T Nation

First No-Gi Tournament


Actually it's my first ANY kind of grappling tournament. :slightly_smiling:

I started training MMA in March, but wasn't able to roll because of a knee injury I got in January. I did do a lot of watching though and played some bottom game while I worked on my standup. Then one day I broke my thumb in two places kickboxing and for the next month or so I was in a cast that took up my right arm from the elbow down.

I still had some problems with the knee but I got into rolling more and a month or two ago I heard about the 2nd Annual Texas No Gi Championship and one of my intructors said I should do it.

I had decided to bulk up to 240 from 200 a few months before so I hadn't been doing any cardio other than rolling. Stupid. I decided to go down from 225 to fight in the 196-215 beginner's division. I realize how stupid I was with my bulk. I never was a cardio machine, and cutting out cardio completely really hurt me. I realize now that I'm not competing as a bodybuilder, but I AM competing as a Jiu JItsu player, so my endurance is more important than my size.

I have been having alot of life stress and have been feeling like crap in the gym, but I am still excited to do this tournament and pop my competition cherry. My weight is fine and it doesn't look like I'm going to need to work too hard to make 215, but my cardio has been crap when rolling.

The rounds are 4 minutes, and it is double elimination so I'll be fighting at least twice. My gameplan is to get, and maintain a dominant position without flailing wildly, and hopefully finishing the match quickly rather than winning on points and getting tired before the next match.lol. I want to be strong and methodical.

I really just want to do my best and learn as much as possible from this whole thing...but I am starting to have a little nervousness. :slightly_smiling:


Well good luck.

How long until the tournament?

Honestly the best thing you can do for endurance while rolling is....you guessed it, a whole crap load of rolling. Try doing things like "round robbins" or "king of the mat" types of drills. Or if you want something that will ensure that you're smoked have 3 or 4 better, more conditioned training partners go at you, each for one 4 minute round, no rest between.

After doing that for a while 4 minutes in a tournament should feel like a walk in the park.

If you're looking for supplementary exercise to help improve your conditioning, then I'd suggest Charlie Lysak's Primal Strength material. His "Crawl" routine is phenomenal for building superior strength endurance. And it's progressive, so as you get better at it, you just increase the resistance and it's like you're back to square one. However, you're not of course because you're significantly stronger/better conditioned than you were to begin with.

You can find more information here:


Good luck and good training,



Good Luck.

We do round robins a little differently. The guy in need of the extra work fights contiuously for the length of the round, but the training partners trade out every minute.


Good luck bro. If it's your first tournament you'll learn just as much from watching everyone else as you will on the mat. Pay attention and try to relax. I was in good shape for my first judo tournament but it's amazing how much nerves and being tense will suck the energy right out of you.


DesertEaglle,what school you training out of?


I am REALLY excited to watch all of the other fights because there are going to be GOOD guys there with awesome schools. The problem I see coming up though, is like you said Donut, being tense.

I'm going to have other guys from my team to watch and support, and I want to see my competition, BUT my division doesn't start until 2 P.M.!!!!!! That means more than half a day of watching these fights!

I'm thinking I'll definitely have to stay away from caffeine and do whatever I can to stay calm and relaxed.

Big_Boss, I train at WTXMMA in Midland, Texas/ www.texasbrasa.com


cool i'm at Full Circle Killeen,TX...well for now. My instructors just had a falling out with their boss and starting up their own school.


Sweet. My brother lives in Midland. Maybe I can talk him into training with you guys for a while. Then matbe next time we hang out I'll have some competition and he won't just get his usaul ass whipping.


He doesn't want that, Big_Boss is really Bob Sapp.



We've actually done round robbins with all types of formats. Sometimes one person will be in the middle and the partners will cyle out (at different time intervals, usually when they start to get a little tired), sometimes the person who gets the superior position/submission gets to cycle out and the one who was on the bottom/getting submitted has to stay in (great incentive to get a superior position/submission).

The reason I suggested 4 minute rounds was because that's the time frame that deserteagle will be grappling in during the actual tournament. Only with the format I suggested it'd be like grappling 3 or 4 four minute rounds in a row against a fresh opponent each round. If the partners switch every 1 minute then he gets to rest every 1 minute (even if it's just for a second or two).

Also, he should not try to rest during the rounds (so no pulling guard and catching your breath) he should try to go all out all 4 minutes of each round. Sure, at first he won't be able to do it and he'll probably feel like he's gonna die. But, if he can get to the point where he can do it for even 3 of those 4 rounds, he'll be able to steam roll through his opponents in the tournament (at least from a conditioning standpoint).

Wrestlers actually do this type of conditioning a lot, and to be honest most wrestlers tend to have better conditioning than most JJ (BJJ or otherwise) artists. They also have a different mindset. They try to dominate every minute of every round they're in, there is no attempts to rest and stall. That's the kind of mindset that you want to develop.

Good training,