Returning To TKD at 52

RobBnTX

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Hi, I was in ITF Taekwon-Do about 15 years ago for a couple of years. I lived out in West TX at the time. Long story short, work schedules, projects, driving distance to class, ultimately meant I dropped out. Over the years I have worked out with a couple Taekwondo (Kukkiwon/WTF style) instructors on an informal basis, basically just sparring.

I now live in Plano in the DFW area and last year I did a little Shorin-ryu Karate but that was interrupted by having to have a hernia repair (not MA related) and when I healed from the surgery, life was busy and I just did not get back in the habit of going to class. Now however I am getting the bug to start again but in order to make it easier to stay with it, I am looking at classes that are a little closer to home than the Shorin-ryu school is.

So far I have worked out with a Tang Soo Do class at a local YMCA and a Korean Taekwondo master who has a school literally within walking distance of my house. Last week one of the Tang Soo Do instructors informed me that as part of their testing, I would be required to run a timed mile run. Ha! I do not think so, that would require me to take up running which right now I am not prepared to do and I do not think my knees would take the pounding. OTOH however the Taekwondo class is very rigorous and there is lots of bouncing, jumping, tons of kicking, etc... I am sucking wind in class like crazy but enjoying it. The good part is that the floor is covered with high quality puzzle like mats that go together. They make it easier on the joints but are still firm enough that you are not sinking into them like some I have seen.

I have been told that after the age of 40, one should not be jumping and doing spinning kicks but I seemed to be doing OK with it in the Taekwondo class but I still wonder if this is something I should be doing. I do have some minor joint pain in my hips but mostly muscular pain the next day after class but a little ibuprofen and the pain goes away. My biggest problem is just I have no wind; I need to build up my lung capacity.

I do have some inspiration though. There is a guy in the TKD class that is 67 years old and just started two years ago with no prior martial arts experience, and he seems no worse for the wear, in fact I sparred against him and he was pretty darn good!

Any thoughts?
Robert
 

terryl965

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Who are you training with in Plano? Knee's will hurt even with the puxxle matts but will get use to them in time. I say keep going and listen to your body.
 

seasoned

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Age is only a barrier in ones mind. Glad to hear you are starting up again, good luck.
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dancingalone

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I have been told that after the age of 40, one should not be jumping and doing spinning kicks but I seemed to be doing OK with it in the Taekwondo class but I still wonder if this is something I should be doing. I do have some minor joint pain in my hips but mostly muscular pain the next day after class but a little ibuprofen and the pain goes away. My biggest problem is just I have no wind; I need to build up my lung capacity.

I do have some inspiration though. There is a guy in the TKD class that is 67 years old and just started two years ago with no prior martial arts experience, and he seems no worse for the wear, in fact I sparred against him and he was pretty darn good!

Robert, you should be a bit wary if the TKD school practices kicking in the air as most schools do. This can and will be damaging to your hips and joints over time. Some longer term things to look at include your belt requirements. Will your school require you to practice jumping and flying kicks when you advance? You might run into a very real glass ceiling around blue belt if the requirements are strict and they include fare like breaking with spinning hook kicks or jump spinning back kicks.

Did you study shorin-ryu at the Okinawan Karate Club in Carrollton? They're well-regarded, and I recommended them a time or two to people in the Dallas area.
 

CDKJudoka

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Good luck and welcome back to the fold. I would definitely be mindful of what your body is telling you. Don't push too hard, or you may have a bad experience.
 

ATC

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Welcome back. Remember that whatever you decide to do that you do it to the best of YOUR abilities. Do not compare yourself to anyone else. We are all different with different abilities and you can only push to your limits, not someone elese. This is why people get hurt. They try to push past their limits.

I am 43 now and there are many techniques that I cannot do well anymore. I can do them but they are not as they were when I was in my 20's or even 30's. Just lastnight we were doing jumping kicks so I decided to instruct more than participate. But with all the kids and younger adults push me to do some with them I did do a couple. Only a couple but then stopped, any more and my knees would have revolted.

