I was having coffee with a buddy of mine that I have been trying to get into BJJ for quite a long time now. It seems that he needs BJJ. I also think that he is a perfect candidate to be a buddy in my own journey of BJJ awesomeness. Aside from his well-built physique, he is also one of those guys that enjoys active activities. But here’s the catch – he thinks that he is too old for BJJ. Yes. He would drop the bomb on me and say, “My friend, I am just too old for BJJ.”
My friend in his 50’s would gladly just dismiss the idea. He knows I am advocate of BJJ. Getting a negative response would mean a look of dismay and disbelief on my part and a rather stark comment on why he should give Jiu-Jitsu a try. I was starting to think he really is too old for the art, or he is just playing lazy. I refuse to accept the latter.
Will age matter in BJJ?
That night, it got me thinking. Did he just have a self-defeating attitude about martial arts, or was he just being practical about the art of BJJ and how he feels that he will not get far with all the belt ranking system mumbo-jumbo and what-not?
Will age matter in BJJ? I would have to say yes and no. I am being realistic so to speak. It will depend on how far you want to take the sport. Should you want to take it to the competitive level, then I would say starting on your 50’s may be a bit too late. Let’s be realistic in this sense. It depends on how far and how serious you want BJJ to be. Either go amateur or pro. Or be a fan, or be someone who dabbles on it. I believe that every budding athlete will have their own set of motivating factors. These motivating factors eventually push anyone into the direction that they need to be. Or at least feel.
BJJ discriminates against no one. This is what I would believe, having interviewed a countless number of people who got involved in Jiu-Jitsu later in their lives. I have seen people in their 40’s still in their white belts. I have seen disabled, the old, the handicapped etc.
I always say that my motivation is my north star. A guide of sorts. It is your bearing. What motivates you to act is the core reason for anyone who would want to get into BJJ. What is your “why” in BJJ in the first place? Why pursue? Why continue? Why spend hours sweating it out instead of just lifting weights in the gym? What is your motivation to begin with?
In conclusion, as an ambassador of the art of Jiu-jitsu, I refuse to give up on my friend. I believe that he has the right reason to not get into it, but also, I think that he can also find the reasons to get involved. After all, Jiu-Jitsu recognizes no age.
Nilo Valle Chinilla