This is a question we get often. At Soca Brazilian Jiu Jitsu after one look around our mats will show we have a large number of students in their 30’s and 40’s, all the way up to 60’s. Some of these students use BJJ as a way to simply stay in shape or learn self-defense, while others are active competitors in jiu jitsu tournaments.
The short answer is: “No! You are not too old to get started in jiu-jitsu.”
Through Professor Bruno Albuquerque and Master Alexandre Soca, Soca Brazilian JiuJitsu can trace its lineage directly to Grand Master Carlos Gracie. Grand Master Carlos trained until his old ages, he died when he was 92 years old.
There’s an obvious difference between Grand Master Carlos Gracie, who practiced martial arts since he was 16, and a 90-year-old who tries Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) for the first time. But many people who are as young as 40 would like to try BJJ but think, even at 40, their time has passed.
Thankfully, that’s not correct.
BJJ academies around the world have practitioners who began training in their 40s, 50s and even 60s. Famed chef Anthony Bourdain, for instance, started at the age of 58. So no, broadly speaking, you’re not too old to start training.
Here the old Jiu-Jitsu adage rings true: “The best time to start training was 10 years ago. The second best time is today.” That said, there are some precautions and responsibilities older men and women need to consider after they begin martial arts training.
Whether you are approaching your 70th birthday or struggling to lose weight, it is never too late to start anything in life, Jiu Jitsu included! There are students at Soca Brazilian Jiu Jitsu that start training in their 40s. As long as you have the spirit and discipline there’s not much to stop you. There’s a saying that explains our sentiment pretty accurately and it goes, “You are not too old to train Jiu Jitsu, but you will get way older when you don’t train Jiu Jitsu”.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can and has been adapted for people from all walks of life at every age. People from 3 years to 90 years and from total beginners to elite athletes, Jiu Jitsu can be adapted for you. These things aren’t much of a factor in technical skill, however physical ability is where there will be variation. But fear not! Past injuries and health concerns can definitely be worked around, just be sure to listen to your body and make sure it gets the proper amount of recovery for whatever stage you are in life. Just remember that your progression in your training is unique to you, wear your BJJ Gi and enjoy the journey at the pace that fits your lifestyle.
So, if you’re older, but not ready to hang up your gloves yet, Soca Brazilian Jiu Jitsu San Diego can help you achieve your goals through martial arts, whether that’s getting in shape, learning to defend yourself, or competing.