Seriously, is he that old that he can’t go round for round with me? Maybe he’s so old that his body doesn’t work like it used to or he’s just burnt out from the day?
As a once-twenty-year-old in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu I remember these floating questions in my own mind and the murmur from the rest of the young bucks in class with me.
Now, as a middle-aged dude (damn that’s hard to swallow) in BJJ class, I totally get it.
Yes young guys, us old fellas have a few things you likely don’t:
Here are a few things I remember having in my twenties that I don’t have now:
Remember, most of us are Gen X’ers and grew up playing outside, digging holes, climbing trees, worked at the tender age of fourteen and often got our asses kicked in school or by an older sibling most of our teen years. So yeah, we’re pretty tough.
Those days are certainly behind us, but they did leave their mark and created the last generation of men with grit, resolve and dirt on our faces so if it comes down to it and you puff up in hopes to get the best of one of us remember this.
You may very win but if you do you’re gonna know you were in a battle.
However, if you want to be a good training partner here are some good tips when training with men as old as your dad.
Biologically, around forty men stop producing testosterone at the level we once did. Add to that our bodies start producing more estrogen. This has a slew of side effects that include loss of strength, endurance, quality of sleep and sustained daily energy (don’t laugh too hard, you’ll see). Add that to the other pressures of life men typically experience later in life it tends to create a perfect storm of “I really don’t want to do anything” for a lot of us.
So, when you see a guy in his forties or fifties starting Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for the first time hold them in high regard and if you see a man in his sixties or seventies starting for the first time be scared. That’s not a normal operating human and should be revered and given legendary status immediately.
Now that you have a small idea of what the older gents in your class are experiencing use this time to sharpen your sword. Here are a few ways how.
Keep up the training, if you train and if you’re reading this and you don’t train then go find a good academy and give it a shot. I promise that it will be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make.