There are lots of sports that you can dive into. However, we’ve seen a massive surge in BJJ enthusiasts over the last couple of years. People of all ages are becoming more invested in what’s often dubbed “the gentle martial art.” But, what is the best age to start training BJJ anyway?
One of the main concerns people have with learning a martial arts discipline is that they might already be too old to begin. In reality, however, almost anyone can do BJJ as a martial art.
The physical and mental benefits of BJJ are for kids, teens, and adults. Of course, you’re probably concerned with having your kids engage in a contact sport. Or, if it’s you that’s interested in BJJ, you might be concerned about your capabilities to begin from scratch as well.
Let’s talk about when it’s too early or too late to start training BJJ.
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What Is The Best Age To Start Training BJJ For Kids?
When it comes to this question, there’s no direct answer. That’s because it entirely depends on your child and their capabilities.
It might seem extreme, but believe it or not, some kids start training as young as three or four years old. However, keep in mind that starting them at this age is complex and comes with many challenges. Mainly…
- It’s easier for them to get injured
- It’s hard to find suitable partners from them as not many kids start this young.
Your kids can even dislike the sport if they’re not ready.
Most BJJ professionals and martial artists will tell you that the best age to start training BJJ for a child is six years old. At this age, they’ve already developed a small sense of independence. They’re also more coordinated when it comes to their physical abilities.
That doesn’t mean that your kid is already in the perfect stage to start training in BJJ once they hit this age. There are still a few factors to consider that prepare them for training. Ask yourself a few critical questions first:
- Can your kid follow basic instructions and rules?
- Are they okay with socializing and communicating with others?
- Are they okay with being in a strict environment on their own?
- Are they physically ready to learn a martial art?
If you answer yes to these questions, your kid is more than ready. Keep in mind that BJJ classes aren’t 1-on-1 affairs. Your kid will be in a learning environment with other kids. These questions assess the preparedness of your child and reveal whether they’re a perfect fit to be in a learning environment.
You don’t need to worry about your child getting put in classes where they’re outsized by their peers. BJJ classes are typically separated by age group to make it easier for kids and everyone else to train with one another. The most common partition of classes per age is as follows:
- 5-7 years old
- 8-12 years old
- 13-16 years old
- 17 and above.
Why Start Your Kids In BJJ Early?
There are benefits to letting your kids start early in BJJ. By getting them into action early, they’ll be able to develop the muscles and the muscle memory needed for BJJ athletes early on. While this is still possible for adults, your kids will get a huge head start as well.
Training them early will develop their muscle memory for several techniques and, most importantly, the mindset to become good BJJ athletes. This opens up lots of opportunities in the competitive scene for your child as they’re growing up.
And even if your kids don’t like competition, which is perfectly fine, they’ll develop a strong character and the resilience to accomplish great things off the mats too.
However, It’s not all positive.
Keep in mind that BJJ is a contact sport. There’s always a risk of injury in training and competition. These are things that you need to prepare for as a parent.
As a parent, you will need to be there for your child if they want to compete. BJJ is a journey that’s filled with ups and downs. Being there for them to let them know that there are good and bad days will make their BJJ journey a lot easier.
Is 50 Too Old To Start Learning BJJ?
There’s no universal answer to this question. 50 years old could be one of the best ages to start training BJJ or not, It depends on your ability as an athlete.
It doesn’t matter how old you are. If you can physically handle the training rigors of BJJ, then it won’t be a problem.
If you don’t feel you have a competitive edge within your age group, it might be better to avoid it in your 50s. Or adjust your expectations.
It would help if you also kept in mind that your joints and muscles will naturally deteriorate with age. This means that BJJ will be a lot harder for you as well.
discover more martial arts you can learn as an older adult
What Is The Best Age To Start BJJ For Teens And Adults?
There’s no best age to start BJJ for adults. People can begin as early as they hit their teens. You can also find people that start BJJ in their golden years.
The good thing about starting BJJ at an older age is that you’ll have more control over your body. You’re more physically capable as well. It’s no secret that adults are more accessible to teach than kids as they are more disciplined and prepared to take instructions.
People take up BJJ for a variety of reasons. Some do it to get fit. Some do it to be better prepared to protect themselves. Some do it because they want to get into competition. Regardless of your age, any of these reasons are viable for getting into BJJ.
You should let your instructor know about any injuries and other health conditions that you may have. This allows them to adjust accordingly to your needs. The good news is that very few conditions will prevent you from participating in BJJ.
What’s important to know is whether you’re prepared for the task at hand. BJJ requires a lot of physical and mental determination. It can be challenging at first, but once you surpass those initial hurdles, you’ll see that it’s an enjoyable sport with many benefits.
Let’s talk about what those benefits are.
Weight Loss And Muscle Development
If you want to get fit, BJJ is a fun and engaging way to do so. Experts say you can burn 507 calories with 30 minutes of sparring in BJJ. That’s not even taking into account the class itself and the body conditioning exercises that your coach will let you do.
It’s not an exaggeration, but BJJ does require the use of every inch of your body. When it comes to muscle development, you can expect to see improvements all around you.
You’re also going to need a lot of cardio for BJJ, so needless to say, it’s one of the things that you’ll develop along the way too.
BJJ is a close-quarters martial art. Some techniques are applicable in precarious scenarios outdoors. Just do a quick search online, and you’ll see that there have been a lot of cases where BJJ has saved the life of someone in danger.
What’s excellent about BJJ is that it’s a martial art that teaches you to subdue someone effectively. It’s not a striking art, so you can get out of altercations without actually injuring someone.
Good Base For MMA
It’s not necessarily the best base for MMA, but every professional will tell you that BJJ is a vital asset in fighting. BJJ isn’t just about finishing opponents with submissions. It’s also about ground control and submission defense. MMA matches start standing up, but it’s already the BJJ practitioner’s world once it gets to the ground.
There are lots of good BJJ practitioners on the biggest stage in MMA. Damian Maia, Anderson Silva, the Diaz brothers, and many more.
Lots Of Competitive Opportunities
BJJ competitions are widespread nowadays. There are outlets for amateurs and professionals to compete on a high level. If you think you’ve got what it takes to take BJJ to such degrees, you’ll be happy to know that there’s no shortage of competitions to test your game.
You don’t need to rush and compete after a month of BJJ. Take your time, as there will always be a fight around the corner. There are competitions for all age groups, too, so there’s an opportunity to rack up awards even for kids.
Discipline And A New Mindset
This applies to most martial arts.
Training in any martial art, such as BJJ, teaches you self-discipline. The entire experience can be humbling for most people. It’s contrary to the misconception that people that train in martial arts are brash and boastful.
This makes BJJ an excellent avenue for your kids to be better disciplined. BJJ isn’t just a sport you’ll get into. It can be a way of life that lets you be a better person both on and off the mats.
What Is The Best Age To Start BJJ? – Final Thoughts
As you can see, there are physical and mental benefits to BJJ too. It’s an excellent martial art to train in, whatever your reasons are.
It’s safe to say that BJJ is almost for everyone. It can be for your kids as early as six years old. It can even be for you as a busy adult. Learning BJJ is not a matter of how old you are. It’s a matter of whether you’re ready to dedicate yourself to learning this martial art that has captivated many worldwide.
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