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What’s the Best Age to Start Jiu-jitsu

jiu-jitsu is a very physically demanding martial art. But, it can be trained in a way that is very low impact on the body. Typically the best people at jiu-jitsu or any sport start at a very early age, so here’s an explanation of the best age to start jiu-jitsu.

In general, over 25 years old is the best age to start jiu-jitsu. The rate of injury for people over age 25 is about half that of those who practice jiu-jitsu under the age of 25. But, starting earlier means you will be better at jiu-jitsu at the same age as someone who started later.

In this article, I will cover the advantages and disadvantages of training BJJ when you’re younger and when you’re older, if jiu-jitsu can be trained at any age, and if you can be too old to train jiu-jitsu.

Can You Start Jiu-jitsu at Any Age

jiu-jitsu hasn’t always been as popular as it is today, and most people didn’t begin training from an early age. If you’re a bit older and are interested in training jiu-jitsu it’s important to know if there is an age that is too old. As well as, if you can start jiu-jitsu when you’re really young, here’s the answer. 

Overall, you can start jiu-jitsu at any age. But, after age 25 a person is about two times less likely to get injured training jiu-jitsu. However, after age 40 studies have shown that the body doesn’t recover as fast, and you aren’t as physically athletic which can hinder your ability to compete.

For example, if you are 40 years old, and you compete against people who are in their 20s you won’t have nearly the energy, stamina, and resiliency. However, it’s well known in jiu-jitsu that better technique makes up for athleticism.

To understand the best age to start jiu-jitsu here’s a table that shows the rate of injury in martial arts such as jiu-jitsu based on a person’s age:

Age bracketUnder 55 to 14 years15 to 2425 to 6465 and older
Rate of injury1.04%25.68%22.19%47.90%3.18%

(source: Iii.org). Interestingly, it also shows the rate of injury of other sports and hobbies. So, you can see how jiu-jitsu compares to other sports such as soccer or basketball.

The data provided by the Insurance Information Institute only categorized them in these age brackets. As you can see most injuries occur more in the age bracket from 25 to 64 years of age. 

But, in my opinion, the data is a little bit misleading because this is also the largest age bracket. Therefore, more people are in this age bracket. If you break it down to the number of years represented by each age bracket, it’s clear that only about 10% of people get injured for each ten-year increment.

Here’s a table that shows a close up of the 25 to 64 year age bracket divided into 10-year increments:

Age bracket25 to 3535 to 4545 to 5555 to 56
Rate of injury12%12%12%12%

In my opinion, the reason why injuries are less common for people aged over 25 is that they aren’t as gung-ho and have less energy than young kids, and teenagers. They are also more mature and patient. Therefore, they aren’t as reckless when training.

Many people start jiu-jitsu much later in life, and many also compete at age 35 or older. In a jiu-jitsu gym, it’s common for people to be of a bunch of different age brackets. Typically, classes are divided into kids, and adult classes.

There is theoretically no upper age limit for when you can start jiu-jitsu. But, as you age the body isn’t as resilient to injury. And people get weaker with age. Harvard Medical School has stated that this is natural and has to do with aging.

Is 30 Too Old for Jiu-jitsu

When people turn 30, it’s often the time when they notice their athleticism begin to decline, and they can begin to get their first gray hairs. jiu-jitsu is also a very athletic sport that requires a good level of physical fitness and energy. So, is 30 too old for jiu-jitsu?

As a general rule, 30 is not too old for jiu-jitsu. Up until about age, 35 to 40 studies have shown that the body is very resilient. After that, a person needs to take it easier when training jiu-jitsu. 

Also, jiu-jitsu can be very demanding on the body and so a good level of fitness is required. Therefore, if you are starting jiu-jitsu after 30 it’s a good idea to take it slow at first. Especially if you don’t do that much other physical activity normally. 

Typically, the time when people get the most injured when doing jiu-jitsu is from white belt to blue belt. jiu-jitsu has a range of different positions and movements that a normal person won’t do. And there is a big potential for something to get twisted, to fall awkwardly.

Is Jiu-jitsu Good for a 5-Year-Old

At a young age kids are eager to learn new things, and getting involved in a sport or martial art at an early age is good for children’s development. jiu-jitsu is a unique sport, so here’s an explanation of whether jiu-jitsu is good for a 5-year-old.

Overall, jiu-jitsu is good for a 5-year-old. jiu-jitsu is very good for building friendships, good sportsmanship, dealing with bullying, and confidence. Many jiu-jitsu academies have a program designed specifically for kids, such as the Gracie Bullyproof program by Gracie University.

It’s also very rare for children under the age of 5 to get injured when practicing martial arts. A study showed that only 1.04% of children under the age of 5 get injured when practicing martial arts. Whereas, in other sports getting injured can be more common.

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