Is 50 Too Old To Learn Bjj? – BJJ For People Over 50 Years Old

If you’re 50 years old and ask yourself, “Is 50 too old to learn BJJ?” then the answer is a resounding No! There are people in their eighties and nineties who are still training and enjoying the physical, mental, and social benefits of BJJ. 

But if you’re 50 years old, that doesn’t mean that you can’t start learning BJJ today.

There is no age limit for learning Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. In fact, there are a lot of benefits to starting a martial art later in life.

For one, you’re more likely to have the discipline and patience to stick with it. You’re also more likely to have the maturity and life experience to understand the philosophy behind BJJ.

No matter what your reasons are, let’s take a look at some relevant aspects to consider when learning BJJ At 50 years old.

Learning BJJ At 50 Years Old

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is labeled as “Arte Suave,” which translates to “Soft Art.”

Having this as a premise, we could point out how, on a technical level, practicing Jiu-Jitsu doesn’t depend on your strength, endurance, speed, or flexibility

With this in mind, there should be no reason for which one would believe that an older, smaller, or physically weaker person would be incapable of learning and effectively putting Jiu-Jitsu Techniques into practice.

As long as there is a will, there is a way. So any healthy individual at any age can take the first step in their BJJ journey. It may just be a matter of time and discipline for them to be putting the new and younger guys at bay. 

But, set realistic goals for yourself. Training at a fast pace with younger guys might be out of reach for most people.

For those planning on taking their first step in BJJ or those just looking into what it can offer you, we will point out the benefits you can achieve by learning BJJ, no matter how old you are.

The Benefits Of Learning BJJ At Any Age

Is 50 Too Old To Learn Bjj?

Here is a shortlist including some of the multiple benefits that you can develop as you train BJJ and apply to every practitioner, regardless of age, gender, or size.

Improving Health and Fitness

As a martial art and a competitive combat sport, training Jiu-Jitsu will teach you many techniques. These movements will help you improve your strength, speed, flexibility, conditioning, and balance. 

Mental Training and Improvement

Those who have practiced BJJ have realized that it is much more than just a test of physical prowess; Jiu-Jitsu allows the practitioner to develop multiple mental faculties, like self-confidence, mindfulness, humility, concentration, and problem-solving ability.

Self-Defense

BJJ For Street Fights

The focus of Jiu-Jitsu is to incapacitate or immobilize the opponent. Still, it was initially developed to be used against larger and stronger targets, as technique and leverage would be able to overpower raw strength without relying on the practitioner’s own power or size.

Learning about failure

In sports, you can win or lose.

In BJJ, the principle used is “You either win or you Learn,” it encourages anybody to learn from mistakes and overcome them as many times as necessary.

Going through this process can help you master your own emotions. And that’s something you can carry outside the gym and into your life.

Self-Care

Jiu-Jitsu is a sport that takes your full attention in practice and takes your mind off your everyday issues.

It is impossible to think about things you have pending when trying to escape the 205 lb man’s chokehold before he puts you to sleep.

Those were some of the multiple benefits that you can get from training, but if you still need a little more to push yourself to practice BJJ, let’s take the time to debunk some of the myths about learning this discipline at an older age.

Myths About Learning BJJ At An Older Age

I have experience on the mats with people of all ages. Young kids at 4, to guys in Masters 7, and they all bring their individual touch into a class.

There are these little myths that younger people want to believe about older practitioners in Jiu-Jitsu, but I guess it is time to bust them on the spot.

MYTH: The older practitioners can’t handle rolling with younger athletes

Any guy who believes this and thinks that their strength and speed will make him untouchable to an older practitioner who has spent his time on the mats will be in for a rude awakening or a forced sleep.

I know a black belt instructor who has one of his classes focused on the older age group.

Any of the practitioners there, be it the colored belts or even the white belts, can not only give any young practitioner a run for his money but even dominate and submit them.

MYTH: If you start too old there is no way you get a black belt in BJJ

The belt you wear has nothing to do with your age, and multiple people have proven this.

