The mental game of Jiu-Jitsu: strategies for female competitors

Jiu-Jitsu is a popular martial art and combat sport that originated in Japan and is now practiced around the world. It is known as a grappling art, where two opponents try to gain an advantageous position over one another. As with any sport, Jiu-Jitsu requires physical strength and skill, but it also demands mental fortitude. In this article, we’ll explore the mental challenge of Jiu-Jitsu for female competitors and discuss strategies for success.

Defining Jiu-Jitsu

Jiu-Jitsu is a combination of various martial arts, including Judo, Aikido, and Karate. It is most commonly practiced in a gi, which is a kimono-style jacket and pants, but there are also no-gi and submission grappling tournaments. Jiu-Jitsu can be practiced for self-defense, sport, or just for fun and fitness.

The Mental Challenge of the Sport

Jiu-Jitsu is a physically demanding sport, but it is also a mental game. Competitors must be able to think on their feet and make quick decisions in order to outmaneuver their opponents. This requires a great deal of focus, strategy, and mental fortitude.

Why This Article Matters

Female competitors face unique mental and emotional challenges when competing in Jiu-Jitsu. This article aims to explore those challenges and offer strategies for success. By understanding and preparing for the mental game of Jiu-Jitsu, female athletes can achieve their goals on the mat.

Competition can be an exhilarating and rewarding experience, but it can also be stressful and intimidating. It’s important to understand the psychological aspects of competition in order to prepare for success.

Fear of Failure

Competition can bring up a fear of failure, which can be paralyzing. It’s important to remember that failure is a part of the process. Mistakes allow us to learn and grow, and they can lead to success in the future.

Impostor Syndrome

Female athletes are often plagued by impostor syndrome, which is a feeling of inadequacy and a fear of being exposed as a fraud. It’s important to remember that everyone has weaknesses and strengths, and that no one is perfect.

The Pressure to Win

Competition can bring up a lot of pressure to win, which can be overwhelming. It’s important to remember that the goal of Jiu-Jitsu is to learn and grow, not necessarily to win.

Mental preparation is key to success in Jiu-Jitsu. Preparation can include mindset, nutrition, rest, and recovery.


Positive Self-Talk

Positive self-talk is essential for success in any sport. It’s important to focus on the positive and to remind yourself of your skills and strengths.


Visualization is a powerful tool that can help athletes to stay focused and perform their best. It involves imagining the desired outcome and picturing yourself achieving it.


Pre-Competition Eating

It’s important to fuel your body with the right foods before competition. Eating a balanced, nutrient-dense meal a few hours before your match can help you perform your best.


Hydration is essential for maintaining focus and energy during competition. It’s important to drink plenty of water throughout the day and to continue drinking during your match.

Rest and Recovery


Getting enough sleep is essential for optimal performance. It’s important to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night and to take naps when needed.

Relaxation Techniques

Relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing and meditation, can help athletes to stay calm and focused during competition. Practicing relaxation techniques can also help to reduce stress and anxiety.

Once you’ve prepared mentally and physically, it’s time to hit the mat. Here are some strategies for success.

Staying in the Moment

It’s important to stay in the moment and focus on the task at hand. This means staying aware of your surroundings and focusing on the match.

Trusting Your Training

It’s important to trust that your training will serve you well. Don’t second guess yourself or focus on what could go wrong. Instead, focus on executing your techniques and strategies.

Maintaining Control

It’s important to maintain control of your body and your emotions during competition. This means staying aware of your breathing, staying focused on the match, and avoiding rash decisions.

Handling Loss

Loss is inevitable in any sport, but it’s important to remember that it’s part of the process. It’s important to stay positive and to use losses as an opportunity to learn and grow.

Dealing with Adversity

Competition can bring up difficult emotions and situations. It’s important to stay calm and to focus on the task at hand.

Final Thoughts

Jiu-Jitsu is a physical and mental challenge, and female competitors face unique challenges. It’s important to understand the psychology of competition and to prepare mentally and physically for success.

Benefits of Mental Training

Mental training can help athletes to stay focused and perform their best. It can also help them to build confidence and resilience in the face of adversity.

Conclusion Summary

This article explored the mental challenges of Jiu-Jitsu for female competitors and offered strategies for success. Mental preparation and staying in the moment are key to success on the mat.


-Borghini, S., & Travaglino, G. (2015). The psychology of martial arts competition. Frontiers in Psychology, 6(1587).
-Kerwin, L. (2019). The mental game of jiu-jitsu: Strategies for success. Retrieved from
-Mancuso, E., & Jakubowski, K. (n.d.). The psychology of competition in martial arts. Retrieved from

Other Frequently asked questions

What should I do to get ready to rock my BJJ tournament?

Take a few deep breaths, and think positively! Visualize yourself winning, and remember why you can’t lose. You can also plan out your opening move in your head to give yourself a boost of confidence. With these strategies, you’ll be feeling ready to take on the mental part of the tournament!

What does jiu-jitsu do for your mind?

It unlocks your inner power and gives you the courage to tackle any challenge! It’s a journey of personal growth that helps you develop your problem-solving skills and identify ways to overcome obstacles. Learning BJJ can really help you explore and strengthen your mental muscle!

Does Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu make you a super-duper powerful warrior?

Absolutely! BJJ can make you mentally, emotionally and physically strong, so you’ll be ready to take on whatever life throws your way!

How can I get better at my jiu-jitsu competitions?

Five Fabulous Tips for Winning at BJJ!

  1. Number 1. Talk to your trainer. They’ll know your skills better than anyone else. …
  2. Number 2. Choose the perfect tournament. …
  3. Number 3. Get to know the regulations. …
  4. Number 4. Conquer your jitters. …
  5. Number 5. Have a blast!
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