Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Next Level Guy

Oct 15, 2021

Today’s guest is Rick Ellis.

Rick Ellis has had an eclectic career as a musician, audio engineer, visual designer, programmer, and software entrepreneur. Somewhere along the way he discovered Jiu-Jitsu and became obsessed with this fascinating and transformative art. Rick would go on to earn a blackbelt under legendary instructor Roy Dean, and he currently runs Third Way Jiu Jitsu in Wyoming.

In this interview, we discuss:  

  • How to train as an older athlete
  • Why everyone needs to train BJJ
  • How to adapt BJJ as you age to be a more effective practitioner 
  • And so much more


Here are some key points that I would advise you to concentrate on

  •  You are never too late to start BJJ, you just need to adapt your game to suit your strengths and lessen your weaknesses.
  •  BJJ is a sport where you learn self-defense, improve your fitness and can make lifelong friends.
  • BJJ is mainstream in modern society, you have many options of clubs etc to join, you should feel safe, secure and confident in your professor. If you aren't happy, vote with your feet and find an academy that works better for you.
  • Why does Rick think older men should take part in BJJ?
  • Some martial arts only train patterns, without resistance, so you never train for effectiveness, you train for memory, and never know your skills can work when needed.
  • BJJ is suitable for older athletes as the training is less intense and flexible to allow older athletes to train intensively but recover more efficiently compared to martial arts that have more focus on striking..
  • You can adapt BJJ to suit your physical reality as you age. You can be effective regardless of your physical limitations.
  • Older athletes can focus more on sensitivity, timing and pre-positioning yourself with structures that give you a mechanical advantage over your training partner.
  • How should an older athlete approach starting BJJ?
  • An understanding of how the human body works can help an older athlete control and lock down an opponent and reduce the need to match a younger opponents speed, strength etc.
  • Rick's BJJ philosophy is less about imposing my athletic will against an opponent and more about how to use techniques, timing, etc.
  • Tips on how to be an efficient grappler.
  • There are constantly changing windows of opportunity to take advantage of someone, in terms of a loose limb, their gravity being compromised etc. Effective grapplers work on noticing these windows and actioning on them as they become available.
  • If you re thinking about the move, you are probably too late, you need to work on feeling the moment, finding the open window of opportunity, and take it.
  • The biggest challenge to all athletes is the suppression of the ego.
  • It's a fallacy to believe that if you didn't get the tap, you didn't progress.
  • It's ok to take a round off, to know your limits. You don't need to prove anything to anyone. Leave the ego at the door!
  • You are only in competition with yourself, no one else. We all develop at different rates, stay on our own path, don't try and follow someone else's path.
  • You must train BJJ to develop your ability to perform effectively and physically at BJJ. Don't rush your journey towards this if you are an older athlete.
  • Consider why you do BJJ.
  • Rick has a fantastic 'Triangle of Energy' that all older athletes need to consider when planning their training.
  • Best recovery methods for an older athlete. Sleep and good nutrition are your foundation for effective recovery!
  • The need to warm up slow as an older athlete, to keep your motor running!
  • You can't train at 100% all the time. You need to push yourself mentally and physically at times BUT you also need to know when you need to take your foot off the gas, and lower the intensity of training.
  • Aim for lower intensity, at a moderate volume with a higher frequency of training each week as an older athlete to avoid over-training etc. 
  • How can we truly believe in our own ability and find our own inner confidence?
  • It is common to feel you are not worthy of your new belt, use the fear as motivation juice to work on, push yourself and hit that next level in your development. 
  • How to recover from an injury, overcome the fear of returning to the mats, and being effective at training again. 
  • How has starting his own school, and training with his son, changed him as a person?
  • Rick's opinion on obtaining belts by skill demos and grading days vs time-served belts being awarded. 
  • What should an older person do off the mats to be an effective BJJ grappler (a hobbyist vs as an athlete).
  • What does Rick put his longevity in training at such a high level down to? 
  • BJJ is one of the greatest combinations of physical and mental challenges, a combination of both in one sport. It is a human chess match. The challenge of overcoming your opponent by exploiting their weaknesses and neutralizing their strengths is one of the biggest joys from training in BJJ.
  • How has Rick managed the transition from athlete to father, to businessman, to husband, and everything else in between? 
  • How does Rick want the evolution of his brand to be?
  • What is Rick's proudest achievement?
  • What Rick wants you to take from the podcast and why you need to commit to BJJ for a year to see how it can change your life. 
  • How you can train with Rick and connect with him on social media