Starting Martial Arts After 50

dvcochran

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There is a difference, indeed. Sometimes teaching is more fun, but it can get tiring when you don't have anyone anywhere near your own level to play with.
Agree. The end game mentality has to kick in; hoping we are training up more people to our level. Hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel as teachers just like it is for students sometimes.
 

yak sao

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Agree. The end game mentality has to kick in; hoping we are training up more people to our level. Hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel as teachers just like it is for students sometimes.

Yep, I'm just teaching future training partners.
 

Orion Nebula

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Update. Still here, still training, 3 to 4 days a week. I am fitter, my technique is better, and I am working my way through the curriculum. Because of that, I am actually on the floor training now for most of the class, except for when the black belts do their forms. I even helped out teaching a kids class last week. In that time, I have seen enough people who were super into it drop off or drop out over the last 4 to 6 months, which drives home the point of the expression, "a black belt is a white belt who refuses to give up."

That said, it isn't perfect. I am still overweight. No question. (will have to do something about that by the time I go for 1st Dan sometime next year.) Flexibility is coming back more slowly than I would like. Head high kicks still elude me, but sometimes I can kick chest high. And, we don't do enough free sparring IMO. Heck, I would even settle for a few minutes of some old school no pads sparring at the end of class just to save time putting on all the gear. But, that should get better fairly soon as I will soon be able to attend advanced classes so I will have to elevate my sparring game once I make brown belt. That said, I think I have built up enough credibility to bring up the issue of sparring in general classes at the smaller school.

Which brings me to my next point. I will be testing for brown belt the end of this week.

I just read through this thread - congrats on your return to the martial arts and making great progress! I enjoyed reading about your improvements and triumphs along your journey. Enjoy your exam and I look forward to seeing more updates from you!
 

AngryHobbit

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Update. Still here, still training, 3 to 4 days a week. I am fitter, my technique is better, and I am working my way through the curriculum. Because of that, I am actually on the floor training now for most of the class, except for when the black belts do their forms. I even helped out teaching a kids class last week. In that time, I have seen enough people who were super into it drop off or drop out over the last 4 to 6 months, which drives home the point of the expression, "a black belt is a white belt who refuses to give up."

That said, it isn't perfect. I am still overweight. No question. (will have to do something about that by the time I go for 1st Dan sometime next year.) Flexibility is coming back more slowly than I would like. Head high kicks still elude me, but sometimes I can kick chest high. And, we don't do enough free sparring IMO. Heck, I would even settle for a few minutes of some old school no pads sparring at the end of class just to save time putting on all the gear. But, that should get better fairly soon as I will soon be able to attend advanced classes so I will have to elevate my sparring game once I make brown belt. That said, I think I have built up enough credibility to bring up the issue of sparring in general classes at the smaller school.

Which brings me to my next point. I will be testing for brown belt the end of this week.
That is fantastic! And of course things are going to be a little... well... everything: slower, more awkward, requiring more consideration, etc. But still - that is awesome.

I am 44 - and I can't kick chest high. :)
 

WEMA#36

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Well, it is a tough slog and unless you really like it, I can see how things can fizzle, as you put it. There was another guy, again, an adult but probably 10 years younger than me who seemed to be moving up quickly last summer and fall, then all of a sudden, he stopped showing up. then around January he started showing up again. I think he is a green belt, but had he been showing up, he would probably be a purple belt by now. Again as you said, everyone's life takes them in different places. When my son was younger, I could not have done TKD 3 or 4 times a week. My son was just a toddler and I was pursuing a law degree, so between hitting the books and helping my wife with taking care of my son, I likely didn't have the time or energy to do what I am doing now.

Congrats on your achievement and continuing advancement.

I've just turned 56 and am scheduled for 2nd Dan test this weekend (30 Mar). I keep being reminded to play to my strengths. While the hips and knees don't play nice, meaning I'm not kicking you in the head standing, my hands are fast. My hardest lesson, what I could do at 45, I may not be able to at 56. However I keep training and passing on what I know.

Looking forward to reading about your next steps in the journey.
 

Bruce7

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If you can break the board by hitting it off center, you're not using enough boards. Further, if you're hitting off center, you're not using good technique. Because accuracy and precision are part of the technique.
There are loads of rebreakable boards. Some are utter crap, and some are quite good. I like THESE because they do, in fact, break very much like wood. And at the same power level. And they're durable. I've got one of their green boards (which is the same as a standard 1" pine board) at the dojang that has been broken hundreds of times and is still perfect.

These UMAB boards are more expensive than other boards,
Are they that much better?

