Should I Compete Again in Japan?

Should I Compete Again in Japan?

July 2017 will mark three years since we moved to Japan. It also marks the month that we will be moving back to Virginia.  As many of you already know, I’ve been very involved in both Judo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  Since moving to Japan in the summer of 2014, I’ve competed fairly regularly in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. For a while, it seemed like I was competing about every other month.

Copa Bull Terrier Tournament.

should i compete again in Japan

I had competed in many Judo tournaments in the last several years but this was the first Jiu Jitsu tournament that I had competed in since 2009.   I was nervous, but I was also excited.  Even though I took third should I compete again in Japanplace, which I was a little disappointed with, it ignited the competition fire in me.

My work schedule encompasses 12 hour shifts and every other weekend.  So I can’t compete or train nearly as much as I want to.  Needless to say, I train as often and compete as often as I can.  I’ve had the fortune to compete in some big tournaments while in Japan such as the De La Riva Open and the Asian Open (an IBJJF tournament).

Not only have I competed in Japan, but I’ve competed in the Philippines and in Korea. I did ok in these tournaments, but never as well as I wanted to, or as well as I thought I should have done.  Most of this, I attributed to being inconsistent in my training because of my hectic work schedule.  That’s when the doubt started creeping  in.  I felt that could have and should have beaten a lot of the opponents that I lost to.  Intellectually, I knew it was because of my inconsistency with training but, emotionally, I threw the doubt door wide open and walked right through it.

Should I compete in Japan again      should I compete again in japanShould I compete in Japan again

Finding Excuses 

Slowly, I began to skip more and more practices.  Finding excuses not to train.  I quit looking for tournaments to compete in.  I began to seriously doubt my abilities and techniques and I even began to question whether I even deserved the blue belt that was around my waist.  It’s been close to a year now since I’ve competed.  With my transfer back to the states looming, and my lack of training, I decided that I wouldn’t compete again until I returned to the states.

Well, now I’m down to three months left in Japan, and I feel like I want to compete one last time before I leave.  Here’s my dilema.  I haven’t been training, and my cardio has gone to Sh*t.  I’ve gained weight, which is a struggle in and of itself, but I still feel that urge.  The questions that I have are, is there enough time left to get competition ready and is it really worth setting myself up for failure again?  I don’t think it’s enough time, but I’d love your input.

Should I compete again in JapanI think I’m going to do it.  I’m going to attempt to document the next couple of months.  I’m looking to compete in the East Japan Jiu Jitsu Tournament on May 28th.  So come along on the journey with me, and see whether I fail or succeed.

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andy barker

Andy is a husband, father, and an avid Martial Artist. He has a beautiful wife Connie, and two wonderful children. He competes regularly in both Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Judo, and holds Black Belt ranks in Judo and Japanese Jujitsu and a Blue Belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. Andy Barker enlisted in the United States Navy in 1989. He was a Hospital Corpsman serving with Marine Corps Infantry Battalions, aboard two submarines as the sole medical provider for the crew and with the Amphibious Navy. Andy received his Bachelors of Science in Nursing and was Commissioned in the Navy Nurse Corps in 2011. He remains on active duty currently serving in the Hampton Roads area. Andy is an amateur filmmaker and blogger. You can find him on YouTube under MadSiss Productions and on Vimeo under the same name.

2 thoughts on “Should I Compete Again in Japan?

  • April 12, 2017 at 6:34 pm

    Andy, I think you should do it and I would love to be there and support you. I have sat on the fence for far too long myself, and it would be an honor to watch you compete. Where do I get a ticket?

    • April 12, 2017 at 8:50 pm

      Thanks Wayne. No need for tickets. Spectators are free. I’ll keep you posted.


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