Starting Martial Arts After 50

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

  1. mrt2

    mrt2 Purple Belt

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    That is how one of our assistant instructors does it. That is how I remember doing it back when I did Tang Soo Do in the 80s. The only problem is, there are some child black belts who do attend general classes, and while you would expect a child black belt to hold his own against an adult colored belt, in practice, it doesn't always apply when the child is less than 5 feet tall and weighs less than 90 lbs, and the adult is close to 6' tall and weighs over 200 lbs. So in that case, they have to re adjust the lines to fix obvious mismatches.

    Our head instructor just matches up by gender and size.
     
  2. mrt2

    mrt2 Purple Belt

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    There is a cohort of adult males who I almost never see because, I assume, they only attend the advanced classes on Tuesday and Thursday at the main school. If/when I advance to brown or high brown, those classes will open up to me. But that won't happen until sometime in 2019. Right now, I am firmly in the intermediate group. (at our school, intermediate is anywhere between high yellow to green up to high purple belt). I am not unhappy to be where I am now. I remember this time when I did Tang Soo Do. It is a good place to be.
     
  3. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Not sure how long it takes for them to become black belts, but I've been an uke for people under 13 (possibly under 10) in two different schools (on specific occasions). It helps them a lot to practice against an adult, they struggle a lot, but they're still able to complete throws/whatever against adults (assuming the adults don't give too much resistance).
     
  4. dvcochran

    dvcochran Master of Arts

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    That is a big school. May I ask what part of the world you are located?
     
  5. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    It helps them, but what’s it doing for a guy like the OP? I wouldn’t be happy if I was paired up with kids constantly. Once in a while or while you’re rotating through a class with a sufficient number of people who’ll challenge you is one thing, day in and day out is quite another thing. I wouldn’t last very long if the majority of my classes were filled with kids and small adults who don’t pose any sort of realistic challenge. I’m not there to pull a Kramer dominating the dojo.
     
  6. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah, i wasnt thinking about the every day thing. Its happened with me like 10-15 times max, over the last 7 years since i turned 18, so i always thought it was just cool for them. If it was a common thing, i can see how i wouldnt like that.
     
  7. mrt2

    mrt2 Purple Belt

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    One of the reasons why I am encouraging people I know, like the guy I was referencing earlier to start. I have a vested interest, in the medium and long term in having people who might challenge me in sparring.

    But, I also realize that children's classes are what really keeps the doors open. And besides, I am not really in a position to complain.
     
  8. mrt2

    mrt2 Purple Belt

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    This is something that has changed a bit from what I remember back in the 80s. Back then, I was at age 14 or 15 one of the youngest students at the dojang. But I weighed as much as many of the adults I was fighting, so it didn't seem all that strange. Back then, my instructor allowed very few children into the general classes, and the cutoff was around age 15, though in my case he made an exception because I was a "big boy." There was a children's program, but they had very little to do with the adults.

    These days it is different. Many of the adults enroll because of their kids. I think I might be the exception as an older adult signing up for TKD for my own reasons. Many of the adults who enroll do it AFTER their kids are enrolled for some period of time. There are a number of fathers, and mothers enrolling. Sometimes, the parent gets the MA bug even after the kids lose interest, and sometimes vice versa. But I have to tell you, when I imagine back in the 70s or 80s getting my Dad, or Mom to suit up in a Dobok and training Tang Soo Do with me, it makes me chuckle.
     
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  9. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    Many of the adults my current dojo signed up because of their kids. They signed them up, watched them train for a few months and decided to sign up too. Several told me “I was just sitting there watching, so why not get up and do it too?” Those ones were parents of teens (adults wouldn’t train in the kids’ class). Most often the kids lost interest and the parents stayed.

    My former dojo had a lot more students and a few “all ages all ranks” classes. There were a few people who went to that class to with their kids. I’d take that class every now and then due to my schedule and I knew what it would be going into it, but it was better than not going at all. If those were the only classes I could attend or if every class was that way, I’d have left.

    Is there a light at the end of the tunnel here? Like once you’re a certain rank you’ve got better options? Have you talked to the CI or whoever does the schedule? If you’re frustrated with it, chances are pretty good others are too. And chances are others before you left or didn’t join because of it. Maybe they can ask others in your situation when a class for you guys would work, tinker with the schedule, or even open up a higher ranks class to you. If you’re not saying anything about it, they may be assuming you’re completely fine with it.

