Totowa MMA: A look inside NJ United Mixed Martial Arts Academy

High-Level Jiu-Jitsu Late In Life? Absolutely!

Not too bad for a 39 year-old. O_O

Slight caveat – I don’t consider age 39 to be “late in life.” But hey, by the standards of some hip, young, early-20s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitors, I guess that even age 29 could be regarded thus! In any case, today I was happy to discover this short article about 39 year-old Rubens Charles Cobrinha, one of my jiu-jitsu heroes who has taken more championships than I can keep track of. But at this point in my life, I’m really not head-over-heels fascinated by the mystique of medals. I’m fascinated by how people like Cobrinha can get so much out of martial arts at every phase of life, young or old.

No, this isn’t a dietary blog post. If you know what Google is, you can find and apply plenty of those. Cobrinha keeps things pretty general. à

“. . . my philosophy is that it is very simple. I want to make sure that you know it’s clear that I take care of my body, I live very healthy, eat healthy food. That gives me a legacy, gives me an advantage on those competitors who I know some of them, they don’t take care of their body and when they get older, like 30, 32, 40 I mean they won’t be able to keep on going. So for me I’m 39 but I feel like I’m 21 years old.”

It’s important that you train with instructors who keep the “art” in martial arts!

I started training BJJ when I was age 23. I’m the same age as Cobrinha now, and back when I was grinding through the blue belt phase of my training, I regularly overheard classmate conversations that consisted of sound-bites like: “Ugh, I ate SO much garbage last night . . . so hung-over, didn’t even want to train today . . . shouldn’t have had all that Burger King last night, ha ha!” And yeah, I’ve had my share of Burger King. But guess what – there comes a point where you have to ask whether or not your habits are giving back to you.

Also, what I didn’t know about Cobrinha (until today) is that he originally got a black belt of sorts in the culinary arts! à

“I became one of the best chefs in my town.. .From there I learned a good system in the bakery which I applied to jiu jitsu and my whole life. Everything has to be a recipe. You find a recipe, you create a recipe – Stick with it! Don’t change it too much. We don’t modify the recipe too much, we measure every single ingredient there and… it’s a system. That’s something I learned over there and applied to my whole life.”

I’m not sure what the Japanese text translates to on this DVD cover. But maybe it’s something along the lines of jiu-jitsu being a fountain of youth?

Aside from the cool way in which one facet of life can synergize with others, I think there’s takeaway from how people like Cobrinha have fun in martial arts while not looking at martial arts as a straight-up joyride. In an unusual way, discipline has become a joyride of sorts for them – a feat attainable enough to not even warrant being called a “feat” to begin with!

Good, consistent habits create momentum. And whether you’re a striker, a grappler, or both, momentum will bear you results that you once thought were only for “the pros”!

JJ Mike

Come train at NJ United Mixed Martial Arts and take advantage of our 7-day free trial offer! Whether you’re an aspiring competitor or casual student, you will benefit from training in our friendly, professional, and ego-free environment. Call us at 973-638-1570 to schedule your first class, and visit us on the web at for more info.

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