Regardless of how old you may be, the love for Jiu Jitsu will follow you for as long as you’re alive. The way it makes you feel better about yourself, and the smile it puts on your face… That will never fade away.
But what will fade away, unfortunately, is your physical prowess as the years fly by. So, if you want to train BJJ safely into old age – once you reach your 50’s and onward – it’s a good idea to follow the next advice.
YOU’RE NOT IN YOUR 20’S ANYMORE – DITCH YOUR EGO
It may be a tough reconciliation to make, but you should make peace with the fact that you’re not in your 20’s anymore. That is, you aren’t as explosive nor as strong as you used to be – but that’s fine! You can use the slower, more concept-based BJJ game to your advantage against the young punks.
Just make sure that you don’t try to go head-to-head with them (too often). If your ego gets to you, you’ll get injured.
WATCH OUT FOR WHITE BELTS
Especially for the new, spazzy ones, that are young and want to „prove“ themselves. You don’t want to get injured due to some triviality, such as getting elbowed in the nose; so, whenever you can, opt for the more seasoned Jiujiteiros in your class.
As the white belt stops spazzing around, you can begin to roll more with him/her.
DON’T OVERDO IT
It’s easier to train 6x per week when you’re young. Not just because of the lack of obligations, but because the body can take more of a beating. But when you’re in your 50’s, then this sort of frequency can break havoc on your body.
Pay attention to how good you feel after a certain number of training sessions per week and, based on that, pick a number of sessions that best suit you.
Remember: recovery is key, and you need a whole lot more of it now. The sooner you accept that the better off you’ll be – both with health and in BJJ alike!
WARM-UP AND COOL DOWN PROPERLY
Warming up before and stretching after training is adamant for everyone. And it’s a lot more important for you now than it used to be.
It will keep you prepared for the training session to come, as well as improve your recovery (and lessen the pains) when everything is done… So that you’re better prepared for the next time!
… then you did. The wear and tear on the body from BJJ is no joke; and as you get older, the tendons, ligaments, muscles, and bones get more susceptible to injury. In other words: what was once tolerable, could now become a (literal) breaking point! Even a minor hyperextension could lead to a prolonged recovery period.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to start tapping out earlier.
Strength training will be your advantage against other Jiujiteiros in their 50’s, simply because it’ll enable you to improve faster and become more resilient to the previously mentioned wear and tear.
The gym is waiting for you. So get going as quickly as possible!
If you’re keen on keeping your training frequency up to par with others, then you should introduce more drills to the equation – not rolling.
The drills will make sure that you learn new techniques and add layers to the ones you already know, while simultaneously keeping you fresh and injury-free for the rolls to come.
ENJOY IT IN YOUR 50’S AND LATER
Finally, perhaps the best piece of advice could be to find modalities of training with which you can enjoy BJJ. Make sure that they’re safe, but also remind yourself to keep having fun.
Achieve both of this, and the years won’t matter – just the time on the mats.
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