40 year old grappling virgin

MMAfreak

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I am a 40 year old guy starting to "roll" in Jiu Jitsu. I was wondering if there were others like me who started in BJJ/MMA later in life? I find it is a struggle to learn when I have young guys who are more flexible and have better cardio. I also find that I don't bounce back from injuries as quick as I did when I was 20.

Have any of you older guys had the problem with young guys who apply techniques too hard? I am not as flexible as them, and it takes me a lot longer to recover. Any advice?
 

arnisador

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I started just about the age you did. The lack of flexibility hurt, but the cardio gets better every session.

Back and knee issues eventually did me in for BJJ, regrettably. It's great stuff.
 

SensibleManiac

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Everyone is different but I would say, make sure to warm up properly before and cool down after every workout.
If ever you're not comfortable rolling with someone younger because of their aggressive style, it's ok and smart to refuse.
Always listen to what your body is telling you and take a week off every 2 months. This will help you avoid burn out.
Hope this helps.
 

thaistyle

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Your're not alone. There are many people starting there ground training later in life. I started training in submission grappling when I was 26. Then I took a long lay off from it. I started back at 36 and there was definitely a difference. Warming up is definitely of high importance. I don't recover as fast. When I was 26, I trained 4-6 days a week in submissions, now about 2 days is fine.
 

lklawson

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After doing years (decades) of other stuff, I starated Judo at 37.

I'm glad I did it.

As almost everyone else has said, warming up properly is critically important. Get your muscles warm and maleable.

And yes, rolling with yonger, stronger, experienced training partners can really suck. I half separated my right shoulder going up against one of the young bucks early on in my training.

Now I just run them down in the parking lot. ;)

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

chinto01

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I started BJJ just this past January and I am 36. I am not as fast as the 18-25 year olds in the class but I pace myself and rely on technique over their speed. It works out to be an interesting match. I also agree about taking a week off every 2 months. I just got back from my week off and feel great. Good Luck and work at your own pace.

In the spirit of bushido!

Rob
 

masherdong

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Hello,

I know how you feel. I just started my "Jits" training about 4-5 months ago. I am 36 yrs old and rolling with the youngens can be challenging, but I enjoy it. The good thing is throughout the years, I have been stretching periodically, so, I am happy to say that I am more flexible than the younger guys. :)

So, hang in there and warm up your body just like everyone has said. I have my kung fu classes before our grappling so my body is already warmed up.
 

Mike Hamer

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I am one of the "young bucks" at my dojo, and I must say I would rather roll with someone my own age than one of the older guys in the group....*gulp*
 

Steve

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I started BJJ at age 36 and it's been great. Listen to your body and don't get caught up in competing with the 19 year old phenoms. Work good technique and just try to do a little more each week.

I found that the first 3 or so months of training were spent really just getting my conditioning to a point where I could start learning. I had sore joints and looked like a leopard from all the little bruises on my body.

If you have joint issues, I highly recommend fish oil. I take 7 grams of fish oil per day, plus glucosamin/chondroiton.
 

Brian R. VanCise

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I am one of the "young bucks" at my dojo, and I must say I would rather roll with someone my own age than one of the older guys in the group....*gulp*

Hey Mike that is just because us older guy's are a little craftier and a little meaner. :lol:


Back to MMAFreak's question simply train, recover and become more flexible. In time your body will adjust and you will be surprised at how flexible and creative you can become. Good luck!
icon14.gif
 

Old Fat Kenpoka

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My words of advice as someone who started BJJ in my early 40's...

1) ALWAYS show up EARLY and STRETCH. You will need it more. NEVER come late to class as an incomplete warmup is likely to lead to more injuries.

2) If you have a career, family, job...then remember that you are somewhat of a weekend warrior compared to the 20-somethings who train every day and exercise in their spare time. Recognize that you may mot be able to train as hard/long/often as these guys.

3) Allow yourself time to recuperate between classes. Allow yourself time to heal from injuries.

4) You may be able take much more Advil than the 6-per day maximum listed on the bottle. Consult with your doctor. But remember not to let the Advil mask an injury.
 

