A Unique Training Approach For Older Grapplers


Written by Dan Faggella for BJJ Eastern Europe

In this day-in-age, we’re always looking for something “different”, “unique” and “out of the box” when it comes to our everyday life.  For Brazilian Jiu Jitsu grapplers, there is an-ever evolving world around us in terms of training, moves and techniques.

However, I recently say down with Mark Hopkins, who opened my eyes to brand new way of training that I had never even thought of before.

His unique take and outlook on training—especially for grapplers who are older, with families—seem to be very effective, as he himself has used them in the past.  Also in our discussion, Mark and I discussed the tools grapplers can use in their training, and how to properly harness their true power.

Utilizing Your Resources To The Best Of Your Ability

Right away, Mark and I got into an interesting topic that I like to discuss: How can older grapplers maximize their time, given their family/working lives?  The answer Mark gave me was one that I was not really expecting.

“You’re going to think I’m crazy,” Mark warns me, “but if you have a small child, you can play around by them.”  Genius!

Now by this, Mark means when you play around with your child, pretend as if you were grappling.  Don’t go and hit moves or what have you, but pretend you’re rolling on the mat, and this will give you a nice workout, as well as keeping you familiar with your body movements and being in certain positions.

Mark even shared with me that he used to do this, except he would train by using his dog.  Telling me how he has a nice rugged dog, this would allow him to work out of his guard and hit certain sweeps and transitions, all while being able to spend time with his four-legged friend!

Needless to say, this is a very unique approach in my mind; something I would have NEVER given thought to before Mark mentioned it. I interviewed other top notch over 40 black belt grapplers and you can check out what the rest of them have to say on ScienceofSkill.com

Saulo Ribeiro and Helvecio Penna

Saulo Ribeiro and Helvecio Penna

Harnessing The Powers of YouTube

No matter what sport, field, profession, etc. you are in, we all have the power of YouTube made available to us.  What was invented to be something that is great to help kill time, YouTube has evolved into a fantastic learning tool that many of us neglect.

I talked to Mark about this certain topic, and how older grapplers can use the site when they can’t make it to the gym to train.

Mark hit on some key points that I’ll touch upon:

·         The videos you search for should be HELPFUL to your style.  No crazy inverted double heel hooks!

·         The moves should be relevant, as well.  If you have trouble with this at the gym, it will help having somewhere there that knows the move(s).

·         Drill to the best of your ability!  It may be tough, but in the video, Mark shares some ways you can do this.

So who said age can hold you back? This article on BJJToday.net covers how no matter what age you are, BJJ is still for you.  Go show them that they couldn’t be more wrong, and continue making progress!

­Dan Faggella

Marcelo Garcia is a 9-time World Champion and known for getting to the back and finishing with the rear naked choke, even against much bigger opponents. This four-part system covers taking the back, jumping back takes, maintaining back control, and finishing from the back. Learn Marcelo Gracia's famous Back Attack System. USE PROMO CODE "BJJEE TO GET 10% OFF.