Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at 40.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, what does it mean to you? It can be a form of self-defense, a way to lose weight, or a hobby to do with friends.For me it has become a lifestyle that I could not see myself without. It has become an extension of my family. With this comes many ups and downs.

This lifestyle that many of us have chosen has been a positive one but also one that is demanding. When I started in my mid twenties my body responded to what I asked of it always but the mind may have been weak. Now in my forties the mind is as strong as a bull but some days the body is in a state of rest. When you add daily life task of family and work you may wonder how we even manage.

How do we manage? A simple question with many answer's depending on who you ask. For me it has always been for the way the gentle art joins all of us together no matter size,gender or race. How, when on the mats, we are all equal lover's of the art.We are all vessels ready to be filled with Jiu Jitsu.

This love of the art or lifestyle does not change the fact that as we age it can be difficult at times. When I roll with someone they are not thinking about me as a forty year old but as a Brown Belt. At this level I still need to be able to represent my rank and show my worth on the mats. Does this mean that everyday I roll with lower belt or other Brown Belts I am dominating? No, but I do hold my own and some days I do dominate.

I believe that the key in training as we age is to understand our bodies and what they can or can not do. If we are injured or tired we need to rest. If we are not training well focus on the positive things that happened. If training with younger stronger people focus on timing and technique. If you see someone you don't feel comfortable training with today or ever then don't train with them. If the guy outweighs you by 100 pounds and you don't feel like rolling with him then don't. Once again, it's about knowing your body and protecting yourself.

I hope this helps and I'll talk more on this subject next week. Until then, just enjoy jiu jitsu and continue the journey.


Pop-pop said…
I find that BJJ has taken over my life. I spend a lot of my time training, thinking about or preparing to train some more. I am usually the oldest and one of the smaller guys on the mat. I actually don't mind giving up 20 to 30 lbs as it challenges my technique and sharpens it. However, there are a few guys that outweigh me by close to 100 lbs! I haven't found a graceful way of declining a roll and although I usually do OK (considering) I spend the roll in fear of getting hurt. Any thoughts on how to avoid the situation or coping with the fear?
Gerry said…
I would just say that today I'm trying to roll with people more my size because I'm practicing a new move, not feeling well or am injured. What ever you decide to say they will understand. The main thing is understanding when to decline and not feeling as if it's wrong to do so.

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