RedRonin38

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Hi, 38 here, been doing Judo for 2 years and just started last month BJJ for fun. All of the advice given so far has been sound. My 2cents worth is to make sure you focus on staying relaxed and control your breathing. Us middle aged guys don't have the reserves of an 18 year old, and we do take a bit longer to recover. I find that training 2-3x/week is plenty and stretching on my days off is crucial. Also, don't let it get to you if the youngin's move ahead faster technique-wise. Just work the basics over and over again and keep plugging away. In my experience the young guys plateau faster trying to do things beyond thier skill level, while you build a solid foundation. Also, its great exercise and you'll make plenty of new friends. Good luck!
 

Dagney Taggert

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Warm up your joints. Warm up your joints. Warm up your joints. THEN Warm up muscles. Warm up your muscles. Warm up your muscles.

I am 38 and I do the following warm up RELIGIOUSLY. Since I started doing this, my injuries have been minimal.

Head rolls in each direction. Start slow, and do 10 in each direction.

Arm circles, forward and backward. 15 each way.

Elbow circles, 15 in each direction.

Wrist circles, 15 in each direction.

Hip Flexor, this one is hard to explain, bend your leg slightly and swing it in a circular motion, concentrate on the hip joint, 15 in each direction.

Knee circles, 15 in each direction.

Ankle circles, 15 in each direction.

Follow up with the following muscle stretches:

Hamstring and Quadricep, hold each position for at least 15 seconds.

Shoulder/Rotator Cuff stretch, place your hand on a wall at shoulder height, and turn your body away. Then hold the the back of your arm with the opposite hand (pulling your arm toward your body) for a stretch in the opposite direction, hold each position for at least 15 seconds.

Back rolls. Drop on the ground and roll around on your back, swing your legs over, and behind your head to open the back muscles.

Note on muscles: Breathe out as you stretch and RELAX as you stretch.

Drink water. Drink Water. Drink Water. Fish supplements are an excellent choice! Also, don't get sucked into a super low-fat diet. Include healthy oils in your food, olive oil, peanut oil, and coconut oil.

Tap early. Tap often.

Have a good roll!

Dagney
 

gimley

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Great post this just the info i was looking for.

I like many older (hate saying that) guys, 36, i get annoyed with the limitations of the body.
That is why i like pushing myself and rolling with the young 19 year old guys, let them run around spin over me, i will just byde my time and then choke them or put on a nice arm bar.

I like the challenge offered by these guys it makes me work harder, i think i have peter pan syndrome (not wanting to get older).

I train 2 days a week at the moment for 2 hours each class, hard hard hard work but love it.

I would like one day to compete at some level and yes i know it will be in the senior level (damn), but never competed before would love to try though.
 
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MattJ

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I started BJJ when I was 36, turning 40 soon. Lots of fun, with some bruises and sore joints. Great workout. Enjoy!
 

Formosa Neijia

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I would highly suggest you get a copy of Roy Harris' BJJ over 40. It's packed with good advice for us older practitioners. Second, get a good joint mobility program for warmup and recovery. This is vital.

Look here: http://formosaneijia.com/2008/09/13/great-joint-mobility-work-free/

Finally, I highly recommend a product called Joint-Free. It's a supplement for your joints. You won't regret getting it. You'll recover a lot quicker with it.
 

Steve

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Great post this just the info i was looking for.

I like many older (hate saying that) guys, 36, i get annoyed with the limitations of the body.
That is why i like pushing myself and rolling with the young 19 year old guys, let them run around spin over me, i will just byde my time and then choke them or put on a nice arm bar.

I like the challenge offered by these guys it makes me work harder, i think i have peter pan syndrome (not wanting to get older).

I train 2 days a week at the moment for 2 hours each class, hard hard hard work but love it.

I would like one day to compete at some level and yes i know it will be in the senior level (damn), but never competed before would love to try though.
You don't have to compete in a senior division if you don't want to. The competitions around my area aren't big enough to support age brackets. It's just weight and belt. So, in my last competition, there were 24 guys in my bracket and at 36, I think I was the oldest.

You might give up some athleticism, but I've found that having a little poise and a good gameplan made all the difference.

Point being, don't sell yourself short. 36 isn't THAT old and if you're smart about it, stay healthy and don't become injured, there's no reason you have to compete as a senior.
 
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