So, are you too old to start Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ)? The simple answer is that you can not be too old to start BJJ. BJJ has no age limits or certain age; when you hit that age, you are too old.
Whether you are 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, or even 70 years old does not matter. There is no age limit on BJJ. One thing to keep in mind is that BJJ is a martial art, and physical sport. Therefore, it is essential to be careful, if you start BJJ as an older person.
It comes down more to your physical condition than your age. Even if you are not in your best shape, BJJ can still be an option. It is pretty “safe” for a martial art since it doesn’t include punches or kicks like some of them do.
Let’s dive deeper into the topic of being too old for BJJ and things you should know!
Why you are not too old to start BJJ
Like I said before, age is not a factor to decide whether you can start BJJ or not. It comes down to your physical abilities and your ability to handle pressure without too much physical damage.
Even though BJJ is one of the safest martial arts in my opinion, due to no punches and kicks and mainly focusing on ground fighting, it has its own set of risks.
You will get rolled on, and made joint locks so make sure you tap in time if you decide to start BJJ. People you roll with will take it slower if you take things slow or ask them to. Well, most of the people at least, white belts are the most dangerous ones, they could be too arrogant.
BJJ is actually a great way to stay in shape, healthy and active when getting older. It provides group activity, and strength and endurance training all in the same package. On top of that, you will learn the art of BJJ and be rewarded with belt colors and stripes along the way.
As long as you keep in mind your physical condition, take things slow and avoid risky situations, it is up to you to decide whether you are too old to start BJJ or not. The fact that you are reading this, could be a sign that you are well suited for BJJ. If so, I have 21 tips for beginners for their first year of BJJ. You can read it here.
Things to know when starting BJJ as an older person
There are a few things to know if you are starting BJJ at an older age.
Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a martial art, and it has its own set of risks. Even though it is pretty safe to be a martial art, like any other sport it comes with risks. You can minimize the risks by taking things slowly and tapping them out rather than trying to get out of a lock.
Age is not a factor, your physical condition is. You need to be able to take a certain amount of pressure when training BJJ. People will roll over you, do locks and choke you out. You need to be able to resist that and do locks and chokes yourself.
If your body can handle the pressure BJJ puts on it, it can have a really positive impact. BJJ is a sport, it will get your heart rate up and put tension on your muscles. All that should keep your body in better shape over time, if you can avoid injuries.
Problems that come with starting BJJ as an older person
The first problem is tournaments. If you wish to compete in a tournament, where your opponents are chosen by belt color and weight, you will be matched against younger opponents.
You could beat them for sure, but it can be more difficult, than competing with someone your own age (depending on your age of course).
Another issue that comes with age is that you can take longer to heal and get hurt easier. I am not a doctor but to my knowledge, you will get hurt easier, such as joints or broken bones as you grow older.
All that can happen when training BJJ, even if you try to be as careful as possible. Accidents happen. More about how dangerous BJJ really is and how to make it safer in this post.
How to tell if you are too old for BJJ
So, like we said age is not a factor in whether you are too old or not, there are some ways to “test” your physical abilities whether you could start BJJ or not.
If you can do forward roll without breaking a few bones, without too much trouble, I’d say that tells enough about your physical condition.
In BJJ, forward rolls and such are often part of the warmup routine. Therefore, if you can not do a forward roll without breaking a bone, BJJ could get difficult.
I am not saying if you can not do a forward roll you can not start BJJ. That just could be one indicator to decide whether your body can handle the pressure BJJ puts on your body.
You don’t have to be in excellent shape in BJJ, but your body needs to be able to take the pressure BJJ brings on.
Really the best way to tell if BJJ is your thing is to go give it a shot. You can try it out, depending on a gym for 1-3 times without any commitments and without any equipment, other than regular sports clothing.
So, can you be too old to start BJJ? Age is not the factor here. The factor is whether your body can handle BJJ. BJJ can be physically very draining and exhausting, even dangerous if you and your partner are not careful.
It is probably also worth mentioning that I am not a doctor. Therefore, I can not tell whether you are physically capable to start BJJ or not. Even if I was, I couldn’t tell that over the internet. It is really up to you.
This post is supposed to help you decide and bring to your knowledge some things you should know if you are wondering if you are too old or not.
I think BJJ is a great and fun way to stay in shape and to get in shape if necessary. I also have a post that lists 7 reasons to start BJJ, you can read it here.
Hopefully this was helpful to you, have a nice day!