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What's The Best Age To Start Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

What's The Best Age To Start Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Nowadays, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is the most learned sport. Martial art practitioners from all over the world adopt BJJ whether they are into grappling or Mixed Martial Arts. It is because of the submission techniques. Self-defense is also an important factor in learning BJJ.

1. What is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a submission grappling sport. It emphasizes grappling and ground fighting techniques, with a focus on submission holds and chokes to defeat an opponent. It is a unique martial art that emphasizes techniques and leverage over brute strength, making it desirable and apt for people of all ages and body types.

BJJ techniques are used in mixed martial arts competitions as a crucial element as well as in self-defense situations. Most practitioners learn it for self-defense purposes as it is also applicable in real-life scenarios. BJJ not only focuses on ground grappling techniques but also enables its practitioners to retain dominant positions and chokeholds.

Practitioners can train in BJJ Gi, a traditional attire for practicing BJJ, and in non-traditional No-Gi style wearing rash guards and shorts. Its classes typically involve drilling, sparring, and rolling with training partners.

BJJ training can help practitioners develop physical fitness, mental toughness, self-discipline, self-control, and confidence. BJJ is also a fun and engaging way to learn a new skill.

2. Why is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Great?

BJJ is not only a combat sport, it is a way of living. The Gracies were the first pioneers to learn and follow it as a way of life and later they spent their lives in the propagation of BJJ. Practitioners adopt it as a professional sport while other individuals apply its principles in their daily lives like the Gracie diet. It improves your overall fitness and boosts confidence. It is a physically demanding sport that requires a lot of strength, flexibility, and endurance.

As you progress in BJJ, you will gain confidence in your abilities and feel more capable of defending yourself. It helps you develop mental toughness and resilience. BJJ is a social activity that involves training with partners and building relationships with fellow practitioners.

3. Best Age to Start Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

There is no such thing as the best age in BJJ. People of all ages can benefit from this gentle art. The preferred age to start BJJ depends on the individual's goals and interests. If you are interested in basic BJJ techniques, it’s never too late to start.

4. Is BJJ Good For Older People?

As mentioned earlier, BJJ is not age restricted. For older people, 30 is a great age to start BJJ. At 30, people are still active and do not suffer much from bone degeneration or other diseases. Being a low-impact martial art, BJJ is an excellent sport for older people.

It can build strength, endurance, and flexibility in your bones and muscles. At an older age, it is easy for you to learn and understand complex techniques. It is likely for you to comprehend different positions and know how to escape the dangerous situations.

We all are aware of the fact that size does not matter in BJJ. It's all about strength and muscle power. If you used to practice any martial art, you will face no difficulty in learning BJJ.

4.1. Physical Ability

BJJ is great for older people as it increases their physical abilities. Old people do not pursue BJJ as a profession. Rather, they adopt it to have a healthy lifestyle. BJJ exercises enhance muscle movement and coordination. Not having an athletic background can make you suffer from different diseases in older age.

So it is better to keep your body moving as you get old. In that case, BJJ is the best option for you.

4.2. Mental Prowess

Mental prowess is one of the key benefits that older people have over younger ones. They understand BJJ better than children and young adults. It is because they are aware of the principle of gentle art and give their best to learn it.

It is possible for people in older age to understand complicated BJJ techniques that younger practitioners find difficult to understand. But it does not mean that you can not learn BJJ when you turn 30 or older. Most people at 30 or even older have a great mental capacity.

4.3. Emotional Control for Elder People

BJJ in older people is duly credited for keeping their emotions in check. Self-actualization is one of the most important factors/results of the BJJ lifestyle in older people. As your overall fitness progress toward healthy change, you will notice a positive change in your emotions. It also acts as a natural stress reliever. Indulging in techniques and rolling sessions can take your attention off for some time and then you can easily get rid of them.

Old people are able to control their emotions more than younger ones. It means they won’t indulge in rivalry inside the dojo. They only focus on their skills and how to sharpen them. Inside BJJ gyms, grapplers often make fewer enemies and more friends. So BJJ actually helps older people to keep their emotions in check.

Leaving your ego at the gym’s doorstep is one of the rules of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. If your emotions drive you, it will become difficult for you to learn gentle art. Being human, old people sometimes have less control over their reactions. You will notice that most BJJ Black Belts are humble people. It is because BJJ does not make you think that you are invincible! Rather, it tells you that there is still more for you to learn.

4.4. Spirituality

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a form of meditation which is why it is called gentle art. It soothes your mind and allows you to think better. People in older age tend to learn BJJ, more for their mental health.

5. BJJ For Kids

BJJ is an ideal mental and physical occupation for kids of all ages. Children have a variety of interests. They are not consistent in their choices, rather they keep on switching or adapting to a new thing. According to a psychologist, BJJ is great for kids as it teaches them how to control their emotions.

