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If you are an older grappler this is for you. Today I am here with Pat Worley. He got his black belt from Damian Hirtz at Alliance Minnesota located in Edina. Pat is 68 years old now. He started training jiu-jitsu when he was 54 years old. Also he is a 10th dan black belt in karate.
He won the World Masters 6. Also, he won the Pan Ams as a brown belt and a black belt. He competes all over the world, most recently being the European International Masters/Seniors competition. I see him often at competitions and he consistently wins his division. I trained with him and he’s very strong and his cardio is excellent. Many times, when I train with an older guy I have to go really slow and easy. However, I was rolling almost 100% when I rolled with him.
I just completed a seminar here at Alliance Minnesota. I wanted to ask him some questions about how he maintains such a healthy lifestyle and his secrets to train as he gets older.
My first question to him was how and why he started jiu-jitsu at the age of 54. He said he has been practicing martial arts for 50 years. Damian Hirtz demonstrated some techniques at one of his karate schools and Pat was hooked. He was interested in the technical details of bjj so he started training.
I am 30 years old and many days I feel very sore and I have to force myself to the academy. I was very interested to know how Pat at the age of 68 can train 5 days a week and compete occasionally. He answered my question by stressing the importance of never stop training. Just keep training and keep going. He realizes there is a difference between pain and an injury. He has not had many injuries in training. When he is in pain however, he doesn’t stop training.
Pat mentioned he has been fortunate regarding injuries so I asked him how he stays injury free. He said he is very careful who he trains with and his instructor selects partners for him. His training partners are nice about not physically smashing him. They go hard but they don’t try to smash him or do anything too explosive.
His training partners are always respectful. I always say the students at an academy are a reflection of the instructor. When the instructor is a kind person then so are the students and it creates a great environment for training.
He eats a balanced diet to stay healthy and he doesn’t overdo anything. He doesn’t drink soda or eat much sugar.
My last question for him was to ask what motivates him to train every day at the age of 68. He said in all seriousness that he trains every day because he never knows when his last day might be. He always goes to class because he doesn’t know when it will all be over.
I think the main theme here is to never stop training. Many people stop training for a while then when they come back to train again their bodies hurt and their jiu-jitsu is not as good so they quit.

Here is the breakdown of the key points for an older grappler this is for you:

  1. One of the most important keys is to never stop training. There is a big difference between an injury and just the pain on our bodies of daily jiu-jitsu training. Of course, you need to stop sometimes with an injury. However, Pat trains even when he is in pain or his body is sore.
  2. As an older grappler it’s very important to have good training partners. Pat is very careful who he trains with and his instructor selects students for him.
  3. Maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle. He eats a balanced diet and drinks plenty of water.

I hope you all enjoyed this video and any older grappler this is for you. Thank you so much Pat. Oss.
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