    I have no problem helping kids and adults below me in rank get better. When I start to get frustrated and feel like all I’m doing is working with people lower than me, I look to my right and see the senior ranks who help me out without complaining. It puts it all into perspective. There’s a handful of 3rd and 4th dans who regularly attend the adult green belts (5th kyu) and up class I go to on Tuesday nights. There’s several green and brown belts (5th-1st kyu; I’m 2nd kyu) and it’s really geared towards us and our curriculum. They know it, and they’re fine with it. They know they won’t do much of their curriculum and they’re working with us far more than them working with each other. They’ve got zero complaints. They also know they’ve got other classes they attend that are for them specifically. When I get where they are in rank, I’ll have the same mentality.
     
  10. mrt2

    mrt2 Purple Belt

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    Well, yes. I mentioned in an earlier post that once I get to, either Brown or High Brown, I can take the advanced classes.

    And, FWIW, I don't really mind helping out lower belts with basic material. I have already told my head instructor than when I reach a high enough rank, I want to teach classes.
     
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  11. mrt2

    mrt2 Purple Belt

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    Still here. I just made purple belt. Here is a picture of me at my first tournament where I took 1st in my division in breaking, replicating two breaks I did back in my old Tang Soo Do days. They were, a spinning hook kick speed break. and a 360 degree jump turning back kick. But it was the speed break that really worked. I wasn't sure I had the speed to do it but I practiced in class with a paddle, the the instructor told me if I hit the board like I hit the paddle, it will break. And it did.

    I thought I did well in forms, but the judges didn't agree and so I only took 3rd. And sparring was just so so. I thought I got some points, but clearly I need to get better landing those kicks against an opponent who moves around and hits back.

    This was a fairly small tournament, a lot smaller than tournaments I used to go to back in the day, but you have to start somewhere.
     

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  12. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Master Black Belt

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    Double congrats mate, that's fantastic!!
     
  13. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Congrats.
    But I have to ask...
    Why in the world didn't you practice your breaks with boards???
     
  14. dvcochran

    dvcochran Master of Arts

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    Congratulation. Great to hear stories like this. Keep us in the loop.
     
  15. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Got a fifty year old doing his first boxing match in a couple of weeks
     
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  16. mrt2

    mrt2 Purple Belt

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    As a rule, we only do board breaking in class for tests.
     
  17. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    As I see it, if you're being tested on it, you should be getting training. It's unreasonable to expect students to do something you haven't taught them to do.
    But if it's not done in class, why not do it yourself?
     
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  18. mrt2

    mrt2 Purple Belt

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    I am considering getting a rebreakable board to practice breaking on my own. As to why we don't practice breaking in class, that is a good question. We do a lot of work on the heavy bag, against pads, and with paddles, but breaking is mostly done at tests. FWIW, that is what I remember even 35 years ago. I can recall maybe 3 or 4 times in 3 years of training where we actually practiced breaking in class.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2018
  19. Yokozuna514

    Yokozuna514 Blue Belt

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    I have to agree with Dirty Dog here, I don't quite understand why you would be tested on something you do not practice on a regular basis especially something like board breaking which should require a certain amount of conditioning.

    In Kyokushin we call this part of the art tamashiwari. We break boards, bricks, ice and baseball bats. A lot of it is mental but that is assuming that you have properly conditioned your body. It kind of sucks to find out that your punching technique is lacking when you hit the board for the first time but I suppose that is infinitely better than finding out at the test.

    Not a big fan of the rebreakable board. I don't find the resistance it provides is comparable.
     
  20. dvcochran

    dvcochran Master of Arts

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    @Dirty Dog has a reasonable comment. But I will add that all the pad and bag time we do should account for +75% of how to break. Learning how to target and how to strike is the biggest elements of success in breaking and should be worked out on softer targets, tested on harder targets. Yes, for some there is a huge mental barrier to get over just looking at a board. A mental stress that is, I think, good for a person to feel during testing if that is a problem. Size and strength dependent of course, but I think the percentages start to flip when you get into breaking more boards (+4) or more difficult breaks. The mental element can carry more weight that anything else. For example, even if you have been working out for 20 years a 4 board straight punch break is not a big deal, if you suddenly have to break 6 boards the mental component is really tested. Hell just holding 6 boards is very difficult.
     

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