Older Martial Artist

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Hi Folks,

what about older Martial Artist in your country ?

I mean, one can do a Martial Art until old age if you do it right. Even my primary styles (Kick-Boxing, Muay Thai) I can do if I don織t train for tournaments.

I Germany the oldest Martial Artist in a gym are in their mid thirties, then they stop or change for example to running or biking. Only in styles like Aikido, Tai Chi, Chi Gong and perhaps Jiu Jitsu or very traditional Shotokan Karate you have some older students. Even the teachers / masters are at most in their early fourties like me.

I think that practising the Martial Arts at a higher age is considered infantile in Germany.

GC
 

terryl965

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Well here in the states we have alot of people well past there fifties practicing there Art and alot of people that give up when the knee's goes out so It would really depend on the individual and not the age in my opinion
 

MA-Caver

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Hi Folks,

what about older Martial Artist in your country ?

I mean, one can do a Martial Art until old age if you do it right. Even my primary styles (Kick-Boxing, Muay Thai) I can do if I don織t train for tournaments.

I Germany the oldest Martial Artist in a gym are in their mid thirties, then they stop or change for example to running or biking. Only in styles like Aikido, Tai Chi, Chi Gong and perhaps Jiu Jitsu or very traditional Shotokan Karate you have some older students. Even the teachers / masters are at most in their early fourties like me.

I think that practising the Martial Arts at a higher age is considered infantile in Germany.

GC

Gee doesn't that make me feel better... at 45 yrs of age and now I'm considered one of the "older" MA-ists. :rolleyes: (said with a grin here)

Martial arts has never-ever been about the age of the student. If anyone thinks that it's silly for an older person to be practising MA after a certian age... well they're the ones being infantile IMO not the practicioner. How could a younger student learn more advanced techniques if not from an older master/teacher?

MA, whatever art it is (even bjj-- look at Gracie Sr. ) is very good excercise for the whole body, mind and soul ... no matter how old they are.
 
OP
German Coach

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Gee doesn't that make me feel better... at 45 yrs of age and now I'm considered one of the "older" MA-ists. :rolleyes: (said with a grin here)

Martial arts has never-ever been about the age of the student. If anyone thinks that it's silly for an older person to be practising MA after a certian age... well they're the ones being infantile IMO not the practicioner. How could a younger student learn more advanced techniques if not from an older master/teacher?

MA, whatever art it is (even bjj-- look at Gracie Sr. ) is very good excercise for the whole body, mind and soul ... no matter how old they are.

I agree entirely !!! (I should move to another country........:(
 

Kacey

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I know several martial artists in their 60's and older - I had the priveledge of being the testing instructor for one gentleman who tested for his I Dan at 58... observed, among others, by one of his classmates who tested for and received her I Dan at 67. No, they can't jump like their classmates, and their kicks aren't as high - but their indomitable spirit and the wisdom of their lives makes up for their physical difficulties.... and certainly takes away all of my excuses!
 
OP
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I know several martial artists in their 60's and older - I had the priveledge of being the testing instructor for one gentleman who tested for his I Dan at 58... observed, among others, by one of his classmates who tested for and received her I Dan at 67. No, they can't jump like their classmates, and their kicks aren't as high - but their indomitable spirit and the wisdom of their lives makes up for their physical difficulties.... and certainly takes away all of my excuses!

Really ?? A Dan examiniation in TKD at this age ? I did my 2nd Dan in Taekwon-Do (WTF) in my mid twenties and it was an artistic examination. Now with 20 kilo more weight and 20 years older I could not do this examination again.
 
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Here are 2 pics from the TKD examination.

hanssandsackkd9.jpg


sandsack2zs6.png
 

Kacey

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Really ?? A Dan examiniation in TKD at this age ? I did my 2nd Dan in Taekwon-Do (WTF) in my mid twenties and it was an artistic examination. Now with 20 kilo more weight and 20 years older I could not do this examination again.

