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Rising Father

I added jiu jitsu to my life when I was 33, Here’s why you should too.

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I’ve always wanted to do martial arts. As a kid, I begged my parents to do karate, wrestling, boxing, anything fight related. I was one of 9 kids, so there wasn’t money or time to throw at these classes. The closest I came was wrestling my brothers or reading karate magazines and trying moves on each other. When I turned 32 I made a list of things I was going to have in my life by the time I was 33. Jiu Jitsu was one of them. I did a little research, made a call, and showed up for a trial, and  quickly became addicted. I’m going to give you some reasons why you should give it a shot,  no matter what age you are.

Regulation of emotion

I’ve been training for about a year now, turn 34 in June. By far, the aspect of Jiu Jitsu that has helped me the most is stress relief and regulation of emotion. This is a wild world we live in. Jiu Jitsu has become my way of getting out aggression, frustration, or just general anxiety. Once the sparring starts going, all that stuff melts away, and you can focus on what matters… surviving!
When a full-grown man is sitting on your chest trying to choke you out, you use every ounce of energy to stop that from happening. 

While this is happening, you are only focused on one thing. Keeping his hands off your neck. You forget about work, screaming kids, bills, emails….it all goes away.

After class, when these real-world issues come back into play, they don’t seem as important. Because you’ve expended all this energy on the mat, your brain doesn’t have the time or the energy to get concerned about anything else.

I’ve noticed I am more mellow and even-keel when I am consistently training. If I go only a few days without training,  I can feel that anxiety creep back in.

Weight Management

Another huge benefit is weight management. I am usually a roller coaster with my weight. Up in the winter, down in the summer. This past year I have been within a normal range for the entire year and a lot of that has to do with training jiu-jitsu. (also building a sauna in my backyard) I train 3-4 times a week and believe me, there is no cardio like rolling. You will be so covered in sweat you won’t understand how it’s possible. Even if you are a consistent bike rider, runner, or do other types of athletics, you will not be able to handle rolling for 5 minutes straight 6-8 times in a row. It happens all the time. Someone takes a month off, then is gassed after one roll.

New people come into the gym all the time, some very athletic, and they all need a rest after one 5 minute roll.

I’m pretty competitive, so I want to keep improving with each roll. I then want to be in better shape, so I can roll better and submit more people. This puts me into a cycle of training and working out that is only positive for me and completely different from what I did in years past.

Full Body Workout

Jiu Jitsu is so good for your body because it is a full-body workout. Your grip strength, shoulder muscles, and back are pushed to the limit when sparring or drilling techniques.

It will also improve your balance over time as well, which is something that most people don’t think about until it’s too late.

I’m Too Old

Lastly, let’s talk about age.

 

“I’m too old to start” “I would get hurt” “I’m too stiff” “It’s too late to start something like this” “Maybe if I was 18” all of these are excuses you COULD tell yourself.

Recently, I was getting my ass kicked by a ripped brown belt. When he was stuck to my back, sneaking his hand around my neck, I remember thinking “My God will I ever be that good?” This guy had to be 28-30 years old MAX. I thought there was a chance he was low twenties. I later found out he was 52 with three kids, with one graduating from college. I couldn’t believe it.

He’s not the only one. I’ve met more extremely in shape men over 50 than ever in my life. All of them could dominate me, and all of them are kicking ass in many parts of their life, not just on the mat. There are of course lots of skills or hobbies you could pick up at any age. This is one that I’ve tried and noticed enormous benefits from. I would encourage anyone to try it. Search for a gym near you and get scheduled for a trial class. Here is a link to find a gym near you. Do it today!

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