STARTING JIU JITSU AT 30
The art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has become one of the most popular forms of combat in the modern era. The evolution of BJJ has achieved significant innovations throughout its rise from the streets of Brazil, all the way to the international stage in California. Even though Brazilian Jiu Jitsu started off as a self defense system created by Helio Gracie, the art has split into two different factions. As Helio kept his version of the art aligned with the self defense system, his older brother Carlos Gracie spearheaded the art toward an evolution of combat sports. Nowadays since the rise of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu on the MMA platform, the art has become a dynamic competitive sport in many countries around the world.
What This Article Covers:
- What to Expect from a BJJ School
- What to Focus on in the Beginning
- How to Earn Promotions in the Art
- Maximising Efficiency
- Bulletproofing Your Body
The Brazilian art has become widely available to people from all ages, and all walks of life. These days students are starting as young as five years of age, as these students have a huge advantage leading into their older lives. Training BJJ from a young age will help the student remain physically fit, and strong, while giving them an exceptional aptitude for learning. There are plenty of people that have only found out about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in recent years, and many of them may wonder how to get into jiu jitsu. Students that are thirty years of age, may find it difficult to match it with the young up and coming athletes. A thirty year old student is basically still in the prime of their life, and even though this may seem late, it can be a good age to start a journey into Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM A BJJ SCHOOL
A Brazilian Jiu Jitsu academy is a highly professional Martial Arts institution. The expertise of all the coaches are well known throughout the BJJ community, as they are known for their inspirational, encouraging, and nurturing attitudes towards all of their students. People that begin their journey into Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, will soon discover that a BJJ school is just like a family. Most people are unsure of what to expect when they walk into a matted area inside a BJJ school, and to their surprise they are met with nothing short of acceptance, camaraderie, and a fun filled environment. Students are free to come to training and learn at their own pace, as all students are treated as equals. Every higher belt understands what it was like when they first started BJJ, and this translates into how they will accept new members of an academy. This means that new students can come in, and not feel judged if they are completely hopeless in their first few weeks. Training BJJ takes a lot of hard work, and perseverance, as students will need to wrap their head around an extremely diverse, and conceptual style of thinking.
A BJJ academy is home to people of all different ages, cultures, and lifestyles. The art of BJJ has no discrimination against any race or gender. Some students are as young as five years old, and can also range to students starting jiu jitsu at 50. When a thirty year old walks into an academy, and can see older students training extensively, it gives them a greater sense of confidence that they too can begin to progress through this highly complicated form of Martial Arts. All that a professor of BJJ expects from their students is that they come to training with a good attitude, that they are showing respect to all members of the academy, and to basically just give it a go. BJJ is not a Martial Art that can be short cut, as it requires a student to focus intently, work hard, show continuity, and keep on persevering throughout the many ups and downs.
As for the technical component, a student can expect a highly extensive range of techniques to learn. In addition, the work on the mats can be brutal, as the students will develop their attributes through many movement based drills, which are synonymous with BJJ. At their first experience with movement based drills, students will wonder how these moves even relate to BJJ. What a student will soon discover is how every single movement based drill is directly linked to a specific movement within the art. Students can expect repetition of these movements in every single class, as this will develop the building blocks to help them improve. There are many movements taught in BJJ that are complicated, but with a little bit of guidance, these transitions can be simplistic in their concept.
WHAT TO FOCUS ON IN THE BEGINNING
Starting BJJ as a thirty year old can have its advantages, and disadvantages. Sometimes a student may feel like they have wasted decades leading up to their thirties, as they watch the younger generations achieve greatness on the international stage. Realistically thirty is not too old, as a student is still in the prime of their lives, and can adversely become exceptional in the art of BJJ. Students at the age of thirty are always going to be behind the eight ball, but if they can put time into the right aspects from the beginning, then they will find an easy way to transition into a higher belt within the art. First and foremost, the most important concepts they need to learn is how to show humility, as a student who comes in with an ego, will take a significantly longer time to mature as a BJJ practitioner. At thirty years of age, students will come up against eighteen year olds who may already be high level in BJJ, who can easily defeat them on the mats. There is no best age to start jiu jitsu, as BJJ is an art that is all about hard work, and time on the mats. Even a younger and weaker practitioner that has ten years of experience, can easily defeat an older and stronger opponent, who is just starting out.