So with all that said just do what you can do. If you start to feel pain then simply stop for that technique or even the day if the pain is bad enough to warrent that.

Have fun and enjoy the class. As for the wind that just takes time. You will build that back up in no time.

TEAKWON!!!
 

DMcHenry

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Be careful, and not just on kicking. I just turned 51 and sometimes I have a pain in my hip that catches me off guard and my leg pretty much buckles, but I also seem to have torn muscles in my left elbow and shoulder just doing basic stuff. And it seems to TAKE FOREVER to heal now days....

So just be careful and don't push your body over your limit and I think you should be good for a while (I think I go over that limit sometimes). It is very hard to train if you are injured and recovery is very slow at our age.
 

Manny

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Hi, I was in ITF Taekwon-Do about 15 years ago for a couple of years. I lived out in West TX at the time. Long story short, work schedules, projects, driving distance to class, ultimately meant I dropped out. Over the years I have worked out with a couple Taekwondo (Kukkiwon/WTF style) instructors on an informal basis, basically just sparring.

I now live in Plano in the DFW area and last year I did a little Shorin-ryu Karate but that was interrupted by having to have a hernia repair (not MA related) and when I healed from the surgery, life was busy and I just did not get back in the habit of going to class. Now however I am getting the bug to start again but in order to make it easier to stay with it, I am looking at classes that are a little closer to home than the Shorin-ryu school is.

So far I have worked out with a Tang Soo Do class at a local YMCA and a Korean Taekwondo master who has a school literally within walking distance of my house. Last week one of the Tang Soo Do instructors informed me that as part of their testing, I would be required to run a timed mile run. Ha! I do not think so, that would require me to take up running which right now I am not prepared to do and I do not think my knees would take the pounding. OTOH however the Taekwondo class is very rigorous and there is lots of bouncing, jumping, tons of kicking, etc... I am sucking wind in class like crazy but enjoying it. The good part is that the floor is covered with high quality puzzle like mats that go together. They make it easier on the joints but are still firm enough that you are not sinking into them like some I have seen.

I have been told that after the age of 40, one should not be jumping and doing spinning kicks but I seemed to be doing OK with it in the Taekwondo class but I still wonder if this is something I should be doing. I do have some minor joint pain in my hips but mostly muscular pain the next day after class but a little ibuprofen and the pain goes away. My biggest problem is just I have no wind; I need to build up my lung capacity.

I do have some inspiration though. There is a guy in the TKD class that is 67 years old and just started two years ago with no prior martial arts experience, and he seems no worse for the wear, in fact I sparred against him and he was pretty darn good!

Any thoughts?
Robert


Robert wellcome back!!! I got my Black belt in 1987, I was 20 years old then I drop TKD in 1990, in may 2007 I returned TKD, that was 17 years of been out TKD.

My comback has not been easy, my stamina was poor, now it's better not super but better, I had some injures that need time to heal, yes even now afther a very extreme class the next day I'm with pain in my legs because the lactic acid, and yes my joints aches too. Even that I'm still practicing two times per week some times three times and also I'm trying another MA too.
I'm 41 and feel you pain, my advise is to take things slow my friend, I can not do spininig/jumping kicks because a injure can ocurr so I will never do tornado kicks but my basic kicks are strong and good, I'm not a child anymore but I'm improving my health every day.

Keep going pal.

Manny
 

Stac3y

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I'm 41 and just made 2nd Brown in American Karate (not TKD, but we do some of the same forms.) I've got bad knees (since adolescence), some arthritis in various places, and a bunch of other "issues." I CAN do decent jumping and spinning kicks, but I can't catch the kind of air some of the younger students can, and I have to be careful about the surface I practice those on--I tore the ligaments in my right ankle last Christmas doing a jump spinning back kick on an uneven lawn. On the other hand that XMA cr...er....stuff is just not happening over here. I don't see any flips, tornado kicks, split landings, etc. in my future. Nor am I going to do finger or knuckle pushups with my arthritic hands.

