Tournament Preparation Model for Grappling Arts®

Author: Ydus, Publisher: WIT

About the model

Published in 2022, the WIT Tournament Preparation Model for Grappling Arts® is a mental training concept developed by counsellor Ydus (MSc). Blending contemporary research results from the fields of neuropsychology, cognitive psychology, and physiology, the model introduces a human-centred approach for optimising competition outcome in combat sports.

The model proposes four quadrants to describe the main components of tournament preparation, each contributing to steady competition success. Three quadrants represent the mental components of winning, while the fourth quadrant belongs to the physical realm, demonstrating the immense dominance of the psychological domain in tournament performance.


#1. RECOLLECTION & RESPONSIVENESS

The first component, responsiveness and recollection, refers to the balancing effort between two contradictory forces—both of which are essential for great competition performance. On one side, responsiveness requires a certain stress level to reach a fight-ready condition, providing the athlete with the necessary heightened senses, fast reflexes, and ideal muscle condition.

On the other side, recollection of techniques and game strategy requires a settled mind with as little stress as possible. These two conflicting requirements create a narrow window where both responsiveness and recollection are functional—at the core of reaching competition success. The training strategies discussed in the modules cover the below wider areas.

A. Tournament environment analysis

B. Mental design exploration

C. Early warning system (flight and freeze) regulation

C.1. Practices for short-term results

C.2. Long-term emotion practices


#2. MOTIVATION

Motivation involves a mix of past and present lessons about the one’s potentials and abilities, dynamically shaping their natural drive. Motivation defines how many resources a person is willing or able to mobilise in order to fight effectively.

Accordingly, mitigating the unsupportive components of past and present influences is crucial to achieving the desired competition outcome. The managing strategies discussed in the modules include the below realms.

A. Unsupportive belief system adjustment

B. Support network formation

C. Strategies to progress after deadlock


#3. TECHNICAL READYNESS

Technical readiness includes forming the necessary muscle memory and creating a personalised game plan and competition strategy. This quadrant shows overlap with physical preparation but still strongly related to mental processes.

The core approach and the expected support for effective training are discussed in the modules, the responsibility for providing the appropriate curriculum and peer support belongs to the school and its trainers. The areas discussed in the modules are below.

A. Club support and class structure review

B. Training strategy review


#4. PHYSICAL CONDITION

The fourth component of the tournament preparation model is physical condition. This is the most well-known and researched area and is often fully associated with competition performance. Although it is essential, it is only one of the four components that define the outcome.

References to the relevant training materials and research papers are provided throughout the modules or are available on our website; however, a detailed physical conditioning program is currently beyond our scope.

Building on the WIT Tournament Preparation Model for Grappling Arts®, our 7-chapter article series aims to provide a holistic view of the mental components of winning and offers a modern tool for combat athletes to develop their mental preparation practice to reach their competition goals.

Introduction to ‘The Brain and Combat: Brain Science in Grappling Competitions’