And now I am "old."

dennis63

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I started practicing a traditional form of Japanese karate as an 18-year-old college freshmen in the 1980s in a club affiliated with my university. Karate was having a resurgence at that time, so there were a lot of young people getting involved. (Maybe 40 new students walking in for beginner's class each semester.)

We had instructors who were in their 40s. We did not consider these people "old" by any means. In fact, they seemed to be stronger, tougher and faster than we could ever hope to be.

I remember talking to another young white belt at the time about how fast one of these "older" guys was. Of course, I said something incredibly stupid:

"This must get easier as you get older."

After a few years of practice, I jokingly repeated this to one of the older black belts. He laughed and said, "No, it definitely gets harder as you get older." He was right of course.

Now, I'm 60 years old, with no illusions about being "young" or "strong." The floor seems much farther away than it was 20 years ago, and my old knees remind me of my age these days -- and also tell me when it's going to rain. I never thought I was a great fighter, but always had a sense that something good -- some new or better understanding -- was always ahead of me.

Now, I practice for strength and flexibility, and for the workout it gives me. And because I simply like it. And, every once in awhile, when I stretch well, and it's warm, and I do a kick or a punch that feels good, I'm reminded that I'm still that kid, trying to learn this art.

Any others here experience your practice changing as you get older?
 
Any others here experience your practice changing as you get older?
The main thing for me is having to periodically rest for a couple of minutes and not do as many reps. Other than the endurance and not kicking high I don't think it has changed much (except for getting better in many respects). I'm 73 and younger than when I was your age.
always had a sense that something good -- some new or better understanding -- was always ahead of me.
If you have a good understanding of the principles and strive to improve this understanding, your sense is correct. Eventually, your mental understanding will translate into physical execution and this execution will lend better understanding. The two are synergistic.
 
I'm younger than you, mid forties, but have accumulated injuries, and have some genetic issues in certain joints that severely limit what I can do. A doctor told me I had the wear and tear of someone much older, but martial arts were holding off further problems I would be having if not for the training. That being said, not being as athletic as I used to be has actually had some good sort of side effects- Realizing that self defense wise, you don't have to be an athlete. Low kicks are a good thing! Accepting the facts of aging and limitations, and that I simply will never be able to be that athlete again has allowed me to focus more on a side of martial arts that might have been somewhat neglected otherwise. I won't be doing Taekwondo again, but that realization that the self defense side doesn't require you to be that athletic has given me things to focus on and a way to continue productively practicing martial arts.
 
I started practicing a traditional form of Japanese karate as an 18-year-old college freshmen in the 1980s in a club affiliated with my university. Karate was having a resurgence at that time, so there were a lot of young people getting involved. (Maybe 40 new students walking in for beginner's class each semester.)

We had instructors who were in their 40s. We did not consider these people "old" by any means. In fact, they seemed to be stronger, tougher and faster than we could ever hope to be.

I remember talking to another young white belt at the time about how fast one of these "older" guys was. Of course, I said something incredibly stupid:

"This must get easier as you get older."

After a few years of practice, I jokingly repeated this to one of the older black belts. He laughed and said, "No, it definitely gets harder as you get older." He was right of course.

Now, I'm 60 years old, with no illusions about being "young" or "strong." The floor seems much farther away than it was 20 years ago, and my old knees remind me of my age these days -- and also tell me when it's going to rain. I never thought I was a great fighter, but always had a sense that something good -- some new or better understanding -- was always ahead of me.

Now, I practice for strength and flexibility, and for the workout it gives me. And because I simply like it. And, every once in awhile, when I stretch well, and it's warm, and I do a kick or a punch that feels good, I'm reminded that I'm still that kid, trying to learn this art.

Any others here experience your practice changing as you get older?
welcome to the club ;)
 
Any others here experience your practice changing as you get older?
When you get older, you want to spend more time in "leg skill". It will give you the balance, flexibility that an old person will need. Any training that can force you to stand on 1 leg is good.

If you can still do this when you are 80, you are still young.

