40 years old taking his first courses and having bits of difficulties

Jimmythebull

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Your opinion is that it is unrealistic for him to succeed. I gladly reject that opinion, and feel no guilt in doing so. The opinion that people can't succeed in Taekwondo and should just give up has no business on a Taekwondo forum.
I accept your opinion however i can stay civil. My opinions even if different to yours certainly have a voice on a TaeKwonDo "forum" or any other forum or more correctly a "section" of a Forum. you see this is a martial arts forum & so not just the opinion of one art or style. A Forum means diversity of opinions & styles.
 

EskrimaFan

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Your opinion is that it is unrealistic for him to succeed. I gladly reject that opinion, and feel no guilt in doing so. The opinion that people can't succeed in Taekwondo and should just give up has no business on a Taekwondo forum.

Maybe stop derailing the whole conversation......

Jimmy gave his opinion, no need to make the topic about your issues with his posts, it doesn't contribute in any way.
 
OP
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Hanks

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Im 67 and train hard but realistically. I dont do flying spinning anything
I had plenty of students that couldn't kick above their waist when they started, and they were able to get high kicks in a few years. Students older than him.
I'm younger, but this is very comforting!
@Hanks , don't listen to this guy. He's just a troll.
Most of the messages in this thread seem to be from insightful people and well-argued. I'll prioritize my attention on those messages.
have you looked at other systems?
Do you mean, other sports? I thought about boxing. Without kicks. I'm also very interested in sparring because of the tactical aspect of the fight. How to adapt to the opponent. Their range, morphology, intents, and how to counter, spot, and exploit weaknesses (I did one or two years of fencing a long time ago). But that won't be for now. I might also try another fight sport in the future, depending on what Taekwondo will bring to me and other factors.
If my motivation remains high and I can handle more than 2 courses a week, I also might go back to the gym between the courses to increase strength.
I don't know what the future will offer me, but for now, after doing 1 week and a half of Taekwondo, I'll stick to it. I'd be a fool to give up now since I currently like the sport.
If you are doing static stretches, go just to the point where you feel resistance and possibly a tiny bit of discomfort (but not pain). Then hold the position and focus on taking slow, deep breathes and relaxing.
Thank you! that's exactly what I'm doing. It seems natural to me.
Often the limiting factor for kicking higher isn't so much flexibility as it is technique and strength in the muscles which lift and control the leg while you are kicking. So if you practice slow motion kicks at whatever height you can manage (even if it's only knee height), you'll find that it will end up improving your ability to kick higher over time.
I'll try to use this advice. It's not always easy to control the height during a kik and sometimes, a bit of pain happens if it goes too high. going slower should help.

Quick anecdote about technique.
The first year I was bouldering, there was a boulder that I couldn't finish. It was on a slope, hard to fight gravity I tried this boulder day after day, and I was 100% sure I couldn't do it because I lacked strength. One day, I saw another person doing it using a different technique.
I tried this technique and succeeded easily on the first try. The strength wasn't the issue at all. It was 100% technique.

Also don't get discouraged and think that you are going backwards. Day to day fluctuation is normal, but over time your baseline will improve if you train consistently and intelligently.
Thank you for reminding this phenomenon. I'm very aware of this as I tried to learn several things, from musical instruments to unicycling. But some things we already know are still worth to be read or heard again. I think it makes the mind more aware of such things, and help further to learn.
 

Tony Dismukes

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Quick anecdote about technique.
The first year I was bouldering, there was a boulder that I couldn't finish. It was on a slope, hard to fight gravity I tried this boulder day after day, and I was 100% sure I couldn't do it because I lacked strength. One day, I saw another person doing it using a different technique.
I tried this technique and succeeded easily on the first try. The strength wasn't the issue at all. It was 100% technique.
BTW - I think that rock climbing is one of the best athletic backgrounds for martial arts. Even more so for grappling arts, but I think it help you with TKD also.
 

drop bear

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Start throwing kicks really lightly at a wall or something. So your body gets used to the movement.

And work your way up.

Do it too much and you will get injured. So be a bit sensible. But you want to be consistent with it.

Then obviously stretching and other stuff.

So it would be this high repetition sculpting.

 
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skribs

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Maybe stop derailing the whole conversation......

Jimmy gave his opinion, no need to make the topic about your issues with his posts, it doesn't contribute in any way.
My issue was with his post in this thread, and all of my comments have been about his post in this thread. I am not making it about my issue with his posts in general. I am making sure that OP in no way thinks that "Just give up" is a valid opinion.
 

tkdroamer

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no i am being realistic. read his post again. listen there is no need to torture himself trying to stretch daily & probably in my opinion injure himself. Is it not sensible to find a system more suited to his needs? I have nothing against the Korean systems but high kicks are again in my opinion not suitible for him.
I see no point in training in any system if you can織t achieve a decent standard, at least average. Probably kicking a dwarf is not what the founder of they system wanted.
sometimes common sense is needed. Sure he might get other benefits from the training like "spirituel" but in his own mind he will never be what he wants to be.
You are not wrong if you are speaking to a younger person. But it is more helpful to tell a 40 something to not chase the teens and 20 something's. He/she needs to be encouraged to do what they can do, at their pace. Hopefully, they will find another gear in short order. Killing the idea before they ever really get started is not helping. This has nothing to do with the system. It is much more about the environment and the instructor(s).
 
