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Am I Too Old to Start Jiu Jitsu?

never too old to start

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Starting anything new, especially at a later age in life, can be a daunting task. We run into so many obstacles in life and it seems that age is always a factor holding people back from fulfilling their potential. Every excuse under the sun could be used. You could be out of shape, haven’t worked out in years, or “don’t have enough time”, whatever it is, know that it is an excuse that needs to be laid to rest. In this article, we will answer the question “Am I Too Old to Start Jiu-Jitsu?”

Am I Too Old to Start Jiu-Jitsu?

Age Limitations in Brazilian jiu jitsu

It doesn’t matter if you are 80 or 10 years old, it is never too late to train Jiu Jitsu. Most BJJ academies are extremely respectful and welcome everyone who is attempting to learn the techniques taught in the martial art known as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. As for age limitations in competition, most tournaments don’t allow competitors over the age of seventy to compete. Even though there is an age limitation, having the choice to compete in a combat sport your whole life is an incredible option to have.

When is the best time to start learning bjj?

Like many other activities in life, being able to begin martial arts training at a young age can give you a big advantage when it comes to competition and overall mastery of the sport. Training Jiu Jitsu early in life can increase discipline, self-confidence, cardiovascular fitness, and technique. Although it is not mandatory for success,  having practiced martial arts in the early years of life is preferable when trying to compete at a high level.

 Benefits of beginning BJJ at an older age

Although it might not seem like it, there are many advantages that older adults have when they begin to learn BJJ. For one, technical skills and techniques are easier to remember due to a fully developed brain. This means that specific moves will come easier to older athletes. Along with that, starting BJJ at an older age means that your maturity is developed, allowing you to handle any situation that comes your way. Despite what some people say, there are benefits to starting Jiu Jitsu later in life.

 Considerations when bjj as an older athlete

Self-care and preservation of your body is mandatory when learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as an older athlete. Most people participating in martial arts often forget to take care of their bodies. It is important to note that no matter how old you are, getting good sleep and the proper amount of protein is mandatory to excel in a combat sport. It is also worth understanding that older folks have more trouble healing from injuries and soreness. Listen to your body and make sure it gets the proper nutrients in order to stay safe on the mats.
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alex martinez - Am I Too Old to Start Jiu Jitsu?

Choices are the only things that allow us to move past our excuses. A great example of choosing a greater lifestyle is none other than Alex Martinez, CO-Owner of Ares East Mesa BJJ Academy. There are many examples in this world of people starting later in life who excel beyond their beliefs. We had the pleasure of interviewing jiu-jitsu black belt instructor and navy veteran, Alex Martinez this last weekend to talk about his story. From being in a dark place to now loving what he does each day, Alex is a shining example of putting personal excuses aside to change for the better.

Starting Something Later in Life with Alex Martinez

Alex was convinced at the age of 40 to just try out a couple of classes by his wife’s co-worker who would not shut up about the sport. At this time he was in a dark place. Weighing in at almost 250 lbs, Martinez was in bad shape, both mentally and physically. Martinez painted a picture of a time when he would have to take breaks after just walking up a flight of stairs. “I had no desire to do anything. At one point I thought I was going to die from a heart attack from just walking up the stairs.”

After some contemplation, he googled the nearest jiu-jitsu gym to him and signed up a week later. “This sport changed my life,” said Alex, “I do not know where I would be if I did not discover the sport and committed to it”. He highlighted that most of the changes he has seen were not just the ones in the mirror. “Outside of the physical changes (down more than 60 lbs) the mental changes have been the biggest difference for me. I am a better husband, father, and friend because of the lessons I have learned on the mats.”

Jiu-jitsu is a sport that is for everyone. Those that do join and stay committed experience something you cannot find anywhere else. The brotherhood and benefits formed around the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu community are unmatched.   Alex got his black belt under 4x IBJJF World Masters Champion Paul Nava who also runs a gym based out of Phoenix, Arizona.

Alex Martinez is currently transitioning into going full-time within his business to the massive growth he and his partner have seen within the local area. Martinez has also dived fully into podcasting. He has interviewed some top-level competitors such as Josh Cisneros, who will be competing at the world championship ADCC this fall in Las Vegas.

It is never too late to change and try something new. Alex Martinez is a beaming example of this. We hope that we can use this story as inspiration to go out and make it happen!

Happy Rolling!

Injury Rehab

Are you suffering from a sports-related injury? Find an online rehab program to help solve the problem! We have partnered with sports med professionals with love 20 years of experience to provide you with in-class service!

  • Online Rehab Programs
  • Cost Effective & Convenient
Click Here

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