It was a full examination (ITF, not WTF); however, yes, some modifications were made for the gentleman's age and physical condition (bad knees, bad shoulder) - however, it was not (even for the younger students) a fitness test of the kind I've heard about in other arts - no running, calisthenics, etc. Within the bounds of his physical condition, he was able to perform at the level expected for I Dan. To do otherwise would be to say that only young people could ever reach the level of I Dan - and that is not our philosophy. It is not also to say that anyone can reach I Dan - to do so takes a demonstrated high level of commitment, a clear and demonstrable ability to perform the required techniques (kicks, patterns, hand techniques, step and free sparring, breaking, self-defence, etc.) - but neither is such rank limited only to those who are young and supremely fit. Otherwise, you are also saying that only those who are young and supremely fit can defend themselves, or teach others to do so - and I just don't agree with that.
 
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It was a full examination (ITF, not WTF); however, yes, some modifications were made for the gentleman's age and physical condition (bad knees, bad shoulder) - however, it was not (even for the younger students) a fitness test of the kind I've heard about in other arts - no running, calisthenics, etc. Within the bounds of his physical condition, he was able to perform at the level expected for I Dan. To do otherwise would be to say that only young people could ever reach the level of I Dan - and that is not our philosophy. It is not also to say that anyone can reach I Dan - to do so takes a demonstrated high level of commitment, a clear and demonstrable ability to perform the required techniques (kicks, patterns, hand techniques, step and free sparring, breaking, self-defence, etc.) - but neither is such rank limited only to those who are young and supremely fit. Otherwise, you are also saying that only those who are young and supremely fit can defend themselves, or teach others to do so - and I just don't agree with that.

OK, with some modification it is possible.

Self defence is something totally different. I agree that even grand pas and grandmas can do that. Look what happend in Germany some month ago::D

70-year-old ex-SAS soldier dares to tackle four muggers and wins

Last updated at 22:00pm on 24th October 2006

Former British soldier Douglas O'Dell proudly shows off his medals.

A 70-year-old former British soldier who fought guerillas in Aden and Triad gangs in Hong Kong showed four muggers how it doesn't pay to mess with the SAS.

Douglas O'Dell is past retirement age but the moves he learned as a volunteer in Britain's toughest regiment half-a-century ago stood him in good stead when he was ambushed near his home in Bielefeld, Germany, by four local toughs.

The former Provost Sergeant put paid to the danger on the street like he once took out bandits in hotspots across the globe.

THWACK! The first mistake came when one of the teenagers grabbed him around the throat and said in German: "Give my your money, grandad, if you don't want to get hurt."

"Bad move," said Douglas. "The only part he got right was grandad. If you're gonna grab someone from behind take their arms and pin them to their waist."
 

Haze

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I'm the oldest BB in my dojo at 55yrs old (not graded the highest though). We have a man that just started training at 41yrs. We also had a 64 yr old train with us some years ago.

As for myself, at 55, I'm not doing what I use to do. I'm in good shape but I teach/show more than do.

My instructor wants me to test for nidan (graded shodan in 1991 and was out for about 12yrs) and I tell him my motto is "Shodan for Life"

"Show you a jump spinning what? Not today kids."
 
OP
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I'm the oldest BB in my dojo at 55yrs old (not graded the highest though). We have a man that just started training at 41yrs. We also had a 64 yr old train with us some years ago.

As for myself, at 55, I'm not doing what I use to do. I'm in good shape but I teach/show more than do.

My instructor wants me to test for nidan (graded shodan in 1991 and was out for about 12yrs) and I tell him my motto is "Shodan for Life"

"Show you a jump spinning what? Not today kids."

My respect ! You are a good role model.
 

exile

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I'll be testing for my red belt this month and will hit my sixtieth birthday (hard and accurately enough to break it, I hope :D) in March. As Kacey says, age should be no barrier, especially if you work hard to keep yourself strong and fit. I've done extensive weight training and interval-based cardio workouts since I was in my late forties, which helps a lot in both the endurance and the strength aspects of my TKD training.

Flexibility is something elsethere are definitely limits, because of the tightening of joints as you get older due to changes in connective tissue; you reach a point where there's really not much you can do to reverse those changes, but you can hold them at bay quite a bit, I think, by well-thought-out stretching routines that include dynamic stretches a la Thomas Kurz.