If you have the time to search on the web to see it yourself, look for a story on “James Terlecki Sr.“, who achieved his black belt in BJJ at 74 years old, having started 13 years earlier, at the age of 61. 

The man should be 82 Years old right now, and I firmly believe that he is more than likely still spending time on the mats.

We have touched on general benefits and busted some myths about BJJ at older ages, but let’s dive into benefits for more senior Jiu-Jitsu practitioners.

The Benefits Of Training BJJ Later In Life

These benefits apply to those who begin their Jiu-Jitsu journey “late” and those who continue to train as they grow older, so let’s dive in.

Training allows you to stay flexible

Any martial art allows the participants to feel younger the more time they spend on their training. 

In BJJ, you will stretch your body and use it in new and different ways, which strengthens them and allows them to be pliable. This decreases your susceptibility to injury. 

Muscles around your joints grow more robust and provide additional support, reducing ligament strain.

The Community

A benefit for any older adult is the community and the social connection they will get from attending classes.

For senior practitioners who live alone or are isolated, regularly participating in a BJJ class can provide a much-needed social connection, placing them in a small ‘community’ in which they can be comfortable. 

To get to these benefits, one needs to take the first step to start, and we are about to explain how simple it can be:

How To Get Started In BJJ When You’re Over 50

To start in BJJ, you have to take just a few simple steps, and luckily, it doesn’t really differ much from a younger practitioner’s method.

  • Find an Academy that gets your interest.
  • Acquire the Gear you will need.
  • Make your way to the academy and try your first class.
  • If you are comfortable, stick to the academy and continue on your journey.
  • If you don’t feel comfortable, rinse and repeat the previous steps.

A few factors may intervene in how comfortable you are in an academy, but we will focus on the instructor. 

The instructor can be the one defining factor for enjoying BJJ or simply walking away from class.

The importance of finding a good instructor

Not every person is fit to teach. It doesn’t have to do with how good, knowledgeable or successful they are at any specific thing, but being able to show others methods for them to understand something entirely is not as easy for everyone.

In Jiu-Jitsu, some excellent athletes also become instructors, and you’d believe that their skillset and success would perfectly transfer into giving class, but it is not always the case.

Some practitioners are excellent at teaching and explaining all the little details you need to know and learn, and it has nothing to do with their competition achievements.

Besides, some have the patience required to handle teaching multiple people who may not understand on the first try. Then there are kids and Seniors, who you have to train differently than your average Juvenile or adult competitors.

Finding a good instructor that you feel comfortable with is just as crucial as the academy’s structure and equipment or team size.

Once you find the spot where you plan on staying to learn and practice BJJ, all you have to focus on afterward is sticking to the discipline.

Practicing Regularly And Staying Motivated

If you are enjoying your time training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, you will want to focus on improving yourself and having fun as you keep your own pace and push forward.

Likely, your body will not keep up with other athletes in their prime, but it doesn’t have to bother you.

Keep yourself in good mental and physical shape, taking breaks and slowing down when you need to. But showing up to class when you can and keeping your head up.

As long as you practice and enjoy doing it, you will improve and become better.

What To Expect When Starting BJJ At 50 Years Old

You can always expect one thing. People will always critique.

Do not mind them, as the only thing you should focus on is improving yourself and doing something you enjoy.

There will always be that guy who thinks an older practitioner has no place on the mats with the younger athletes. But most people, including myself, welcome and encourage anyone who wants to learn Jiu-Jitsu, no matter the age.

Is 50 Too Old To Learn BJJ? Final Thoughts 

If you were looking for reasons to start your Jiu-Jitsu journey, I hope this article has been helpful, and if you were just looking into it out of curiosity, why don’t you share it with someone you believe will be encouraged to step into the mats?

Anyone who steps into the mats with an open mind and is eager to learn is only a matter of time before they start getting those submissions in, so take a chance.

I hope to be seeing you in the mats soon and hope you have a great time while you are at it.

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