Older Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners often have a hard time making progress. They, in a way, stop evolving; but despite that, they still keep training with their older, trusted training partners.
However, while training with trusted partners is always a good idea for your health, if you want to keep evolving as an older BJJ athlete, then you have to train with the new generation. Leandro Lo spoke about this topic in a recent Andre Galvao Podcast episode:
There are some guys that say: “I stopped evolving”, the black belt masters say. Of course [you stopped evolving]! You don’t train with young guys anymore.
They only want to train with masters… How will you [then] be able to learn new Jiu-Jitsu? The secret is always to train with the new generation. The most annoying, the guys that never stop, that do entanglements.
Andre emphasizes that you don’t have to actually play the new games, but that you have to understand them. Leandro agrees:
To defend or to understand it. When I competed against Keenan [Cornelius] of the lapel guard, I was like: “I don’t need to play this guard, but I have to learn how to escape.” And after that I learned.
You don’t need to learn how to play, but you have to learn how to escape.
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