I hear this question a lot, and my answer is always a hard no. Come to a class at Innisfil Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (IBJJ) and you’ll see 13 year olds training alongside 63 year olds. We’ve more than a few older members in our classes and they get just as much out of their sessions as their younger sparring partners.
If you want to train BJJ, train BJJ. It’s that simple. Don’t use your age as an excuse.
Yes, a 60 year old body has its limitations but it’s very easy to go from being careful to being lazy. In many cases, it’s not your age that’s holding you back, it’s your attitude. We currently have 3 grandmothers and 2 grandfathers in our BJJ classes. If they can get off the couch and into the gym, so can you.
tips for training bjj as an older fighter
Go in with realistic expectations
No-one becomes a BJJ master in just a few classes so if you start thinking you’re a heartbeat away from getting your black belt you’re just setting yourself up to fail. Be realistic about your physical fitness too. With any new activity it takes time for the body to adjust and older bodies take longer to recover, so bear that in mind if you’re feeling it the next day.
Take things one class at a time. Enjoy the beginning – the learning process is all part of the fun – savor the small wins, and take pride in your progress. It takes around 3 to 6 months of committed training to see real gains but, trust us, you’ll be enjoying each class so much that the time will fly by.
Know your limitations (and tell us!)
We all pick up various scars and injuries in our journey through life. The bad knee you got falling off your bike at 19, the lower back pain from years at your desk – whatever it is, tell your coach. We need to know about any injuries before you start training so we can work around them and develop a training plan that achieves your goals, without putting you at risk.
Try it out first
At IBJJ, we offer a free introductory session where you get to meet our coaches, tour the gym, and ask any questions you may have about training martial arts. This gives you an opportunity to ease into BJJ and make sure you know what’s involved before making the commitment.
We also offer private sessions as an alternative to our group classes for those who are more comfortable training one-on-one.
The benefits of training BJJ as an older adult
We can’t avoid aging, but we can choose to age well. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu helps you do just that, providing intense but playful exercise that challenges all muscle groups, building strength and endurance.
One of the most beneficial aspects of this martial art is its focus on adaptability. The techniques you learn in class don’t just help you adapt to a fight situation, they also teach your body to become more flexible and responsive as you pivot, stretch, grapple, and throw – keeping your muscles guessing in every session.
BJJ works your all-important core, the central muscles of your torso that help with posture, balance, and alignment – all of which tend to degrade in later life. The sad truth is that we get unsteady when we’re older but training now could help you avoid falls in the future – not just by increasing your strength, flexibility and bone density but also teaching you how to quickly react and move your body to minimize impact.
Fight with friends
Studies show that friends are vital to our happiness. The more you have, the happier you’ll be. But it’s tough making friends as an adult. We get stuck in a rut, shrinking our circle to our family and/or work colleagues.
BJJ isn’t just a martial art, it’s a community. At IBJJ, we’re a family of fighters who support and encourage each other. Our students don’t just come to class to learn Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, they come for the camaraderie – to see old friends, make new ones, and deepen those friendships. There’s a special bond that forms when you’re grappling together on the mat. One you won’t get making conversation over the watercooler at work.
Ready to get started? Book your first class now to discuss your training goals and see if Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a good fit. Contact Coach PK today to claim your free introductory session.
Looking for a martial arts studio in Innisfil and the surrounding area? Innisfil Brazilian Jiujitsu offers professional Brazilian Jiujitsu training with a range of BJJ classes for all ages and abilities. Contact our coaches today to get started!