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Hanks

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BTW - I think that rock climbing is one of the best athletic backgrounds for martial arts. Even more so for grappling arts, but I think it help you with TKD also.
I wasn't that good at rock climbing despite (or because -- see my next sentence) my slim figure and my arm span. I lacked flexibility and strength. But as a very experienced climber friend of mine said, you get better at what you actually aim to train. In other words, if I wasn't improving my flexibility, it was probably because I was compensating with reach or technique, instead of focusing on actually improving my flexibility. The same goes for strength.
Start throwing kicks really lightly at a wall or something. So your body gets used to the movement.
I thought about that! But my neighbors wouldn't be very happy about that
I'm thinking about making do, but that's not my number one priority. I suppose I can work on the moves themselves at home (decomposing properly the movements, working my balance) without having actually hit something?
I am making sure that OP in no way thinks that "Just give up" is a valid opinion.
Thank you for your support
 

JowGaWolf

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I'd like to know if you have some interesting exercises I could easily do at home, for example, to slowly increase my legs spread, or if you know short and straightforward videos that explain very basic moves so I can train between courses.
The secret to being good at this stuff is to dedicated some time to train by yourself outside of class. Whatever you are training and doing in the class can be done at home. Use that as a foundation and get a lot of practice at home. The best thing about practicing outside of class time is that you can choose an environment that is best suited for your learning needs. For me, my school would do a lot of things in one day, so practice outside of class gave me a chance to move at a slower pace and allowed me to train specific things over and over. I still train like this now when I go to the gym or when I'm at home. For 2 weeks I've been only focusing my training on my stances and my leg endurance. Flexibility will come in time. The more you kick the stronger your leg will get and the higher you'll be able to kick. But because of your age you'll have to dedicate some time outside of class to just stretch for a few minutes. It doesn't have to be painful. The key to flexibility and stretching is to be relaxed when you stretch don't over do the stretching. Flexibility is a process for people older than 10.

Martial Arts is actually very simple. The more you do it the better you get at it. But that's how it is for most things.
 

kfman

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Hey. I see that I'm obviously not the only one starting his first martial art here at this kind of age.
I'm looking for some advice.

My sports background is close to zero, and I have a big lack of flexibility.

The average age in the club is fairly low, partially because the location is just next to a high school. There are way more females than males too. I like it so far, but seeing all these people already having taekwondo or other martial arts background (the classes also mixes beginner with up to black belts) and being very flexible takes a toll on motivation and self-esteem.

I also have a few troubles that lay in the autism spectrum without being autistic. Discovering the place and all these people was an extremely difficult experience, but I carried on and tried my first lesson last week. I wore earplugs for the first course to isolate myself from too much sensorial stimulation, and removed them mid-class because I was feeling alright, but I might use them at other times.

I took my third class this afternoon and it was more frustrating than the first two times. I felt a bit overwhelmed by kicks and moves exercises that I couldn't totally grasp even after asking the coach (I should add that's an inclusive sports club that trains people having various handicaps, they have the proper tools and qualifications) because I need to have very precise directives, but I also had further trouble concentrating at this time because my attempts weren't successful. My mind was struggling at keeping my attention and memory rights and I also had a bit of panic. I felt a bit too close to giving up and I didn't like that at all. I also have difficulties understanding when the coaches or my partner talk because of the ambient noise as it's hard to discriminate the voices from other sounds as well as being overwhelmed by other stimuli.

The feeling of doing the exercises wrong didn't feel right and I also had the (probably erroneous) sensation that it could have bothered my partner during my last course (a young woman with 2 years of boxing experience).

I'm still motivated nonetheless because my mind and body needed a sport, and I'll ask the coaches if they can describe a bit better the movements parts.

The people in the sports club are very nice.

Since I know my probably biggest physical challenge (besides my challenging brain) is my flexibility, I'd like to know if you have some interesting exercises I could easily do at home, for example, to slowly increase my legs spread, or if you know short and straightforward videos that explain very basic moves so I can train between courses.

I know that if I keep motivated, I'll invest more of my person in the club. This club partially relies on volunteering and they're always welcoming bits of help of any kind. I'd like to be part of that one day.

Thanks for reading.
Check out other schools that may be more suitable for you.
 
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Hanks

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Check out other schools that may be more suitable for you.
Thank you for your advice!

I started my third week this evening. I've used my earplugs at some times to not feel overwhelmed.
I'm feeling more comfortable regarding some basic movements, and besides my lack of flexibility (which is not as much an issue as I thought previously), my main problem is visualizing and memorizing movement patterns.

Landing a good kick in a pad with a graceful movement is extremely satisfying (the pad sound matters!).

I think this club is good for me especially since it's open to differences and handicaps. The coaches are very patient and even with the high number of students (it should decrease a bit over the year), they'll always listen to your questions, take the time to reply, and pay attention to people who seem to have difficulties.

