Training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is never easy. Even though you may enjoy it a lot, rolling will, for the most part, stay challenging; making you improve both physically and mentally. However, as you become older, BJJ can get extremely challenging for the body. Once you turn 40 and onwards… It can get quite tough.
But you’ve got to keep moving forward. Fabio Gurgel- CEO and Head Coach of the respected Alliance Jiu Jitsu Team – shared his tips for older grapplers in an interview for BJJEE:
In terms of actual practice, the older people need discipline and routine. What you do at daily basis determines whether you will succeed or not. So, you need to dedicate yourself more than anything.
What I mean by this is that you need to ask yourself the right questions: what do you want? What are your goals? You might want to be in shape – what are you doing to achieve that?
BJJ can teach you so many things beside the techniques. It teaches you the discipline, it teaches you how to overcome problems… And if you want to add years to that, then just build up the discipline and go to the mat. Give yourself more chances to train.
As the saying goes: all of the challenges are there for you to overcome them. And if you don’t put yourself in those challenging positions, then you make yourself old and you start to lack behind. But, if you stay on the mats and if you keep on competing, then you keep on improving.
I keep myself going and training for the guys that beat me up and that is a part of the game, one that makes it fun and that makes me evolve in all aspects of life. So, when you get older you need to be wiser. And being wise is what I am talking about here – about getting your discipline down, your routine and goals.
“The General” continues to explain how older athletes need to learn to keep themselves on the mats, no matter what:
When you are young, you have a lot of space to make mistakes. You have more time to correct them. But if you make those same mistakes when you are older, then you are in big trouble as you don’t have the same amount of energy or time to correct them as you did when you were younger. So that is the concept which you need to bring into Jiu-Jitsu, it is the same thing. You need to keep yourself on the mat and be wiser.
All in all, after you turn 40, you must learn how to keep yourself training. The best advice that I have is to never stop, no matter how hard it gets. „Pausing“ with training and returning back to the mat at that age is very painful, so leave your ego behind the door and keep going. Consistency is the name of the game.
Read the rest of the conversation with Fabio Gurgel here.