How Old is Too Old to Start Jiu Jitsu?

Just about anyone on the north side of forty who decides to get started in jiu jitsu has the same thought — am I too old to start BJJ? It’s a reasonable question! But almost always, the answer is no. You just need to go about things a little differently than the kids half your age. Here are three considerations for those beginning BJJ at a later age.

Be Realistic

If you’re climbing into a gi for the very first time, consider your motivation. Many people who have wanted to get involved in martial arts and finally make it happen are interested in the health and fitness benefits, plus the challenge that comes with learning something new. Unless your goal is to compete, the frequency and intensity of your training doesn’t need to be over the top. Either way, the best approach is to be realistic about your ability and your goals. That will help establish your approach to training.

Prioritize Recovery Time

This is the biggest difference between athletes starting BJJ in their twenties and those in their forties. The older we get, the more we need to prioritize recovery time. Overdoing it with too much training and not enough rest will only work for so long, and you’re better off allowing adequate rest between sessions from the start.

Choose Your School — and Training Partners — Wisely

Remember that whole reasonable expectations thing? That should also guide your choice of school, and once you’re on the mat, your training partner, too. Older BJJ regulars tend to prioritize staying healthy and injury-free, so look for those who share the same general goals. And spend a little time researching schools before signing any paperwork. Talk to the instructors, sit in on a class, and get a good feel for the general approach to BJJ in a given school. Choosing wisely will make or break your experience with BJJ.

Here at Guerrilla BJJ in Reno, we’re all about equal opportunity rolling. Our classes are diverse, with students of all genders, ages, and abilities. If you’re just getting started, this is a great place to begin. Contact us today to learn more, or swing by a class to check things out in person.

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