“While there is always overlap in the kind of students each art may attract, if I were forced to generalize, Aikido tends to attract a more white collar, older demographic than BJJ. I originally thought that my Academy would bring in hot-blooded 18-24 year old males in some kind of Ultimate Fighter frenzy to learn the art, but I’ve been surprised by the number of members in their 30′s, 40′s, and even 50′s that are joining up and embracing the discipline. Aikido is often thought of as a retirement martial art, a graduate school for old judoka and martial artists interested in movement and subtle body mechanics. If you create the right kind of environment, BJJ can also serve that function, allowing older warriors to share the mat and grapple down with the younger generations, exploring movement and techniques while balancing it with healthy resistance levels.
One thing to note, however, is that Aikido tends to attract and retain far more female students than BJJ. Not everyone is comfortable with the closeness that ground grappling requires, and I understand that some may never truly get past that required distance. ”
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