Looking for Advice

AMH

White Belt
Joined
Dec 31, 2006
Messages
2
Reaction score
1
This is my first posting. I joined this forum just so I could ask this question. I recently (over the last year) all of a sudden acquired an interest in the martial arts, after having none my whole life. I think it started when my son was taking Shotokan Karate (which he has sense stopped), and I started thinking, maybe if my 6-year-old can do this, I can too. Anyway, I'm looking for some advice from people with experience. I'm 37 years old, in pretty decent physical condition (I'm in the military), but not a buff, star-athlete type. I'm certainly not fast or extremely flexible. Am I too old to be starting something like this?

In addition, I've spent hours doing internet research on martial arts, focusing on the ones available where I live (Brunswick, Maine). Aside from the Shotokan that my son took, there a couple of schools advertising Shaolin Kempo/Kenpo Karate (they each spell it a different way). From my web surfing, I've read all about the different lineages from the various grand masers, and there seems to be alot of argument about all of it. I know the instructor at one of the schools here was trained in the Villari lineage, (of which I've seen alot of negative comments), and I'm not sure about the other one.

If I decide to do this, and I'm not sure I will, any advice to offer? Also, if there is anyone out there who lives in Brunswick or close by, I'd love to hear where you have trained. Thanks.
 

michaeledward

Grandmaster
Joined
Mar 1, 2003
Messages
6,063
Reaction score
82
I started studying American Kenpo at the age of 36. I too had no interest in martial arts.

I had a daughter who was studying at the school, and another daughter that had stopped studying. In an attempt to get the second girl to re-join the training, both my wife and I started training. We hoped with the whole family at the studio, everyone would train.

Well, it didn't work out that way ... but ... I am still studying American Kenpo. I tell everyone, I leave the studio feeling better than when I show up, so why on earth would I stop.

So, yes, you can learn and grow, and it can be fun. The advice I will offer, is don't go in with any grand ideas. Just go to learn a little, and to have fun. Work toward the short term goals; let the long term goals take care of themselves. 'A black belt, is a white belt, that kept showing up.'

As for schools in Maine, I'm afraid the only help I can offer is a shop in Livermoore Falls. Ken Parker studies with my instructor. But, he's an hour North of Brunswick. I think you should find a studio that is much closer to where you are.

Good Luck - Mike
 

bydand

Senior Master
Joined
Feb 6, 2006
Messages
3,723
Reaction score
32
Location
West Michigan
Sorry i cannot offer any help right in Brunswick, but if you want a fantastic instructor you could try To-Shin-Don at the Portland Quest Center. The school is run by John Poliquin and he is a great instructor. I started up here in the Presque Isle area under him and he is really, really good. Another Dojo, again in Portland, is Maine Budo with Hanna Patterson. Maine Budo is a Bujinkan school and Hanna is a great guy as well. Both of them I would highly recommend! I have trained with both of them, and would drive down to train with either if they were a bit closer to me.
 

Kacey

Sr. Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Joined
Jan 3, 2006
Messages
16,462
Reaction score
227
Location
Denver, CO
If I decide to do this, and I'm not sure I will, any advice to offer? Also, if there is anyone out there who lives in Brunswick or close by, I'd love to hear where you have trained. Thanks.

First, welcome, and happy posting! :wavey:

Second, you're never too old to start - I have students who started at over 40, and know of quite a few students who started at over 60.

I'm not anywhere near Brunswick, so I can't help with that, but there are some really good discussions about choosing a MA and/or a school here, here, and here. Good luck!
 

Xue Sheng

All weight is underside
Joined
Jan 8, 2006
Messages
33,583
Reaction score
8,462
Location
North American Tectonic Plate
Am I too old to be starting something like this?

Nope.

I can't help with the Karate Questions, I never trained it, I am an old CMA guy, but 36 is not too old at all.

I have been in CMA for many years (Tai Chi and Xingyi mainly) but in my 40s I started non-sport Sanda and if I can handle that you can handle it, youre MUCH younger than I.
 

Mariachi Joe

Brown Belt
Joined
Oct 27, 2006
Messages
460
Reaction score
2
Location
Utah
Look in the yellow pages, then call the different studios and set up a time when you can go in and speak with the instructor, and see if they will let you work out with a class so you can get a feel for how they run their studio. Then go with which ever fits you best. Happy Posting
 

Kwiter

Green Belt
Joined
Apr 2, 2006
Messages
190
Reaction score
2
You sound like me! I've got 2 daughters training EPAK and I'm here all the time and looking for videos and so forth.

BTW Excellent FREE Video Podcast from Podcast Network, The Martial Arts Explorer, not really style specific.

I THINK the URL is http://martialarts.thepodcastnetwork.com

Several other good ones like Inside Martial Arts. Free to subscribe to and usually pretty good info.

