One of the most common phrases uttered in jiujitsu is “I wish I would have started earlier”. We often see training partners who started when they were young and already have advanced skill sets before hitting their physical primes. It is easy to compare ourselves to others in the academy, but it is very important to give everyone the opportunity to grow and evolve regardless of age. Learning a new skill set, cultivating a strong community, and building and maintaining healthy habits are three important reasons to consider if you are thinking it may be too late to start training jiu-jitsu.



First and foremost, jiujitsu teaches us self-defense skills. Throughout our practice, we learn how to get an adversary to the ground, achieve a dominant position, and submit to them. These skills could save your life if you are ever in an unavoidable self-defense situation. Jiu-jitsu also provides a competitive outlet. As jiu-jitsu practitioners, we are constantly testing our techniques against our training partners. Additionally, we may want to test ourselves at a competition. There are currently seven master divisions that allow athletes to compete against others in their same weight and age categories. As we grow older we often stop testing ourselves physically once we leave school and no longer play a sport. Wheater you decide to compete or just focus on learning in the academy, the process will keep you focused, challenged, and on the constant pursuit of growth.



An often overlooked aspect of health is friendship and community. Staying connected and building new relationships can improve your health in immeasurable ways. Jiu-Jitsu has thousands of practitioners all across the world, and when you meet someone who trains it is easy to bond over the sport. As you age and time constraints related to work and family become more prevalent, it becomes much more difficult to cultivate new relationships. Training jiu-jitsu requires communication and trust between partners and is an amazing tool for meeting new people and forming friendships. The longer you train, the higher percentage of the people in your social circle will be current or former training partners. If you compete, you will likely end up becoming friends with competitors you met at a tournament or even those you compete against. These relationships are a big part of what makes tournaments so special.



As you age it is more important than ever to establish and maintain healthy habits. Our physical and mental health often falls by the wayside as we age and it becomes more and more difficult to reclaim the longer we have let it slide. Training Jiu-Jitsu is fun while simultaneously being a great workout. It builds both strength and cardiovascular endurance. Your Jiu-Jitsu technique can also benefit significantly from your habits off the mat. Eating a well-balanced diet, for example, will allow you to recover more quickly from training sessions and will make you feel more energetic during training. Getting great sleep will do the same. As your desire to learn more and continue training builds, so too will your will to create these healthy habits off the mat. This combination of exercise, diet, and sleep will have a powerful impact on combatting issues caused by unhealthy lifestyle choices.



*text extracted from @IBJJ Instagram account


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