Very, very discouraged - It seems Taekwondo is not for me

JowGaWolf

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1. You have to change your perception about physical activity.
You keep thinking that you have to be good at it. Learn how to enjoy the training. Set mini goals. Get the small wins.

2. This is what I keep seeing repeating over in over in your point. You see doom where there is none.
I foresee the gym will be a drag, close to the nightmare PE was at school. I cannot picture myself lifting weights just because; if I did it so as to improve some aspect of my performance at Taekwondo,
Lifting weights is a healthy thing. If it's something that's boring for you then play some good music while you work out. Add some enjoyment to you. Ten 3 minute songs = 30 minutes of working out. Make it to that last song that should be something you really want to hear. You have to do something to get out of that perception that you have about physical activity.

Everyone has time to do things. We just don't have time to do everything on the same day. You may have to sacrifice some things and move them to a different time slot or different day or you may have to change it completely by using an alternative..

Alternative to going to class at least 3 days week = Spend 2 days in class and 3 days training at home.
Alternative to going to the gym - Buy some resistance bands and workout at home.
Make lifting weights part of your Martial arts training warmup.

. 15 minutes with the resistance bands and 30 minutes with the Martial Arts.

if I spend one month rupturing myself with a one kilo dumbbell in each hand without being able to move on to two-kilo ones, should I assume I'll never go back to the dojo?
Buy a resistance band. I don't know how you got hurt lifting that. It makes me think you were lifting incorrectly or doing something that isn't good to do with weight. If that's not it then you may need to see a doctor to see if something physically or medically that is not allowing your body to handle such a weight.

Muscle weakness could be a sign of something else. I'm only saying this because you are having such a difficult time with such a small weight. The only time I had muscle weakness like that was due to an injury or a tendon that got wrapped around the wrong way.

And, on top of all this, the pain in the back of my leg which prompted all this is killing me. I can't even sit straight. All for nothing.
You may have a back injury. Sometimes when you injure your back it will affect your leg. Saying that you can't sit straight makes me think that you have a back injury.
 

bill miller

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There are some wonderful comments that have been post here by folks who have knowledge,as well as experience, so I would like to offer my humble suggestion. If you can find a class, try Tai Chi. This will help with your balance, focus, and endurance, as well as getting you more flexible. This art can be an excellent compliment to your TKD training, should you choose to go back and try again.
 

caped crusader

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Lifting weights is a healthy thing.
being honest when i read the OP織s post i thought what the hell does he like? It織s just like he has been wrapped in cotton wool all his life. needs to man up ! Probably get comments now saying but don織t be so hard...blah..blah... outside the world is not so caring.
just my take on it
 

JowGaWolf

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being honest when i read the OP織s post i thought what the hell does he like? It織s just like he has been wrapped in cotton wool all his life. needs to man up ! Probably get comments now saying but don織t be so hard...blah..blah... outside the world is not so caring.
just my take on it
Well hopefully this video will be of use for that 1 press up.
 

caped crusader

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Well hopefully this video will be of use for that 1 press up.
I actually had more time for overweight people in the gym who were motivated than people forced by their health insurance to do it. I remember a woman who in our talk before training said the health insurance are paying for my membership as she was very overweight, high blood pressure. Her face on the running machine (she was walking at a slight incline). She showed her disgust at having to do it. She never came back. However when I had people like a 40 year old guy, who at 39 had a heart attack and was sent to us. I felt really bad for him. He was slim and looked fit on the outside. Was really depressed, was on medication for his heart and depression. He was happy to be helped and made great improvements. Different people, Different mentalities. Taking my own advice myself upping my cardio. Come summer I want to be running in the woods again. Cycling is going well and my Quads are firming up. Tight Buns on the squats...like a sex machine baby ...haha
 

caped crusader

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Here is another point for the OP...maybe he needs a training partner to encourage him. I used to run with people who were better runners than me to kick my ***. A good friend sadly move to Denmark..Well was good for him as he met a woman. He did Marathons, iron man and believe me it was hard for me training with him as I've never been a top runner..maybe above average but not in his League. However because he was Ultra keen he would turn up at my home..regardless of the weather. Running gear on let's do it !
I miss the runs, cycling together and the comradship it gives you. So maybe after all this rambling the OP needs a Partner.
 
