Do You Think Jiu Jitsu is Only for Young People?
By Leslie Gardineer
Do you think Jiu Jitsu is only for young people? Think again, because Jiu Jitsu can enhance the lives of people of all ages. Jiu Jitsu will strengthen your body, help with balance, build confidence, build lasting friendships, train your brain and help with your overall health and wellness. As we age, we start to feel that we can’t do some of the things that we used to. I personally was a gymnast for most of my youth and have come to realize competition gymnastics is not going to happen in my late forty’s. Not to mention my balance, strength and confidence are not what they used to be.
One of the great things Jiu Jitsu offers is competition for practitioners of ALL ages! What other sport can you start at 40 and still enter a competition with others your age or even with younger individuals and still have a fair chance at winning? The NFL is certainly not scouting seniors! Most competitive sports are out of the question by the time we hit 30 but our desire for excitement and thrills is still there! Jiu Jitsu offers camaraderie.
Making friends is not as easy as we get older especially if you are retired or your job does not involve much human contact (the bar scene is not where it’s at after 30). Camaraderie will be found in class, at tournaments, team BBQ’s, parties and trips. The close contact in Jiu Jitsu tends to build strong friendships. When someone sweats in your eye, that is a true bond!
Jiu Jitsu builds your confidence! You will probably lose weight, get in great shape and start to carry yourself differently. Seniors can be easy targets for “bad guys.” As a Jiu Jitsu practitioner, your chances of fighting off the attacker will be increased tremendously! Your risks of being attacked will be minimized due to the way you carry yourself. Bad guys are looking for the weak, insecure target.
Jiu Jitsu empowers you to take on more tasks because you know your mind and body are stronger. Remember, the mind responds to training as much as the body. As we age we tend to fall more frequently and that can cause severe and painful injuries. Jiu Jitsu can not only help work on this weakness but also teach you how to fall without (or with less) risk of injuries.
One of the most important reasons to start training Jiu Jitsu in my opinion is the health benefits! From the warm ups through rolling, you are benefiting your health. You are keeping your heart and cardio-vascular system in great condition and maintaining strength and flexibility. You are decreasing the risks of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, muscle loss and many other illnesses that physical and mental exercise have been proven to combat.
Jiu Jitsu helps you to escape the daily stresses of life, gives you reason, give you goals and a new found sense of confidence. It’s NEVER too late to get in shape, find your meaning, get healthy, hang out with cool people (your age and not in a bar), feel excitement, and become a Champion!! What do you feel are the major benefits of practicing Jiu Jitsu into an advanced age? Let us know in the comments!