As the others have said, you just have to listen to your body and do what you can do. I try to differentiate between "pain" and "injury." At our ages, things are going to hurt sometimes (well, most of the time, but I try to be optimistic). When something hurts, I make an effort to determine whether it's just pain, or if it is a signal that I am actually injuring myself by continuing. Muscle stuff is almost always just pain. Joint pain is mostly just pain (though I get x-rays periodically to make sure I'm not causing further degeneration). If pain is very severe and persistent, or accompanied by other symptoms like swelling or discoloration, I go to the doc to see if I've damaged myself and need to take time off. Sometimes I even take the doc's advice. :wink1: I often see even teenagers who won't do things because they hurt--they can't seem to grasp that pain is not necessarily bad for you.

Good luck, and have tons of fun.
 
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RobBnTX

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Who are you training with in Plano?
terryl965,
I am training at Lee's U.S. Taekwondo in Plano, see http://www.leesustaekwondo.com/index.htm
Did you study shorin-ryu at the Okinawan Karate Club in Carrollton? They're well-regarded, and I recommended them a time or two to people in the Dallas area.
dancingalone,
I think you are thinking of the right club, only it is in Farmer's Branch, http://www.okinawankarateclub.com/. I probably should go back to them if I had any sense at all but I just wanted to try to find something closer to home due to work and time constraints.

Manny,
Thanks for the reply, did you see my post with the link to the archived Black Belt article concerning Ahn Dae-sup and one of his early visits to Mexico on last page of the "How Many Ji do Kwaners here" thread? I posted it there thinking you may be interested in seeing that.

Some longer term things to look at include your belt requirements. Will your school require you to practice jumping and flying kicks when you advance? You might run into a very real glass ceiling around blue belt if the requirements are strict and they include fare like breaking with spinning hook kicks or jump spinning back kicks.
Good idea, I will try to find out what the future test requirements will be gong forward. At least I do not think Master Lee is going to make me perform a timed mile run! I liked the Tang Soo Do class but there is no way I am training myself to do a timed mile run for a belt test. It starts out at for my age group at only a 15 minute mile for 10th and 9th gup levels but by the time you reach 2nd gup, it goes to 11 minutes and there is a big difference between an 15 minute mile and an 11 minute mile and I am just not interested in taking up running right now. BTW the Tang Soo Do club's Website is, http://www.blacktigerkarate.com/ in case anyone is interested.

To all, thanks for all the replies so far, I guess I will take it one class at a time and see how well my body adjusts to it. I think I will be OK, but if I start to get some real pain that does not go away after the next day then I will have to rethink all this. I did find an Isshinryu class here in Plano, I think that is a martial art I could grow old in but their startup cost is fairly high. Their monthly dues are really good, but it is just that you have to pay three months at a time, and with some other expenses that have hit me lately, I just cannot do that right now, maybe later on in the summer but not right now. I will see how things go with TKD for now.

Robert
 
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dancingalone

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terryl965,
I think you are thinking of the right club, only it is in Farmer's Branch, http://www.okinawankarateclub.com/. I probably should go back to them if I had any sense at all but I just wanted to try to find something closer to home due to time constraints.

Yes, that's exactly the people I meant. They have good lineage and teach traditional karate in a family environment. They teach kobudo as well which is a big plus for the Okinawan arts. Kobudo can be a rewarding practice for the older martial artist who may not be interested in sparring or working the heavy bag all the time with high kicks and combination punches.

I did find an Isshinryu class here in Plano, I think that is a martial art I could grow old in but their startup cost is fairly high. Their monthly dues are really good, but it is just that you have to pay three months at a time, and with some other cost that have hit me lately, I just cannot do that right now, maybe later on in the summer but not right now. I will see how things go with TKD for now.

