Competing in a master's division

I was once an active competitor, competing once or twice each month. Admittedly, competition is one of the main reasons why I do BJJ in the first place. Eventually, life happened - my wife and I had our first child. This drastically reduced the amount of time I spent training and my competition results began to decline. Although I never lost passion for our sport, I definitely lost some motivation. 

At this point, I decided to try competing in a master's division of a local tournament. Although I was 32 years old already, there was a mental barrier that I had to overcome in order to transition out of the adult division. After all, this meant that I would now be competing against "old men." To my surprise, the gi bracket was full and the round robin format would allow me to have 5 matches. I came in, fully expecting to run through these "old men." I was in for a rude awakening. These guys were game! The biggest difference (and an advantage) from the adult division was that all of my rolls were slower paced and A LOT more technical than what I've seen before. Whereas in the adult division, the matches consisted of a scramble after scramble, here I actually had an opportunity to really focus on working my techniques. I felt that we were all evenly matched, as much like myself, these guys all had families, full time jobs and put in about a much mat time as I do. 

In the end I bested all, but one of my opponents. Even though I did not get the gold, this tournament gave me back my motivation. I was, once again on a level playing field and I thoroughly enjoyed every single match. It wasn't all about winning, but also about having fun. If your age allows you - I highly suggest trying the master's division. It is a lot more fun than you would think!

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