Is it possible to start training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu when you’re over thirty? Yes. Lots of people start BJJ later in life. The key to being successful in BJJ at a later age is to take the training at your own pace and be careful of expecting too much of yourself. Ego and overwork can get you frustrated or injured. Give yourself time to learn and improve in the sport before you start comparing yourself to others.
Every year you say that you will start BJJ. Now that you’ve turned 30, the time has finally come! Go to your local jujitsu gym and you will find practitioners of all ages and levels. It really is a sport that anyone can do regardless of age.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can be adapted for people of all ages, from 5 years old to 90 years old. Age is not a factor in Jiu-Jitsu when it comes to technical skill; however, it will be a factor in physical ability, conditioning, and recovery. Past injuries or health concerns can be worked around just be sure to take care of your recovery. Progression is unique to you; enjoy the journey at the pace that fits your life.
So, if you’re pressing forward to begin training in BJJ past the age of thirty, what do you need to know? We are going to discuss some things about starting Bjj at 30 in this article.
Is It Too Late To Start BJJ At 30?
It’s never too late to start BJJ! BJJ gyms are filled with people from all walks of life Male, Female, Older, Younger, Bigger, Smaller, and Different professions. At 30 years old, you still have the rest of your life to train the sport that you will fall in love with once you start.
It’s important to stop thinking about your age as being ‘old.’ You only get old when you stop moving, playing, and training. Many athletes peak in their 30s in their respective sports. Now that’s not to say you’re coming into BJJ at your peak and you’ll take over the competitive scene. It means that if you come in with a fragile mindset, you will likely be fragile.
If you’ve been actively strength training or performing other cardiovascular activities, you will be able to train more often than someone who hasn’t done any formal exercise in the past 10 years. You will adapt quickly to the training.
Now, if you have plans on becoming one of the top BJJ practitioners and taking out ADCC and EBI, then you may have to adjust your goals. This isn’t impossible with hours of dedicated training and some talent, but for many of us, this isn’t likely.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t compete or even win competitions. Most states, countries, or even cities host IBJJF competitions as well as other organizations. There are also national competitions hosted every year.
There is EVERY CHANCE you can compete and win these competitions if that is a goal of yours even starting at 30. If winning competitions and competing isn’t your cup of tea, that is completely fine. The great thing about BJJ is that rolling in class can be done at 100% without the high risk of injury like in striking sports.
6 Reasons Why You Should Start BJJ At 30
But why should you want to get involved with BJJ in the first place? Where’s the appeal in rolling around on the ground with a kid half your age?
There are quite a few reasons that older Jiu-Jitsu players get involved in the sport. However, most of the reasons involve combating the kinds of problems many thirty-year-olds struggles with.
When you start to become older, it’s typical to find that you don’t have the body that you once had. Social lives often deteriorate around this age as living situations change, and interests fluctuate. BJJ can be a cure to these ails and others. Let’s discuss how.
1. Get In Shape
BJJ provides an incredible way to get in shape. As you go through the training, you’ll be moving your body in ways it’s never moved before. Jiu-Jitsu requires the use of the entire body, burning away fat, and building lean, functional muscle.
Training will also give you a goal to focus on rather than simply working out for working out’s sake. As you strive to improve your form and technique, your body will naturally sculpt into something capable of the task.
Going to the gym can be dull and stressful for those that aren’t already in love with bodybuilding. Jiu-Jitsu is fun, exciting, and goal-oriented.
Many of those who started BJJ after the age of thirty, report weight drops of as big as fifty pounds within months of beginning training.
Even for those who may think they’re too big, too fat, or too out of shape to participate, BJJ can be an incredible way to see big improvements in a short amount of time.
2. Learn A New Skill
What makes BJJ so addictive and enjoyable is the fact you are learning a new skill. That means there is measurable progress every training week.
Did you land a specific submission for the first time? Or land a sweep that was just taught in class? These are measurable results that will keep you in the sport for a long time. While learning a new skill, you’re also improving cardiovascular health and developing upper body strength.
3. Gain Confidence
There’s nothing that will really put a swagger in your step, like knowing you could drop 90% of the people you meet on a daily basis.
Getting comfortable with the style and the training will make you feel more comfortable and confident on the mat and will also likely bleed into other areas of your life.
As you get fit, you’ll feel not only attractive and sexy but strong and powerful in a way that cardio and weight training just can’t provide. Your body will become more than just your outer shell, but a tool that you’ll know how to use better than ever.
You’ll also become more disciplined. With disciplined training, you’ll gain the confidence to know that you can take on any challenge and persevere.
