INTERVIEWS — 25 September 2013

Daniel Faggella is a No Gi Pan Am Champion, Amazon #1 Best Seller, and Interviewer of Many of BJJ’s BIGGEST Stars. You can Get His Entire Collection of Insights from 4 Different Interviews with Older BJJ Black Belts (Ages 40+) Right Here: MicroBJJ.com/40-plus-bjj-success

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As you get older, and the longer you stay with grappling, the more you begin to look for unique approaches to the sport.  Similar to certain workout routines, if you grapple a certain way for a period of time, you’re likely to hit the wall, and no longer see the same results, often referred to as the “plateau affect.”

Having the luxury to change up your routine and really vary your approach can help create strides in your grappling career.  Yet, as we get older, that luxury may slowly begin to whilter away.  With age comes maturity, growth, and responsibility.

Your job might become more of a time commitment, and possibly have a wife and kids at home, you have even more on your plate!  Yet, you remain committed to your sport, and continue to work on the grappling skills as much as you possibly can.  But how can you make the most of it?

With mat time scarcly available, you have to become creative in your approach to training in order to really see the benefit from your hard work.  Recently I sat down with Mark Hopkins to discuss this specific subject as seen below. To read about more interviews I’ve done with Mark check out this article on BJJEE.com.

Training ‘Outside of The Box’ For Better Results!

Helio proved that anyone can grapple over the age of 40

Helio proved that anyone can grapple over the age of 40

For a sport that is always-evolving, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu players always have to create new ways to get ahead of the game.  While the traditional way of training—going to your local gym, rolling, learning techniques, drilling, etc.—is still the best way to learn, there are always new training methods you can use to get better!

When I talked with Mark, he shared a rather unique, left-field training tactic that not many have thought of before.

“You’re going to think I’m crazy,” Mark warns me, “but if you have a small child, you can play around by them.”  Genius!

Now, he isn’t saying throw your child into a triangle choke or work your kimura game against them, but just roll around, playfully grappling with them will still give you the benefit of the workout as well as allowing your muscles to memorize certain patterns as well as avoiding the possibility of them growing unfamiliar with the movements.

Mark also suggests doing with this with your pet dog if you have one.  Rugged dogs are perfect, as they will offer resistance to your moves, thus making the drilling even better! In my article on BJJEE.com I interviewed other top black belts over the age of 40 and here are some of the tips and tricks they gave me.

Log On & Zone In

A very useful tool is right at the tip of your fingers…this very instant!  Many young grapplers these days are starting to turn to YouTube for their entertainment.  However, many don’t know how to harness it’s power as a teaching tool.

If you are able to avoid cat videos and game show bloopers, you are able to find a treasure trove of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu resources!  When you can’t make it to the gym, utilize YouTube to keep your mind in the game!

No matter what, there is always a way to train!  It’s up to you to find it.

Dan Faggella

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