Today, we’ll answer the question: Can anyone do BJJ?
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is always advertised with the notion that anyone who wants can do it. It’s often distinguished from other martial arts.
Whenever I go to wrestling or Muay Thai practice, I mostly see young, fit guys. Not so in BJJ.
I have been to 12 different BJJ gyms in 6 different countries, and it’s true that there is something different about Jiu-Jitsu.
In BJJ, I see more women than in other martial arts. Also, in BJJ, I see all body types and different ages. I see young adults at the age of 16 joining the adult class, and I see 60-year-old men just starting out their BJJ journey.
So yes, it’s true that BJJ is more inclusive than other martial arts. But we have to be careful when advertising BJJ. The correct answer is: ALMOST anyone can do BJJ.
Let me explain why.
Who Is BJJ For?
BJJ is for everyone!! No kidding…Almost everyone. Let’s explore:
- BJJ for Kids: I’m a fan of putting your kids into BJJ. They’ll learn a lot about life and physical confrontation. Plus, it’s the perfect physical outlet, and they can be a part of a big community.
- BJJ for Women: I see a lot of women doing BJJ. More than in any other martial art. It’s a great tool for women to learn how to defend themselves against somebody bigger and stronger.
- BJJ for Men: Most BJJ practitioners are in their twenties to mid-thirties. It’s a martial art, very attractive to young men.
- BJJ for Men over 40: Yes, some men are always in their forties doing BJJ. And I think it’s a great idea. Some of them give me a hard time rolling…That’s where I noticed experience beats youth.
- BJJ for men over 60: It’s rare, but you see them. And I also think that’s a good idea. Staying physically active is important, and BJJ is great for that.
- People with physical disabilities: I have trained with people who were almost blind or had missing fingers. I also heard of people having no legs training BJJ. So yes, depending on the disability, you absolutely can.
- Skinny People: BJJ can be great for people who are smaller and thinner than average. Jiu-Jitsu teaches you how to defend yourself against stronger and bigger. I believe you can learn the best self-defense martial art as somebody smaller than others.
- Overweight People: I see many people who are overweight, training BJJ. BJJ is great for losing weight.
Who Is BJJ Not For?
After reading the list above, you might think, So, who is it not for?
I tried convincing many people to do BJJ, and sometimes it worked. But I also noticed that BJJ is not for everyone.
Even though the risk of injuries in BJJ is lower than in other martial arts, there’s still a risk. BJJ is hard on your joints.
BJJ is less dangerous for immediate breaks and fractures. Still, if you do Jiu-Jitsu for a long time, you’ll have injuries from accumulating damage.
By the time you are a black belt, you can be sure you have knee, wrist, elbow, and neck problems.
So, who shouldn’t do BJJ?
Some people I asked to join me in BJJ practice had chronic knee or lower back injuries. Starting Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with these chronic injuries is not a good idea. It can worsen your problems.
You’ll be better off going to the gym and strengthening these parts before you start BJJ.
You also have to consider that BJJ can be time-consuming and expensive. I have been to a Gym where membership costs 220 USD a month – not everybody can pay that. Plus, all the Jiu-Jitsu Gear you need.
Also, BJJ takes longer to learn than other martial arts. You need to go to practice 2-3 times a week to get better in BJJ. Many just don’t have the time and/or budget.
Common Misconceptions about BJJ
You Need to be Physically Fit
Some people think you need to be physically fit or have prior martial arts experience before starting in BJJ. But that’s wrong.
The beauty of BJJ is that you don’t need that. There are always BJJ beginners in every Gym. BJJ is made to be inclusive and teach you everything you need to know from scratch.
BJJ is Dangerous
BJJ is the safest martial art out there. Of course, you can get injured, but you won’t get knocked out and won’t end up with broken bones.
Jiu-Jitsu is so inclusive because there’s no striking involved. Only submissions. And when you get submitted, you just tap, and the fight is over.
Benefits of BJJ for People of All Ages and Abilities
BJJ is inclusive. I have seen it firsthand. I saw young and old, male and female, muscular and skinny. I saw people missing parts of their bodies and still doing BJJ.
The truth is there’s almost no excuse not to do BJJ.
BJJ has many mental and physical benefits. You can lose weight, get fitter, get more confident, and learn how to defend yourself.
I lost weight and gained muscle since I started. I got more confident, I have less anxiety, and more drive in my life. Many things changed since I started doing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Don’t get me wrong, BJJ will challenge and humble you. But it’s gonna be good for you. Just stick with it.
Everybody can benefit from BJJ. It’s not just for the fit young male. I think it’s even more important for kids, older people, women, and people with disabilities – You learn how to defend yourself against somebody bigger, and it’s safer than other martial arts.
Can Anyone do BJJ? Final Words
So, can anyone do BJJ? My answer, whether you should do BJJ, is most likely always yes. It’ll benefit you in so many ways.
I have convinced many to try, and even if they were not consistent with it, they thanked me later for making them try it.
You’ll learn a lot about yourself. It’s truly an art form that deserves our respect. Most of our reasons not to try it are gonna be excuses.
If you have the resources and time and have no severe chronic injuries, you should go for it. Try it out. I challenge you to visit at least 20 BJJ practices before you evaluate whether it’s for you.
So yes, you should absolutely give BJJ a try.