BJJ for "old(er) folks"..?
You might think that BJJ is a young person’s game? Well, there are many 40+, 50+ and 60+ BJJ practitioners who would disagree with this! While the advantages of youth (fitness, flexibility, recovery speed to name a few) are undoubted, patience, guile and experience count for a lot in BJJ.
Increasingly there are a lot of BJJ newcomers starting in their later years, and the competitions for 40+ and 50+ white belts bear this out. So why is BJJ becoming popular with this age group? Can you be too old to roll?
While each individual has his/her reasons for beginning in BJJ, common themes among the older generations include the following:
- It's a great way to stay fit - most people don't start BJJ with an objective of losing weight and gaining fitness, but if you commit to training regularly it's practically guaranteed that you will achieve both of these as major side-benefits. The effort in a single class is comparable to an hour gym workout, and it's a LOT more interesting so it doesn't feel like such an effort.
- Your age can work for you - obviously there are a few disadvantages to starting older, but patience developed through life experience, and the understanding that this is a long journey will also help you push through any setbacks.
- It's fun - as we age, we need to exercise more in order to remain healthy and stay in shape. The drudgery of the treadmill just cannot compare to the highs you will experience learning a new way to choke somebody. Staying young in mind is about taking on new challenges and learning new skills - combining this with a great workout is a bonus!
- Anti-stress - stress of work and family responsibilities can accumulate when left unchecked. BJJ is a great antidote to this, as it is very hard to think about anything while trying to figure out a new technique, or defending the next attack. Trust us, you won't be thinking about work or family problems while you're training - the problem (if you can call it that) is that you will be thinking about Jiu-Jitsu when you're at work!
Here are a few articles/blogs about BJJ in your later years:
http://jiujiubjj.com/brazilian-jiu-jitsu/bjj-starting-late-in-life/ - an older, female perspective