Starting Martial Arts After 50

Discussion in 'Beginners Corner' started by mrt2, Mar 1, 2018.

  1. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

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    As with much, direct translation is difficult to impossible - there are many translations depending on whether it's taken as a single two syllable word, or if the syllables are taken as separate words, or if it's hyphenated, and some of the meanings are entirely contextual...
     
  2. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Senior Master

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    Well done mate that's really awesome to hear, sounds like you aced it!

    And yes the word for word seems strange but ah well, all else got you the new grade, congrats :D
     
  3. mrt2

    mrt2 Purple Belt

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    OK, another update. Mostly feeling pretty good. No longer a white belt. I know I have a long ways to go to get back to where I was 3 plus decades ago, both fitness and flexibility wise.

    But I am struggling to continue with a beginner's mindset. I realize this is pride f-cking with me, but I cannot help it. I didn't think I would care, but I am chomping at the bit to advance. Why? Because most of the yellow and high yellow belts suck. In the eyes of my instructors, do I suck as bad as they do? I sure hope not.

    Anyway, I pretty have my next form down, both the pattern and the movements. These beginner forms are ridiculously easy. Again, I know, this is pride, but I see other yellow belts struggling to figure out these forms for months, and I don't understand why. I think it is the hundreds of hours I put into doing similar or identical forms 35 years ago. So again, I think this is pride f-cking with me.

    On a somewhat separate note, another one of the ways I have figured out these beginner forms is to watch videos on youtube when I am just killing time, like waiting for a client to show up or waiting for a case to be called, and just spend a few minutes watching a youtube of one of my forms. I know this is a hack, but there are different ways of learning, and watching someone who knows what they are doing is a way of supporting the traditional approach. Interestingly, I mentioned this to an assistant instructor, and she strongly disapproved, telling me not to do that. I understand why a martial arts school wants to be the gatekeeper of all things MA, but I think that ship has sailed.

    So again, I know this is pride and from the perspective of my master and other black belts who have been practicing for years, I must suck just as bad, or almost as bad as the other yellows and high yellows. And I might get smacked down for this if I let it show too much in class, but I need to at least address it and deal with it.
     
  4. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    Your seeking validation through the belt system, don't get caught up in that nonsense, you are as good as your are , that you share a grade with some who " suck" makes no difference to that.

    your school promotes quickly, in some you would have been a white belt for 12months, even if you could give the instructOr a good hiding,
     
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  5. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    Who cares what they think and honestly yeah that's a rubbish attitude you've got saying they suck...you ask if in your instructors eyes you suck well maybe you should be asking this in his eyes do they suck? Just because you think they do doesn't mean it's true and that they don't deserve their belt.

    Also the reason they say not to learn online is because it'll teach you mistakes for your own training. Every school does forms different maybe that video is correct for the uploaded school but it probably isn't for yours
     
  6. mrt2

    mrt2 Purple Belt

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    Look. We are all on a journey. I am not saying these other yellow or high yellow belts haven't worked for their belts, or haven't progressed because I don't know where they started. I was just making an observation. From what I can see, they suck. As in, they have trouble throwing a kick properly, or correctly throwing a punch or block from a front or back stance. And I am not saying I don't suck. From the perspective of my master, who is a 6th Dan, or the instructors who are 3rd or 2nd Dans, I suck too, I have no doubt.

    As for these differences in forms, that very well might be true. And I am not suggesting watching youtubes is any kind of substitute for good instruction.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2018
  7. mrt2

    mrt2 Purple Belt

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    That is true but, your belt determines what they will teach you.
     
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  8. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    But if your learning and improving your at the right level, as long as you get promoted before it gets to the point where learning has stopped and it gets dull, those sucky people might run parallel with you for a good while yet, just be please your the best yellow belt in the state
     
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  9. mrt2

    mrt2 Purple Belt

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    Update. Did my first sparring last night, and it was a surprise old school no pads sparring. Some of the younger people in the class gasped, as they felt naked sparring without pads and headgear, but I liked it. Like an old school sparring session from the early 80s.