One of the most important focuses for a new student starting in BJJ, is the fundamentals. Quite often thirty year olds will start BJJ after being exposed to watching UFC events, where they watch their favourite fighters pull off highly technical submission finishes. As a beginner in a BJJ academy, they must first understand the fundamental mechanics that go into the art, and this is before they can even think about practising some of the more highly technical, and advanced movements. If a student spends too much time trying to pull off high level maneuvers they will suffer in the long term, as their game style will be full of holes. To build an everlasting game style they need to construct a series of strong foundations, as this will be the backbone to their defensive systems. For example there is no use attacking for berimbolos, or leg entanglements if the student cannot bridge, hip shrimp, or frame. The best part about learning fundamental Jiu Jitsu, means once a student has experience in core principles, they can develop their own system of BJJ.
HOW TO EARN PROMOTIONS IN THE ART
Progressing through the belt ranking system of BJJ can take an extremely long time. The average time spent is two years per belt rank, meaning that practitioners can achieve a black belt in the art anywhere from eight to twelve years. Some students will even take longer, as they may stagnate for several years on certain belt levels. Understanding how to train jiu jitsu for seniors is different from a younger athlete's training schedule, as the older students must prioritise how they train. There is no trick to progressing through the art apart from old fashioned hard work, and continuity, as this Martial Art is an extremely complex, and sophisticated system of intricate moves that can only be mastered through repetition. Understanding the mechanics of each technique takes a long time for it to become muscle memory, and this is where students want to take their BJJ.
The best way to earn the next belt promotion is through perseverance, as students need to show their instructors they are dedicated to learning the art, and representing their academy. Although competing is not expected for any of the students, it is however highly encouraged, and can be a good way to fast track a student's promotion within the art. If a student can show repeated dominance in BJJ tournaments, then an instructor will have no choice but to promote them to the next belt level. If a student competes but loses, this is still a great experience for the practitioner, and can ultimately lead to moving up in rank. Competing in tournaments is the best way to battle test a student's techniques, and is the closest they will get to a real life conflict scenario. The best way to gain promotion in the art of BJJ is to pay close attention, make sure to practise each move diligently, and ask plenty of questions. This is the only way a student will find the answers they need to many of the problems they may face in BJJ.
Students that begin training at the later stages of adulthood need to increase their chances of efficiency. The best way to do this is set short term, and long term goals. For example a long term goal might be earning a blue belt in Jiu Jitsu, and the short term goal might be as simple as mastering a certain pass. It is important to have different short term goals in order to achieve a broader range of BJJ progression. Understanding how to set achievable goals, and then achieving them is crucial to maximising a student's effectiveness. Another important aspect is for students to evaluate their own learning, this is so they can best prepare both physically, and mentally for the right pathway they need. BJJ needs to be systematic, and unlike jiu jitsu for teens, older students may take more time for proficiency to become second nature.
A common problem in BJJ is for students to waste time on aspects they may not need. This can be as simple as certain techniques that don't suit their game style, and students need to have the discipline to know where to draw a line in the sand. Dealing with all aspects of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can be time consuming, as not only do they need a broad range of knowledge, and the ability to become technically proficient, they will also need elements of strength and conditioning, cardio based training, and mobility exercises. Trying to combine all of these elements into a more efficient way to train can sometimes be tricky. Nowadays students have the added ability of researching any type of training program they need to help maximise their output. On top of this, students should be utilising the full experience that their black belt Professor has to offer.
BULLETPROOFING YOUR BODY
Navigating through a high impact combat sport like BJJ, means that older students need to increase their overall strength and fitness. On the backside of thirty, students will begin to develop all sorts of niggling injuries. Unless the student is already engaged in injury prevention methods, or has substantially bulletproofed their body, these injury problems will appear. It is even more important for students who begin training BJJ at thirty years of age, to put in some significant time into bulletproofing their bodies. There are many different ways that students can use this terminology bulletproofing, as they will find their own programs that suit them in order to maximise their strength, and fitness.
The aim of bulletproofing a student's body is to prevent or rehabilitate injuries, as well as build up strength within their muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints. Trying to compete against young adults can be a nightmare for people over thirty, as the younger athlete usually has a higher capacity of muscular strength, and fitness. Older students need to train smarter, and bulletproofing their bodies is a great step in the right direction. Once the student can combine effective techniques with muscular strength, they will become increasingly hard to deal with on the mats.
If you enjoyed this piece, consider checking:
- Starting Jiu-Jitsu at 40
- How to Get Better at Jiu Jitsu at Home
- Can You Practice Jiu Jitsu Alone
- BJJ for Beginners
- Mental Benefits of Jiu-Jitsu
- How Long Does It Take to Learn Jiu Jitsu
- What Do You Call a Jiu Jitsu Teacher
- Best BJJ Instructionals
- Should I Do Jiu Jitsu
- BJJ Tips
- Is Jiu Jitsu Hard
- What Does Jiu Jitsu Teach You
- Jiu Jitsu Benefits
- Going Back to BJJ After a Long Break
- How Often to Train BJJ