 
When you get older, you want to spend more time in "leg skill". It will give you the balance, flexibility that an old person will need. Any training that can force you to stand on 1 leg is good.

If you can still do this when you are 80, you are still young.

I hope that I can still move like that at 80!
 
When you get older, you want to spend more time in "leg skill". It will give you the balance, flexibility that an old person will need. Any training that can force you to stand on 1 leg is good.

If you can still do this when you are 80, you are still young.

I'm not sure why I'd want to. I couldn't do this when I was 20.
 
"This must get easier as you get older."
One of the things the research shows is that the more expert ones movements become, the less brain one uses to produce those expert movements. In other words, practise inhibits extraneous movements (that reduce the efficiency of techniques). This practise takes time and so perhaps the older practitioners have more efficient movements due to more efficient recruitment of motor units etc etc. Practise does make it easier!
Any others here experience your practice changing as you get older?
I havent noticed a decline in my physical abilities as Ive aged, but this could be because that decline is a slow, unnoticed creep. One of the things I have engaged in with advancing age, is heavy, progressive, weight training and perhaps the associated increase in strength has offset the reported 5-10% age-related decline in strength per decade (after the age of about 40) and type II (fast twitch) muscle fibres in particular.

The biggest disruption to training I see with advancing age is osteoarthritis due to joint cartilage wear/loss. This is more problematic but the research shows that taking 1500mg of glucosamine, daily, for a minimum of three years may help regenerate cartilage. Theres some great, research-led advice here:
 
When you get older, you want to spend more time in "leg skill". It will give you the balance, flexibility that an old person will need. Any training that can force you to stand on 1 leg is good.

If you can still do this when you are 80, you are still young.

I couldn't do that when I was 30. Despite everything - much stretching, working range of motion, I've never had that much flexibility in my legs.
 
One of the things the research shows is that the more expert ones movements become, the less brain one uses to produce those expert movements. In other words, practise inhibits extraneous movements (that reduce the efficiency of techniques). This practise takes time and so perhaps the older practitioners have more efficient movements due to more efficient recruitment of motor units etc etc. Practise does make it easier!

I havent noticed a decline in my physical abilities as Ive aged, but this could be because that decline is a slow, unnoticed creep. One of the things I have engaged in with advancing age, is heavy, progressive, weight training and perhaps the associated increase in strength has offset the reported 5-10% age-related decline in strength per decade (after the age of about 40) and type II (fast twitch) muscle fibres in particular.

The biggest disruption to training I see with advancing age is osteoarthritis due to joint cartilage wear/loss. This is more problematic but the research shows that taking 1500mg of glucosamine, daily, for a minimum of three years may help regenerate cartilage. Theres some great, research-led advice here:
Nowhere in the video does it say glucosamine Rebuilds cartilage. That would be a grossly false claim. It does nourish what cartilage you have but has zero to do with 'rebuilding' cartilage, which is mostly a myth. Unless a person is in the age building range for cartilage growth, I know of nothing that can grow it outside of biologics (which I will Not do) or in the lab.
The section about how exercise motion helps mold or smooth cartilage makes sense. But who can move in a perfect sphere all day, every day? Especially in sports, impact motion is part and parcel. I was very surprised there was no mention of muscle building around the joint(s) for increased protection.
I do take glucosamine along with a collagen supplement. I was doing this long before my joint replacements.
 
Nowhere in the video does it say glucosamine Rebuilds cartilage. That would be a grossly false claim. It does nourish what cartilage you have but has zero to do with 'rebuilding' cartilage, which is mostly a myth. Unless a person is in the age building range for cartilage growth, I know of nothing that can grow it outside of biologics (which I will Not do) or in the lab.
The section about how exercise motion helps mold or smooth cartilage makes sense. But who can move in a perfect sphere all day, every day? Especially in sports, impact motion is part and parcel. I was very surprised there was no mention of muscle building around the joint(s) for increased protection.
I do take glucosamine along with a collagen supplement. I was doing this long before my joint replacements.
If I remember correctly what my surgeon told me a few years ago, drilling cartilage can promote regeneration. They did this when I had a bone spur removed on a toe. Thats the only other thing I know of.
 