My confidence is also increasing a bit, and I'm eager to be able to do more, whether it's Taekwondo training or gym (at home or at in a club) to improve in cardio, strength, etc.
 

Olde Phart

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Reading the responses, the back-and-forth, I would pretty much agree with the basic approaches given. One . . . you're never too old to start (or re-start) martial arts. Two . . . your only competition is yourself. If you're trying to compare yourself to those younger ones or those that have been doing it for years, you're going to get discouraged very quickly. "Time" is your friend. Perseverance (the IN NAE of martial arts) is the key. Surely in your class they have a warm up period. Just repeat those things on off days between classes. You're using muscles and parts of your body that have been dormant for awhile.

If you have a friend, or a "significant other", you can practice on them! "Hey, honey," I say to my wife of 47 years, "lemme show you something I learned in Hapkido." Well, sometimes that doesn't work out too well!
 
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Hanks

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Check out other schools that may be more suitable for you.

By the way, can you elaborate on what you mean by "more suitable"? In regard to what exactly?
 
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Hanks

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Surely in your class they have a warm up period. Just repeat those things on off days between classes.
This is a good idea. I need to write down the warm-up exercises and I also need a large mat at home. 12m is not enough and my floor is a bit hard.

As for inviting someone to practice with me at the Taekwondo club, that's not possible. I don't know people around. But I'm starting to talk to other students as most of them are nice. The ones that will be less prone to discussions are the teenagers that already know each other. Groups of 15-16 years old that go to school together and stick together. I tend to go towards loners like me. :)

I'm sure things will slowly improve over time - skills, fitness, and social.

Edit: I misunderstood the sentence when you talk about people I could train with. But my reply is the same nonetheless.
 

Olde Phart

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I bought a mat at the start cuz I thought it would help, but in the long run, the grandkids enjoyed playing with it more than i used it. Unless you're practicing throwing yourself on the floor and doing the arm-slap to absorb the fall, you probably don't need a mat. Carpet is fine. The dirt in my back yard works, too. Just perform the "doing" of it and "that'll do, donkey" (as Shrek would say). At a certain place I worked, I could go to a local park for lunch. After gobbling it down, I'd practice forms underneath the mesquite trees (Texas). Use what you got, where you are, when you are.
 

skribs

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This is a good idea. I need to write down the warm-up exercises and I also need a large mat at home. 12m is not enough and my floor is a bit hard.

As for inviting someone to practice with me at the Taekwondo club, that's not possible. I don't know people around. But I'm starting to talk to other students as most of them are nice. The ones that will be less prone to discussions are the teenagers that already know each other. Groups of 15-16 years old that go to school together and stick together. I tend to go towards loners like me. :)

I'm sure things will slowly improve over time - skills, fitness, and social.

Edit: I misunderstood the sentence when you talk about people I could train with. But my reply is the same nonetheless.
I recommend trying to find adults who want to practice. Unless you are close with the teenagers family's or something like that. Even if you don't mean anything inappropriate, it can be taken the wrong way if you're trying to meet up with teenagers outside of class. (Just see the relationship thread that's going in the general forum right now).

Two . . . your only competition is yourself. If you're trying to compare yourself to those younger ones or those that have been doing it for years, you're going to get discouraged very quickly.
I was watching a BJJ video on "what blue belt means", and he explained that his gym is not a pure meritocracy. He takes into consideration size, age, and other considerations. Size affects combat sports differently than point sports (I'd judge TKD by height instead of weight, for example), and the BJJ belt system is different than ours, so the specific variables may be different, but the general idea is the same. He was saying that 30 pounds of mass or 10 years of youth is about equal to 1 belt. For example, a 180 pound, 50-year-old brown belt should struggle mightily against a 210-pound, 30-year-old blue belt, because that blue belt has 3 levels of advantage (30 pounds and 20 years), and the brown belt only has 2 (2 belt levels).

He was also taking into account handicaps, athleticism, and many other things that are less formulaic, and more his own judgment on a case-by-case basis. There's a difference between being 200 pounds of pure athleticism and being 200 pounds of padding. Chewjitsu recently did a video where he compared 2 folks with similar training regiments, and one who was unable to develop good cardio compared to the other. The problem was allergies and asthma held him back from getting his cardio up to that level. There's a line between using that as an excuse, but also recognizing your limitations and holding yourself accountable only for what you can realistically achieve. That doesn't mean the person can't do BJJ, it just means he won't be capable of the same level of cardio, and will have to be more creative in how to avoid gassing out.
 

WhiteBeltNoStripe

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no i am being realistic. read his post again. listen there is no need to torture himself trying to stretch daily & probably in my opinion injure himself. Is it not sensible to find a system more suited to his needs? I have nothing against the Korean systems but high kicks are again in my opinion not suitible for him.
I see no point in training in any system if you can織t achieve a decent standard, at least average. Probably kicking a dwarf is not what the founder of they system wanted.
sometimes common sense is needed. Sure he might get other benefits from the training like "spirituel" but in his own mind he will never be what he wants to be.
I agree with some of what you said, but how is stretching a bad idea for him?
 
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