Too old to start?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 04, 2007 9:58 PM GMT
    How old is too old to start a martial art?

    Most of them seem to be populated by (a) hormonal 25-year-old bond salesmen and (b) 55-year-old men who have been doing the discipline (and getting better at it) for at least half a century.

    Where does that leave the ordinary middle-aged guy who wants to use his body in new ways?
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    Feb 05, 2007 12:11 AM GMT
    Never too late to start. Just make sure you find a good dojo and trainer and explain to them that you are a little hesitant. A good master will help you through.

    Do something like Tae Kwon Do or Kung Fu to begin with, nothing like Capoiera or ju Jitsu which are probably more advanced than you want for beginner.
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    Mar 15, 2007 6:09 AM GMT
    You can always do Naginata! It's a weapon-based Japanese martial art. You work on "cuts" and sparring with others. Its simple stuff, but it can be a really good workout :)
    www.naginata.org
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    Apr 15, 2007 8:27 PM GMT
    I didn't even start until just after I turned 22. I'm just a college student majoring in history, and football or whatever just wasn't for me. It's been a great help with weight loss, muscle training, and health in general.
  • northernblood

    Posts: 58

    May 29, 2007 5:41 AM GMT
    Ive been in wing chun kung fu now for like 3/4 a year, VERY fun, and lots of older folk in my class, it is a little tough on the arms, but over all its a great workout, a way to defend yourself, and a blast to do!
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    Jun 28, 2007 3:53 PM GMT
    You're never to old to start. Though depending on your personal health you may want to start with something like Tai Chi, Qi Gong etc. Aikido has become my favourite for the time being.
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    Jul 02, 2007 7:01 AM GMT
    You know what guys, i really wanted to learn tai chi chuan i think it's the greatest way to shed some of my unwanted fats plus it's great and graceful!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 02, 2007 2:27 PM GMT
    Forget age...then you will learn to do everything you want to do with your body...and more than you thought.
  • MikePhilPerez

    Posts: 4357

    Jul 17, 2007 5:29 PM GMT
    Yes callpepe41, you are never too old to start. ITF Taekwon-do is great, and you meet great people that help you all the way.

    Mike
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 17, 2007 6:27 PM GMT
    Krav Maga baby.. Krav Maga!

    I've studied capoeria, arnis, ninjitsu, and tai chi... but NONE of them compare to Krav Maga (of which i am a level 3 out of 5).

    Krav Maga is not only "killer" its a killer work out. My classes were always mixed with people ranging in age from 18 to 70!

    AND it's the most effective, and currently the most combat tested, hand to hand combat and self defense technique in history. Which makes sense given that it was developed by the Israeli Defense Force.

    It's certainly not a traditional martial art, indeed there is no "art" involved, but it is by far the most effective and most applicable to the world we live in today... i dont think carrying around a bo staff or katana, or defending against an attacker with a round house kick to the head, is very reasonable...
  • MikePhilPerez

    Posts: 4357

    Jul 17, 2007 10:28 PM GMT
    Hey StripperRocco,

    Looking at that stretch you would be good at Taekwon-do
  • SkyMiles

    Posts: 963

    Jul 26, 2007 3:54 AM GMT
    There are so many different kinds of martial arts, there's bound to be one that you'll like. Some wrestle, some kick and punch, some throw, some are based on weapons...it's unreal!

    I'd say I'm one of the older students in aikido, and haven't broken anything (too badly) yet. (Mallet finger does not count!) I got to be more careful, generally speaking, and always have to warm up thoroughly.

    Go on, give it a shot!
    --Joe
  • grpvnnlsn

    Posts: 1

    Aug 18, 2007 9:00 AM GMT
    i started submission wrestling at 43 . . . was tough at first, for sure, but glad I stayed with it. 50 years old now and going as strong as ever, not thinking of stopping any time soon.

    find a school or random guys at gym with martial arts experience . . . many guys happy to show you what they know.
  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    Aug 26, 2007 3:47 AM GMT
    Never too old!! Just check with your Dr. first be smart about it. I love the sport!! Didn't start until age 26 -- 38 now!!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 30, 2007 5:14 PM GMT
    I'd say it depended on what style/art you were thinking of taking up, what your goals were and your current level of fitness. Martial arts can be started at any age. Just keep in mind what your intentions are. Fitness? Self defense? Discipline? Sports/full contact?

    Obviously, if you're out of shape then the hard styles/full contact stuff might be rough on your body at first. Even the "gentle arts" can be quite rough. Lord knows I've had my face driven into the mat and slammed on my back many times from Aikido, which is supposed to be "gentle" LOL! If you're in shape at any age, I'd say go for it!

    Just be smart, see your doctor and look around for a style or art that interests you.
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    Oct 14, 2007 11:20 PM GMT
    For me, martial arts has been more about mind than body. You can change more about yourself than you ever thought possible if you master mental discipline. It's not easy... but it's worth it. So my advice is to pick a style and a dojo with a philosophy and to focus on the mental as well as the physical. You'll be glad you did! icon_biggrin.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 20, 2007 7:13 AM GMT
    There's a guy at the gym where I do Jiu-Jitsu, who must be fifty at the youngest, and he just started the other day.

