Thursday, April 15, 2010


How old were you when you started training BJJ?

How long have you been training?

Do you have a planned cut off age?  (I doubt many people do... at least, I know I plan to go until my body won't let me do it anymore.  lol )

I used to think I was a little old to be starting BJJ, but I am starting to think other wise.  I think I may actually fall somewhere around the middle.  

I started when I was 27.  I'm 28 now, but I'm still a big newbie to the sport, I've only been training about 8 months.


  1. I was 35 when I first stepped on a mat and grappled, training kajukenbo technically, but it included groundfighting. I was 36 when I began training BJJ. I'm 37 and I've been training about a year and a half.

  2. 27 (turned 28 less than a month later).
    2 years. (Turning 30 shortly. *grumble*)

    Valerie Worthington started when she was around the same. Felicia Oh was a lot older. I've recently realized that a lot of the girls I've met & competed against are my age or older. Even some of the world-champ men started late, though I can't think of names right now.

    I think I have a skewed demographic of training partners (18-24 yo males) because I live near 2 universities and a state-champion wrestling high school.

  3. 29 when I started

    11 months since I stepped on a mat, serious training 8 months

    No plans to stop, but there might be interruptions in the future.

    I have the same skewed demographic of training partners since I also live near 2 universities and multiple colleges. However, there are a handful of 'older' people in the gym.

  4. Just started and I am a 42 yr. old stay at home mom. Love it!!! I'm also 80 pounds overweight which is a huge challenge.

  5. @Georgette - I never would have guessed you were in your thirties. You look much younger.

    @Leslie - We started right around the same age then.

    @Anonymous - That is awesome! Good for you! I'm a stay at home mom too.... and when I started Jits I lost about 20 pounds in 3 months changing nothing else. =) Good luck!

  6. I started BJJ 18 months ago at age 44. Prior to that, I did a little bit of no-gi grappling/mma for a few months and some karate (the latter I no longer do).

    I'm loving the BJJ, both gi and no-gi, have no intentions of stopping or slowing down. The body took well over a year to adjust and I had to work through a shoulder injury. I suffer from a stiff lower back at times (winter is worst). Guess that's age related :-). Other than that, I compete and I train BJJ/grappling 4-5 times per week and supplement it with gym visits.

    Having heard what people much older than myself manage to do in some sports, I think that "too old" is a construct of people's minds.

    When I trained for the last comp, I met a 52 year old blue belt and a white belt guy in his sixties. They both had a ball training and competing.

  7. I started at 25, and I'm currently 29, so a bit under four years (as a huge geek, I break it down by hours on the spreadsheet).

    I hope to keep on going indefinitely: I'm reassured by the fact that I've trained with people in their 80s, so if they can do it, so can I. Well, hopefully. ;)

    @Anon: If you need some inspiration, have a read of this 42 year old mother-of-two's BJJ story. She lost over 100lbs.

  8. @Cy - That is awesome! =) And I think you are right "too old" is just a frame of mind.

    @Slidey - OMG! Holy spread sheet! That is insane.... I'm a little jealous. =) I wish I had the patients to keep records like that.

  9. Heh - have I not linked that on here before? I normally stick it up all over the place. If you want a template, drop me an email. ;)

  10. I started about a yr and a half ago, currently 32. I train at minimum twice a week stepping it up to 5 over the last few months thanks to Fabio Novaes' sister academy closer
    to home. Age is a mindset and its never too late to start and......stay healthier and in shape.

    @ slideyfoot, the spread sheet is incredible! How do you find time to keep it up to date? If you don't mind, please share the template.

  11. @Rhee: It isn't too difficult to keep up: you just note the classes you've been to, which only takes a minute or two. At most, I'm typing in eight or nine values. E.g., clicking on the class number cell and adding one, or changing '1st' to '8th' in the 'last trained' bit. Various chunks of formula do the rest.

    If you (or anyone else) would like a template, feel free to drop me an email, though my contact page. It's a work in progress, so I'm happy to take suggestions (especially from people who are experienced with Excel). :)

  12. @ slideyfoot; Thanks for the feedback. I do software development/ testing and you would think i would good at spreadsheets but excel has never been my forte. I'll drop you an e-mail.


  13. @Stephanie: thanks! looking young sucked when I was 17, 20, 25 but now when I get carded to buy alcohol I preen and prance.

    @Cy: I watched a spry 68 yr-old gentleman (purple) compete at the Pan last weekend and was inspired. He's been training 5 years. And we have a 73 yr-old whitebelt training at our school. His cardio needs improvement but criminy, he's strong :)

  14. I went for my intro class a few days after my 30th birthday and have been going 4.5 months now. I honestly think the stress of being a newbie at BJJ might have taken some of the edge off turning 30, because it wasn't a big deal at all.

    I'm trying to train carefully and ramp things up slowly (never been an athlete so all this body pushing and changing is new to me) so I can keep it up as long as possible.

    For the women at my gym, I'm in the middle age wise. We've got a solid mix of college-ish guys and late 20-early 30's professionals and athletes.

    I thought I was insane at first, but I'm realizing my age is the last reason I should consider for not training.