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View Full Version : Starting Judo at 28. What level can I compete?



sonic44
12/09/2015 3:45pm,
I'm asking this because everywhere I seem to look makes it sound like you can't do Judo after 20 or something. I remember this one post that was telling some 24 year old kid that he was too old to start judo and become proficient. Really?

Maybe I just don't limit myself like other people, but I never thought 28 to be that old. Heck, I feel exactly the same as I did when I was 18.

I want to start Judo, and I'd like to compete. Now, I have no delusions of being an Olympic champion or anything but, honestly, what's the highest level you imagine I could compete? State level? National? This is, of course, assuming I really enjoy it and end up dedicated a lot of time to it.

Note: when I say I'm 28 and I want to start Judo, I don't mean I'm rolling off of the couch from drinking a beer having never done any sports or martial arts in my life. I've been practicing and competing in martial arts my whole life, taekwondo, Muay Thai kick boxing, wushu. I pick up martial arts quickly and am very athletic.

Honest answers?

plasma
12/13/2015 9:04am,
Next time start 1 thread not half a dozen I have to moderate.

It less about your age and more about finding a school near you that is producing competitors at the level you want to compete at. Then being able to put the time in necessary to get to the level. At your age, you just have to a bit smarter and more careful with your training regiment as injuries won't heal as quickly and your next day recovery will not be the same as it was 5-10 years ago.

hungryjoe
12/13/2015 10:34am,
I started judo around age 40.

and

What Plasma said.

Raycetpfl
12/13/2015 11:18am,
I'm asking this because everywhere I seem to look makes it sound like you can't do Judo after 20 or something. I remember this one post that was telling some 24 year old kid that he was too old to start judo and become proficient. Really?

Maybe I just don't limit myself like other people, but I never thought 28 to be that old. Heck, I feel exactly the same as I did when I was 18.

I want to start Judo, and I'd like to compete. Now, I have no delusions of being an Olympic champion or anything but, honestly, what's the highest level you imagine I could compete? State level? National? This is, of course, assuming I really enjoy it and end up dedicated a lot of time to it.

Note: when I say I'm 28 and I want to start Judo, I don't mean I'm rolling off of the couch from drinking a beer having never done any sports or martial arts in my life. I've been practicing and competing in martial arts my whole life, taekwondo, Muay Thai kick boxing, wushu. I pick up martial arts quickly and am very athletic.

Honest answers?

Unless it's high level really traditional Muay Thai none of those arts have a lot of cross over. Being a D1 tennis,football or basketball college athlete would be better.
It really depends on your aptitude and commitment how hugh you go. Since you're asking this question I have my doubts about you being very high level ever. Winners don't ask permission to win. There was never another option for them. They just go out and do it.
You can be good and know the techniques without a doubt. To be a pan am champ in grappling you have to have great technique ,great genetics and work harder than most people are willing to.

judoka_uk
12/13/2015 2:13pm,
You can actually get to the Olympics as an amateur and even a non-black belt as Wodjan Shaherkani showed, when she entered the 2012 Olympic Games as her first ever competition, yes you read that right, but you have to have pretty unique circumstances and be the benefitiary of a lot of political help.

For most people the most realistic level is just below National, though that depends how widely you draw the 'National' net. I competed at The University Nationals, but I doubt many would say that's National level.

Also depending on your country/structure you can rock up to a National level event and pick up a Bronze due to low entry numbers and the 3rd/4th place system, without actually being particularly good. I'm thinking of the +100 category or -60.

As others have said there's no point thinking about it now as you may find after a few weeks that you don't like it or maybe the clubs nearby aren't a good fit. Just concentrate on finding a good club and learning the basics.

Lanner Hunt
12/13/2015 3:05pm,
All of what's already been said is good.

I'd add that you really shouldn't underestimate the multiple suggestions to find a good school. Judo tends to have consistently high levels of quality control, it's true, but there are clubs that might be too competition-oriented for someone just getting into it. That is to say that there are clubs out there that are used to a high turnover rate, so their main focus is always going to be on their high level competitors, not the white belts that they have no investment in.

That being said, it's not hard to find a good school. Generally speaking, the bulk of judo schools are pretty beginner friendly and will work to make sure everyone is getting quality instruction.

BKR
12/14/2015 12:17pm,
I'm asking this because everywhere I seem to look makes it sound like you can't do Judo after 20 or something. I remember this one post that was telling some 24 year old kid that he was too old to start judo and become proficient. Really?