On a different note. I have wanted to ask you about breaking boards and injure.
I don't worry about breaking with my feet , because my feet are short, wide and heavy boned
and I have never hurt my foot.
My hands are lighter boned and when I was younger I hurt them trying to break more than I should have.
Since I am in my 60's I worry about injuring hands as I don't heal as fast as I use to.

In class back in Jan., I used all my hand techniques on black boards, it was a month before my hand was back to normal.
I was afraid my hand was never going to be normal again.
 

Dirty Dog

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These UMAB boards are more expensive than other boards,
Are they that much better?

I think they are. For one thing, we've broken ours literally hundreds of times without any detectable degradation of force requirement.

On a different note. I have wanted to ask you about breaking boards and injure.
I don't worry about breaking with my feet , because my feet are short, wide and heavy boned
and I have never hurt my foot.
My hands are lighter boned and when I was younger I hurt them trying to break more than I should have.
Since I am in my 60's I worry about injuring hands as I don't heal as fast as I use to.


I was 56 or 57 when that was shot. I've broken my left hand once, but not doing breaks.
It basically boils down to conditioning and technique. If you have good technique and you've conditioned your hands, you should be fine. If you have good technique but have not conditioned yourself, it can be painful.
We did a demo at a local school recently. I did power breaks all day. a series of 8 breaks, all with 8 pavers. My hand didn't hurt at all.

In class back in Jan., I used all my hand techniques on black boards, it was a month before my hand was back to normal.
I was afraid my hand was never going to be normal again.

Better technique, more conditioning. :)[/QUOTE]
 
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dvcochran

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I think they are. For one thing, we've broken ours literally hundreds of times without any detectable degradation of force requirement.
@Dirty Dog , great stack break. I haven't done it in a while but plan to break two stacks of 5 at testing next month. I could do two stacks of 10 in my prime but that ship sailed.
 

Dirty Dog

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@Dirty Dog , great stack break. I haven't done it in a while but plan to break two stacks of 5 at testing next month. I could do two stacks of 10 in my prime but that ship sailed.

I do a lot of speed breaks too. And I make it a point to avoid the whole silly bit about standing at the target for 20 minutes waving my arms dramatically and making noises like a constipated baboon. Just do the break. I only delayed in that video because my Master prefers. At demos, I walk up, explain how breaking works, take a quick "hands up" survey of how many people think I'm going to break my hand instead of the bricks, and break.
I think breaking is just like anything else; you have to train it. If I haven't broken for a while, I'll start with small breaks and work my way back up.
Next time we're doing power breaking, I think I'm going to try 12. My record is 10, so we will see how it goes...
 

dvcochran

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I do a lot of speed breaks too. And I make it a point to avoid the whole silly bit about standing at the target for 20 minutes waving my arms dramatically and making noises like a constipated baboon. Just do the break. I only delayed in that video because my Master prefers. At demos, I walk up, explain how breaking works, take a quick "hands up" survey of how many people think I'm going to break my hand instead of the bricks, and break.
I think breaking is just like anything else; you have to train it. If I haven't broken for a while, I'll start with small breaks and work my way back up.
Next time we're doing power breaking, I think I'm going to try 12. My record is 10, so we will see how it goes...
Best of luck.
 

Tony Dismukes

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I think they are. For one thing, we've broken ours literally hundreds of times without any detectable degradation of force requirement.




I was 56 or 57 when that was shot. I've broken my left hand once, but not doing breaks.
It basically boils down to conditioning and technique. If you have good technique and you've conditioned your hands, you should be fine. If you have good technique but have not conditioned yourself, it can be painful.
We did a demo at a local school recently. I did power breaks all day. a series of 8 breaks, all with 8 pavers. My hand didn't hurt at all.



Better technique, more conditioning. :)
[/QUOTE]

What does your hand conditioning regimen consist of?
 

Dirty Dog

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When you have a tall stack like that, what do you use for supports?

Cinder blocks, either flat or turned on end, whichever gives me the best height. I've had one occasion when I broke the stack AND one of the supporting blocks, but only once out of all the breaks I've done.

What does your hand conditioning regimen consist of?

Pounding on stuff all the time. :)
I started with bag work, with wraps and gloves. Worked down to bare knuckles. Then I added a makiwara. And started breaking stuff regularly. Start with easy stuff (like 1" pine, or the green UAMB board) and work up gradually. Like most other forms of conditioning, it's easier to maintain than to attain. I still do bag work, but rarely use the makiwara. I do break regularly, though. That's one of the advantages of things like the UAMB boards. I can break as much as I want whenever I want.
 

gpseymour

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Cinder blocks, either flat or turned on end, whichever gives me the best height. I've had one occasion when I broke the stack AND one of the supporting blocks, but only once out of all the breaks I've done.



