Once more into the breach

GlassJaw

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Well, after a long hiatus that I wasn't sure would ever end, I returned to TKD yesterday. (Oh, and, obviously, I've returned to this TKD forum as well.)

I dabbled with martial arts for 2-3 years in college (over a quarter-century ago). Never got very far. Probably skipped as many practices as I attended. I changed styles a few times during that period. That was largely because the college-based clubs were somewhat ephemeral--instructors would graduate, and I would switch over to whatever other martial art someone else was willing to teach. Did time with a couple different TKD styles, an Okinawan style, Shotokan, American Karate (whatever that was--never did bother to find out its origin, but I stayed with that one longer than with any of the others), Arnis, and Aikido. IIRC, I never gained more than one rank in any of them.

Always wanted to go back some day, but it just never seemed practical.

Then, when I was in my late 30s, my eldest daughter decided that she would like to learn. :) So I got info from some of my friends who were in the TKD club and we joined it together.

We enjoyed it quite a bit. Went to tournaments together. Hung out with the club for extracurricular activities, etc. It was a grand time. I was quite proud of her. I regularly heard the black belts comment on being impressed by her natural ability. Within a couple years, she had made it up to, I think, 6th gup.

But when she reached her mid-teens, she suddenly lost interest and dropped out. Disappointing, but I s'pose it's pretty typical. No amount of light bribery (or even mild guilt) managed to sway her decision. Nor did reminding her that she had just a couple months earlier expressed that she really loved doing TKD. Darn. No point in pushing her on the issue once her mind was made up.

I had wanted to stay with it, but, without her being in it with me, I just couldn't rationalize the expense and time away from familial obligations. But several months later (with encouragement from my dear wife), I was able to move some things around and get back to it.

Unfortunately, it didn't last. Over the next year, the time commitment, fuel costs, gym costs (club fees were affordable, but the facilities had an entrance fee that kept going up), mounting injuries (that just never seem to heal for me), and the logistic effects of having just moved to a new house just became more than I could manage.

Well, that was nearly three years ago. Then, last week, my younger daughter (who is now 13 and had, at age 6, done TKD with us for several months, until switching to a youth karate class downtown for a couple years) asks me:
"Do you ever think about going back to Tae Kwon Do?"
I answer, "Well, not usually more than once or twice a day. Why do you ask?"
"Because I think I would really like to try it again." ( :) again!)

I talked to someone from the club at the college to find out when and where they meet these days. They're no longer in the athletics facility (because the university has become increasingly stingy about allowing student groups access to anything useful), but, instead, in a tiny community room on the other side of campus. No showers or lockers, but also no admittance fees. (And again, :) )

So, last night we attended practice. It seems that I have forgotten everything. Didn't even recall a single one of my forms all the way through. I was a 3rd gup when I left; so I should be able to recall at least the beginning stuff that I've drilled on thousands of times, right? Nope. But I'm sure that will all come back quickly.

However, I am so incredibly out of shape now. That part will be a steep climb at age 46. I know from past experience that even when I'm at the top of my game and training hard almost daily, my stamina and reflexes still can't even begin to approach what they were when I was 19. But if my knees cooperate and I can somehow manage to avoid throwing my back out again, I should eventually catch up to where I left off.

I just hope I can re-arrange my other commitments to allow us to attend regularly.

Maybe this third time will be the charm.
 

Dirty Dog

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Welcome back, both here and to TKD.
Be patient with yourself. I came back after 20+ years. I'll never be, physically, what I was at 19, but I'm much more mentally. And enjoying every minute of my training.
 

Miles

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It is great you kept your interest up during the period you couldn't train. Are you by any chance training at Mich
Tech?
 

lifespantkd

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Welcome back to Taekwondo! Sang H. Kim's "Martial Arts After 40" might be a good resource for you: http://www.amazon.com/Martial-Arts-After-Sang-Kim/dp/1880336294. Steady and wise practice that intentionally avoids injury will yield better results than overzealous practice that doesn't take into account the reality of an individual's physical context. Practicing Taekwondo at an older age and after an absence can definitely be done. My blog article, "Taekwondo for Older Practitioners," might be of interest to you (lifespantkd.blogspot.com).

Best wishes,

Cynthia
 

oftheherd1

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...

However, I am so incredibly out of shape now. That part will be a steep climb at age 46. I know from past experience that even when I'm at the top of my game and training hard almost daily, my stamina and reflexes still can't even begin to approach what they were when I was 19. But if my knees cooperate and I can somehow manage to avoid throwing my back out again, I should eventually catch up to where I left off.

I just hope I can re-arrange my other commitments to allow us to attend regularly.

Maybe this third time will be the charm.

I studied TKD briefly when I was in my early 20s. I did not return to MA until I was a year older than you, in Hapkido. Worked well for me. I wasn't Mr. Universe, but being in the military then had helped me be in somewhat better shape. I still had to get in much better shape, and did.

As to whether or not you will make room in your life, only you can say. If you want it enough, you will, by rearranging your life, or giving up something else that isn't as rewarding to you.

Good luck in your decision for you and your daughter.
 

mastercole

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At our age, think about your health first. Anything that places you at risk in the beginning of your training should be modified to benefit you, not to potentially harm you. Even later in your training you should still reserve the right to modify what you do.

Ultimately, Taekwondo should be about physical, spiritual, mental and social health.
 

puunui

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At our age, think about your health first. Anything that places you at risk in the beginning of your training should be modified to benefit you, not to potentially harm you. Even later in your training you should still reserve the right to modify what you do.

Ultimately, Taekwondo should be about physical, spiritual, mental and social health.

I agree. Martial arts training is supposed to be beneficial and enjoyable, not injurious.
 

ATC

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Welcome back. To both MT and TKD. Have fun. I know you joy and pains.
 

vikings827

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I am with you in this also. I restarted TKD after a 33 year layoff. Hamstrings, ankle, groin, knee injuries. Yes, it takes longer to heal, but it is well worth it.
I wish my daughter at that age would have had the desire. In class, I still look into the mirrors and wonder who that old geezer is.
 
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