OP
P

PeterMichaelF

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being honest when i read the OP織s post i thought what the hell does he like? It織s just like he has been wrapped in cotton wool all his life. needs to man up ! Probably get comments now saying but don織t be so hard...blah..blah... outside the world is not so caring.
just my take on it

The short answer is: almost anything but physical activity. You know, some people don't like maths, or chemistry, or history, and it's very easy for them not to have any contact with any of those things after they are 16. Or if you don't like ironing your clothes, you can pay someone else to do it for you. But when the only subject you don't like, or rather, you hate, is PE, you can either choose to forget completely about it, which most people in that situation would do, or at least try and have a go at doing something because even if it's the last thing on earth that you'd do, short of having a tooth pulled out, you know it's good for you. Which is what I was trying to do.

For the last fifteen years of my life I've had a job that takes up most of my time, and I when I started -at an age when just having the possibility to find a job is so important that it being awful doesn't matter at all- I was forced to quit all the activities I was doing back then (which included playing electric bass in a band, cross-stitching, attending chess lessons, being in a photography club, and studying for my third university degree in art history after having finished others in electrical engineering and English literature). So, well, what the hell do I like? As I said, almost anything but physical activity.

I've never thought you must be good at something to enjoy it. I wasn't especially good at chess, and my photographs suck, but I never missed one of the monthly evenings out the club used to organise to take photos. I wasn't good at those things, but I enjoyed them. And, what's more, there are things I am good at which I don't like too much. I'm a very good cook, though I cannot say I like it. But it's one of those things you have to do unless you want to end up eating precooked unhealthy food. So, not even in my apparently negative outlook on life does being good at something have to do with liking or disliking it.

I carry on thinking I haven't got a negative view of myself. I'm very bad, extremely bad, at physical activity. I'm bad, average, good or very good at other things. And that's all there is to it. What's the problem with being aware of it? Do we all have strong and weak points? Yes. Is there room for improvement in both cases? Yes. Are we ALL more willing to put effort into things we like than into things we don't like? Yes. Is everybody willing to put some effort into the things he doesn't like at all? No. Am I? Yes, that's what I was doing.

And the effort was huge, believe me. I get up every morning at 4.45am, leave home at 5.30am to arrive to my workplace at 7.00 am (yes, I'm adult enough to realise that's insane, but I cannot choose where to work, and I won't live far from the specialised elderly home where my elderly mother lives -her condition does not allow her to be anywhere else- because I absolutely refuse to leave her alone when all she has left in the world is me, and see her only at the weekend). My working hours are supposed to end at 4.00pm (with fifteen minutes for breakfast and forty-five minutes for lunch), but that's never true, and I'm happy if I can leave before 5.00pm or 5.30 pm. So I arrive home at 7.30pm or 8.00 pm. I should go to bed at around 9.00 pm, but I never can, since I must do all the housework, have dinner, have a shower... What normal people do in a normal evening. Plus visiting my mother for half an hour every day. What's more, there's a small part of my work I can do at home, and I do it at the weeked, so as not to spend more time there on weekdays. When my TV set broke down some years ago, I didn't even bother to replace it. What for? When would I watch it? There's absolutely nothing I can sacrifice in my life at present, except sleeping time.

So finding a one-hour gap twice a week to do some physical activity wouldn't have been easy in any case, with this crappy sort of life. Put on top of that that I don't like it. But I did it. And I did after reading on many websites that Taekwondo, even though it's a demanding sport, can be taken up and enjoyed at any age and in any physical condition, as long as you don't overexert yourself or are in too much of a hurry. And I wasn't aware I was doing any of those things. I was happy aiming my kicks at groin level when others were doing so at chest level, and when I hurt my leg it wasn't because I was trying to hit higher up than usual, but because I couldn't control well where I was kicking, and I suppose that just one inch higher may have done it.

I must have explained myself badly, because I've never had any sort of pains or aches anywhere that need to be relieved by physical exercise. I know I should do it because anyone with an IQ over 20 can understand how physical exercise is good, not because something in my body has hinted that way (of course, I know there may be some hidden issues, like for anyone else, but I'm just mentioning this in reference to someone who understood I was trying to fix some evident physical problems when I enrolled in the TKD lessons). And I haven't ruptured myself with 1-kg dumbbells yet because I've never been in a gym before. I only mentioned that as an (hyperbolic, I hope) example of what I would expect when trying it. I was feeling very disappointed because after having found a sport I liked, I was told to quit and start doing some other thing I dislike. As I said, I'd never tried it, but it sounded so similar to what we did in the school gym that it's very likely I won't like it, both because of that and because the disappointment I feel hasn't left me in the best frame of mind to approach it.