    Given that this is my first sparring session since 1982, things went OK. I stuck with basic kicks, mostly off the front leg, and punches, and focused as much on blocking or avoiding the opponents' attacks. No mishaps, and no knees or shins colliding. My first sparring was against on of the older guys, and I held my own. The second fight was against a child. The master did that on purpose, pitting children against adults. I think it was for the benefit of the children. The third fight was against a 16 year old green belt who threw hard kicks, but wildly. He kept getting upset at me because I was blocking his kicks too hard. He kept telling me it was supposed to be light contact. I told him I still have a right not to get kicked in the ribs, or face. Fortunately, that was the last fight because I was starting to get gassed and my calf muscles were starting to cramp up, but it was good to finally get a chance to spar.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2018
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  10. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    Yes I've had people throwing hard punches at me complain bitterly that my blocks hurt, it never occurs to them that the bulk of the kinetic energy comes from their punch
     
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  11. dvcochran

    dvcochran Grandmaster

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    You mention your rank. Most styles would consider you a serious beginner. I would encourage you to focus and come to terms with the second word, beginner. Not in any bad connotation. It is often difficult for even the mildly seasoned practitioner to start back after a long break, more so from the mental aspect of "I know that" or "I did that all the time". Remember the repetitive nature of learning MA. Don't expect to jump to the experience level you were, especially in forms. It is very important to take the time to polish and hone the individual moves/skills that make up the complexity of any MA style. Re-learn your poomse one move at a time instead of trying to recapture the entire form in one session. Patience. The same for one step/self defense practice. Sparring is where your current physical condition should become apparent. Start at the pace you feel confident in but, again, remember to be willing to re-learn moves and technique along the way. If style is not important to you then changing styles will force much of this.
     
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  12. dvcochran

    dvcochran Grandmaster

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    Dirty Dog; I too am an avid diver. Master and rescue certified. I have 6xx dives. Where do you do most of your diving?
     
  13. mrt2

    mrt2 Purple Belt

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    In the scheme of things, this is probably correct. I did train for almost 3 years. And that was back in the day before they handed out black belts to kids just for showing up. I was a teenager, but never felt ready to test for black belt. I shouldn't criticize. My new school will take the money to teach children, but to my teacher's credit, at least in the adult classes, he expects a level of skill commensurate with belt level. For the first time, I saw him demote a kid who showed up for class unprepared to train. The master took him out of line and told him to practice on his own. Then told him to line up for forms, and he made several mistakes. So the master told him to take off his belt and from now on, wear his previous belt until further notice.

    I am coming up on 3 months since I started this thread, so most of the fear of starting back is gone. Tae Kwon Do is now a part of my routine. 3, sometimes 4 days a week. The basic stances, punches, kicks, and blocks are similar, almost identical to what I used to practice. The forms are similar, but different enough that I have to learn them slowly, My teacher has so far allowed me to test every month, so I am advancing quickly. At first, he told me that after I made yellow belt, the testing schedule would slow down but after I made yellow, I learned the yellow belt form quickly, and because the last few weeks, I stepped up my attendance to 4 days/week, my teacher said I can continue on the accelerated testing schedule for another 1 or 2 tests. At some point, this will have to slow down, as I don't want to be a brown belt by the end of the year. That would be nuts. That said, it isn't ridiculous to look to make brown belt by this time next year.
     
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  14. mrt2

    mrt2 Purple Belt

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    So, another test. Here is a picture from my high yellow belt test. My teacher is doing what he said he would, moving my up quickly. Next test is for green belt.
     

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  15. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    ;)
    Think you need a longer belt;)
     
  16. lianxi

    lianxi Yellow Belt

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    I agree completely with this - don't seek validation from belts and just as important - don't seek it here, but rather from your own mind and body. Congrats on resuming your training at this age - I'm 64 - you may find, as I did, that as you age, many of the real treasures of martial arts will manifest and that they can be very private and personal. Thanks for sharing your experiences - but it's a long journey - don't fear going completely unnoticed by others as a martial artist.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2018
  17. Deafdude#5

    Deafdude#5 Green Belt

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    Congratulations on restarting your journey through martial arts. I also did karate in my youth then quit only to take TKD later on.

    My only advice is to take it slow, spend more time prepping your body in terms of cardio, stretching & diet. It’s a tough path but very rewarding. Just remember that what you knew then is not the same as what you are learning now.

    Good luck and keep fighting!
     
  18. mrt2

    mrt2 Purple Belt

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    Actually, it isn't all that different. TSD and TKD are really pretty similar.
     
  19. Deafdude#5

    Deafdude#5 Green Belt

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    Yes, they are similar but you and your body are not the same as it was 35 years ago.

    Also, different schools teach the same forms differently. I’ve had 2 different TKD schools teach me the same forms with noticeable differences.

    Good luck!
     
  20. mrt2

    mrt2 Purple Belt

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    That is true. My current school does ITF forms, where as Tang Soo Do taught the older Pyong Ahn forms.123
     

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