A Reader Question: “Younger blue belt competition guys just smash me”

“I have a question.
I’m a 40 year old 3 stripe white belt. I’m in good shape but some of these younger blue belt competition guys just smash me.
These guys are killers man! And no matter what I do I can’t escape!
I go about 3 times a week but I feel like I hit a wall. Am I right where I’m supposed to be?
Or am I martial arts retarded? Haha. Thanks for your feed back.”

Jiu-jitsu Times: Your problem is one faced by nearly all over 35 and recreational students of brazilian jiu-jitsu.
Trying to roll against 20-something guys who are dead serious about their training and who roll everyday (and even sometimes twice per day!)

There are a few factors here that make a HUGE difference:

1) They are blue belts and you are still a white belt
Now the color of your belt isn’t everything, but in many cases it IS an indicator of the experience and technical ability.
These blue belts have likely logged significantly more mat time than you and have a deeper technical knowledge.
That counts!


2) Age
The example (and the exception that proves the rule!) of 40+ years old MMA fighter Randy Couture aside, after the age of 35 most men start to experience a decline in their physical prowess.
Even the hall of fame greats like Roy Jones Jr. and Mike Tyson succumb to Father Time and can non longer do the things that made them world beaters.
A 40+ year old bjj guy can still develop a high degree of technique but it is unfair to compare them to a 22 year old in their athletic prime.


3) Training frequency
Most 40+ year old bjj enthusiasts also have full time careers, families, and many responsibilities that demand their time and energy.
For many, they are fortunate to have a regular training schedule where they can get on the mat 2-3 times each week.
The younger guys who have fewer obligations can devote an enormous amount of their time and energy to getting better at bjj.
If you are on the mat everyday and training with other serious, competition oriented partners, your jiu-jitsu will consequently be sharper!

Even black belts can experience this gap between levels.
Check out this video where elite, full time competitor rolls with other bjj black belts.
Keenan Cornelius Rolls with 7 black belts no rest

On Jiu-jitsu Times A Reader Question: “Difference between jiu-Jitsu to other sports”.


  1. Another point, young blue belts may have been training a number of years in kid ranks and are just now able to rank as adults.. so you might have a 16 or 17 year old newly minted blue belt that has been training since 8 yrs old or so…

  2. They are ego driven assholes and I wouldn’t role with them, they are disrespectful and the very antithesis of what Jiu Jitsu is about, we all have to feel superior technique and strength but these guys need a good lesson from further up the chain on how to treat people


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