Bjj. How to get limber for an old man lol

Maint

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As I've previously stated, I'm 40 and after laying off traditional karate for a year I'm starting bjj. I've never been accused of being flexible, being 6'8" 285, but I'm not a robot either. What type of activities besides general stretching would you recommend for someone like me? Middle age, a little stiff in the knees and joints and did I mention I have a badly supinated right ankle? I wore a shock doctor ankle brace for the 1.5 yrs I took CKD and now have a custom built orthotic to put in my shoe so I can walk far distances. I'm not crippled up, I can walk without it and even run, it just got to the point too much twisting wasn't doing it much good. Would yoga be good for bjj or just light stretching or maybe some nautilus machines at my local gym (good time to use that membership I bought for my new year resolution lol) thanks for any advice
 

Brian R. VanCise

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Yoga probably would be great for getting flexible. However, you could just make it a priority to stretch regularly and get some great results. I am pretty lucky in that I have always worked to have great flexibility and still have it past your age. Besides regular stretching the #1 thing for maintaining my flexibility is my stretching machine. While I have a lesser model than the one in this link it has been some thing that has not only allowed me to keep my flexibility but also to achieve greater flexibility. Yet you are in the end only going to be as flexible as you are willing to put the time into stretching!
 

seasoned

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What Brian said, and....

Stretching is exactly what we did when we were younger only now more of it. It's alway harder to get there then to maintain it. Put the time into it everyday and it will come.
 

Tony Dismukes

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Speaking as a 49 year old BJJ practitioner, here is my advice:

Yoga is good. Stretching is good. Even strength-building exercises are good if they cover full range of motion. The key is consistency. At our age it's important to do at least a little something every day if possible.

Warm up before stretching. Stretching is not a warm-up.

Never force a stretch to the point of pain. Learn to relax into your stretches.

Unless you're practicing certain specialized moves like the rubber guard, you don't need a crazy degree of flexibility for BJJ. A moderate level of limberness will suffice. If you find specific positions that you have trouble with in your BJJ, I may be able to offer specific stretches to help out.

Train smart. At our age we don't heal as fast as the young guys. I pay a lot of attention these days to maintaining anatomically safe positioning when I roll. Fro example, sometimes I might allow someone to complete a pass that I could have blocked using the full extent of my flexibility, knowing that I would pay the price later if I let myself get too twisted up. Remember that rolling/sparring is about learning not competition.

Good luck!
 
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Maint

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Thanks guys for all the input. I just don't wanna get injured or more importantly injure someone else due to my size and awkwardness lol. I remember in CKD the very small amount of ground work we did was one move where someone is sitting on your hips punching you, and you cover up, grab them around the waist, pull forward and the hook your foot/leg over theirs and roll to top position. Probably a very beginner bjj move but I always had the darnedest time hooking that leg lol. Idk if it was me being a foot taller or my lack of flexibility. I'm sure there is more than one way to skin a cat, just don't wanna get cut doing it! :D
 

Tony Dismukes

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Thanks guys for all the input. I just don't wanna get injured or more importantly injure someone else due to my size and awkwardness lol. I remember in CKD the very small amount of ground work we did was one move where someone is sitting on your hips punching you, and you cover up, grab them around the waist, pull forward and the hook your foot/leg over theirs and roll to top position. Probably a very beginner bjj move but I always had the darnedest time hooking that leg lol. Idk if it was me being a foot taller or my lack of flexibility. I'm sure there is more than one way to skin a cat, just don't wanna get cut doing it! :D

It could be a flexibility issue, but probably not. I'm almost willing to bet that it's more a matter of incorrect body positioning. If I could see you perform the move I could help guide you into the correct position. As a first guess, I suspect you weren't scooting your body far enough in the direction of your partners head and so his legs were too high relative to your hips.

Have you actually started your BJJ classes yet? If so, have you had any flexibility issues yet?
 

DennisBreene

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A reference you might find useful is Stretching Scientifically by Thomas Kurz. It has a broad array of techniques and definitely modifies the approach with age. It also does a decent job in explaining various neuromuscular interactions that affect stretch, including appropriate strength training.
 
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Maint

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Tony, no I haven't started the bjj yet. This was just some basic things my instructor taught us in Chun Kuk Do about ground fighting. Like I said I took CKD for 1.5 years, have been off a year and now that he is offering bjj I want to give it a try for the physical reasons I've mentioned. Tomorrow night is my first class. What we learned in CKD was basically the previous mentioned technique plus shrimping and sprawling. He didn't touch on much bjj, because at the time he was just teaching CKD. Idk if you're familiar with Chuck Norris style of karate but every year his organization UFAF holds a weekend meet from students all over the US ..my instructor won first place in bjj, not bragging or anything I just don't want you thinking by my statements that he is a traditional stand up instructor trying to draw in students by offering bjj all of a sudden lol. He was working on being able to advance his rank and teach over a year ago when I quit. Anyways I got way off track there! :) By he way Tony I'm a born n raised Kentuckian myself. Southeast part, now transplanted and living in WV for 12 years now.
 
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