Starting BJJ At 30+ (Complete Guide)

Can you start BJJ at 30 years old and older

I first started BJJ when I was in my 20’s and still train now in my 30’s. But what if you’re 30+ and just starting out, can you start learning BJJ at 30 years old and over?

BJJ is good for all ages, from child, teenager or 30+. You can start BJJ at 30+ because most schools build you up slowly with the fundamentals first, while following a structured training program. It can still be tough on the body and work schedule, but if it matches your goals, you can start BJJ at any age.

If you’re starting BJJ a little later in life (30+) you may be asking yourself some of the following questions:

  • Is BJJ going to be painful & too hard on my body?
  • Will I be able to get good at BJJ now or is it too late?
  • Can I fit BJJ into my work schedule?
  • Can I afford to fit BJJ into my budget? 

If any of these sound like you, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. In this article, I am going to answer all of these questions for you and more.

Starting BJJ At 30 & Over

First off, I’d like to start by saying that you can start learning BJJ at any age. That’s the key takeaway from this article. So don’t let your age put you off from getting started. 

Yes, there will likely be a lot of younger people in your class with you. But from all the BJJ and MMA gyms I’ve trained at in the past, you will notice that there is a wide variety of students – including ages, skill levels, goals, and genders. 

At my current BJJ school, for example, we have men and women in their 30s and 40s. I’ve even heard of people in their 50s and over starting BJJ. Not everyone in your BJJ class will be young and athletic or want to become the next UFC champion. Some will simply be there to have fun, get fit, and learn BJJ. It all depends on your goals.

BJJ vs Your Goals

Think about what it is you want to get out of starting BJJ, what are your goals and reasons for wanting to learn BJJ? If it’s for fun, fitness, or socializing, then your age isn’t a problem, and starting BJJ over the age of 30 is a great choice of martial art.

To discover more about BJJ for fitness, check out my other article

Let’s be honest, starting any new hobby can take a lot of commitment. Whether it’s committing to the time it takes each evening or committing to the cost of learning a new hobby.

But when it comes to starting a new hobby in our later (wiser, maturer) years, committing to a new hobby can sometimes seem even tougher.  

And starting BJJ is no different. However, as you know, BJJ is a full-contact martial art that brings a whole new set of questions like the ones mentioned at the top of this article. So, let’s get into them now.

Is BJJ Painful & Too Hard On Your Body?

As you know, BJJ is a full-contact martial art. Meaning you’ll be getting hands-on contact with your training partners as you work for takedowns and submissions. But, without kicking and punches involved, is BJJ painful and is it hard on your body?

At times, BJJ can be painful and hard on the body in training or competition. In general, BJJ can cause bruises, scuffs, and sore muscles, knees and knuckles; plus general workout fatigue. However, BJJ is generally a safe sport to do as a hobby and, with sensible training, you can avoid injury.

Of course, if you’re going into training with the intention of blasting through your training partners and going with 100% effort and always trying to ‘win the roll’ – then you’ll likely have a much tougher time in BJJ and leave each session with bumps and bruises (or even injury).

But if you take your training easy and take your time to learn to apply the techniques correctly, you’ll find that BJJ doesn’t have to be a brutal sport – after all, BJJ is known as ‘the gentle art’ for a reason. 

That being said, with the mainstream popularity of MMA, you will find some BJJ students are there to flex their muscles and hit each roll as hard as they can to try and ‘win’. 

If that’s not what you’re there for, just avoid them when pairing up with a partner. Or, don’t be afraid to ask them to ease off a little. At the end of the day, if you’re not there to become the next UFC champion, there’s no need to hit training so hard every session.

You can check out my article: BJJ: How Hard to Roll for more on the pros and cons of hard rolling in BJJ

Can You Get Good At BJJ After 30+ Years Old?

It’s true, BJJ has a very steep learning curve and requires hours of practice to even begin to get the hang of things. So, getting a head start on training is of course a big benefit, but don’t let that put you off getting started because…

You can get good at BJJ at any age, even if you start training later in life in your 30’s or older. In general, age won’t determine how good you get at BJJ, your type of training and consistency will determine how good you get. However, age can possibly affect how often you’re able to train.

For example, as we get older, we need to think about how we’re going to fit a new hobby into our work schedule and our budget. So, let’s takedown and choke out each of these concerns below!

BJJ vs Your Work Schedule (How often to train?)

It’s no good trying to decide if you should start doing BJJ if you can’t fit it into your daily routine enough to make it worth it. So, how often should you train BJJ?

In general, it is recommended to do BJJ 2-3 times per week. At this rate you will pick up the basics and begin to see improvements in your Jiu-Jitsu over about 6-12 months of consistent training. Most BJJ schools have classes in the evening after work, but some have morning and afternoon classes.

It seems to me, this can be the biggest hurdle for most people who are just starting out in Jiu-Jitsu – trying to find the time to fit it into your weekly schedule. 

In the past, I’ve done morning classes before work, but I find them much harder to sustain over time. And I know that for most people, morning and afternoon classes are not an option. Meaning in general, evening classes are the best option. 

And if you can fit in at least 2-3 classes a week, you should be good to go and start seeing some improvements over time. But what if you can only commit to 1 or 2 classes a week? Don’t worry, I’ve covered this and much more in my other article, including training consistency and how many days to train per week.

BJJ vs Your Budget (Can you afford it?) 

Now, let’s talk money. Because like with any new hobby, there are costs involved with starting BJJ. So, how much does BJJ cost and will you be able to afford it?

On average, BJJ schools charge around $60-120 per month. However, if you’re learning BJJ at an MMA school, they will likely charge more because they offer more martial arts. The cost of BJJ sportswear and equipment range anywhere from $20-200 per item. These are similar to other martial arts costs.
But this is a bigger topic and deserves its own article to go a little more in-depth. So, you can check out my other article for more of a breakdown of the costs of learning BJJ.

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