    I say: try out anything you like. Just don't get discouraged if you die halfway through the workout.
    Find a gym that'll let you do a trial lesson in what you want to take, and give it a shot. And if you're too exhausted to keep going halfway through it, so what? Keep going back, and you'll be fine eventually.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 20, 2007 9:02 AM GMT
    My grandmother used to say you're not too old until you're dead...

    I say that age is a number and an attitude. If you really want to do something and you put your mind to it, you can do it. Depending on your age and the effects your body is feeling from aging, you might have to start out easy and condition your body to move that way, but you have to start somewhere, right?

    I say go for it! You never know until you give it your best shot... icon_biggrin.gif

  • DiverScience

    Posts: 1426

    Oct 20, 2007 12:49 PM GMT
    Just take a look at where your strengths, goals, and interests lie and then look for a martial art that matches that.

    Do you want grapples? Kicks? Weapons?

    Actual self defense?

    A focus on connection with your partner?

    Something "sharp" or something "round?"

    Something that flows or something abrupt?


    Also keep in mind that many arts are not a single entity. There are different "schools" within many arts which may vary greatly. Aikido, for instance, runs from a still fairly usefully martial form to an almost solely spiritual/tia chi like form depending on which school you follow.


    Good luck!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 20, 2007 1:03 PM GMT
    I frequently see 70 and 80 year olds doing the advanced forms of Tai Chi.

    I defy the best martial artist to do that if they are not in great shape.
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    Nov 11, 2007 5:17 AM GMT
    I was 34 when I started taking Taekwondo. I love it. Along with my weight training, it has helped me get into the best shape of my life. There are several older people in my school, some with a year or less under their belts (no pun intended). Age should not matter. Most instructors will take your age and any physical limitations into consideration. My school has several classes for kids, but at 13 they get to go with the adults, and so there is a great age range of people, up to their 60s.

    I like what Schwarzanegger said in "The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding" under the heading of "Too Old to Start Weight Training". His response was "You're too old NOT TO." The discipline that martial arts brings can really help you in yur middle years, and exercise can prolong your life so start it now, before you regret not doing anything.
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    Dec 27, 2007 2:12 PM GMT
    Hey callpepe. So far most contributors have just told you their favourite discipline, without any advice specific to your situation. I started tae kwon do at 20, practised for about 3 years, and resumed again in middle age. I also did yoga then and now. In between I mainly ran and did weight training.

    First recommendation is, be nice to your body. Younger guys can punish their bodies and they get stronger, if we punish ours we get injured. Keep at home hot packs, cold packs, wrist ankle and knee supports, a heat lamp, liniment and anti inflammatories.

    Second, I really recommend you get a yoga book or dvd for beginners, and do some consistent flexibility training , for about a month, before starting any MA training. Alternatively any good book or technique of stretching for flexibility.

    Third unless you are already doing some sport I would also try to fit in some general toning up before you start, such as running. Get massages, training shoes, and start changing to a healthy diet.

    Fourth I would consider the soft style martial arts first. The names are Ba Gua, Hsin Yi and Tai Chi or Chi gong (qigong). If you can't find these near you, read the descriptions of the schools carefully and ask whether they are derived from hard or soft styles. Aikido is partly hard and partly soft style, but has as a constant concern that no one is injured, even an aggressor, so it sounds safe. One branch of aikido also focuses strongly on the cultivation of ki energy; hard styles tend to let it happen without thinking about it, whereas soft styles address it explicitly.

    Fourth, above all, talk to the instructors of the class you are considering joining. Try to talk to the head of the school. Make sure they are supportive of an older beginner. Make sure they understand your limits of flexibility and history. If possible, find a class which is specifically for adults and maturer people. Ask whether any instructors can give extra lessons. Always attend a class or two as an observer first and make sure it is what you are looking for. You have to be comfortable with the style of the training and the art. Make sure they don't behave like street thugs in the dojo, and that the instructors supervise properly. Make sure they use protective pads when needed (in free sparring), and that unsafe contact is not tolerated. There are lots of clips in Youtube which will help you sort out the differences in styles.

    Make sure they are gay friendly if you can. When I joined my last club I was amazed to find that two of the seniors were lesbians who had just had a baby, just like QAF, and the occasion was joyfully written up in the club newsletter.

    HTH
    Kit

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 27, 2007 3:03 PM GMT
    How old is too old to start a martial art?

    Most of them seem to be populated by (a) hormonal 25-year-old bond salesmen and (b) 55-year-old men who have been doing the discipline (and getting better at it) for at least half a century.

    Where does that leave the ordinary middle-aged guy who wants to use his body in new ways?

    -------- -------- --------

    I don't you're ever too old to start doing anything. As long as you can handle the physical demand of the sport or craft you should be okay. I'd imagine pushing yourself either too slowly or too hard would hamper your long term progress, so keep yourself focused.
  • lucas07094

    Posts: 6

    Oct 04, 2009 11:55 PM GMT
    I started at age 41, with very little and I mean very little physical activity before than. It is amazing what stretching can do. The forms alone can be a work out. I have been working out six days a week for the past few months getting ready for my first tournament on October 18th.
  • safety43_mma1...

    Posts: 4251

    Jun 08, 2010 2:13 AM GMT
    age is nothing but a number so u r never to old to start anything. put your heart and soul into it and then it is all good.