Taking this up when old and very out of condition?

Discussion in 'Brazilian Jiu Jitsu' started by Talisker, Aug 22, 2021.

  1. Talisker

    Talisker New Member

    Does any practitioners have any comments/advice on taking this up when *very* out of condition and in your 40s.

    When you watch the Joe Rogan experience he often tries to convince his guests to take this up and swears by it as the most effective martial art. What compounds this is knowing he is also an expert in most of the major martial arts; Taekwondo, Boxing, Kickboxing and Muay Thai.

    The problem is, unlike those others. I would say Jujitsu alongside Judo seems to be the most intimidating martial art to even consider taking up and my perception is that if you don't have a high level of fitness when going in the risk of injury seems to be very high. Or at least the risk of completely humiliating yourself. Both I am very worried about.

    Can someone offer some comment on this? Secondly. I had dislocated my knee in my teens, 30 years ago and I am worried this could dislocate again in this class. Would this mean Jui Jitsu is out or can you wear knee braces and do they work?

    Is there any general advice people can offer about being in your 40s, overweight, inflexible, and very out of condition and with a previous dislocation and taking this up. Should you just forget about this entirely and stick with the striking arts like Boxing?
  2. icefield

    icefield Valued Member

    40 isn't old to take up bjj and the risk of injury in bjj isn't that high for beginners in a good school.

    You will be taught basics and very limited isolated drilling and sparring for the most part.

    Judo is a whole other kettle of fish though and I would not put the two in the same ball park with regards to risk of injury if taking up in your 40s
    axelb, Talisker and Dunc like this.
  3. Dunc

    Dunc Well-Known Member Moderator Supporter

    Yeah agree with @icefield
    Take it easy on yourself and build up
    Try to roll with folk of a similar age if you can and ideally higher belts - that will minimise the risk of injury while you’re building your stamina and defensive technique
    axelb and Talisker like this.
  4. axelb

    axelb Master of Office Chair Fu

    I don't what limitations come from dislocated knees, that's something I would speak to a doctor or physiotherapist about.

    On the whole, starting in your 40s in BJJ is not an issue, take it easy, try and pick partners who are similar age and weight, the higher their rank, then better they will be at controlling you safely.

    I'm 41 and have been doing BJJ for 3 years now. I'm severe asthmatic so I have learnt my limitations.
    I like that I can go hard in sparring on occasion with the right partners and not end up injuring myself
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  5. Mushroom

    Mushroom De-powered to come back better than before.

    Hi. Im 40+ with knee issues and took up wrestling in my 30s and also train BJJ.

    Is there a risk of knee injury? Sure. In any sport you do, theres always a risk.
    However each person has their own independant issues.
    So i had ACL reconstruction about 3 years ago and I recently had my meniscus repaired due to a freak acciddent. But i wrecked my knee over 10 years ago and didnt really get it fully looked at. Itll pop out of place and back in again. Then I'll carry on.

    During this time, I was training muay thai, teaching kung fu and competing in Wrestling.

    Now in regards to BJJ, in comparison, it is a lot slower sport than the others. What I mean by that, is if I want to go slow or slow the opponent down, I get my grips in and hold onto the action and go from there.

    In wrestling and NoGi, cant really do that as all youre holding onto is limb and skin. Same with Muay Thai, you can temporarily slow things down with a clinch or lock down but you cant control the other persons speed (to a degree).

    So, I suggest, suit up. See how it goes. And look after your knee.

    Oh and yeh I wore a hinged knee brace for training.
    Not allowed it in comps though
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  6. jmf552

    jmf552 Member

    I studied martial arts when I was younger, but now I am 69 and out of shape. I recently took up both Muay Thai and BJJ at a great school. Here are my thoughts, although I have also gotten some of these ideas from multiple sources.
    • Helio Gracie supposedly once said something like, "BJJ is designed to be effective even if you have a body like a old, skinny chicken." (It probably sounds better in Portuguese!)
    • The genius of BJJ is the "tap." That allows you to go full contact with anyone, of any size, and not get injured. All you do is tap when you feel the pressure. Tap early, tap often. People get injured when they hold off tapping.
    • Find a school that is very into student safety, that preaches it and practices it. Also a school where there is a minimum of egos and a maximum of cooperativeness. I looked at several before I chose one.
    • Let your opponents and instructors know if you have any bad joints before you roll.
    • Warm up and stretch out before class.
    • There is a book series "Zen Ju-Jitsu." One of the books is "Ju-Jitsu Over 40." It is pretty good.
    BTW, Judo is more prone to injury. I have taken more Judo than BJJ. There is no way to tap out of being slammed into the mat!
    Dunc likes this.
  7. Talisker

    Talisker New Member

    I am going to give a quick post back on this for anyone else finding this post in the same situation I was in. I took the plunge on this and have had so far four lessons and absolutely love it. I highly recommend it to everyone.

    I will also answer the Judo question as the school I went to for my first lesson, the BJJ instructor was away on holiday and they had the Judo instructor in to cover him doing a Judo lesson in place of BJJ and I hated Judo. BJJ on the otherhand was actually incredible fun but one heck of a workout but not painfully so like Judo was.

    The first lesson I thought I am not going to be able to do this as I am just not flexible and even just struggled to wrap my legs for a closed guard. Now only 4 lessons in I can do it with ease.
  8. Dunc

    Dunc Well-Known Member Moderator Supporter

    That’s so great!!
    Thanks for following up and I hope you continue to benefit from the training

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