Skennen Peace

The Neandertahl Mohawk in Brooklyn
 

terryl965

<center><font size="2"><B>Martial Talk Ultimate<BR
MTS Alumni
Joined
Apr 9, 2004
Messages
41,259
Reaction score
339
Location
Grand Prairie Texas
Welcome and happy posting, Martial Arts is for anybody at any age for any reason, the discipline and friendship will last a lifetime. I cannot help you with a school or a style but my advice would be go to those school you listed and watch how the adult program is runned and ask the instructor question and go from there.
 

DArnold

Purple Belt
Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Messages
337
Reaction score
5
Location
Westminster, CO, USA
This is my first posting. I joined this forum just so I could ask this question. I recently (over the last year) all of a sudden acquired an interest in the martial arts, after having none my whole life. I think it started when my son was taking Shotokan Karate (which he has sense stopped), and I started thinking, maybe if my 6-year-old can do this, I can too. Anyway, I'm looking for some advice from people with experience. I'm 37 years old, in pretty decent physical condition (I'm in the military), but not a buff, star-athlete type. I'm certainly not fast or extremely flexible. Am I too old to be starting something like this?

In addition, I've spent hours doing internet research on martial arts, focusing on the ones available where I live (Brunswick, Maine). Aside from the Shotokan that my son took, there a couple of schools advertising Shaolin Kempo/Kenpo Karate (they each spell it a different way). From my web surfing, I've read all about the different lineages from the various grand masers, and there seems to be alot of argument about all of it. I know the instructor at one of the schools here was trained in the Villari lineage, (of which I've seen alot of negative comments), and I'm not sure about the other one.

If I decide to do this, and I'm not sure I will, any advice to offer? Also, if there is anyone out there who lives in Brunswick or close by, I'd love to hear where you have trained. Thanks.



First, Welcome

Second, 37, Ha, your in the prime of your life. Wait until your 47 or 57 then some of us will start listening to your age complaints. :soapbox:.
I know of many who did not start in internation competition until they were in their late 30's.

Third, All the stuff about Grand Masters and liniage is usuall just insecurity of younger ranks trying to validate what they are doing or higher ranks trying to sell themselves. If they are trying to validate themselves by badmouthing someone else then why? Focus more (like they should) on what they have to offer you rather than bad mouthing someone else. An organization or linage is not going to be training you but a human being is.

Stick to the important things!
I find that most beginners are better at cutting through the crap than Black belts.

Visit the classes (if you have time - twice). See if they work out hard or stand around talking.

Will they let you watch class?
What do the instructors have to do to keep current (their training)?
Will they let you try a class for free?
Do you have to sign a contract (BIG NO) - try each class for a month to get the feel of what you are getting into.

Is what they teach taught anywhere else or is it the proverbial "Bob's 7-11 and Kempo emporium" where you will never see anything you have learned any where else?

How much does it cost? - Is it reasonable or are you putting someone elses kids through college?

Are they worried more about what you are going to learn or about what you wear.

Will they anser all your questions openly, and to your satisfaction.
Take your time and visit everyone in your area?
Do not limit yourself to a style as there are good and bad with everyone.
You've only got the rest of your life to practice so make sure you are satisfied as you are doing this for yourself!

These are just basics.
Sorry, I live in Denver under snow!

May you have a long and fulfilling journey.
 

Tez3

Sr. Grandmaster
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2006
Messages
27,579
Reaction score
4,852
Location
England
I agree with what everyone has said about age and DArnolds post was spot on and I'd follow it if I were you! I started karate when I was 39 did that for a long, long time, still do it but six years ago I started MMA. I may upset people here but I wouldn't worry about 'lineage', (I think it's a very American thing? we certainly don't ask it much over here, in fact I've never been asked that) I would go with an open mind to whatever classes are around you and see what you feel comfortable with. Have a look at Judo, Juijitsu, Aikido among other things if it's available. Good luck, it's an amazing journey!
 

still learning

Senior Master
Joined
Nov 8, 2004
Messages
3,749
Reaction score
45
Hello, Have you thought about trying? JUDO it is great for kids. The art is very effective for anyone to learn and use.

Please check it out! ........Aloha
 

Gufbal1982

Purple Belt
Joined
Nov 23, 2006
Messages
385
Reaction score
3
This is my first posting. I joined this forum just so I could ask this question. I recently (over the last year) all of a sudden acquired an interest in the martial arts, after having none my whole life. I think it started when my son was taking Shotokan Karate (which he has sense stopped), and I started thinking, maybe if my 6-year-old can do this, I can too. Anyway, I'm looking for some advice from people with experience. I'm 37 years old, in pretty decent physical condition (I'm in the military), but not a buff, star-athlete type. I'm certainly not fast or extremely flexible. Am I too old to be starting something like this?

