True, people have won before classes, and without classes.
But look at it this way... If a class gives you a 3-4 comp boost in learning things competition oriented, and it costs you $300, that's saving at least $1200 in learning at comps along the way, maybe more, by saying you'd spend $500 for 3 comps to learn as much.
Heck, it costs less than a comp, and it's fun anyway. If you can afford the class, have fun and take it.
CBJ, some comps, a few awards, Certified Artisan Steak Taster.
XL Big Green Egg, Bubba Keg Convection Grill, Weber Kettle, Charbroil Infrared and mad livefire cooking skillz! :)