So many people look at BJJ as a young man's or young woman's game. It may be the fact that a lot of it is fought with takedowns, and a full contact sport at an older age may seem a little daunting.
But don't be fooled, BJJ is a sport for all ages, and if you're thinking of starting BJJ at 30, 40 or heck even 80, then there is room in this sport for you. Read on to find out about why BJJ is perfect for all ages.
Are There Any Age Restrictions In BJJ?
Absolutely not! If you're middle aged, a senior citizen, or somewhere in between, then you're still welcome to join the BJJ family.
In fact, there are plenty of people picking up the sport in their 30s, 40s, 50s, all the way through to their 70s and 80s, and probably even older people that haven't been identified just yet.
There are certain safety considerations that will need to be made, of course, but these are considerations to be made by you as a potential competitor within BJJ. No instructors or trainers will turn you away from BJJ classes because of your age.
In fact, GBJJ is renowned for their ability to work with anybody at any age, so if you are looking for a place to start, check out our classes here. But you'll see more about that later. For now, let's focus on why you should think about practicing BJJ later in life!
What Are The Benefits Of Learning BJJ Later In Life?
First off, BJJ has some amazing physical health benefits, especially within the aerobic department.
Hip mobility is something that decreases naturally as you get older, but BJJ focuses on moving the hips with some common techniques, and this will help you improve your hip function in everyday life too. Your grip is also strengthened in BJJ because of some of the holds and stances that you learn.
In fact, our cells in our bodies age slower when we are involved in intense physical activity. BJJ certainly counts as that, so it will help your whole body age at a slower rate.
As BJJ engages muscles across your entire body, you get these benefits everywhere. Not only will you feel great and look great, but BJJ can physically slow down the aging process too!
BJJ for Mental Health
Another key benefit is that your mental health improves, as well as your physical health. Practicing something as demanding as BJJ later in life helps you to remain focused and drives you to work towards certain goals.
This is really rewarding for your mental health. As you achieve more by becoming stronger and fitter throughout your training, you'll feel much better in every walk of life too!
Your mental health also improves because of the community within BJJ. A full contact sport such as this requires other people, so you'll naturally form connections with those you train with and compete against.
Jiu Jitsu for seniors is especially important, because loneliness is something that a lot of senior citizens battle each day. With BJJ, you'll form new friendships and connections, and you'll be seeing them regularly as you train.
One more benefit of practicing BJJ later in life is that you will be actively fighting against certain diseases and illnesses that are associated with older people.
Things such as heart disease, arthritis, loss of muscle mass, and high blood pressure can all be addressed through regular physical activity.
Given that BJJ is a full-body workout, you'll be giving yourself the best chance to avoid these illnesses and diseases that might otherwise impact upon your life.
Finally, BJJ affects your metabolism too. Senior citizens have less effective metabolisms than younger people, it's a natural process that happens as you age.
But there are things that can be done to improve your metabolism, which will, in turn, make you lose weight and burn calories much quicker. The best way to do this is through physical exercise.
BJJ is an excellent form of exercise, so it improves your metabolism, making you fitter and healthier.
Are There Any Drawbacks?
There are some drawbacks associated with BJJ. The main one for seniors who are practicing BJJ is that you rarely get to choose your partner. That means a 60, 70, or 80-year-old may well be facing off against a 20, 30, or 40-year-old.
Fortunately, if you're not competing, you can just communicate to your rolling partner in class if you have any pains, sore areas or any other aspect you want your partner to be cautious of.
This in itself isn't a problem if you're physically fit and are able to keep up with your competitors, but it can become a little overwhelming at first. But remember, within BJJ you should always be able to say no.
If you don't feel comfortable facing off against a much younger person just yet, then say so. Any BJJ instructor worth their salt will understand and support you in that decision.
Another drawback is that if you're joining later in life, there may be others who have been practicing for years and are much stronger competitors as a result. Again, this shouldn't phase you.
Everybody has to start somewhere, so as long as you go in prepared to see people who are excellent at BJJ, then you will be fine. And remember, practice makes perfect, so maybe one day you'll be as great as those who have been training for years too!
This section is all about you, and knowing what your capabilities are. BJJ is a full contact sport, and it requires lots of flexibility and mobility.
While practicing BJJ will improve this, you require a certain base level. If you know that moving is a struggle for you, and you have no room for flexibility because of a medical condition, then think about whether a full contact sport such as BJJ is right for you.
Consider whether you can realistically practice BJJ each week without causing yourself too many injuries. Yes, you'll naturally feel a little bruised after your first couple of sessions, but if you know that you're not in a position to train frequently to improve your stamina and physical health, then again, you need to think about whether BJJ is a safe sport for you.
Having said that, if you feel physically capable and want to join in with BJJ, then be confident in the knowledge that any BJJ instructor would be lucky to have you join them.
Signing Up For Classes
Finally, if you're looking for classes that offer Jiu Jitsu for everyone, at any stage in life, then you should check our classes here at GBJJ.
The c lasses offered here are suitable for beginners and experts alike, no matter your age. So if you're serious about BJJ and you want to improve your health and fitness under the guidance of understanding and professional instructors, then head over to GBJJ's classes page and sign up for a FREE week today!