Jiu-Jitsu and the Mature Athlete: A Letter to a Former StudentAs a man ages, he needs to get wiser in how he uses his body. Eventually, everyone declines as aging sets in. The biggest mistake I see is middle-aged men trying to compete and train like they did when they were younger. Even worse, is comparing their performances from their their younger days to the present day and the feelings of disappointment in the disparity. This will always be a source of frustration. No one can continue to dominate forever.
You must acquire the grace to feel satisfaction in the moment. Improvements for the man over 45 will be subtle; the days for big gains and big strides are over. Improvements will come in other ways than increased physical prowess. Thankfully, the mental game continues to improve, forever. Things like learning to quickly relax, better breath control, reducing panic in uncomfortable situations, trickery, and of course, not hesitating to tap just as soon as you get caught -- struggling and fighting out of submissions is a young man's game and beneath the mature athlete. What's important for the older BJJ practitioner is to immediately acknowledge his mistake in getting caught in a submission hold in the first place. Simply tap and continue playing.