Imperatori Family Martial Arts of Atlanta

GJJ – staying on the mat until you are 95 (From The Gracie Academy)

This video was produced with the 40 an up folks in mind, but the number is relative.  The secrets to rolling until you are well into your “golden years” is not only possible, but probable.  But, it’s up to you and you have to follow the rules.  Below is the 28 minute video that explains in detail the thought process behind it.  If you don’t want to take the time to watch the video, I have the much shorter version of “Rules for rolling….”below.  Keep in mind, we are learning GJJ because of the self defense options it gives us, the conditioning aspects, and because it’s a blast!

Rule #1:  For every 20 lbs your opponent out weighs you, you must add one belt level to what they currently are.  For every 20 years your opponent is younger than you (starting with the upper teens), you must add 1 belt level to your opponent.  So, if they are 20 years younger and they out weigh you by 20 lbs and you are a blue belt, and so are they….well, now they are a brown belt based on this formula.   It kind of puts things in perspective, don’t you think?

Rule #2:  Pass the Guard (it’s a play on words!) In other words the reality is, as you age you can’t do at 40 what you did at 20, so set your expectations realistically.  The scrawny 15 year old that you used to tap like a bongo is now 25, a superior athlete and a monster on the mat.  It was bound to happen, so it’s time to change your strategy.  In addition, one of the reasons this 25 year old is so good is because YOU helped them get there.  It could be YOUR team mate, son or daughter, very cool!  You should be proud that you passed on what you know selflessly.

Rule #3: Acknowledge that your ego needs to be put in check, time marches on, with or without you.  Your priority is to stay healthy and stay on the mat.

Rule #4:  Respect the Roller Coaster: It’s going to be up and down, just like life.  Something will try to pull you away from jiu-jitsu.  When it does, bounce back, figure out a way to stay involved.  If you are unsure, talk to an instructor.  You will be glad you did.

Rule #5:  Follow the leader.  That means look around at the ones that are older then you, how did they do it?  How do they manage to still get out there, learn, have fun and stay healthy (see Rules 1-4).  Remember, it all comes down to survival, that is your goal, either while rolling or on the street.