Confidence through BJJ is more than just having a body you’re proud of again. It’s wholistic Feeling confident in you.
4. Learn How To Protect Yourself And Your Loved Ones
Self-defense is one of the most important aspects of BJJ: it is why martial art was created in the first place. While it would be a good idea for everyone to learn how to defend themselves, if you are over the age of 30, it is likely that you have a family that you have to think about (or are planning to have one sometime in the future).
5. It’s A Great Way To Make New Friends
As many people over the age of 30 knows, it can often be difficult to build new friendships without institutions such as school or new jobs that we had when we were younger.
Earlier in our lives, we were constantly being introduced to new people as our classmates changed every year and we bounced around from job to job.
As we get older, our professional situation becomes more stable and we are less likely to be introduced to a wide variety of people with whom we could make friends.
BJJ provides a perfect mechanism to compensate for this! Not only will you be introduced to a large swath of new training partners on your first day, but you will constantly be meeting new people as practitioners cycle through the academy and participate in various tournaments and seminars.
And because you will get to know them through your training, you will know first-hand that they are hardworking, quality people who would make great friends in your personal life!
6. Take You Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Life can be easy in this day and age. Get up. Go to work. Come home. Watch Netflix. Sleep. But an easy life makes us soft. Any adversity is likely to cause more problems than it should. Starting BJJ is a big step out of your comfort zone. It could be why you haven’t started already.
Taking this plunge will teach you things you never knew it could. Like patience. Turning up every single week even though you are getting beaten by everybody in the gym. Continuing to train even though you don’t feel like you’re improving. Not giving up just because it is hard. These things you can only learn outside of your comfort zone and being pushed.
Tips For Starting BJJ At 30
If you haven’t been formally active for a while, make sure to start slow! It is easy to get injured performing a sport of awkward movements when you haven’t trained for a long time. Start with class 2-3x a week. You know that you’ve adapted to the training when you’re not as sore after each training session as you were in the beginning.
Don’t Only Do BJJ
What I mean by this is don’t just go to class and do nothing else. Make sure you look after your body outside of the gym. Whether that is massage, yoga, or just going on walks. Doing something that is light and active can help the recovery process between training.
Make It A Lifestyle
Being consistently active is a lifestyle in itself. Let it carry over into how you eat and go about your day. Get more sunshine and fresh air. Eat more vegetables and fewer takeaways. Watch less TV and read more books. All of these things can increase the quality and longevity of your life.
Be Aware Of Your Recovery
Sadly, you’re not 20 anymore. It may take a little longer to recover between sessions than it used to. If you’ve kept an active lifestyle, it may not affect you. If you haven’t you may have postural issues that will cause you pain and discomfort after training sessions. Check out my article “Stop Stretching To Get Flexible For MMA” to find some techniques that make you more mobile for BJJ.
Look After Your Neck
Even if you’ve stayed active over the years, the neck is something you probably haven’t trained. Performing some remedial neck exercises will help strengthen it and provide some therapeutic benefits especially when it’s sore after training. Avoid doing the typical neck bridges that are popular in wrestling.
Pros & Cons Of Starting Bjj At 30
- Many people in their thirties end up exercising less and many ends up overweight. If Jiu-Jitsu is taken up, then practitioners over 30 will begin to regain lost health and possibly prevent or combat any worse conditions.
- As with all physical exercise, Jiu-Jitsu is an excellent way to relieve this stress.
- Some people who retire just lose their passion for life. If a person can become involved in BJJ before this time, then he or she will always have something to work for.
- Learning new and complicated patterns of movement during instruction and reacting to constantly changing situations when sparring and competing could count as such an activity.
- Interacting with younger people helps keep your outlook younger and in tune with a broader section of society than would be the case if you finished employment and only had a few old pals to see.
- You will enjoy camaraderie and friendship across the age groups at the BJJ academy itself and out at competition, pub night, BBQ, etc.
- If you’re at the age of 30 and if you are experiencing problems with your heart, blood pressure, mobility, and similar so starting Bjj is not good for you.
- If you’re just starting BJJ at thirty years old, you’re likely to be pushing your body harder than you have in some time.
- You can face more injuries at this age if you do not take extra precautions.
- The body is no longer as quick to recover from heavy training at an older age.
It can be intimidating to start training BJJ after you turn 30, but it would be a massive mistake to believe that you can’t just because you are “over-the-hill”. It is said that youth is wasted on the young, and boldness may be too.
Not only is BJJ a great activity for practitioners of all ages, but older practitioners are often able to see the intrinsic benefits of the sport that are overlooked by their younger counterparts.