Photo by Johnson Barros on Wikimedia Commons
Many judokas are happy with the exercise and camaraderie that comes from regular training and randori. Not for them the stress of putting themselves through competitions. There is nothing wrong with this - judo is a broad church and all are welcome.
Even if you do plan to compete, it is easy in judo to think that you are not ready to yet - maybe next year you'll be fit enough or after the next grading but one you'll have a go. In reality there will never be a time that feels like the perfect moment to start because - frankly - competing is very stressful, much more so than randori. There is also the question of weight - no one cares if you are carrying a few extra pounds at your club, but at a competition it can mean fighting much bigger and stronger players. However, when you eventually make a start and if you go to a few events, you will find that your judo will start to evolve at a dramatic rate. This happens for a few reasons:
On a practical note - make sure that your gi fits correctly, in particular the sleeves need to be long enough. If you have had your gi a while it will probably have shrunk, and while it might be fine for randori, it may not meet the competition requirements - check your national organisation for details.
One part of dealing with the stress is being well-prepared. On the day of the competition, you have enough to think about, without worrying if you have packed your snack for between fights. Use our judo competition packing list to make sure you have all the essentials. Our lists have checkboxes for using online, or you can download and print a copy.