This is part two in a two-part series proving that when it comes to starting BJJ, age ain’t nothing but a number. Check out part one here.
We get a lot of questions about starting Brazilian jiu jitsu later in life – and by that we mean not as a child, a teen or in your 20s. And to put people at ease, we write about it all the time. But most recently, we figured it might be better to have someone who’s walking that walk do some of the talking. Enter Eric Raydon, a late 40s dude who’s been rolling with us for a few years now.
let’s be real – is bjj really for everyone?
They say that BJJ is a sport for anyone, but is that really so? Well, yeah. “It’s definitely for everyone,” Eric laughs, “except germaphobes and claustrophobics.”
But Eric’s two cents aside, we really do have an amazing range of students and participants here at Guerrilla. “There are lots of kids, lots of women, lots of white belts, a solid stable of experts, a fair bit of older dudes like me,” says Eric. “Freestyle is pretty unique in that there are literally a lot of super women who we get to train with, and they are all just awesome and bring amazing technique into play.”
So to anyone interested but on the fence, listen up.
“Come in, observe a few classes, meet the instructors, take some private lessons,” advises Eric. “There’s really nothing to be intimidated about – everyone is very chill, very friendly, and it’s always fun.”
what about the happy side effects of bjj?
Besides learning how to shelf the ego, fail multiple times before reaching your goal, and growing both mentally and emotionally, there’s the unintended fitness aspect.
“Regardless of age or gender, if you combine BJJ with striking and proactively cross-train with both, and maybe add in some running or cycling, you’ll get in the best shape of your life within six months if you’re training consistently,” Eric promises. “I used to lift weights to keep my strength and appearance up, but I’ve dropped the weight training entirely since I ramped up my BJJ.”
And for the ladies?
“I also think BJJ is especially important for women,” Eric says. “I’m 190 pounds and got arm-barred in about 60 seconds by a woman half my size, and I didn’t give it to her – she whooped me, and was incredibly gracious about it. If a woman becomes proficient – say a blue belt in BJJ -she’ll be able to handle herself in any situation.”
so what now?
You’re welcome to check out our getting started offer, or just take Eric’s advice and do this already.
“If you’re looking for a better way to get in the best shape of your life while simultaneously learning how to defend yourself and your friends and family,” he says, “you won’t find it anywhere else. Put down the fork, put down the clicker, and go for it.”