74-Year-Old Man Earns Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt

Brazillian jiu-jitsu is one of the most brutal contact sports, and it is often considered to be a young man’s game.

But that fact never stopped James Terlecki who, at 74, earned his Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt at a pace usually reserved for a much younger man. For Terlecki, his age was no obstacle; he had a goal, and he was going to accomplish it. The only real surprise came from his fellow competitors, most of whom were decades younger than him. Skill, though, seems to be something that simply has no limits, even if you are approaching the three-quarters of a century mark.

While Terlecki is no white belt on the mats, he did come to the game much later than most competitors. He began his martial arts practice at the spry age of 40, around the same age that most competitors consider hanging up their trunks. He didn’t begin the journey towards his jiu-jitsu black belt until he was in his 60s, yet his trainers and partners have regularly praised his strength and dedication. For many, Terlecki is proof that age is no barrier for those who truly want to reach out and master a martial art.

No one went easy on Terlecki during his journey to the top. While his trainers first thought that the then-60s fighter might have to be handled with a little bit of extra care, they were quickly disabused of the knowledge. Feeling as strong as ever, Terlecki had no problem going toe-to-toe with men who were literally half his age – and winning. In fact, Terlecki claims that most of his opponents fought harder than normal when sparring with him, always with the goal of avoiding a submission to a man who quite easily could have been their grandfather.

Now that Terlecki’s accomplished his goal, he has become the second member of his family to attain the prestigious black belt. His son, 38 year old James Jr., is also a jiu-jitsu black belt. James Jr. is particularly proud of his father, bragging that he not only has a dad who can beat up the other guy’s dad, but that his dad can probably beat up their sons as well. There’s nothing quite like having two fighters in the family, and the ability of the Terlecki men to hang out on the mad is sure to make the holidays even more interesting.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here