“Barring exception to certain impairments, specific to each case, we can say that at 5-6 years of age, a child is prepared to take part in martial arts classes, however, competition should be introduced at a later stage, from 8 to 10. Not only will an 8-10-year-old child have the maturity to deal with the frustration of defeat, but they will also be more predisposed to following the rules set for each specific game, this way receiving supplementary self-fulfillment from the activity.”
(Hernani Caroco)

Some children show interest in BJJ when they are only 3 and some at 8. It depends upon the desires and interests of the child. According to some practitioners, the best age for children to learn BJJ is 8. The classes and even the belt ranking system vary for children.

The youngest ADCC Champion, Kade Ruotolo, and WNO Middleweight and Welterweight Champion, Tye Ruotolo, started their BJJ training when they were only 3 years old. And now they are one of the best BJJ fighters from the United States.

5.1. Physical Ability

Children have more flexible bodies than adults. When children go through the developmental phase, their musculoskeletal system builds endurance. They have increased flexibility and in addition to it, BJJ techniques and exercises also induce flexibility. Children are physically active which helps them to easily learn BJJ techniques.

5.2. Mental Prowess

When it comes to mental prowess, children are fast in learning BJJ techniques. Their mental and muscle memory both are sharp. Children are intelligent but they are not as tactical as adults. Children learn discipline and follow the rules and regulations.

5.3. Kids Emotional Control and BJJ

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu aids in developing emotional control in kids. It builds their confidence and trains them to deal with bullies. Some special children such as autistic kids have more heightened and sensitive emotions than other children of their age. BJJ enhances the communication skills of such children. BJJ makes them realize that they are not much different from other kids as sometimes people think them to be.

Children learn how to manage their anger issues. By rolling and sparring with fellow kids, they learn to channel their anger into something productive.

Children are not capable of controlling their emotions as adults can. On most occasions, in the gym, children get busy in fights or rivalry with other students. They go through the emotional development phase but still lack some qualities. And sometimes their emotions can get in the way of training. At such times, a good BJJ instructor is needed to cool down the situation.

BJJ induces discipline among practitioners that allows them to manage their emotions.

6. BJJ For Adults

Most practitioners we see today started BJJ when they were 18 to 20 years old. At that age, practitioners know what they are doing with their lives. And there are higher chances that they would pursue BJJ as a profession. One of the famous BJJ fighters, Hannette Staack, started her BJJ training when she was 18 years old.

6.1. BJJ Enables Adults to Control Their Emotions

Adults are mostly more skilled at keeping their emotions in check. Their attention span is also greater than kids and old people. Although BJJ is focused on chokeholds and submission techniques, it is also responsible for the inculcation of patience in its practitioners. Long ago when BJJ was taught to the Gracies, it was adopted by them as a way of living to purify their lives and build a healthy lifestyle.

Adults not only practice BJJ for professional reasons but also to keep their emotions in check. BJJ is a great tool for adults experiencing Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Adults suffering from ADHD learn BJJ to enhance their attention skills and to work on their emotions. Instead of going from medications, most adults seek Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to overcome their behaviors.

6.2. BJJ also Enhance Communication Skills

Adults have good communication skills as compared to children. They have queries about different techniques and they love to ask. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu allows its practitioners to communicate openly.

In BJJ gyms, you are exposed to different people. You have to indulge in rolling and sparring sessions with them. It creates a bond and then allows you to communicate with them without hesitation. As compared to children and older people, adults are more likely to develop friendships with their fellow practitioners.

7. When Do Most People Start BJJ?

As mentioned above there is no concept of ideal age in BJJ. Whenever you feel that you can learn BJJ, that is the right time. Most people start at the age of 16. There are also some examples where parents enrolled their children into BJJ gyms when their children were only three or four years old.

But in most cases, parents are not okay with their children competing at a very young age. In that case, you can instruct BJJ techniques to your children and let them compete when they turn eight or ten.

8. FAQs

8.1. What is the Average Age For Starting BJJ Training?

The average age for kids to start BJJ training is mostly five or six. Some children might start at three or four. Others may learn BJJ techniques when they turn 11 or 12. In terms of adults, you can start whenever you want to. There is no specific age for that.

8.2. Is 40 a Good Age to Start BJJ?

It is never too late to start BJJ. When individuals turn 40, their mental capacity and physical explosiveness drop. They do not aim to learn a variety of techniques due to less flexible bones and muscles rather they opt to indulge in physical activities to keep their bones and muscles active.

8.3. Why Do Children Quit BJJ?

Among many other reasons, children quit BJJ because of the lack of interest or too much pressure. They can burn out if they feel like they are constantly training or the training becomes too intense.

9. Conclusion

BJJ is not an age-restricted activity. It relies on techniques and skills. No age is less or more for starting BJJ training. You can either train at 18, at 30, or even enroll at five years old. It's all about your preference and choices. Children are more likely to learn BJJ techniques as they appear in gyms as a clean slate and have nothing else to worry about.

People at 30 know how to manage their emotions and they learn techniques with responsibility. BJJ works like a meditative activity for them.

Photo Credit: @gracieswindon

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