I went to the first gym session on Wednesday and, as I expected, I hated it with a passion. They gave me a list of exercises I was supposed to do in one hour, and it took two hours to do them (next week, when I don't need to be explained the machines any more, I hope it'll go down to one hour and a half). I wasn't worse at it than I was at Taekwondo, but I didn't enjoy it at all. Boring to death, and with many Herculean guys looking down on me with a sneer, though I pretended I didn't see them and did my own thing. I have one more session paid this month before I decide whether to book the month of December or not. I probably will, but unless things improve a lot, I cannot see myself doing it after Christmas.

I never came here with the intention to tell you all about my private life, as far as it wasn't directly related to the original topic of having been asked to leave the Taekwondo classes (that is, I just wanted to know whether you can't get in good shape by doing TKD little by little, as I had come to expect, or if it's really necessary to get in good shape before doing TKD, which would actually get rid of the reason to take up TWD in the first place). But I won't have anyone saying I've lived wrapped in cotton all my life and all I wanted was having my ego caressed. If not liking physical activity and being bad at it means not being macho enough, well, that's it. I couldn't care less if some people believe so. It's almost a compliment.
 

JowGaWolf

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Here is another point for the OP...maybe he needs a training partner to encourage him. I used to run with people who were better runners than me to kick my ***. A good friend sadly move to Denmark..Well was good for him as he met a woman. He did Marathons, iron man and believe me it was hard for me training with him as I've never been a top runner..maybe above average but not in his League. However because he was Ultra keen he would turn up at my home..regardless of the weather. Running gear on let's do it !
I miss the runs, cycling together and the comradship it gives you. So maybe after all this rambling the OP needs a Partner.
Good points about having a partner to workout with.
 

MadMartigan

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I just wanted to know whether you can't get in good shape by doing TKD little by little, as I had come to expect, or if it's really necessary to get in good shape before doing TKD, which would actually get rid of the reason to take up TWD in the first place). But I won't have anyone saying I've lived wrapped in cotton all my life and all I wanted was having my ego caressed. If not liking physical activity and being bad at it means not being macho enough, well, that's it. I couldn't care less if some people believe so. It's almost a compliment.
And right here in this thread we have demonstrated the point of finding the right school for the right person. The whole thing falls apart without the right match of student to teacher.

There is room in the world for all kinds of workout and teaching mentalities. Some people need the 'suck it up' method of motivation. They won't do stuff without it... while that method has the complete opposite effect on others. I don't think it's a stretch to assume that you (and most people I know... myself included) do not respond well to the drill sergeant way. We can know that about ourselves while acknowledging that it does work for some other people.

Just as there are different students, there are different teaching styles. A student looking for the hard push will hate a school that works at a slower pace and vice versa.

Being in a small market myself, I've noticed that most small town martial arts schools have Zero online presence. You said there was only a couple in your area. In case you tried google, but haven't looked at facebook, I've run searches in my area and found several on Facebook that did not have websites at all. Something to try.

Most injuries in newer students over 40 (or returning ones after years away) happen in sparring. It just takes the body longer to adapt to the new movements. Sparring invariably pushes everyone to move faster than they're comfortable. When the body isn't ready to handle that new strain, we pull stuff.
You should have learned enough in those first couple months to be able to self practice your pattern(s). I recommend starting with the ones you know and practicing them on your own. Even 10-15 min a day will be helpful with improving your balance, body awareness, and muscle control. It's not to difficult to then add a slightly more complex pattern that works more muscle areas. You can safely learn most basic parterns from youtube or books and still receive the gross motor benefits. You can PM me if you'd like some suggestions to try.

Ps. I really hate the gym too. I've learned I'll never stick with a gym membership because its just so boring (and everything is really heavy in there;). Without martial arts, I'd be a giant potato growing from my couch.
 

dvcochran

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Firstly, Id like to commend you for the physical and mental effort it takes to go in and push your way through class despite not having the conditioning or coordination that your fellow students have. Its not easy to make yourself show up and do the work when you dont have the habit of working out and arent getting the immediate positive feedback of seeing rapid progress.

