Two Vital Approaches For Older Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Players

To get Dans complete series of interviews with 40 plus BJJ black belts download his 40 plus BJJ suceess e book here at

For many of us, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is our life.  For me personally, I make a living off of it between doing my writing as well as running my own academy.  The joy I get from waking up knowing that my passion is also my job makes life so fulfilling and better.  There isn’t a day where I regret my life choices.

However, there comes a time where grapplers grow older and family life comes into the picture.  For older grapplers—mainly in their 40s or older—it can become increasingly difficult to balance adequate mat time with your family and personal life.

For those grapplers in this position that are extremely dedicated to the sport, they find ways to make it work.  While it is far from easy, it is a possible occurrence to make everything work.  If you do choose to go down this path, however, there are a few things that you should keep in mind in order to become a successful grappler while balancing a healthy family life. I’ve provided this article by Traver H. Boehm in which he discusses training over the age of 30 in not just BJJ but also crossfit which adds an interesting spin to the typical article.

Mat Time-Be Ready To Work

If you have a family, I’m assuming you work a full-time position.  Keeping up with expenses, events, and your daily work schedule can be grueling and downright difficult for some.  While this is understandable, time management and focus become a crucial key to your grappling lifestyle.

After work when you head to the gym, you are experiencing a very valuable time.  This is the time where you can focus one nothing but Brazilian Jiu×300.png.pagespeed.ic.JxLHEOFnru.png&w=298&h=300&ei=dh87UuCVA8TqyQGZhIGoDQ&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=80&page=1&tbnh=143&tbnw=144&start=0&ndsp=20&ved=1t:429,r:2,s:0,i:85&tx=36&ty=84Jitsu.  Knowing your time is limited given your family life, the time you do get to spend on the mat becomes even more valuable by the day.

Prior to arriving at the gym, there are few things you should try and do:

  • Focus: Simple, yet effective, being able to place a good amount of attention to the task that awaits will pay great dividends in the end.
  • De-stress: The work day was long, and likely gave you a few headaches…but there’s no reason to carry that with you!  What’s done is done, so let it go and let BJJ take care of your therapy.
  • Plan of Attack: Having a specific move, sweep, etc. in mind before going to the gym can make life much easier for you.  When you have something you want to work on, you train with a purpose.

For example the half guard sweeps are an amazing chain for older grapplers. In the video I provided below you can see some of my favorite half guard set ups.


Customize Your Plan Of Attack

Similar to the last bullet point, when you plan your Jiu Jitsu game, you should cater it to yourself.  Don’t let the latest fad or trends sway your opinion; do what favors you!  The older we get, the more injuries are likely to occur; keep this in mind and develop a safe game plan!

Growing old can be difficult, but not when you have a plan.  For my older grapplers out there, I hope you found this helpful, and are able to put it to good use.  There’s no need to let anything slow you down, no matter how old you are! I’ve complied interviews from top black belts over the age of 40 and you can check out what they had to say here!

Dan Faggella