There are so many martial arts out there to choose from it can be hard to know which one is the best for you. This blog post will look at whether or not you should be learning Judo or BJJ as an older adult. And which one might be a better fit for more senior practitioners.
Judo is a Japanese martial art that focuses on throws and takedowns. BJJ is a Brazilian martial art that focuses on ground fighting and submission holds.
Although both are mat-based martial arts, they work on different aspects of combat. BJJ emphasizes ground submissions, while Judo focuses more on upper body throws and takedowns.
This means that depending on what you’re interested in working on, one may be better than the other.
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Judo Or BJJ As An Older Adult?
Two of the most popular martial arts are Judo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ). Both of these arts have benefits and drawbacks for older adults.
However, both martial arts are very dangerous for older adults. When you practice Judo, it can lead to elbow and knee injuries. When you practice BJJ, it can lead to neck injuries and even broken ribs, especially when you are rolling.
What About Self-Defense?
If your ultimate goal when learning Judo or BJJ is to defend yourself against an attacker in the real world, these techniques aren’t meant for that. Modern-day versions of these martial arts are more sports-oriented than the original martial art.
This doesn’t imply they’re not practical. It’s just that nowadays, most gyms focus on competitions and neglect the self-defense aspects of it.
Overall, these famous grappling arts are tough to learn and will only work if you’re in decent physical condition. Both Judo and BJJ require a lot of dedication and practice to become very strong at them.
This might be an unpopular opinion, considering Helio Gracie trained BJJ until he was 90+ years old. But, he wasn’t a typical older adult training BJJ. He was one of the founders.
If you’ve never had contact with combat sports in your youth, starting Judo or BJJ in your 60s or 70s might not be the best idea.
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What Are The Best Martial Arts For An Older Adult?
Something like Tai-Chi is an excellent option for older adults to stay healthy and flexible. Tai-Chi is an Asian martial art that uses mainly slow movements and deep breathing techniques to achieve physical and mental relaxation.
The benefits of regularly training Tai-Chi are better balance and flexibility, better circulation, and reduced stress. These benefits will help you move more confidently and naturally in your everyday life.
Now, if you still feel that BJJ or Judo might be your thing, you’ve been working out your whole life. Make sure to seek out a good gym that has competent teachers. Let’s look at some of the benefits of both combat sports.
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The Benefits And Disadvantages Of Judo And BJJ
The general benefits of BJJ and Judo are pretty much the same. You will learn interesting grappling techniques, work on your fitness, and make new friends.
The benefits of training BJJ are that you’ll be able to take down and control almost anyone within your weight and age range. There are also a variety of submissions you can use, such as chokes, locks, and joint locks.
The benefits of training Judo are that you’ll be able to throw almost anyone on the ground. You’ll learn how to fall safely and land on your feet.
Several Judo throws are helpful in a self-defense situation with some adjustments.
Disadvantages Of Training BJJ When You’re Older
The main disadvantage of BJJ is that it’s a complex martial art. It takes a lot of effort and practice to do well at it.
And unfortunately, this is where we get into the age factor. Training in BJJ can be risky for your joints, especially when you’re over 50 years old!
Your shoulders and joints aren’t as young as they used to be, and you’re more likely to get injured during takedowns or ground fighting.
Disadvantages Of Training Judo As An Older Adult
The main disadvantage of Judo is that it’s also complicated to master. It would help if you were in great shape, and even then, it can take years before you can stand the chance of winning in a competition.
It’s challenging for someone over the age of 50 to participate in Judo at a competitive level. Your hips are less flexible, and you have less strength during takedowns and throws.
Pricing for each martial art
BJJ tends to be more expensive than Judo. This is understandable, with the growing popularity of BJJ, so has increased the demand.
Despite this, you can expect to pay a fee of $150-200 per month at a decent BJJ gym. Judo, on the other hand, has much lower prices. A reputable gym will usually cost about $50-75 per month.
Because of this, many people over 45 choose to start Judo, which can be a great decision if you’re able to.
The continued popularity of these martial arts means that new gyms and training facilities are popping up every year and becoming more affordable than before.
Choosing The Right Martial Art As An Older Adult
If you’re looking for the best martial arts for an older adult or if you happen to be an older adult looking for the best martial arts, in general, there are only a few things to consider.
Age, weight, and activity level come first and foremost. If you’re over 50 years old and don’t have any previous contact with combat sports in your life before now (like participating as a kid or doing circus martial arts), sticking to Tai-Chi might be a smart choice.
If you’re overweight but still want to stay fit, find a Tai-Chi school that’s well-equipped with weight machines. The advantages of a good program are the same for any other martial art, even if you’re over 50.
Also, someone who’s well-balanced and active will probably do fine in both BJJ and Judo since these two martial arts focus primarily on grappling. Generally, the best martial art to choose depends on your goals and circumstances.
Some gyms offer discounts if you’re over 50 years old, so you might want to ask them if they can help you out.
Judo Or BJJ As An Older Adult Final Thoughts
Judo and BJJ are intricate styles of martial arts to learn, regardless of age. Only people who are physically active and conditioned should practice it.
If your goal upon learning BJJ or Judo is self-defense, you might want to reconsider this option. Something like Tai-Chi is much better for older adults because of its low injury risk and mental benefits.