Secondly, Id like to say that by asking you to quit, your TKD instructor was just showing his limitations as a teacher. Your original goal of getting in shape gradually by doing an enjoyable activity such as martial arts is completely reasonable and realistic.

Im 57 years old, the same as you, and like you I am on the bottom of the bell curve distribution in terms of natural coordination and athleticism. The only difference is that I was lucky enough to start training and fall in love with martial arts 40 years ago, when my body could recover from workouts and injuries a bit quicker. These days I think I can realistically evaluate myself as an above average martial artist, just by virtue of having kept at it despite the lack of natural ability.

I do think that unless you live in a very small town with limited options in terms of schools, you should be able to find a martial arts instructor who has the right attitude and experience to help an out of shape late starter like yourself get into shape and develop skills you can be proud of. There have been plenty of people older and more out of shape than you who have made that journey. Speaking as a martial arts instructor, I would be happy to help you along that path if you were in my gym, and there are plenty of other instructors out there who can do the same.

If you do decide to spend some time in the gym as a supplement to martial arts training, I would suggest that it might be worth paying for some sessions with a personal trainer who can teach you good form and help you set realistic progression goals. There is absolutely no reason for you to spend one month rupturing myself with a one kilo dumbbell in each hand without being able to move on to two-kilo ones. You shouldnt be rupturing yourself with weights and you absolutely be able to see progress in your first month of weight lifting. But sometimes you need some expert guidance to set you on the right track.

Hello everyone,

It's not a happy day for me, but I've decided to join the forum and ask for your opinions before labelling it a disastrous one. I'm very sorry to be writing so much in my first post here, but I'm really upset, and maybe I need letting off steam as much as I need advice.

I had my first Taekwondo lesson in September, when I was 56. I'm 57 now. All my life, I've been s*** when it comes to physical activity. I know having negative thoughts about oneself is not good, but I've found that being realistic as far as one's limitations are concerned saves lots of frustration. At school, I was the worst in PE class. I had little strength, endurance, speed, flexibility, stamina, and close to no coordination. I've never been able to do a single press-up in all my life. I dreaded running towards the vaulting horse, knowing I'd never be able to jump it. I was so scared of dangling from the wall bars that I would end up dropping to the ground when my weak sweaty hands would no longer hold me.

Saying that I didn't like physical exercise would be putting it mildly. However, my parents put me down for the school's basketball team and, clumsy as I was, I enjoyed the training sessions twice a week. But I was so bad at it that when we went to play against other schools on Saturdays, the manager wouldn't let me play, not even when only five of us showed up for the game. A team of four was better than a team of five including me (the manager's professional ethics might be the subject of another discussion, but it's not something that bothers me, and even then I saw it as normal). I blundered my way through ir for four years, and then I didn't do any sport at all until I went to university. There, I joined the rugby team for three years. I knew I wasn't going anywhere, but I saw them during training sessions, and they seemed to have fun... So I joined, and I had fun, too. This is when I realised how badly the basketball manager had behaved. In the rugby team, those who trained harder and showed more interest would play all the games, even if they weren't good. What I usually did is claim I was very tired (and I wasn't lying) and ask for a change during the intermission, knowing it would be good for the team, and also good for me (I can't deny that, much as I enjoyed training, I was terrified during the games, whenever I saw one of these giants running towards me).

I was 21 when I quit, and then I didn't do any type of sport until I was 45 or 46. At that point, I realised that my perpetual "off-formness" was getting even more serious when I saw I wasn't able to cut my toenails any longer (I'm 5'7" and weigh 183 pounds, with rolls of fat, though I like loose clothes and people seem to think I'm in good shape when they see me - I've always been sort of "high-density", even when I was slim as a teenager, but I'm clearly overweight now, though I wouldn't say I'm obese). Someone suggested that I did some Pilates. I hated every minute of it. I felt as if in the school gym again. But I knew I needed to do something, and I know things don't come easy, least of all for me, so I endured that absolute torture for one year and five months, but gave up when I saw it was taking its toll on my morale. I work long hours, so finding the time to go to the gym on weekdays was really a feat for me, and some days I came out of there almost with tears in my eyes, on wasting my time on something I loathed.

