national-level competitions.

What BJJ competitors are famous for?

  • Roger Gracie is famous for his 10 times black belt earnings.
  • Awarded with gold medals many times in the different weight divisions.
  • Gracie has maintained his resume with achievements and accomplishments.

4.2. Gordan Ryan

Gordan Ryan is the young BJJ competitor who earned his name at 26 years old by winning different ADCC championships and leading Jiu-jitsu. Gordon Ryan is an American grappler who focused on beating the IBJJF competitors. Gordon Ryan secures his 6 figure sponsorship for ADCC 2022. He is famous for his butterfly Guard.

Gordon Ryan is known as King for his accomplishments in BJJ. During his EBI championship, Gordon Ryan was announced as “The Iron Dragon”. In BJJ history, he is the one who has such titles for his competition and gratification. Ryan won 43 matches including Winning double gold at the ADCC championship. Ryan was dealing with No-Gi grappling all the time and became a great BJJ competitor.

4.3. Andre Galvao

Andre Galvao is the five times IBJJF winning champion, and one of the most accomplished grapplers in BJJ history. BJJ competitor Galvao ended up earning a reputation conquered through important titles such as the ADCC championship. Galvao was influenced by his brother and started practicing jiu Jitsu at a career level because he believed in consistency and repetition to become on the top of the competitors.

Andre Galvao won his championship and weight division under Fernando. Galvao retired from cage fighting with a record of 5-2-0 and established the BJJ team in the modern era. Andre Galvao is regarded as one of the biggest competitors that better serve himself in a more competitive environment.

4.4. Marcus Almeida

Marcus Almeida started his BJJ training at a young age, he wanted to follow his dream which was to be a football player. However, he decided to chase BJJ and his decision resulted in outstanding success. He is a multiple-time World champion, great score in IBJJF, and got membership in the IBJJF hall of fame after retirement. For a BJJ competitor, it must be the greatest achievement of all time to get a membership or set a record for others to break.

Marcus Almeida was one of the BJJ competitors who set his name as a symbol of respect in BJJ history. Most of the dominant and consistent fighters over the past decade are Marcus Almeida; people know him as “Buchecha”.

4.5. Bruno Malfacine

Bruno Malfacine is one of the best Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitors to ever walk onto the tatami (No-Gi). Bruno began BJJ at age of 11 when his uncle taught him BJJ. During training with Fabio, he focused on the training and instructions to get experience in coaching. However, Bruno is considered one of the best athletes in jiu-jitsu who competed ever and won 10 IBJJF championship titles under the weight division rooster.

BJJ competitors compete which is why they have made their level and standards to achieve more. If you have good Riva then you can make yourself a better athlete.

Once Bruno Malfacine said,

“In all these years Caio Terra and I have created a higher level of value for our weight division”

This is an example of the BJJ competitor's difference from the BJJ hobbyists. If you compete yourself then you earn more and fierce competition always results in better performance.

5. Famous BJJ Hobbyists

5.1. Averi Clements

Averi Clements is a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu training out of Adelaide, Australia, and is working as a Jiu-jitsu Times author. Averi is the former managing editor for jiu Jitsu Times editor and BJJ hobbyists. Averi began his Jiu Jitsu journey in 2012 in Costa Rica. Once she had a street fight then her friend asked her to learn jiu Jitsu for her self-defense.

Clements's efforts left a lasting effect on the Jiu-Jitsu world. Her dedication and contribution have not gone unnoticed. If someone has an accusation of violence, Averi helped them in the gym training for learning self-defense. BJJ's hobby becomes mental and emotional help for Averi when she is exhausted from writing. Writing is a great career and she is happy with her career, of course, jiu-jitsu is hard as a career when techniques do not come naturally.

5.2. Claudia do Val

Claudia do Val began training BJJ at the age of 18. Do Val decided to add Jiu-Jitsu to her weekly training routine as a way to improve her skill on the ground and better her overall judo game. Claudia compete in jiu-jitsu 3 times as a white belt and once as a blue belt, her focus was not on competition and she removed herself from that element of the sport to carry out her training as a hobbyist.

Later when she was fostered to brown belt, she decided to return to the tournaments and set her name as remarkable wins at the World Championship.

5.3. Fabricio Moreira

Fabricio Moreira began his BJJ journey at age of 10, Moreira initiated his judo training under the guidance of Barbosa. His excellent performance on the mats earned him the chance to train. Moreira has a successful professional life in his engineering career. Although he invested in jiu-jitsu many times, Jiu-Jitsu is always a hobby for him.

BJJ as Recreational activity Moreira started to teach students. Moreira earned his main achievement in BJJ and was a producer of champions such as Andre Galvao, Charles, and many more.

6. Final Thoughts

Overall, being a BJJ competitor and full-time training is not an easy task. It can be physical, mental, and financially grueling. It implies that it's not for everyone and there is no shame in being a hobbyist. Having said this, for dormer the BJJ lifestyle is their true passion and you cannot deny what you enjoy in life. In concussion, it is up to you, before jumping into a decision you should consider these issues in depth.

Photo credit: @eurosport , @flurrysports

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