When I began training in isshinryu, my cardio was horrible. I was very much lacking in cardio fitness, and I came home drenched in sweat and wrung out after every class. Even as my cardio improved, as my general fitness increased, I still burned a lot of energy in every class. After all this time, however, something has started to change. I don't come home soaking in sweat. I'm not worn out. I'm seldom bruised or beat up. And my fitness has definitely declined. I've been putting on weight after years of slowly dropping it. I'll be 60 soon, and I've got medical conditions, so I'm not taking this lightly. But what I've noticed apart from this is that I move less and accomplish more. I avoid punches, but only to the extent that I must. I don't block what isn't going to hit me anyway. I don't bounce, I plant my stances so that when i strike, it's effective. I use gravity. I use leverage. I am calm and relaxed. This doesnt make me a fearsome fighter. Some of our students are much younger, blindingly fast, and strong. I can't outfight them, but I can beat them, sometimes, with stealth, guile, weight advantage, etc. I'll take the nerve shots to slow them down, dummy them up with elbows and knuckle strikes, then push them down and fall on them, whatever. Sometimes I just stay out of their range and wait for an opening if one ever comes. Of course, being able to take a punch on the way in helps. Overall though, it seems odd that I do so much less physically in the dojo to actually get more done. I'm going to need to get back in the gym to get my weight down and cardio up now. Anyone else notice this?