Old In Body, Never In Spirit!
BRAUS FIGHT and ROLLING FOR A REASON proudly support BJJ community initiatives. This week we are excited to share our very first blog brought to us by our friends and partners at GeriJitsu. These guys focus on how BJJ is enjoyed by all age groups, we couldn’t agree with them more: The Fight Never Ends!!
35 year olds and beyond training Jiu Jitsu is not something new, plenty of athletes train and roll well past their thirties and into the following decades. Often though, these are people that have grown up with a grappling or contact sport background for most of their lives. They’ve learned to take the falls, push through the wall, and know what their bodies can and can’t do. These people live with a certain base level of bodily pain and injury daily – it’s only the intensity or particular injury that changes! So what do you do if this isn’t you? If you’re a newcomer and you want to step onto the mat and get started in a sport like Jiu Jitsu but you think you may have missed your chance?
Gerijitsu comes from the words:
Geri ~ from Greek: old age, old man, old people; elder, elderly; senior citizen
Jitsu ~ from Japanese 術 Literally meaning skills/techniques
Back in 2013 Southern Cross Jiu Jitsu Coach and Nova Uniao BJJ black belt Rodney Ellis and his gym’s Judo coach Steve Clifford, Kodokan Judo black belt and Jiu Jitsu purple belt, were discussing the fallout rates for guys in the older age categories. Commonly, guys that were over 35 years of age had commitments such as families and jobs and they found that they couldn’t continue to physically match it with guys half their ages. Injuries take longer to heal, cardio slowly declines and enthusiasm can fade. They don’t have the cash, time or the desire to enter a competition every second week and for them the love of ‘rolling’ was all they were trying to pursue. From this O/35s classes were born, and numbers of athletes staying on or joining the sport later in life have steadily grown.
Basically, Gerijitsu seeks to promote continued participation for older grapplers in BJJ and an avenue for all grades from beginner to black belt to meet and train in a more casual, encouraging and enjoyable environment targeted toward older athletes. Whilst Gerijitsu encourages loyalty to an athlete’s own BJJ schools and teams, we welcome men and women from all clubs that want to train with people their own age and physical abilities.
Often politics, teams, egos, and a lack of similarly aged training partners stands in the way of older fighters reaching their potential or continuing in the sport they love. Gerijitsu seeks to overcome these roadblocks through regular non-team affiliated training sessions targeting O/35 BJJ practitioners from all over the country.
The BJJ Community in Australia, although influenced heavily by its Brazilian roots, needs a banner for older grapplers to gather under, regardless of their team – and that is what Gerijitsu provides!
Thanks Gerijitsu! Stay tuned for our next blog ! OSS