• Zen Jiu Jitsu: Over 40

  • By: Oliver Staark
  • Narrated by: Kirk Hanley
  • Length: 1 hr and 36 mins
  • 4.0 out of 5 stars (124 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Over 40 and training in BJJ? Zen now offers new concepts that will change the way you think and train instantly.

This is the audiobook I wish I had when I began training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. My age, I didn't think was a factor at the time and now after many years on the mats, I've found that certain strategies and concepts when applied save me from constantly being injured or de-motivated by plateaus. I know how it feels to wonder if this is a long term game or just something I wish I could be good at.

Follow the advice and ideas in this audiobook and you'll be training into your 70s! Topics covered include:

  • Having a training life
  • Motivation
  • Age versus talent
  • Getting and staying fit
  • Staying Injury Free... and much more

The features in Zen Jiu Jitsu for the over-40s cover a lot of ground... Drilling and how it impacts your progress; promotions and their ability derail or support your game; nutrition tips; advice on training aids and resources.

©2012 Barry Crowther (P)2014 Barry Crowther

What listeners say about Zen Jiu Jitsu: Over 40

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Nothing Valuable or Insightful ... or even Useful

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

The author.

Would you ever listen to anything by Oliver Staark again?

Unfortunately, I purchased three books together and found all three had similar traits of being vapid and without any value for the practioner. I am an avid reader and audio book listener -- one of those people who HAS to have a book on a plane or while waiting, but I would honestly rather sit in silence or stare at a wall than sit through this work that seems to be packaged and produced entirely for commercial purposes -- which is fine -- but in this case there just is nothing there of value. There just was not a speck of knowledge I could wring out of any of the three book I purchased. I feel bad leaving such a harsh review -- but I also feel justified, because I really do not believe the author put much heart or effort into this work. I've read dozens of jiu jitsu and other martial arts books, and without exception they all burst with enthusiasm and the obvious passion the authors' have for their practice.

This seemed like Mr. Staark had a lighbulb go off above his head as he thought of using the familiarity of the title that he derived from that masterpiece, 'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" and using it to put together these books. The titles ARE good, as are the topics - unfortunately he fails abysmally to actually deliver anything of value to a jiu jitsu student.

How could the performance have been better?

So many things - I mean - he basically tells you to make sure to warm up really good. This was the first book I listened to, and it was such a major disappointment. As a martial artist who has been involved into my 50s, there are SO many good pieces of advice to offer an older student, especially a first-timer. Starting with the fact that some gyms just aren't going to be for you if you don't have any experience. Jiu jitsu is called the "gentle art" - but in America we tend to practice an intense, MMA-derived form of jitz, and if it's a fighting gym, there just may not be students there who are willing or interested in working with an older student. The younger student can struggle as well - but the big difference is that as older students, we injure much more easily and tend to take much longer to recover.

Again, he adds some personal anecdotes, but they are not very useful - this is a topic that I think personal experience could really add a lot --

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Zen Jiu Jitsu: Over 40?

Too many to list - Mr. Staark is a fine writer - very well constructed technically - it's just that he really let me down on the content portion. I would have added A LOT of material to this book, and the common-sense stuff is okay to include - but that was the bulk of his material, kind of the basic need to place extra focus on your warm-up, but he could have done so much - chapters worth - of explaining the myriad of ways to warm-up. There is such a vast number of techniques, but it's good to offer the student a lot of choices because in my experience no one likes to warm up much period, and they tend to be picky. Most athletes I know have a set of "favorites" - techniques that they favor for warming up. To me, that's would have been golden to have found in this book - at least some alternative ideas. I have my own set of "faves" - but additional ideas are excellent, and if a student finds warm-ups they like they'll tend to do them - if they find it boring, then in my experience 9/10 people just warm up as they roll.

Any additional comments?

I'm sorry to be so harsh on Mr. Staark - again - his writing alone is well done. The narrator would be an easy fix and would really help alot - I found the narration grating and distracting. The books are a wonderful set of topics and titles - I just wish he'd come through with the content.

7 people found this helpful

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Concepts for the older grapplers, not just the 40+

This was a good audiobook with concepts that could help grapplers of all ages, I believe.
I am not 40+ (getting there shortly) but with many injuries, I think the book applies to myself and other like myself as well that are not in the ferocious, savage 20 year old group.
I have already recommended this book to fellow BJJ practitioners because the things said in this book have been tried and tested and the author knows what he is talking about. While there is nothing ground breaking about this book, it gives some good advice, which I will try to apply to my regiment.

1 person found this helpful

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  • MP
  • 12-19-21

That nasally, whiny voice!

I could not listen to a full minute of this book because of the narrators voice. Sorry.

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Over all not very few things useful

The book is a bit generic . Me personally ( a 1 stripe white belt in my late 30s ) didn’t learn anything new . Goes over some basic principles that tot can and should know from some basic research on line . If I had an option to return or exchange would gladly do so .

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Great book, but R is pronounced as an H

It consciously and subconsciously makes you question the validity when the narrator butchers Gracie names.

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Was expecting more from the book

Not a bad book but was expecting a lot more from it. Concepts provided are somewhat basic knowledge, especially if you ever trained in ANY martial art. Although I have not read yet, I would probably recommend more his first book White to Blue belt. I would assume based on reviews it will have more content.

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not deep enough with details, shallow advice.

I could get better advice from a cheap magazine.. very disappointing read. And found narration to be boringly read.

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Good content, but terrible delivery.

Mispronunciations of almost every single proper Brazilian name, and the spelling out of web links character by character made this a tough listen.

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Just what I needed...

If you could sum up Zen Jiu Jitsu: Over 40 in three words, what would they be?

I'm a BJJ white belt over 40 and this book was very useful to me. Many useful advice from diet to risk management. As the title suggests, any BJJ practitioner should read this book.

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  • Mr. G. Young
  • 10-07-21

Underwhelmed

Not much more here than I expected. The message: take it easy because you're older...ain't that radical. The worst thing was the narrator reading out the URLs - why, especially why include the www? I should have saved my 1 credit for something else.

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  • Lee Dewey
  • 08-30-21

interesting and annoying at the same time

Good book with some great tips. not a fan of the narrator though, he's a little robotic. also I hated the last section of the book, lots of Web addresses for various productions and products! no need for it, just give the title and say its on amazon, we can find it. overall an interesting listen though.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-01-19

Very enjoyable and informative.

I will highly recommend this book. I've started bjj at 37 and I will adjust my training following this read. Very useful.

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  • Paul
  • 08-02-22

Giving us older guys confidence to start

Really enjoyed it. what I want or need to hear just before starting to train on my mid 40's.