Funnily for someone so little sport-oriented as me, the idea of Taekwondo started going around my head about six years ago, when I met a young boy who competed at a national level; we were workmates for some time, and I got to hear a lot about what he did. Somehow I thought I might like it. But I quickly discarded it, because I saw it more or less as feasible as becoming an astronaut. However, last year was an extremely demanding one at work. It left me close to a nervous breakdown, and I decided I had to do something with my life instead of just working all day. I don't like doing sport, but I thought that it would be good for my health, and it would allow me doing something different, even if it meant taking those hours from my sleep (with my job and my housework, which I must do myself, I have absolutely no free time except on Saturday evenings and Sundays). Then I remembered Taekwondo.

I read lots of things on the internet. Everybody says one can start martial arts at any age, as long as you go at your own pace and don't try to do things as quickly as others. This sounded great: with my background, I'm very conscious that I'll need five years to achieve what others do in one. But I didn't (don't) mind. So I enrolled in classes last September.

I've been doing two sessions a week since then (I cannot afford to spend more time doing it). And I thought it was fun from the very beginning. It's true that after the five-to-ten-minute warm-up I'm already in a terrible condition, ready to go and have a shower, but I bravely go on, trying to do things as well as I can (which is not very well, of course). While other people who started at the same time as me (a couple of them in their forties) are able to kick at chest level, I still seem to be intent on proving that a kick in the crotch is the best method of self-defence. But I didn't mind. And neither did I mind being the only one who wouldn't be doing the test for yellow belt in December. Well, I don't even have a white belt, actually, since the instructor said we the "elderly" shouldn't buy a dobok until we knew we were going to carry on doing Taekwondo; little by little, he told other students to buy theirs, but after almost three months I'm the only one wearing a T-shirt and tracksuit trousers (this was the only thing I wasn't completely happy about, as I thought I would be less noticeable if I dressed like the rest). Anyway, as I said, I was having a very good time, even having already tasted that life is not a bowl of cherries when I was kicked on the face when failing to dodge someone's foot quickly enough (no tooth was broken, I was able to swallow all the blood, and my swollen lip wasn't seen because of the mask, so not even the instructor noticed anything and I didn't kick up a fuss).

Everything was going well until today. I don't have any technique to speak of, but I've done one of my pseudo-kicks today worse than usual, and I've felt a pain in the back of my leg. I finished the session, had a shower, and when I was limping my way out of the gym, the instructor called me and told me I should stop doing Taekwondo and start doing workouts in the gym instead. I asked whether that meant improving my shape before returning to the dojo, and he said "More or less". Then I asked him how much he'd think it might take, and he answered "These things last a lifetime". I would have thought that after seeing me struggling for almost three months he had realised that I'm in no hurry, but I've found his answer very discouraging.

I'm aware that I cannot do any sport unless I'm more or less fit. But I had hoped I'd get fit by learning Taekwondo, little by little. I can understand how once you reach a certain level, working out at the gym will help you increase your strength, or agility, or whatever. But I cannot help having the impression that I've been dumped. I foresee the gym will be a drag, close to the nightmare PE was at school. I cannot picture myself lifting weights just because; if I did it so as to improve some aspect of my performance at Taekwondo, I think I'd do it gladly. Maybe knowing that at some point I'll be allowed to return to the Taekwondo lessons might be enough, I don't know. But I suspect that's not going to be the case. I believe I'll end up not reaching the level required to take up Taekwondo again, and while I would enjoy the process of struggling with my mock-Taekwondo with the idea of getting a yellow belt some day, I don't think I'll enjoy the process of sweating at the gym doing things I don't like with little prospect of doing Taekwondo afterwards.

