The Older Martial Artist

ks - learning to fly

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At 41, I just take it easy and enjoy myself. Nothing to prove. I like to say that my goal isn't to be better than you. It's to be better then I was yesterday.

AGREED! My primary goal is just to be 1% better at each day of training than I was the time before and at the age of 42, I'll keep pushing...:)

***bows*** Kris
 

Balrog

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Well, let's see.

I'm 63. My major problem is that my eternally young brain will sometimes write a check that my older body can't cash. :uhyeah:

I'm a physical wreck. I have arthritis, I'm taking meds for blood pressure, the war with the scale never seems to reach a cease-fire, and yet I'm on the floor five days a week. The day I stop training in Taekwondo is the day I start to die. Yeah, I hurt like a sumbitch after some of my workouts, but like John Cougar said, it hurts so good.

Let me rephrase what I said earlier: The day I stop training in martial arts is the day I start to die. When I can't do TKD any more, I'll switch to Tai Chi or something. I'll never stop training.
 

Tony Dismukes

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I'll be turning 48 next month and I've been training martial arts on and off for about 28 years. My observations ...

From here on out I'm sticking to "on" for my training. Starting up each time after a layoff gets harder and harder as I get older.

Rolling with the young studs half my age in the gym is a win-win scenario. If I tap them out I get to chalk one up on the scoreboard for old age and treachery. If they tap me out I get to threaten to report them to social services for abuse of a senior citizen. :)

I've got more patience and long-term perspective than I did when I was younger. It takes a long time to master this stuff and that's just fine by me.

A few years back I attended a seminar taught by the Japan Judo Masters team - a group of high-ranking judoka ranging from 65 to 80 years old. They demonstrated and taught a number of the classic judo kata and at the end of the seminar they did randori with the seminar participants. I got my butt kicked by a 70-year old who effortlessly shut down every throw I tried and then casually footswept me. I've decided that's what I want to be doing when I turn 70.
 

Ceicei

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I'm 45 and will be 46 in a couple of months. I've been in Kenpo on and off since 1985 and still a brown belt. I've recently had surgery last month to fix a rotator cuff injury and currently rehabbing with physical therapy.

It is tough watching my body age through the years. The hardest part now is that many people are pressuring me to retire from Kenpo now--especially since I've had a serious injury. I really don't want to, not when I'm this close to being a black belt and that there is more after becoming a black belt. I think I'm a better martial artist now than I was before--it is much more than just the color of a belt.

Ceicei
 

Dirty Dog

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Who would pressure you to stop? I'm betting they're not a martial artist themselves....
 

rickster

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It is sometimes said, "age is in the mentality". But the body cannot keep up with the mentality. As we get older, the body is slowing. Old injuries surface and healing takes longer. As martial artists, we are not unfamiliar with anxieties of the body, which can stress the mind. We are not unfamiliar that we have to maintain the discipline and utilize past knowledge to keep ourselves aware of both, mind and body. We, as martial artists, should have the understanding of how not to train as age moves on.
 

Ceicei

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Who would pressure you to stop? I'm betting they're not a martial artist themselves....

Yeah, non-martial artists (shrug). I wouldn't suggest them to give up gardening, walking the dog, or fighting with crowds on Black Friday. Kenpo is "my thing"...

Ceicei
 

Buka

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What we all teach, and what we all learn, is - "do your best." The physical qualities of your "best" changes as the body ages. You still play the cards you have the best that you possibly can. You just don't have aces anymore.
 

rickster

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What we all teach, and what we all learn, is - "do your best." The physical qualities of your "best" changes as the body ages. You still play the cards you have the best that you possibly can. You just don't have aces anymore.

I have my aces, because old age and treachery can overcome youth.

In other words, I cheat with my aces hidden until use
 

rickster

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I was looking for him to retire 10 years ago.

If not, at least slow down his action stunts
 

WC_lun

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I think I hurt from old injuries some days. I can only imagine how much pain Mr Chan experiences. I can't blame the man for giving up the action stuff, but I have to wonder if the world is really going to be very accepting of a Jackie that just wants to act.
 

rickster

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At 41, I just take it easy and enjoy myself. Nothing to prove. I like to say that my goal isn't to be better than you. It's to be better then I was yesterday.

Its better to be a alive like yesterday
 

Cougar

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Just to throw another two cents into the pot, I am currently 61 and continue to roll every week. The Type II Diabetes, Arthritis, Degenerative Disc Disease, Hypertension and getting a little thicker in the middle due to meds and age has altered the way I do some techniques, but has not stopped me from continuing to practice and share the arts that I love. Yes, as we age we should use caution on various techniques and maybe alter them to accomodate certain physical changes. While I may not be able to do everything I did when I was an 18 year old martial artist, I can accomplish things now I had no idea how to perform at that age. One of the side effects of this change is that I find I am more able to assist people that come to me for help and training that have physical disabilities or some sort of difficulty with range of motion or concentration. As I have adjusted to my own issues, I am aware of theirs and it is to their benefit. Of course, I still get a kick out of being able to lead a class of much younger students and have them dragging and huffing before we finish. :)
 

James Kovacich

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I'm 45 and will be 46 in a couple of months. I've been in Kenpo on and off since 1985 and still a brown belt. I've recently had surgery last month to fix a rotator cuff injury and currently rehabbing with physical therapy.

It is tough watching my body age through the years. The hardest part now is that many people are pressuring me to retire from Kenpo now--especially since I've had a serious injury. I really don't want to, not when I'm this close to being a black belt and that there is more after becoming a black belt. I think I'm a better martial artist now than I was before--it is much more than just the color of a belt.

Ceicei

Hang in there CC! I've had 5 surgeries (3 on my arms and both rotators). It comes back but you have to work for it and listen to your body and work smarter. Let yourself fully heal! :)

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