This is often easier said then done, and if you have ever watched the documentary on Rickson Gracie (above) you may feel overwhelmed about trying some of his pre-competition calming techniques. His breathing methods, mental preparation, submerging himself into ice-cold rivers, these are all things of a legend! Most of us competing in BJJ are doing it for a hobby, to stay in shape, to get out and compete, and very few have the luxury to compete professionally. One thing that is consistent across the board is that you need to prepare for your tournament, and you are going to be nervous. Everyone gets nervous before a match, everyone gets the jitters, and most people don’t know enough about the mental game to keep themselves in the fight. There are plenty of breathing strategies and mental preparations that can help a fighter, but there are also supplements that can be taken to calm nerves. Anything from natural herbs, to prescription medicine, guys around the world are calming their nerves with supplements before tournaments. This is true for BJJ, Taekwondo, Karate, MMA, boxing, and any other combat sport that require mental and physical commitment. Prior to a match I had earlier this year, I was researching some natural ways to overcome the pre-fight jitters and came across full spectrum hemp oils. I’ll admit, when I learned it was from a cannabis plant I was a little turned off as I have never been a fan of marijuana. After doing some more research though, I found that there were extracts available online that were free of the chemical that gets you stoned (THC). About a week leading up to the fight I began to take the supplement to relax my mind, body, and spirit. It was interesting, I couldn’t notice anything at first, and then I doubled the recommended dose. While this may not be necessary for everyone, my body happens to be a machine that burns through everything I pump into it, including caffeine and other supplements. This was one of the reasons why I thought about doubling the dose. After I found this to give me a sense of relaxation, I continued using it before training for about a week. It really did help with all my pre-fight training but I wasn’t sold on taking it yet for an actual match. My adrenaline and overall mental state are way different on fight day and I wasn’t sure how being relaxed would affect my performance. I definitely didn’t want to take too much edge off, I need some of that for the fight. Training just isn’t real enough to gauge it’s effectiveness for a match. I am continuing to use it and trying to put myself in situations that would cause anxiety in a match, or before a match, and see if that really helps. If I don’t lose my edge and the feeling is consistent weak after week then I may try CBD oils before my next BJJ match to attempt to eliminate the pre-fight jitters.