Starting Martial Arts After 50

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

  1. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    I don’t mind the rebreakable boards. Stack a few and have at it. If you’re not comparing them to anything else, they’re fine.

    Rebreakable boards have a distinct advantage over regular boards - you have to be more accurate. If you’re off center, a rebreakable board won’t break whereas a wooden board would.
     
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  2. Yokozuna514

    Yokozuna514 Purple Belt

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    I'm not quite sure that is an advantage, TBH. The idea of tamashiwari to me is to break the object, regardless of where I hit it. In order to do that, the technique for punching must be correct. It shouldn't matter if you hit the middle or not. If the board breaks off centre, even better. The aim might not have been perfect but the punch was solid enough to break through. I actually do not like the rebreakable boards for that very reason. It favours hitting in the middle of the board to be successful.

    What's the difference ? Hitting the middle means you are hitting the point of the board at it's least supported point which is technically a good idea but if you could also break a board off centre, this means your punch is solid enough to break the board even if you are not hitting it at it's weakest point. This may be a clumsy way of explaining it but I think you know what I mean.
     
  3. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    If you can break the board by hitting it off center, you're not using enough boards. Further, if you're hitting off center, you're not using good technique. Because accuracy and precision are part of the technique.
    There are loads of rebreakable boards. Some are utter crap, and some are quite good. I like THESE because they do, in fact, break very much like wood. And at the same power level. And they're durable. I've got one of their green boards (which is the same as a standard 1" pine board) at the dojang that has been broken hundreds of times and is still perfect.
     
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  4. Yokozuna514

    Yokozuna514 Purple Belt

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    We are going to disagree here about hitting off centre. The idea is to break the board where you hit it. The easiest place to break the board is in the middle. The further you come away from the middle the harder it is to break the board BUT the goal is not only to break the board. It is to demonstrate the technique and solidity of your punch. If you can break a board off centre, your punching technique has to be solid or it will not break.

    So yes it is good to be accurate and precise but it is more important to me to show that the punch has solid technique rather than hitting the board at it's weakest point so I wouldn't say 'you're not using good technique'. If you can break a board off centre, you will surely break if you hit it in the centre.

    Again, not a big fan of rebreakable boards as I think the emphasis is on the wrong syllable, if you know what I mean.
     
  5. dvcochran

    dvcochran Master of Arts

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    I checked out the website. In your opinion, which board strength is closest to a standard 12x12 pine board? I will order the 3 board set but would like them to all be the same strength
     
  6. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    They're color coded to match belts, so white is the easiest and black is the most difficult. On the back, they're marked to indicate how thick a board they match. The green is the same as a standard 1" thick pine board. I don't remember for sure what the blue and brown boards equal, but the black boards are 2 1/4" thick pine. They're stackable, obviously, so you can mix and match to get whatever degree of difficulty you need.
     
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  7. mrt2

    mrt2 Purple Belt

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    Update. Still here, still training, 3 to 4 days a week. I am fitter, my technique is better, and I am working my way through the curriculum. Because of that, I am actually on the floor training now for most of the class, except for when the black belts do their forms. I even helped out teaching a kids class last week. In that time, I have seen enough people who were super into it drop off or drop out over the last 4 to 6 months, which drives home the point of the expression, "a black belt is a white belt who refuses to give up."

    That said, it isn't perfect. I am still overweight. No question. (will have to do something about that by the time I go for 1st Dan sometime next year.) Flexibility is coming back more slowly than I would like. Head high kicks still elude me, but sometimes I can kick chest high. And, we don't do enough free sparring IMO. Heck, I would even settle for a few minutes of some old school no pads sparring at the end of class just to save time putting on all the gear. But, that should get better fairly soon as I will soon be able to attend advanced classes so I will have to elevate my sparring game once I make brown belt. That said, I think I have built up enough credibility to bring up the issue of sparring in general classes at the smaller school.

    Which brings me to my next point. I will be testing for brown belt the end of this week.
     
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  8. dvcochran

    dvcochran Master of Arts

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    Awesome!! It is always great to hear updates like this. I hope to hear more from you and others.
    It is always sad to hear of "passionate" people who stop working out. I do think we are getting into the time of year where there always seems to be a drop off in attendance (in the U.S.). School is out soon, spring/summer and all that goes with it, vacations, etc..., all seem to pull people away hopefully for only a brief time.
    Love the BB analogy. I have always said a BB is a just a serious beginner.
     
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  9. mrt2

    mrt2 Purple Belt

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    I suppose everyone has their reasons. The one that baffles me most is a guy a little younger than me who got injured in class last fall, and hence missed a test. When he came back after about 6 weeks, he expressed a desire to make up for lost time and really dig in. I challenged him to make up for the missed test so we could both be the same belt rank, and could both test for probationary black belt in the same cycle, probably the end of this year. We even met over the Christmas break to do some work on curriculum since the school was closed over the break. He told me his new motto was "black belt or bust". Then after the new year, I didn't see him for a few weeks, but I sent him a text asking if he was keeping up with his training. he sent me an email back thanking me for working with him over the break, but informed me he would not be testing for purple belt and decided he would no longer be training because he didn't think he had the time to put into his training, so he decided to quit.
     