Maybe I just don't limit myself like other people, but I never thought 28 to be that old. Heck, I feel exactly the same as I did when I was 18.

I want to start Judo, and I'd like to compete. Now, I have no delusions of being an Olympic champion or anything but, honestly, what's the highest level you imagine I could compete? State level? National? This is, of course, assuming I really enjoy it and end up dedicated a lot of time to it.

Note: when I say I'm 28 and I want to start Judo, I don't mean I'm rolling off of the couch from drinking a beer having never done any sports or martial arts in my life. I've been practicing and competing in martial arts my whole life, taekwondo, Muay Thai kick boxing, wushu. I pick up martial arts quickly and am very athletic.

Honest answers?

OK:
1.) Where do you live and plan to train Judo ? OPSEC aside, your ability to find quality instruction and a variety and good number of training partners at different skill levels, plus the ability to compete regularly (when you are ready skill and conditioning-wise) is critical to answer you question.
2.) How much do you weigh ? Heavier weight classes tend to have less depth (say, 90 kilos and up), and the lightest weight class (-60 kgs) tends to be the same, depending on your locale. Heavier weight class competitors tend to be able to stay competitive longer (meaning, older), as they are less dependent on speed/reaction time than lighter weight classes.

As a point of information, Judo (competitive) is a "late developing/peaking" sport. Meaning that for competition, the prime age is 23-28. At the highest levels, most people have been training from at least the age of 12 or 13, many of them since they were 8 or 9, although at the Olympic/World level, I think the average age was 13 for those who medaled.

That doesn't really apply to you, but may give some perspective on your potential and ambitions.

Competing at local/state/regional level (this is in the USA), it may be tough for you to find appropriate level of competition, as there are not a lot of adult beginners who compete regularly. That will depend on where you live, though.

The good news is, if you keep at it and don't get a bad injury, you should be able to earn a black belt.

So, highest level to compete at is likely state/regional, again, depending on where you live/train/compete. If you are some sort of physical freak/prodigy, you could make it to national level to compete, depending on how the qualification program is in your country. But IME it's not very likely.

Just go do Judo and see if you like it or not, and go from there. If you get into a good club, it's a lot of fun and challenging as well.

BKR
12/17/2015 5:25pm,
I guess he didn't get off the couch...

NeilG
12/18/2015 12:24pm,
I guess he didn't get off the couch...Did you think he was? How many times have you seen this kind of inquiry:

"I'm interested in judo, but only if I can compete at a super high level and prove my studliness to the world."
"Well, maybe, but first you're going to have to work hard and you might not get there."
<crickets>

BKR
12/18/2015 12:26pm,
Did you think he was? How many times have you seen this kind of inquiry:

"I'm interested in judo, but only if I can compete at a super high level and prove my studliness to the world."
"Well, maybe, but first you're going to have to work hard and you might not get there."
<crickets>

Fair number, I reckon.

Maybe it's the guy who thinks he can parlay his training in other MA into easy wins in Judo at high level ?

Don't know much about Judo, do they ? I mean, sure, a D-1 wrestler can do that up to a certain point..

kimjonghng
12/20/2015 11:18am,
calling horse**** on the cant after 20, this isnt ballet or anything. I started this last month and I'm starting competing in the new year. Im nearly 25. We have competition fighters in the club who are double my age. You already have a competition background so you should be fine. Good luck and have fun

BKR
12/21/2015 2:37pm,
calling horse**** on the cant after 20, this isnt ballet or anything. I started this last month and I'm starting competing in the new year. Im nearly 25. We have competition fighters in the club who are double my age. You already have a competition background so you should be fine. Good luck and have fun

It helps if you use the quote function to see what you are responding to.

I for one didn't say he could not compete at 28 years of age or older. The question was "how high a level" he could compete at. That depends on quite a few factors, that I tried to cover.

kimjonghng
12/21/2015 5:48pm,
It helps if you use the quote function to see what you are responding to.

I for one didn't say he could not compete at 28 years of age or older. The question was "how high a level" he could compete at. That depends on quite a few factors, that I tried to cover.

I was referring to the opening post actually, nothing you'd said. I'll quote in future if it helps

NeilG
12/22/2015 11:52am,
If you don't quote, we usually assume you are responding to the previous post in the thread.

judoka01
1/03/2016 5:23pm,
Basically, unless you're genetically gifted you most likely won't be at a national level. Thats no reason not to train it though. Judo is one of the greatest sports on earth. Go do it.