Is BJJ Good For Older Adults?

Are you thinking of trying BJJ but wondering if you are a little over the hill to be engaging in a full contact martial art? Do not worry! In this article we will explain why BJJ is great people in their 40, 50s and even 60s.

Is BJJ Good For Older Adults?

BJJ is good for older adults as the sport emphasises technique over athletic ability. Every BJJ gym has frequent adult training sessions so you can always find a time slot to train your new hobby. BJJ has a very welcoming atmosphere for older athletes, making it a great place to learn and make friends.

BJJ Is All About Technique And Fluid Movement

As you get older you start to lose your speed and explosiveness. This can have a negative impact on your athletic performance in many sports.

However, in BJJ the underlying philosophy is that the smaller, weaker and slower practitioner can beat the better athlete through superior technique and knowledge.

This philosophy resulted in Helio Gracie ensuring that BJJ’s foundational techniques and positions could be mastered by any student no matter their age or athletic ability.

The fact that BJJ mostly occurs on the ground where athletes are limited in their ability to use speed and explosiveness favours technical skill over athletic prowess. 

This is a major difference between wrestling/Judo and BJJ as the former take part largely in the standing position and athletes are able to generate much more speed and power by driving off the mat with their legs, making youth and athletic prowess a much bigger factor.

This is great for older adults who may no longer have the power and mobility that they once had as teenagers and young adults.

BJJ’s philosophy of technique overcoming strength and youth isn’t just some bunch of nonsense or a slick marketing campaign. Everyone who has started training BJJ can remember their first few sessions where guys twice their age and half their size were able to tie them up like a pretzel and submit them at will.

If you are an older adult who is looking for a martial art where even if you are in your 40s, 50s or 60s that you can still get good at and dominate other practitioners half your age then BJJ is the perfect fit.

BJJ Gyms Cater To Older Adults

A lot of sports and martial arts only focus on training children. Gyms and clubs may have no adult training or only have 1 or 2 training sessions a week. If you have tried to find adult wrestling clubs you will know how difficult it can be.

This is not the case with BJJ academies. Every BJJ gym will have adult training multiple times a week and many gyms will have classes every day at different times. 

BJJ gyms often focus more on adult training than children training. In the adult training the coaches teach the best techniques and ensure all the students are progressing and fixing their mistakes. The Kids are sometimes an afterthought and don’t receive the best instruction. Also many clubs do not have a kids program.

The other great thing about BJJ is that adults can regularly compete in the sport. No matter your age and skill level BJJ tournaments do a great job finding similar athletes competitive matches. No matter if you are a 24 year old black belt or a 48 year old blue belt, Jiu Jitsu tournament organisers will ensure both of you get to compete and test your skills. 

If you are looking for a martial art which you can start as an older adult, train multiple times a week, compete in and receive high level coaching then BJJ is your best bet.

BJJ Is Beginner Friendly

When starting a martial art in your 40s or 50s you want it to be beginner friendly. The last thing you want to do is show up to training and have a coach scream at you or ignore you because you aren’t capable of performing the complex techniques.

When you are a little older you need a coach to be patient with you as it will be a bit more difficult to learn new techniques and if your athletic skills are a little rusty your coordination will be subpar.

Fortunately, BJJ has always had a welcome one welcome all motto. The earliest branding of BJJ was all about promoting BJJ as being for everyone no matter age, skill or gender. If you wanted to train BJJ you could and you would receive the same attention as the 20 year old stud.

This aspect of BJJ makes it the perfect martial art for older adults. You can turn up to your local BJJ gym and no one is going to judge you for being terrible. The coaches are going to give you lots of attention and help you improve your technique and give you encouragement to keep going.

BJJ Has A Welcoming Atmosphere Making It Easy To Make Friends

Whittier resident Gene Pace, 78, receives his black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu at the Gracie Barra studio in Costa Mesa on Thursday night. He studied for 15 years before receiving the recognition.

When starting a martial art of sport as an older adult you may be hesitant because of the potential age difference between and your training partners. Who wants to be the old guy? It could be a bit awkward if you are 45 and everyone else is in their 20s. You may struggle to interact with the group and make friends.

This is not the case in BJJ. I would say the average age in most BJJ gyms is between 30 to 35, with many practitioners in their 40s and 50s. 

In BJJ there is also a culture of being very welcoming to everyone. So even if you are a bit older than everyone else, it won’t stop you from making friends and integrating into the group.

BJJ has a great social aspect to it. Gyms often become practitioner’s social clubs and academies will hold events and invite members to days out. This can be great if you are older and looking to meet new people and make friends which isn’t always easy as an adult. BJJ can be a great way to broaden your social circle.

If you are an older adult looking for a martial art that can enhance your social life then BJJ is perfect for you. BJJ students are known for being friendly and many people have met their best friends on the mats.


BJJ is the best martial art for older adults. BJJ emphasises slow and controlled technique over strength and power, perfect if your athletic prowess has declined with age.

You can always find high level coaching and regular adult training at BJJ academies. BJJ coaches are always happy to work with beginners and develop their skills. BJJ gyms are welcoming places and great for making friends with people from all walks of life no matter what age you are.

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