I'm feeling very depressed now. I've never liked sports like running, swimming or doing gymnastics in general. Other sports are more appealing to me, though not all, but I know I'm very bad at them. And, anyway, where I live there's not much to choose from. I've never minded being reminded of how bad I am, because I knew it was true. And when just for once I find the courage to decide I'm going to devote the free time I don't really have to trying to get a bit fitter while having fun, even knowing I will never really succeed, and I find that I actually have fun doing it, I'm told to quit. In normal conditions I can only sleep six hours a day. On the two days I went to Taekwondo, I went to bed almost one hour later than usual. I've been doing it gladly, but I don't think I can do the same to go to the gym. All I wanted was to do something I like in the middle of a life I don't like at all, and now I'll be adding two hours a week of something I dislike. And thinking of getting healthier doesn't make it worth it, I'm sad to say. When I was young, I never noticed any improvement in speed, endurance, strength and all the rest, so I'm afraid I won't notice it now, in the same way I didn't notice it in the almost one year and a half I attended Pilates classes. And what I was looking for when I enrolled in the Taekwondo lessons wasn't getting fitter (though, of course, that was a bonus), but being happier.

Of course, I know you cannot tell me much without knowing or seeing me but, from what you've seen around you, what would you recommend? Should I quit the gym and devote those two hours a week to sleeping, as I did before, or to painting lessons, which I'd also like trying? Is there any way I can measure my (supposed) progress in the gym? I mean, if I spend one month rupturing myself with a one kilo dumbbell in each hand without being able to move on to two-kilo ones, should I assume I'll never go back to the dojo? Are all those blogs and website lying when they say anyone can try Taekwondo at any age? I know all of you would recommend doing exercise in any case, because of good health and all that, but I don't want to go back to the depressive mood I had after Pilates. With this lack of motivation, I know I'll never return after Christmas.

And, on top of all this, the pain in the back of my leg which prompted all this is killing me. I can't even sit straight. All for nothing.

Thanks for reading this far, if you did.
You have given us a lot to unpack here.
Mr. Tony Dismuke's post is very spot on. I would like to add a few different ideas to mull over.

First and foremost, taking it as it was stated, it is frustrating and sad to hear someone say their MA instructor said they should quit training. I say this cautionary since I am only hearing one side of the conversation, and from someone who is convinced they are a physical failure and who is sounding very down on themselves. That sets a pretty loud precedence. I will do my best to navigate your writing as fair and unbiased as I can.
I am a year older than you and have my share of limitations now as well. I have been training 37 years and have seen a lot.
It would seem you wrote your post during an emotional low. This makes it difficult to tell if the essence of your post is your normal presence or if you were just expressing your current emotions. The latter speculation, which I would say is normal for most people, would lead me to the same conclusion at Tony's. The former leads me to different conclusions.
Based on your writing, you have already decided you were going to fail before you ever started training TKD. Even within the things you liked doing (Rugby)in your past you established yourself as an outsider. This makes it hard to weigh where you really are based on a writing. Negativity is contagious and one of the worst things that can happen to a class, team, organization, or person. I have no way of knowing how much or how little counsel the instructor had already given you about this. Many martial artist's are convinced this is not a requisite for an instructor in the first place. That certain things left up to the student to figure out on their own, in their own time. I will tell you I do not subscribe to this line of thinking and leave it at that. While Much of how traditional martial arts work requires time and considerable effort on the student, it is the instructor's job to lead and guide. This is different for almost every person. However, one of the most difficult things instructor's have to deal with is not unbalancing this equation for the whole class. What I am saying is too much or too little time spent with one person or one subject will unbalance the ideal class environment.
I say this a lot but the coolest thing about the martial arts is that is it an individual activity a person does with a group. That is rather unique. Take this unique opportunity and craft it into your own thing.
Based on the limited information we have, my advice to you is to reset. Stop the self- incrimination and see the beginning of training at just that and nothing else. Don't worry about a pre-conceived baseline; about feeling like you are starting out in a hole. By in large, those precepts have long since passed. For anyone our age (no exceptions) just showing up for class is a victory. This is where you start in the physical.
Before you set foot in a gym or school you have to start with self-acceptance. I have no idea what has driven you to the pre-conceived ideas is seems you have, nor whether they are accurate or not. I just know they do not matter and have no relevance in training a martial art. Take each class as a gift and an opportunity. A chance to have some fun and explore yourself in new ways each time. This is a gift that is truly priceless.
Here is the catch. This has nothing to do with comparison or measurement. Nothing to do with how high you can kick or how much weight you can pick up. Nothing to do with what the person next to you is doing. Time is an ally and a luxury. Use it as such.
Starting at the bottom, make a plan. If will not be perfect and it will change but have a plan.
I suggest surveying your area and making a list of the available schools. Considering dependencies like friends who work out there. ***Weigh the positive OR negative of this.
Anyone who has worked out for some time or at several locations have seen or had grift with an instructor. It happens. Sometimes it is for the better no matter how hard it is to see in the moment, so assess this carefully. That said, since you are in the infancy of your training audit multiple schools. See which one(s) resonates with you. ***You will have to factor out your negative preconceptions. A great saying from the Lion King movie is "put your behind in the past". Truer words cannot be said. You need a new beginning. Whether it is with the same instructor or not. At this point I would not count that out.
I look forward to hearing how your path forward plays out. Hope to hear from you soon.
 

