Many people I meet tell me, “I’m too old to start BJJ”, and even some of my own students have told me, “I’m too old to keep doing this!”
I want to tell you that everyone’s BJJ journey is different, so don’t let something like age hold you back! There are many different types of jiu jitsu practitioners, and not everyone fits into one category only. Two main types of “jiujiteiros” can be described as:
The Athlete. This person is probably in their late teens or early 20s. They are full of stamina and youthful energy and train 4+ times per week, 2 times a day sometimes. They are in prime physical shape and competition is probably their focus.
The Hobbyist. This person is in their 30s or 40s (maybe even 50s or 60s). They may train 2 or 3 times a week only. He or she is trying to balance home/family life with work and practices BJJ for fun, for exercise, for the stress relief, and for the camaraderie with others on the mats. They may or may not compete for fun, but this is not their focus. This person may have had a harder time getting started with BJJ at a later-than-average age for the sport, and may at times find it hard to continue (especially when comparing yourself to “The Athlete”).
While there are obvious differences between the two, they both share more in common than not. Some of these commonalities are desire for self-defense, physical fitness and most of all the love of jiu-jitsu.
What I tell my students is this: the goal of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is to HAVE FUN. Don’t compare yourself to others, each person is going through their own individual BJJ journey! Everyone belongs on the mats, no matter your age, race, gender, disability, or walk of life.