Updated: Feb 1, 2020
Over the years, many adults have gravitated towards martial arts to improve physical fitness and an overall health plan. Over the last few decades, there have been many adults who have started their Brazilian Jiu-jitsu journey in their 40s, 50s, and 60s. In this article, we'll take a look at some factors when considering Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for adults.
Benefits of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for Adults
There are immediate benefits associated with BJJ. It is considered one of the most effective martial arts in the world. Adults who study BJJ often note that it is a complete body workout, where you're challenging yourself mentally and physically.
People who study BJJ long term, often find that it becomes a way of life for them. You increase your social circle, make great friends and in addition, many adults find that BJJ is a great way to release stress. After a day in the office, there is nothing more rewarding than getting into your gi and challenging yourself with a great workout.
If It So Great, Why Don't More Adults Learn?
One BJJ practitioner, named Peggy, started at the ripe age of 49. She has been practicing for 49 years. Why did she hesitate? She thought that she was too old, she was fearful of injury and she didn't have any confidence. She even considered quitting, but after 8 weeks she noticed improvement and received her first white belt stripe.
Truth be told, many people refrain from studying any martial arts because they are fearful or don't believe that they will be good enough. There are many adults who started their Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and martial arts journey in their 40s, and 50s.
Adults Who Practice Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
You may know or remember Ed O'Neil as Al Bundy, from the television sitcom Married With Children. Ed is actually a Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and he has been practicing for over 15 years. In an interview with Maxim, he discussed his journey saying "I got started about 25 years ago, from a friend of mine... I was reluctant. I didn't want to do it. I eventually took a class and got hooked. I never had a high opinion of martial arts... When I started, I thought, if I ever get a purple belt, I'll quit.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for Adults: Advice
One video entitled You're Never Too Old to Start: How he became a World Champion at 60 by Youtuber JiuJitsuJudy, features the story of Jim, who wandered into the martial art. He explained his journey saying "My son was taking jiu-jitsu lessons when he was 10 or 12. I was picking him up. I saw it and got interested. I went to the instructor and asked if I could give it a try... I was a little older because I am a little on the older side of the sport. He grabbed me by the collar and said, 'Class starts in two minutes...' For me it's family, having the support of my wife and kids, and the larger family which is my team here... the coach and all my teammates.
If you do plan on starting your BJJ journey as an adult there are some factors to consider to ensure that you have a long and wonderful journey. Keep in mind that your body recovers from injury differently than when you were younger. So if you're injured, definitely speak to your instructor. Your instructor should also match you up accordingly, matching you with students who aren't at a professional level. One of the most important things to consider is nutrition and adequate sleep. Adults who practice martial arts need more time to recover than someone who is in their 20s or 30s.