Can i compete in BJJ tournament by walking in, without affiliation?

What steps do I need to take to compete? I train BJJ but I don't want to be affiliated to the school im training in, I just want to compete for experience, so if I lose, my school's name won't be affected.

What do you think?

1 Answer

  • Donald
    Lv 7
    7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Yes. Absolutely. But . . .

    That's sort of how my son got started. He'd had about 6 years of more traditional martial arts experience. He was in either 9th or 10 grade, and had started wrestling in 9th, so he had 1+ yearf restling.. And he had been going to grappling classes at a local karate school. The school didn't teach BJJ at all and the instructor (if he'd had a belt) probably would have been a mid-level blue belt.

    Still, my son wanted to compete. He was--kind of, sort of--affiliated with the karate school in that that's where he studied. But the karate school didn't send any kids to grappling tournaments.

    My son entered one. The first one, he had to wear his old (and small) traditional martial arts uniform from a couple of years earlier. He lost, but actually didn't do too bad.

    He practiced more, got a real gi, got better at wrestling, and got better at grappling. He attended some seminars (Royce Gracie, among others) at a nearby BJJ school. He entered another tournament when he was 17. He competed in 4 divisions and won 4 medals. (For some pictures, see

    Youtube thumbnail

    ) He was unaffiliated.

    Now, you've got a slight problem if you're already in a school. Your instructor may expect you to reveal your affiliation. The tournament organizers won't care. The thing they're concerned about is "sandbagging"--entering in a lower skill division than you really should be in. But, in this case, you really should discuss it with your instructor.

    I understand your concern. Where my son goes, everyone's encouraged to enter the local BJJ and grappling tournaments. Even kids who just started classes a month before. But when it gets to MMA, you need explicit approval--for safety and because you're representing the school. Different schools have different philosophies on this. But the one thing you DON'T want to do is enter without an affiliation, have anyone find out, and then find out that you've violated an explicit or implicit school policy.

    So, yes, you certainly can compete in tournaments without an affiliation. But you also should discuss your plans with your instructor.

    Hope that helps.

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