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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Atlanta, Ga.
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    72
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    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Bjj noob nearing 40 yoa.

    I paid for 3 months at the BJJ gym I'm going to, and won't actually be starting the BJJ part for about a week. I'll start the boxing and strength and conditioning first. Mainly because the wife's car needed fixing before I went out to get a Gi, and although the cost to me was about 1/3 the cost to non-public safety people, the three months paid for, in addidition to car work was a bit taxing .

    I traced the instructor/owner's lineage on OTM as suggested, and went to watched a couple of classes. I have a question though.

    How many of you guys/girls started BJJ in your late 30's (closer to 40 than 35)? What was your experience with the grappling part of it? I'm fine with the strength and conditioning end of it, I'm in halfway decent shape, but regarding the grappling. Point is the occasional back ache, knee ache, shoulder ache kinda associated with getting older, old high school football aches and pains I guess?

    Find a good chiropractor? Dope up on ibuprofen before and after?
    Like I said in my introduction post, I haven't done any kind of alive training in nearly 17 years other than the occasional L.E. weapon retention drills we do very infrequently, and what I did do would hardly be considered alive (50-75% speed sparring, plus a VERY brief stint "training" for full contact kickboxing).

    Anyway... that's all I have. Just wanted advice or insight other than the "Just go do it" comment I'm sure I'll get from someone. Which is exactly the plan anyway.

    Just thought I'd ask though.

  2. #2
    hungryjoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    4,084
    Style
    judo hiatus
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Nearing 40? You're young, quit thinking otherwise.

    Suggest you start easy and get your body used to contortions it's not seen in awhile.

    No spazzing. Beware of other noobs spazzing on you.

    Stretch before and after class.

    Ice for first 24 hours of injuries.

    You'll do well.

    Just go do it.
    Last edited by hungryjoe; 9/18/2011 8:28am at .

  3. #3
    submessenger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Delray Beach
    Posts
    3,841
    Style
    BJJ
    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I started BJJ full-time as a 37th birthday present. My previous school had dabbled in it, and through that and a Bully meet-up, I became a convert.

    I took 2-3 weeks out for a strained back muscle. My joints frequently ache. On advice from a few people, I've started a regimen of glucosamine+chondroitin+vitamin D. I take two of those horse-pills daily. Supposedly, this will help with the arthritic feeling from gripping and joint manipulation. I've been on it for about a month, now, don't know if I can really report if it works or not, but the science suggests it's possibly a good thing.

    On particularly "rough" nights, I will take 400mg ibuprofen after class - I don't normally dose for anything, so on the occasions I do, it seems to work well. I wouldn't advise doing it before class - if it doesn't hurt, you're not doing it right; and if you can't feel it hurt, you have a greater chance of a more permanent injury.

    For muscles, I've considered getting a weekly massage, though I haven't done it yet, I haven't ruled it out. Floating around in the pool with a beer seems to be a pretty good way to relax.

    I think everyone will tell you that the first few weeks are really the worst - when you're unsure of what to do, you tend to lock up and use all your strength to just stay put. Once you start learning a few escapes, and can pass guard, you'll do less of this spazzing and thus be less sore after class.

    I can remember being ready to puke after a two minute round, and my arms being so sore I could barely drive home; I can now roll 5-minute rounds back-to-back without gassing. I've been training 3-5 hours a week for three months, net of my hiatus.

  4. #4
    jnp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    8,361
    Style
    BJJ, wrestling
    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Welcome to Bullshido. I started BJJ at 32. Ten years later, I'm still training.

    As a middle aged student, the main thing is to know when to take it easy. If you're slightly injured, either spar lightly, or take a break. I had a bad habit of training while slightly hurt, and it never did me any favors.

    I've found sports massage to be very helpful. It hurts when the massage therapist is working on you, but I always feel better afterward.

    Avoid the meatheads who treat sparring like it's an Olympic competition. Those guys hurt people all the time, whether they mean to or not. Also, don't compare yourself to other students, especially the 20 somethings. Everyone progresses at their own rate. Don't worry if someone seems to be gaining skill faster than you. If you stick with it, you will catch up to 95% of those guys.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    499
    Style
    BJJ n stuff
    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I'm 37, I took up BJJ less than a year and a half ago. I got my blue a few weeks ago and won 2 medals at white belt in the old farts division at national level. If I can do it anyone can! It's real hard when you start especially as an older guy up against 20 somethings who lift weights every other day and supplement their BJJ with cage fighting but that's what also makes it so rewarding. After a few months you start getting on top of those guys which helps you to feel young again:-)

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    560
    Style
    Karate
    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I started when I was 34/35. My neck ached for a month and I gassed a lot but the benefits far outweighed any negative aspects.

    I think JNP said it best, try not to be a Spartan warrior and take it easy. Train hard but be aware of your limits to avoid injury.

    After a while brain will take over from brawn and then the fun begins. It's a cliche but it really is like chess, as your body and reflexes get used to the physical stuff it's about who can plan ahead the best. I helped a noob on Saturday who couldn't believe that I could choke him out sparring despite being 10 years older and 25 kg lighter than him. I still get smashed and have a long way to go but I feel the fittest I have ever been and the guys I train with are very encouraging and helpful and even convinced me to compete.

    Without getting mawkish on you I came home with a silver medal and the look on my sons' faces was worth every painful choke and lock I've ever suffered in training.

    Do it!

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Atlanta, Ga.
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    72
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    None
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Sounds like a plan. I appreciate the feedback people.

  8. #8
    ChenPengFi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Hawai'i
    Posts
    6,776
    Style
    Hung Gar, Choy Lay Fut
    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I'll be 42 in January. Great advice all around. Learn to flow and have fun with it.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    560
    Style
    Karate
    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Let us know how you get on. Best of luck, mate.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Atlanta, Ga.
    Posts
    72
    Style
    None
    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Alrighty then. First boxing and Bjj classes were yesterday evening.
    Boxing coach wasn't there. So I was told to jump rope which I did for about 10 min. Let me tell you, jumping rope is fairly humbling in it's self. I can count on one hand how many times I've jumped rope. Then I stretched for bout 15 min (anticipating the bjj class coming up after boxing), and then with pointers from one of the more experienced guy, I worked the heavy bag for about 35 min.

    On to bjj. It was open mat today, so there were gi and no gi folks there. A guy that competes in advanced no gi grappling worked with another noob and myself for bout 30 minutes on a couple of techniques (guard break then a submission) which we worked on over, and over, and over again. He then sent the other noob off to roll with one of the other grapplers, looked at me, and said "Alright big guy, lets go". So... we went.

    I'll say... Having your ass handed to you by someone that weighs 40 lbs less than you is a very humbling experience. I know he took it easy on me mostly, but he allowed himself or put himself in a position to be submitted with the techniques we had been working on just prior to see if I'd recognise it and go for it. I did.

    I even told him (in mid roll) "Dude, I'm gassing". His response, "**** that, work through it". I did. Caught my self spazzing once, but for the most part tried to keep my head, and was pretty much successful. His advice was (because I did this a couple of times) "work what you know, don't improvise if you don't know what you're doing". This was in response to me having a hold of one of his legs, and not knowing exactly what to do with it. The guy did admit to me though that he wished he'd gotten into grappling at a later age (in his 30's, he's late 20's now) he said when you're older, you tend to listen more. I guess he had a hard time several years ago being early 20's and "knowing everything".

    Anyway... Yeah, I like this stuff, and despite being one big sore, I'm heading off to class in a couple of hours.

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