In addition, I've spent hours doing internet research on martial arts, focusing on the ones available where I live (Brunswick, Maine). Aside from the Shotokan that my son took, there a couple of schools advertising Shaolin Kempo/Kenpo Karate (they each spell it a different way). From my web surfing, I've read all about the different lineages from the various grand masers, and there seems to be alot of argument about all of it. I know the instructor at one of the schools here was trained in the Villari lineage, (of which I've seen alot of negative comments), and I'm not sure about the other one.

If I decide to do this, and I'm not sure I will, any advice to offer? Also, if there is anyone out there who lives in Brunswick or close by, I'd love to hear where you have trained. Thanks.


To be honest, try out classes first. If you don't get a free trial lesson, stay away from that school right off the bat. See whose teaching style you like better. Remember, martial arts is very personal and it's all about who fits best with you. That's my best advice.
 

jks9199

Administrator
Staff member
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2006
Messages
23,132
Reaction score
3,451
Location
Northern VA
To be honest, try out classes first. If you don't get a free trial lesson, stay away from that school right off the bat. See whose teaching style you like better. Remember, martial arts is very personal and it's all about who fits best with you. That's my best advice.

Trying out is great -- but, due to insurance issues, some instructors may not be able to give a free class. To meet our insurance requirements, you must pay the association membership fee; non-members aren't covered as it's been explained to us. BUT -- if you quit within a certain period of time, we'll refund that fee or a prorated portion of it. So the lack of a free trial class doesn't necessarily mean that there's a problem with the school.
 

exile

To him unconquered.
Lifetime Supporting Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
Sep 7, 2006
Messages
10,665
Reaction score
250
Location
Columbus, Ohio
Hi AMHlike Tez, I'm with DArnold completely on this. So far as age is concerned, I started TKD in my late middle 50s, am going to be 60 this March, and expect to test for dan some time in the next 18 monthsand I do a physically agressive combat-oriented style of TKD. So from a perspective of more than 20 years older, I can assure you that you're not too old!but one crucial thing: keep yourself in top shape physically. Do serious weight training and intense cardio. Work out on a heavy bag on your own a few times a week. If you desire mastery enough, you will achieve it; but motivation is key.
 
OP
A

AMH

White Belt
Joined
Dec 31, 2006
Messages
2
Reaction score
1
Thanks for all of the good advice to everyone who has responded. It is helpful.
 

AIKIKENJITSU

Green Belt
Joined
Aug 12, 2006
Messages
138
Reaction score
50
Location
Puyallup
I looked for quite a while and then I found Kenpo. The art combines straight lines and circular motion. The one's I took were American Kenpo and Tracy Kenpo karate. They fitted me perfectly for self defense and for exercise. They develop speed, balance, and they keep you limber. You can do their techniques up to a ripe old age.
Hope I helped you out.
Sifu
 

Koko

White Belt
Joined
Apr 4, 2022
Messages
7
Reaction score
20
Location
Minneapolis, MN
You are not too old! I am a 30-something stay-at-home mom that just got into martial arts in the last few years. Granted, I am a cert. personal trainer so I had a base level of fitness, but when I started I thought I would "never be good at kicks" and now I consider my kicking game to be my strongest.

As far as lineages and all that jazz, I am personally not into the MAs that put an emphasis on those, but I would recommend that you don't get bogged down in all the lineage stuff and instead go to a few different schools to watch/try, and then choose a school where you like the atmosphere, the people, the instructor, the philosophy, etc, even if they don't have their lineage on lockdown.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

MT Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 4, 2012
Messages
11,424
Reaction score
5,364
Location
New York
You are not too old! I am a 30-something stay-at-home mom that just got into martial arts in the last few years. Granted, I am a cert. personal trainer so I had a base level of fitness, but when I started I thought I would "never be good at kicks" and now I consider my kicking game to be my strongest.

As far as lineages and all that jazz, I am personally not into the MAs that put an emphasis on those, but I would recommend that you don't get bogged down in all the lineage stuff and instead go to a few different schools to watch/try, and then choose a school where you like the atmosphere, the people, the instructor, the philosophy, etc, even if they don't have their lineage on lockdown.
While all in all a good reply, just as a heads up, the person you're replying to is no longer 37..they're probably 53 now.
 

Koko

White Belt
Joined
Apr 4, 2022
Messages
7
Reaction score
20
Location
Minneapolis, MN
While all in all a good reply, just as a heads up, the person you're replying to is no longer 37..they're probably 53 now.
Oh my goodness! I didn't even notice that! It am new here and obviously need to learn to look at the dates of the OP to see if someone has resurrected something ancient! Sorry for being totally unhelpful and decades late, haha. I have learned a valuable lesson!
 
Top