Pounding on stuff all the time. :)
I started with bag work, with wraps and gloves. Worked down to bare knuckles. Then I added a makiwara. And started breaking stuff regularly. Start with easy stuff (like 1" pine, or the green UAMB board) and work up gradually. Like most other forms of conditioning, it's easier to maintain than to attain. I still do bag work, but rarely use the makiwara. I do break regularly, though. That's one of the advantages of things like the UAMB boards. I can break as much as I want whenever I want.
I never got into breaking, but it seems like it'd be fun to work on. Unfortunately, the Karate folks at the dojo I'm at now don't do breaking, either.
 

Dirty Dog

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I never got into breaking, but it seems like it'd be fun to work on. Unfortunately, the Karate folks at the dojo I'm at now don't do breaking, either.

I bet you can learn it from a YouTube video...

Kidding.

But seriously, this isn't rocket science. Do the conditioning. If you can punch a bag full force bare handed (without it hurting...), you should be able to break a 1" pine board. Break a few. Then try two. Build up slowly.
Breaking requires good technique. And it's fun.
 

gpseymour

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I bet you can learn it from a YouTube video...

Kidding.

But seriously, this isn't rocket science. Do the conditioning. If you can punch a bag full force bare handed (without it hurting...), you should be able to break a 1" pine board. Break a few. Then try two. Build up slowly.
Breaking requires good technique. And it's fun.
I might just give that a shot. Maybe I'll wait until after my foot surgery. I'd hate to get even a minor, nagging hand injury right before I need crutches.
 

DocWard

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Update. Still here, still training, 3 to 4 days a week. I am fitter, my technique is better, and I am working my way through the curriculum. Because of that, I am actually on the floor training now for most of the class, except for when the black belts do their forms. I even helped out teaching a kids class last week. In that time, I have seen enough people who were super into it drop off or drop out over the last 4 to 6 months, which drives home the point of the expression, "a black belt is a white belt who refuses to give up."

That said, it isn't perfect. I am still overweight. No question. (will have to do something about that by the time I go for 1st Dan sometime next year.) Flexibility is coming back more slowly than I would like. Head high kicks still elude me, but sometimes I can kick chest high. And, we don't do enough free sparring IMO. Heck, I would even settle for a few minutes of some old school no pads sparring at the end of class just to save time putting on all the gear. But, that should get better fairly soon as I will soon be able to attend advanced classes so I will have to elevate my sparring game once I make brown belt. That said, I think I have built up enough credibility to bring up the issue of sparring in general classes at the smaller school.

Which brings me to my next point. I will be testing for brown belt the end of this week.

I wish you luck on your brown belt test! I'm in a similar position, having resumed training recently. I try not to be presumptuous, and I know there are as many opinions on dieting as there are people with opinions. Perhaps more, because of people changing their minds. But I do believe two things hold true, calories in need to be less than calories out to lose weight, and the best diet is the one you can maintain over time.
 

_Simon_

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Now.... breeeeeaking.... heard it..... originated...... from.. soooomewhere..................
 

dvcochran

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I wish you luck on your brown belt test! I'm in a similar position, having resumed training recently. I try not to be presumptuous, and I know there are as many opinions on dieting as there are people with opinions. Perhaps more, because of people changing their minds. But I do believe two things hold true, calories in need to be less than calories out to lose weight, and the best diet is the one you can maintain over time.
Agree. That is simple math that all the weight loss programs out their try to persuade you otherwise. I do believe some people burn calories easier/quicker than others for reasons I wish I knew the answer to. I would be a zillionaire.
 

DocWard

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Agree. That is simple math that all the weight loss programs out their try to persuade you otherwise. I do believe some people burn calories easier/quicker than others for reasons I wish I knew the answer to. I would be a zillionaire.

I agree, and I remain firmly convinced that there is no one-size-fits-all diet that works for everyone. We all have different metabolic rates, different activity levels, different amounts of muscle mass, our pancreas, kidneys and liver all function at differing levels, and on and on. I dropped 30 pounds, at a rate of between 1-2lbs a week, just by watching my portions, paying more attention to calorie intake, and cutting out processed foods (think out of a can, white sugar and white bread). I relaxed my diet a little after that, but have kept it off for over a year now. My wife dropped a similar percentage doing a keto diet. Time will tell whether she keeps it off. Now that I am back into Kenpo, I need to get back on the horse and drop the extra bit I am still carrying around.
 

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