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Is It Too Late to Start BJJ?
Make BJJ Part of Your Life Going Forward
Many times a new kid walks through the door of the BJJ gym I call home. When I say kid I mean kid…11-14 years old! Oh how amazing it would have been to start BJJ at such a young age. Unfortunately I didn’t know Jiu Jitsu existed at that age.
Growing up in the 60’s and 70’s I was never exposed to a martial arts sport of any kind. I grew up with the traditional baseball, football and golf in my house.
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In my 30’s I was raising 4 kids 3 of which were boys. I was a baseball and football mom and I loved it! WWE Wrestling was as close as I got to any type of fight sport, and as staged as that is, it made for some fun and bonding moments with my kids. The older they got the more they understood the entertainment value of the sport but they still enjoyed it and did their best to turn my living room into a wrestling ring.
I was often used to demonstrate how a clothesline, choke slam or German Suplex was executed. As often as I’d say “you’re going to be the death of me” their response was always “aww mom, were keeping you young”! Little did I know at that time how true that really was.
The older my boys got, the more mature their in a ring sport choices became. Enter Boxing and UFC! We’d buy PPV Events and make a night of it. As I watched the sometimes bloody and what seemed like painful fights I never understood that as a choice. When the fight got to the ground however, I was fully engaged!
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I wanted to know more about the grappling aspect of UFC, I started paying more attention to that portion of the fights, BJJ started creeping into my life slowly but surely. Videos, testimonials etc. I eventually took a self defense class and it was all I needed to get me on the mats and keep me there.
I was 54 at the time and the more classes I attended and the more techniques I learned I soon became quite aware of how BJJ truly does “keep you young”!
At my current age of 56 soon to be 57 I know I’m not as fit as a lot of the younger members of the gym and I know I have limitations. That doesn’t keep me off the mats, if anything it makes me want to be there as often as my body allows. You can usually find me checking in at least 4 days a week, sometimes 5! Use it or lose it I always say. Truthfully, when I’m on the mats training and drilling the aches and pains of the day go away. Why wouldn’t I want to be there?!
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I am always careful when I live roll and I choose partners who are quite controlled and I can trust not to collapse on my ribs or attempt a move on me incorrectly which could end up with a debilitating injury. Working at a pace that I can manage helps me work on technique and sharpen the tools I’ve learned in previous classes.
I don’t train for competition, I train for the health benefits BJJ offers, keeping my mind and body active and being surrounded by the most caring friends I never would have in my life if it wasn’t for Jiu Jitsu.
Jiu Jitsu at an early age is a great idea but when those younger years have slipped away and your body has seen it’s better days, don’t for one second think it’s too late to start something you never knew was possible. It is possible and it’s Fabulous! There is a right time and there is a right place for YOU to learn and grow in the BJJ world. Find that place because The Time Is Now!
I always encourage and advise those kids who’s parents have signed them up for such an amazing journey to stick with it and I often hear myself saying “I wish I started at your age”! If only…I am not one to live with regret. I accept that I started BJJ when I was supposed to. Now is my time. I have the freedom and the flexibility to get to the gym when I want as often as I want. My kids are grown and they don’t need me to tend to their needs so now it’s time for me to tend to mine and what I need is BJJ!
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