As a BJJ practitioner, you may wonder how long you’ll still be able to train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Some people say you can practice jiu jitsu all your life. Others say it’s not a sport to train for years. So what’s realistic? To be doing BJJ when you are 50, 60, 70? To train for 20, 30, 40 or more years? If you are crazy about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu you will probably want your practice to last as long as possible. So check how to achieve Longevity in BJJ.
Advice on how to achieve longevity in BJJ
To practice BJJ as long as possible you have to take care of both your mind and body. Below you will find a list of tips of what to do to achieve longevity in BJJ. If you implement them early in your jiu jitsu journey, you may find that you have an easier way to your black belt and beyond.
It’s kinda obvious that if you want to exercise for a long time, you need to take care of your body so that it will allow you to do so. So how to do it?
Take care of your injuries
Unfortunately, while practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu you can suffer some damage, both in regular training and competitions. There are many common injuries typical of this sport. The best way is, of course, to avoid them all. However, if you already have an injury, the most important thing is to take care of it properly. Unfortunately, we often disregard body signals and if something doesn’t hurt really much we still train. We often also avoid a proper medical assessment because we don’t want to be told to take time off. And this is the worst thing we can do. An untreated injury will return and effectively prevent us from achieving longevity in BJJ. So if you want to train jiu jitsu even as an elderly person do not underestimate the injury and take care of it instead. Consult a doctor, have some rest and heal it properly.
Remember about tapping
This point is nearly associated with the previous one. Tapping often and early will prevent you from many injuries, so indirectly it will enable you to achieve longevity in BJJ. Remember you only get one body in this lifetime, don’t let your ego ruin it. Submissions techniques are already much stress for our joints. Don’t put them under more pressure because of your stubbornness. When you accept that tapping is the part of learning and improving your BJJ game and start doing it more often your body will thank you for that and will better endure training for years to come.
If you can, choose opponents your size
It’s simple if you will put your body for too much pressure too often you may get a problem with training till the end of your days. Training and rolling with someone way havier than you is simply much more exhausting. So if you’re not planning to compete in absolute divisions sometime soon, aim to train more frequently with people closer to your size. There is just no need to put your body through that pressure at regular training. And if you’re looking for challenges, roll with someone with a higher belt, not a higher weight.
Eat and sleep well
To achieve longevity in BJJ you have to take care of your body also outside the mat. Basics such as a healthy diet and adequate sleep are important here. If you want to train hard several times a week for the next years give your body wholesome nourishing foods most of the time. Don’t also forget that the more your train, the more rest and repair your body needs to do. And quality sleep is the key to restoring your body. So if you want to practice BJJ for the next 30 or more years try to eat clean and healthy and to sleep for 7, 8 hours every day. It is not easy, but it is really worth it.
Generally, treat your body well
Sometimes the right amount of sleep, a good diet and avoiding injury are not enough to enjoy good health for many years. To take care of your body as it deserves, from time to time give it some special treatment. Anytime you feel like it, go to specialists such as a physical therapist or/and chiropractor. Remember that you can also go for such treatments as massage therapy or acupuncture. You can also try doing yoga. It is a perfect cross-training for BJJ. Thanks to it you will improve your hips mobility and generally feel better.
Remember about reasonable training frequency
If you are preparing to compete in some tournament it is reasonable to train hard several times a week or sometimes even twice a day. However, if you want to achieve longevity in BJJ, training like that all year round is not the best idea, especially if you got things to do outside Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. It’s just too much pressure for your body. It just needs rest sometimes, it can’t run at full speed all the time. So if you are not a professional athlete with a team of specialists taking care of your body, remember about reasonable training frequency. It may be a different frequency for everyone. However, training 3 or 4 times per week is mostly recommended. Practicing jiu jitsu this many times per week will help you improve your BJJ game and let your body rest at the same time.
Body and mind
To achieve longevity in BJJ your body and mind should work in perfect harmony. So that both work well, you have advice on what to do. Tips about the body above, mind below. However, there is also one thing affecting both at the same time. For a healthy mind and body, you just have to take breaks.
Breaks are saving for both your body and mind. When it comes to the body it is kinda obvious. We all sometimes can be physically exhausted and just need some time off the mat. Overtraining is simply not good for your body. So if you feel that your body is already exposed to too much pressure, better take a break instead of pushing it to the highest limits. Taking a break is also essential for healing an injury.
Sometimes, however, this exhaustion also affects our minds. Trainings are tedious and annoying for us. We no longer enjoy BJJ. If you feel like that it is probably a sign of jiu jitsu burnout. You can, of course, grit your teeth, endure and keep training hoping for the best. However, sometimes taking a break from Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can be beneficial in moments like that. Sometimes you just need some time off the mat to appreciate it more. During such a break you can remember why you love this sport and why you started training it in the first place.
The most athletic, healthy and strong body will be of no avail if your mind is in a poor condition. That’s why you should also take care of it properly. Below you will find tips on how to give your mind proper treatment.
Have a goal
Doing something without a goal is simply pointless. No goal in your training will stop your progress and can make you think your jiu jitsu practice doesn’t make sense. If you want to achieve longevity in BJJ you just need to think about what you are doing. Set yourself goals, small and big, and pursue them. It could be achieving a black belt, becoming a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu coach or smaller things, like learning how to pass some kind of guard. No matter what it will be, having a goal will help you to keep going for many years to come.
Don’t let the ego go into control
Ego overgrowth is your enemy in achieving longevity in BJJ. Having sick ambitions will only lead you to frustration. And that can eat you up from the inside. If you want to practice BJJ for many years to come, better accept that sometimes you can have worse training, someone will tap you out, etc. Not worrying more than necessary about the ups and downs of your BJJ practice will allow you to enjoy it for years.
Have a life outside BJJ
Having a life outside BJJ will help you appreciate it more and survive the time when you can’t train because of for example an injury. Balance is just crucial to your long-term practice. That’s why it is good to have some other hobbies than only BJJ.
Routine can be boring in the long run. So make sure that you constantly give your mind new stimuli. Don’t let your training be boring. Roll with different people, come to seminars, watch instructional videos, etc. Such things will help you to find Brazilian Jiu Jitsu interesting for many years to come.