If I remember correctly what my surgeon told me a few years ago, drilling cartilage can promote regeneration. They did this when I had a bone spur removed on a toe. Thats the only other thing I know of.
It is my understanding this is correct if you still have healthy cartilage, no other extenuating health issues (arthritis, etc...) and limit/eliminate the impact motion(s) mentioned in the video. For example, I understand it is done to young athletes with mild joint injuries.
 
Any others here experience your practice changing as you get older?
I am 77 this year. Yes I have declined but I now know what my opponent is going to do before he does it. Doing competition with 23 year olds. Three of them in the World Championships very soon. Timing is everything.

Medications and supplements are bit of a waste of time. As you age the joints wear and the more you do the more they will wear. Stay clean of meds if you can and get some rest. Older people need rest.
 
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"I now know what my opponent is going to do before he does it."
One of my instructors referred to this as "old man tricks." Very advanced!

I think they say, "Sen no sen," for the ability to move simultaneously with the opponent, anticipating his movement and "countering" even an instant before or as the opponent attacks. A completely different level of understanding.
 
I started practicing a traditional form of Japanese karate as an 18-year-old college freshmen in the 1980s in a club affiliated with my university. Karate was having a resurgence at that time, so there were a lot of young people getting involved. (Maybe 40 new students walking in for beginner's class each semester.)

We had instructors who were in their 40s. We did not consider these people "old" by any means. In fact, they seemed to be stronger, tougher and faster than we could ever hope to be.

I remember talking to another young white belt at the time about how fast one of these "older" guys was. Of course, I said something incredibly stupid:

"This must get easier as you get older."

After a few years of practice, I jokingly repeated this to one of the older black belts. He laughed and said, "No, it definitely gets harder as you get older." He was right of course.

Now, I'm 60 years old, with no illusions about being "young" or "strong." The floor seems much farther away than it was 20 years ago, and my old knees remind me of my age these days -- and also tell me when it's going to rain. I never thought I was a great fighter, but always had a sense that something good -- some new or better understanding -- was always ahead of me.

Now, I practice for strength and flexibility, and for the workout it gives me. And because I simply like it. And, every once in awhile, when I stretch well, and it's warm, and I do a kick or a punch that feels good, I'm reminded that I'm still that kid, trying to learn this art.

Any others here experience your practice changing as you get older?
I cannot get up from my knees without using my arms to push up, which isn't how some of our katas work. So I either do not go down on my knees or I modify my kata to permit me to get back up. I ensure our students know that how I do it is not how it's done. Jumping double kicks are likewise not happening.

Due to being on blood thinners for my atrial fibrillation, I cannot engage in sparring, due to the danger of bruising.

My balance is affected, so I use caution and self-moderate my activities if I feel like I'm going to fall down.

I just do what I can and don't worry too much about it. I've seen a couple of my senior instructors who are younger than I am hit some milestones and tell me that now they know what I'm going through, so it happens to all of us, it seems.
 
I cannot get up from my knees without using my arms to push up, which isn't how some of our katas work. So I either do not go down on my knees or I modify my kata to permit me to get back up. I ensure our students know that how I do it is not how it's done. Jumping double kicks are likewise not happening.
Re: Kusanku kata, I still do the jumping double kick, but not the flying crescent (used to be my specialty) nor do I drop completely flat to the ground, doing it more like shorinryu style (except on special occasions). I can do the four kneel moves, but it's tough standing back up. Too much effort for an old man! It's a demanding kata indeed, especially in the isshinryu method. Obviously designed for 5'4', 135 lbs Okinawans.
 
I'm not sure why I'd want to. I couldn't do this when I was 20.
If you don't maintain it, you will lose it. Maintenance is the key.

If you don't punch for 3 days, your can still punch on the 4th day. If you don't train leg skill for 3 days, on the 4th day you will feel big difference.

When you get older, you want to float with the air. Most of the TMA forms cannot do that. You may have to create your own form so you can "float with the air".
 
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