Tournament Preparation Model for Grappling Arts®

Author: Ydus, Publisher: WIT

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 WIT Tournament Preparation Model for Grappling Arts® focuses on the mental components of tournament preparation and their most efficient managing strategies known today.  

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.


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 optimal 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 make finding that ideal stress level—in the narrow window where both responsiveness and recollection are functional—at the core of reaching competition success. The training strategies discussed in the modules include:

A. Tournament environment analysis

B. Freeze and flight reaction regulation

B.1. Bridging practices for short-term results

B.2. Long-term emotion regulation practices


Motivation involves a mix of past and present lessons about the person’s potential and abilities, dynamically shaping their natural desire. Motivation defines how many resources a person is willing or able to mobilise to win. 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:

A. Unsupportive belief system adjustment

B. Support network formation

C. Strategies to progress from a plateau


Technical readiness includes forming the necessary muscle memory and creating a personalised game plan and competition strategy. This quadrant lies halfway toward physical preparation. Even though the core approach and expected support are discussed in the modules, the responsibility for providing the appropriate curriculum and class structure belongs to the school and its trainers. The expectations discussed in the modules include:

A. Club support and class structure review

B. Training strategy review


The fourth component of the tournament preparation model is one’s physical condition. This is probably the most well-known and researched area of performance training and is often incorrectly 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 not in our scope.

Building on the WIT Tournament Preparation Model for Grappling Arts®, our 7-chapter docu-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’