  10. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    Everyone’s life takes them to different places. It gets harder and harder sometimes to keep a training schedule. I go twice a week, and some weeks that’s pretty difficult with my daughters’ and wife’s schedules. You do what you can.

    Then there’s people who are all gung-ho about training and become gym rats for a decent period of time, then quickly fizzle out and one day you realize they’re not around anymore. Maybe I’m wrong and I’m quite sure it’s not every single one of them, but I think most of them are more in love with the idea of training and improving than actually training and improving. It’s like meeting a new woman and falling head over heels in love after a few weeks. Truth is most often the person fell in love with who they thought the other one was rather than who the other one actually is. The rose tinted glasses fade and they realize that person isn’t what they actually envisioned. Then it’s over. Not that much different if you really think about it.
     
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  11. mrt2

    mrt2 Purple Belt

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    Well, it is a tough slog and unless you really like it, I can see how things can fizzle, as you put it. There was another guy, again, an adult but probably 10 years younger than me who seemed to be moving up quickly last summer and fall, then all of a sudden, he stopped showing up. then around January he started showing up again. I think he is a green belt, but had he been showing up, he would probably be a purple belt by now. Again as you said, everyone's life takes them in different places. When my son was younger, I could not have done TKD 3 or 4 times a week. My son was just a toddler and I was pursuing a law degree, so between hitting the books and helping my wife with taking care of my son, I likely didn't have the time or energy to do what I am doing now.
     
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  12. dvcochran

    dvcochran Master of Arts

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    We all have to pick our battles but I just hate to hear this all too common story. Most of us know life will get in the way sometimes. Hopefully, in time and with a little encouragement he will remember it is a marathon, not a sprint an decide to get back on track. Hang in there and congrats on the improvements you mentioned.
     
  13. dvcochran

    dvcochran Master of Arts

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    I think there is a social component sometimes. If that ever goes stale some people realize that was the only reason they were around in the first place. The social component is real and is usually a very good thing. You should make friends and relationships for life at a good school. Students and instructors have to keep real about the intended purpose of training in a MA and not get sucked into making it a social click however.
    Then there is the shiny penny analogy. When working out is new and exciting it is easy to get up for class. As the shine wears off and some realize there is a grind to going to class sometimes, it gets easier to find reasons not to go.
    I had a bit of that last week. I did not want to go to class, period. I teach two nights/week and had to stay on my toes not to reflect my feelings into the classroom. We have senior belt class twice a month and one fell on Friday, which I really, really did not want to go. As usual, it turned out to be a fantastic class and I was very glad I made the effort.
     
  14. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    What’s that saying, the only workouts you’ll regret are the workouts you missed? Or something like that.

    I’ve honestly never felt like I didn’t want to go. Not once. I’ve asked myself if I should be going a few times though. Not feeling well, other important stuff going on, stuff like that. But I’ve never thought “I don’t feel like going tonight.” It’s honestly the only thing I’ve ever done for a long time that I’ve felt that way about.
     
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  15. dvcochran

    dvcochran Master of Arts

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    That is a very good thing.
    I do have it happen from time to time. I have been working a lot of extra hours getting equipment ready for hay season. May and June will be very busy farm months for me. Usually my business's busy season slows down in March but not this year. I agreed to take on two large projects, one in Detroit and one in San Antonio which is going to stretch everyone really thin this summer. Plus I had one person retire in February (my first ever) and one we parted ways with that have not been replaced yet. Our engineers are hard to replace.
     
  16. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Sounds like you've been working hard - keep at it. And keep noticing the folks who stop training. Nothing wrong with them doing that, but they won't get where you're going.
     
  17. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I think some of those who burn bright then burn out are really enjoying the feeling of fast progress. Of course, we all hit plateaus, and for a lot of those folks a plateau takes the joy out of what they are doing. That, or when someone who has been plodding along "suddenly" gets good at something they (the fast person) has been struggling with.
     
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  18. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I've certainly had days when I didn't want to go. Mostly when life was good and I was content, or when life was really hard and going to class didn't clear my head (so there wasn't the same peace from training that I usually got). These days, it's more likely to be because I haven't yet had enough coffee (I teach class at 8:15 on Saturdays).
     
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  19. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    @gpseymour and @dvcochran there’s also a difference between teaching class and taking class. If I were teaching, I’m sure it would be a different story. I’m sure I’d have more than my fair share of “I don’t feel like going tonight” moments. I used to teach regularly one night a week at my former dojo. I loved it because it was all guys my age and near my rank and we got along great. If it was another crowd regularly that night, it could’ve turned into a chore rather than having fun and working hard. And I did practically everything with them, so it was more leading the group rather than teaching the class. I filled in and/or assisted as needed during other classes, but it wasn’t the same. Still pretty good, but it could be a chore if it was the wrong mix of certain people and ranks.
     
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  20. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    There is a difference, indeed. Sometimes teaching is more fun, but it can get tiring when you don't have anyone anywhere near your own level to play with.
     
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