If this is something you are really interested, you should just ask for them to work with you for a few initial months. It's not an unreasonable request to pay monthly for a bit to make sure you like the school and what they teach, and we're all watching our money in this economy.

Anyway aside from the system or the location, make sure you like the people you train with. It's a lot easier to stay motivated when the atmosphere is a positive one where everyone is having fun while learning.

Good luck to you!
 
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RobBnTX

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If this is something you are really interested, you should just ask for them to work with you for a few initial months.
dancingalone,
That's the problem, I have watched a couple of their classes and well, I seem to have a hard time wrapping my brain around Isshinryu, it looks too different to anything else I have ever been exposed but still, that does not mean I could not get into it if I gave it a chance. Something about "emptying your cup." The Plano class is a branch of this school, http://www.txikk.com/.

I have made up my mind that I am going to stay with TKD for now anyway. I have paid for a 6 weeks trial period (it was a summer special) and as long as I think I can keep up with it I want to at least make it through this trail period before considering the Isshinryu class.

Thanks,
Robert
 

granfire

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well, my friend started from scratch at 62. Never in her life had she done anything like that before.

No, she would have not run a mile, times or otherwise (though she had in the past participated in a local 5K run) and her jumping ability never was the same as a youngster, plus all the owies that accumulate over a life of hard work made her have a hard time with some moves.

BUT, considering the 'wrapping your brain around it' She mentioned more than one time that doing TKD helped her tremendously in that department. So by doing it gets easier.
 

dancingalone

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dancingalone,
That's the problem, I have watched a couple of their classes and well, I seem to have a hard time wrapping my brain around Isshinryu, it looks too different to anything else I have ever been exposed but still, that does not mean I could not get into it if I gave it a chance. Something about "emptying your cup." The Plano class is a branch of this school, http://www.txikk.com/.

I have made up my mind that I am going to stay with TKD for now anyway. I have paid for a 6 weeks trial period (it was a summer special) and as long as I think I can keep up with it I want to at least make it through this trail period before considering the Isshinryu class.

Thanks,
Robert


Yes, isshinryu does have that slightly awkward look to it if you're coming from a different system. Their blocks and strikes look short with that 'block with your muscles, not bone' philosophy. However, it's still an excellent style for training with longevity as most Okinawan styles are.

I'm sure you will enjoy your TKD school. They look like a nice, modern studio to train inside of.
 

d1jinx

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awesome. I wish you well. Try Glucosimine, crondroiton and msm suppliments and see if they help you with your joints. Some try it and it does and others it dont.

Only you know how you feel physically. If you cannot run, walk. run then walk, or whatever it takes as long as you know it was your best effort.

good luck.
 

Earl Weiss

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Various thoughts.

1. Try Ibuprofen 1/2 to 1 hour before workouts. MNot on an empty stomach. Many runners do this.
2. Chain Drug stores like Walgreens and CVS sell velcro wraps with pouches containing refreezeable packs. USe them ASAP after workouts if you still have discomfort. Again, you see pro Ball players do this. Good enough for millinares, should be good enough for us.
3. Take Glucosimine Chondroiton Give it at least a 30 day try. Best Prices usualy at Sam's club or Costco except when the chains have a 2 for 1 sale.
4. Unless you have a medical condition which makes running a bad idea, I would reccomend you try it anyway. Do you do any running? If not, start with .1 mile and see how you feel. If OK repeat 3 times a week. Increase distance 20% a week. In 15 weeks you will be at about a mile.
 

taekwondodo

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I used to take Glucosimine Chondroiton daily and found that it does not work as well as the mixture of Certo (Natural Fruit Pectin) and Grape juice.

I can truly testified that my ACL ache stops aching after I use this mixture. My joints do not snaps as much. Google and find out what other say about Certo.

BTW: I am 45 and training 5 days a week for National coming up. Certo & grape juice really helps.
 

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