Am I beginner?

So I am planning on entering into a Submission Wrestling/BJJ tourney... and I'm trying to think of what skill level I should enter into.

There is 3 divisions:
Beginner (3-12 months), Intermediate(over 1 year training) and Advanced (for MMA fighters)

At the time of the tourney coming up I'll have 6 months training, but they recommend you enter into a division that challenges you the most.

I've been tapping blue belts, and guys with multiple MMA fights, and guys with up to 3 years experience. I don't think I've been tapped out by a guy with less than 1 year training in the last 2 months.

I told the MMA fighter I was a beginner before we rolled, and after I arm-barred him he told me I was not a beginner.

Should I try to enter into beginner and intermediate divisions?

I would love to crush guys and do well... but at the same time I want to really test myself.

I am setting aside an entire weekend, and a couple hundred dollars to enter into the tournament, so I want to test myself, but at the same time I don't want to be in over my head.

If you are tapping blue belts consistently then I would recommend you go into Intermediate.  It takes most people a minimum of one year to reach blue belt, so just do the math.

Part of ANY tournament is RISK.  So, if you want to "test" yourself, do Intermediate - and the WORST that will happen is that you get smoked.  If what you say is true, however, you've put more training time in during your 6 months of training than the typical person (I've had a few students train exceptionally hard and reach blue belt that fast), or you are an exceptional athlete and fast learner (I've seen a couple of those, too!)  Either way, in order to test yourself you are going to have to ignore the "generic" guidelines of training time, enter the Intermediate division, risk losing, and see where you truly are at.  Somehow though, I don't think you'll get owned.......... again, IF what you say is true, you'll likely win your first couple of matches minimum (unless of course you face the person who winds up winning the whole division in your first or second match).  There is also the chance you could WIN the intermediate divsion, in which case you'll know you need to go advanced next time.

BUT, if you go Beginner this time, I think you'll do extremely well and then be disappointed that you really didn't challenge yourself.  In my opinion, there should always be a little bit of honor and pride in victory.  (Although there are plenty of people who don't care about such things, they just want to say they won).

Thanks Adam.

Here is the tourney site:

The tournament is a round robin, so that means I could have up to 8 matches in 1 day. The round robin system guarantees that you get a match with everybody in your division. All matches that do not end up in submission are draws. Draws are worth 1 point, wins 3.

I've been training at 2 different clubs, so I've had twice the amount of training as other guys in my clubs. I also watch videos almost everyday.

1 club focuses on live sparring for 90% of the class and I get to grapple with various people... and at the other club I do 1 on 1 private lessons. That has really helped create balance in my grappling. I consider myself an athlete, and I have been playing sports all my life. I've competed in Hockey, Baseball, Olympic Lifting, Ping-Pong and chess at a high level, and played other sports such as soccer and football at recreational levels.

I think if I entered into the intermediate division I would constantly be trying to NOT be submitted, which would probably result in a lot of draws. Too many Draws almost guarantee you won't win the tourney.

P.S:what is the best way to cut 5-10 pounds of water weight the day before a tourney?

drink salt water.

Drink salt water leading up to the weigh-ins?
Is that healthy?


If the weigh-in is on the same day then start doing a lot of cardio and really cut back on your carbs

If the weigh-in is on the day before then

I can weigh in day before or same day.

Awesome!! Thanks.

I've been thinking of ordering your Grappling Drills DVD.

What Adam said is very true.

BUT there is something you should consider. There are many who compete in tournaments who don't really want to test themselves but instead just win. This type of person will compete in divisions which will offer the "least" amount of challenge to them.

So in alot of these tournaments there are many fighters in the lower divisions such as novice and beginner that should be in the upper divisions, at least intermediate. So what will happen is if you enter the beginner division you'll fight people who should be in the intermediate division.

This is what happent to me when I fought in my first tournament. Now my mentality is this: since a fair percentage of the fighters in the beginner division should be in the intermediate division I might as well fight in the intermediate division from the get go. I am really not losing anything if I do fight up anyway, so I might as well go for it. You only live once.

The majority of my classmates fight in a division up.

ttt no harm in doing intermediate see where you fall if you get smoked bad try begginer next time. no shame in fighting up just dont sandbag so you can get the little medal.

Another factor could be I have crazy strong(and flexible) legs/hips due to my Olympic Lifting... I've gogoplatted one guy in sparring. I routinely break my opponents guard's by standing up(they cling to me a koala but have to let go... Too bad there is no slams allowed.)

I've only been at this for 4 months now...
So, if what m.g's says is true, then wouldn't there be guys in intermediate division who are advanced?. Guys will probably be sandbagging intermediate. I want my first tourney to be somewhat enjoyable, and I think beginner will best fit that.

By the time of the tourney in 8 weeks, I may feel ready for intermediate though. Guys with 3 or less years experience I can tap and can neutralize (but that could just be my size/strength playing a big role)

There is one guy at my club who is my weight and is an awesome fighter, and he is competing in the upcoming KOTC. I'll roll with him before the tourney and get his opinion.

I don't like the idea of fighting down just because there are others who might be.  That doesn't just perpetuate the problem, it exacerbates it!!  Whether it is intermediates fighting beginner, or advanced fighting intermediate - those people who fight down just to bring home a medal lack courage, honor, and self-respect.  That medal doesn't MEAN anything if you had to fight junior skill levels to get it.  However, there is only PRIDE in fighting up, and even if you get your butt kicked, you know you did your best AND you will walk away learning something.

I know m.g. and I disagree on the "purpose" of competing, but it is this whole "sandbagging" and "Ego gratification" problem associated with it that I have dealt with so many times now, that I say competition isn't a place to "win" but to merely challenge yourself.......... UNTIL you are at the highest levels, and THEN you know that nobody is sandbagging, and it truly MEANS something to place in the top three.

SImilar to other combat sports - they don't have "experience" levels, only weight classes.  A 6 month fighter could take on a 6 year fighter.  The only problem with that model however is that it is such an overwhelming defeat, the junior fighter doesn't get a chance to ever say "That ALMOST worked - I need to work on it so next time it will," and the relative skill levels prevent any kind of evaluation defensively as well. 

*prepares for mg's 4 paragraph response that I have no intention of responding too, LOL*

Again I will say:  If you are beating blue belts, you should try intermediate (and remain there until you dominate it).

Just enter both divisions... Most tourneys should have intermediate before beginner. Then, if you get your ass kicked and lose your first match, you won't feel like a sandbagger entering the beginner division. Of course, I did that once, lost my intermediate match in 30 seconds, then won all my beginner matches by sub in less than a minute. I felt like a cheating sandbagger.

Easy answer:
This is your first tournament right ?

If so, then enter the beginner division to gauge how good you are in comparion to other competitors.

If you are as good as you say for a beginner, go a division up from your 2nd tournament onwards...

I think there's also something to be said about getting a tournament under your belt as a beginner just to get used to the new experience and to get the bugs out (i.e. time/energy spent waiting around, nervousness, auditence, etc).

You have 6 months of training and your tapping blue belts and MMA guys? Do you have prior experience in wrestling or something?

Actually it's 4 months, (I'll have 6 months training by the time of the tourney)

And No, I did not wrestle in high school.

To be fair, I have a good weight/strength advantage on most of the people I roll with.

If you have no wrestling experience, and you never competed before, I think you should do the beginner division. If you win, you can do an intermediate division next time. Competition is alot different from training, some people are animals in the practice room and unimpressive in competition.

you are going to get smok-eth-ed

No disrespect intended, but you'll probably find out that you should have done beginners division.