I think starting a martial art in your mid fifties, as I did, is a lot more taxing than continuing a MA program that you began much younger, but as long as you're in good physical shape generally, it's probably less of a stretch to reach dan rank, even with a late start, than people think, as long as you have the desire and motivation to train as hard as you can to master all the techniques your instructor offers you, and the patience to see it through (and if you haven't learned patience by that point, there's something seriously wrong!) People who in their youth make negative assumptions about what age can do are setting themselves up for either (i) a diminished lifestyle as they themselves age, or (ii) a fine opportunity to eat their youthful words, as they find their 20s leading them into their 30sand their 30s dropping them off in their late 40swith no desire at all to give up their MA skills. The truth is, a lot of us at this age don't feel old! So we're not gonna act old... :wink1:
 

Xue Sheng

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I am 40 < XS < 50 I train Tai Chi, Xingyi and Sanda and plan on continuing for quite sometime

My Tai Chi Sifu is in his late 60s my Xingyi Sifu is in his 50s and my Sanda Sifu, is my age. My Tai Chi and Sanda Sifus are both from China my Xingyi Sifu is from America. My past Wing Chun Sifu, American, is a couple years older than me, his teacher (Chinese) is in his 60s I believe. My first CMA Sifu (Chinese) is about 65 and he is talking about retiring but the rest are still going strong.

EDIT: By the way WHO you callin' old!! :)
 

jdinca

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Age isn't a barrier. I didn't start my martial arts career until I was 37. I have students who started in their late 50s. I think it all depends on what your goals are and what your personal ability is. I don't expect someone in their 50's to kick to the head but I sure do expect a kick to the knee of groin be technically just as good. We have a BB who finally earned it when he was 60. It took him a lot longer than it did some of the younger BB's but he is every bit as good as they are, it's just that his areas of strength are different (he hits really hard). In addition, a BB in our system, and many others, is only partially based on physical movement. The mental and spiritual aspects can be even more important.

I think one of the great things about martial arts is how it can be adapted to the student, without compromising the integrity of the system. Granted, only a fraction of those who take it up will receive their BB, but everyone can derive something positive from it.
 

FearlessFreep

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Funny part is that Taekwondo, Karate, etc.. are usually seen as kids activities. Something you have the kids into instead of lttle league or soccer.

The irony in that is that because of what martial arts actually are, when you get good at it, it's a pretty dangerous hobby and to get good at it...really good..requires an adulty body size, strength, and coordination...and knowledge and maturity.
 
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I started at the age of 5 with Judo. After watching Bruce Lee and David Carradine in the Cinema and TV I changed to Shaolin Kung-Fu, later Taekwon-Do, Kick-Boxing, Boxing, Sanda, Muay Thai and now I am learning Krav Maga and still there is no other sport in world which I enjoy more then the Martial Arts. :)
 

Cirdan

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Altough they are not a large group, I know several people in their 50s, 60s and even 70s that train regularly. One of then is a BB in his early 70s that started doing MA at 60. One thing that I`ve learned is to never underestimate these guys. They are fiendishly sneaky and pack a mean punch indeed.
 
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Altough they are not a large group, I know several people in their 50s, 60s and even 70s that train regularly. One of then is a BB in his early 70s that started doing MA at 60. One thing that I`ve learned is to never underestimate these guys. They are fiendishly sneaky and pack a mean punch indeed.

Hi Cirdan,

is that common in Norway ? I know that in France a lot of people in their 50s and older doing Savate織 but I have no idea about other European States.
 

shotokan-kez

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I don't think it's the age that matters at all, like someone mentioned earlier it's mainly the individual. I think if the person is in good health it doesnt matter how old they are.
My sensei has just turned 60! He is still as fantastic and brilliant as he always was. There are also other members that are over 50.
 

Cirdan

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Hi Cirdan,

is that common in Norway ? I know that in France a lot of people in their 50s and older doing Savate織 but I have no idea about other European States.

Generally there have been a few 50+ persons in evry dojo I have trained at. Many of the head instructors are also in this group. However there are of course a lot more older people doing cross country skiing here in Norway :viking1:
 
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