Frank Castle

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Look man, I'm not a touchy feely guy so this may sting a little. You've got to do a better job at doing your homework before you join a certain style. If you're 57 and in that poor a shape, you need to work on your conditioning and stretching before you get into a style like teakwondo. That's reality. That instructor was doing you a favor and not wasting anymore of your time or money. Go get a personal trainer, and DO YOUR HOMEWORK on them, certain trainers work towards certain results. Once you hit a realistic goal you've set for yourself, then start looking at a less dynamic martial art. At 57, you don't need high flashy kicks. a solid front or side kick will do just fine. Okinawan styles are great but I'll admit I'm biased there. Certain Kung Fu styles will work for you as well. Boxing is an AMAZING work out and really develops hand/eye coordination. Yes, anyone of any age can do martial arts, but you gotta be smart about it. Otherwise you're going to hurt yourself, waste your money, and turn away from any activity that means more than getting off the couch. Best of luck to you dude, you have the motivation, you just need to work on your confidence and tune your physical abilities.
 

Phoenix44

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I agree with the others. I think the instructor has the problem, not you.

Im 66, female, and I didnt start martial arts until my 40s. I ran into more than one instructor who said, Women cant learn to punch. My attitude was, and is, if YOU cant teach a woman to punch, Ill find an instructor who can. If your teacher cant teach someone like you, thats HIS failure.

Ive trained in karate, choy lay fut kung fu, capoeira, and tai chi. Ive NEVER encountered an instructor who made a student *prove himself* before even *letting him* buy a uniform. How ludicrous. How alienating. Many dojos *give* you the uniform as part of the introductory tuition. I mean, if nothing else, its part of the culture of the dojo.

Secondly, there are other options besides TKD or the gym. If martial arts speaks to you, look around. Firstly TKD is a *sport*, and there is usually emphasis on competition, lots of trophies in the window. A lot of martial *arts* dont emphasize competition. Many dont emphasize high kicks or overextension. Others concentrate on locks and holds, or floor work, not striking. In others, youd never find yourself on the ground.

See if you can find a school that teaches tai chi *as a martial art* (not just tai chi for exercise.) You never over-extend your body in tai chi, and theres an emphasis in the internal as well as the external. And dont think tai chi isnt physically and mentally challengingit most certainly is. Ive been doing it for more than a decade.

And heres something you probably know, but you may not want to hear. If youre looking to improve your fitness, you need to address more than exercise. You need to take a hard look at your nutrition, your mental/emotional, and social health.

I really hope you dont quit. I hope you explore your options. Good luck.
 

JowGaWolf

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I say this a lot but the coolest thing about the martial arts is that is it an individual activity a person does with a group.
I often tell people that martial arts is one of the most selfish things one can do. I don't mean it in a bad way. But it's the only activity that I know where it's fun to be in a group, but the goal is to focus entirely on yourself. Nothing else matters, no one else matters. The world just melts away.

For me it's the only time I can actually drop all of my worries and just be self absorbed. Success and failure doesn't exist. There is only the effort and I guess the peace of simplicity.
 

Dirty Dog

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Look man, I'm not a touchy feely guy so this may sting a little. You've got to do a better job at doing your homework before you join a certain style. If you're 57 and in that poor a shape, you need to work on your conditioning and stretching before you get into a style like teakwondo. That's reality.
No, that's silly. You don't get in shape so you can start to train. You get in shape BECAUSE you started training.
Secondly, there are other options besides TKD or the gym. If martial arts speaks to you, look around.
So true. There are lots of options.
Firstly TKD is a *sport*,
Spoken like one who knows nothing about TKD. TKD is a martial art.
 
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