When people ask me about Jiu-Jitsu tournaments my first response is often about the respect level. It’s hard to get someone who has never experienced Jiu-Jitsu or that has never been to a tournament to understand what that is like. Most people are much more familiar with MMA than they are BJJ, but they know the two can be related. They often think that practitioners look at Jiu-Jitsu matches and opponents how many of the publicized MMA fighters do, which is full of ego and anger, but that’s not true.
Respecting your opponent is heavily preached in the Jiu-Jitsu world. That’s one reason tournaments can be so fun. You can go to tournament’s and actually make friends with the other competitors. I have experienced this first hand. I talked to and warmed up with another girl I had never met before at my first tournament and we still stay in touch now.
The respect that Jiu-Jitsu athletes have for each other on the sidelines is carried onto the mats during competition. All matches start with some sort of handshake or bow. After that the actual match begins. Once the match is over you often see opponent’s picking each other up. You don’t see that in many other sports so it is a surprise to many that it is so common in such a physical sport.
Everyone that has ever been on the mat knows what it takes to be there. They know the dedication and hard work that you have to put into it. That is one of the many reasons I believe Jiu-Jitsu practitioners respect each other so much.
The respect between athletes is one of many reasons I love this sport. I love the sense of community there is between everyone that practices this art. Jiu-Jitsu is universal. No matter where you are at, where you are from, what you look like, or what language you speak, if you practice Jiu-Jitsu you can find this respect and find this sense of community.