Age ain’t nothing but a number, and while that may be up for discussion when you’re dating someone, it’s certainly true in the BJJ world. Google “am I too old for BJJ?” and you’ll get more than one million hits in three quarters of a second. And all of them offer a variation on the same theme – your age doesn’t matter. Yes, even you, the folks in your mid 40s to early 50s. Here are six reasons to start training – and six reasons your age just isn’t a factor.
And by rewarding, we mean it’s incredibly difficult – and with challenges come rewards. Training BJJ, especially right out of the gate, is physically and mentally draining. There’s the intimidation factor that comes with starting any new venture, of course, but once you get past that (and at Guerrilla BJJ here in Reno, we do our best to make you feel very welcome from your first day), BJJ is still tough. But that’s a good thing, and it’s especially so when you’re pushing 50. Why? In our culture, things tend to get easier as we age. We start playing things like golf, where you don’t even have to walk. You’re told to take it easy, that you’ve earned it, that you shouldn’t challenge yourself. Choosing an activity like BJJ, even later in life, can be a game changer. It’s not about being strong, though that’s a happy side effect. BJJ is about finding the most efficient, methodical way to win. It’s about finding opportunities and then seizing them.
it will positively impact your health
When you’re rolling around on the mat for an hour a day a few times every week, well, congratulations – that’s called consistent fitness. And when the BJJ bites you hard enough, you look forward to training, and you look for opportunities to do it more often. Then you start thinking about things like supplementing all that hard work with better nutrition, and making sure you’re getting enough sleep so you can train more effectively the next day. And then, your doctor’s appointments are happy occasions, with your doctor commending your new physique and noting that things like your cholesterol and cortisol and blood pressure have all dropped. See how that works?
And then there’s the mental health boost too. When you’re rolling or training, you pay attention. You focus on what’s happening in the moment. And that’s a skill that helps you off the mats too, whether you’re navigating insane traffic, family drama, financial trouble, or just plain bad news.
you’ll stop being bored
You may replace boredom with frustration or exhaustion or confusion, especially when you’re learning (or struggling to learn) something new, but you won’t be bored. There you’ll be, getting a great workout in as you challenge your mind, learn humility and build a community. Who has time to be bored?
you’ll find a whole new community
Sure, your golf buddies are great, but there’s something to be said about a community of people who know exactly what you’re experiencing on the mat. For many people, that community develops when they stop training BJJ to prove something, and start doing it to learn something. Go in with that mindset, and you’ll find yourself way ahead of the curve.
you’ll have a great time
There’s the community component, of course, but a good roll can be a lot of fun. In the beginning, a lot of people try to get by on brute strength. But as your technique improves, it’s easier to remember to regulate breathing and pace yourself, and that makes the whole pursuit much more enjoyable.
your age is actually an asset
Maybe it’s concerns about your flexibility or muscle mass, or you’re worried that you just won’t be able to keep up. But beginning BJJ in your late 40s or 50s means you understand something significant about instant gratification. Some things are worth the effort, and that doesn’t mean there won’t be setbacks. But with age comes grace and an ability to deal with whatever comes your way. You’re coming in knowing that it’ll be a journey, and that’s already giving you an advantage.
so what now?
If you’ve been thinking about it, do yourself a favor and take the next step. Come and check out Guerrilla BJJ in Freestyle Martial Arts Academy here in Reno. Sit in on a class, meet the instructors, and see what you think. We have a great introductory offer if you want to try it out, but either way, we think you’ll know pretty quickly if we’re the right school for you. We’re proud to have students of all ages, sizes, abilities and genders on the mat, and we’d be just as excited to train with you too.