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CarlRylander
08-13-2007, 06:53 AM
Dear Aikidoists,

I am forty and still thinking of taking up Aikido. Thing is, some of those throws look a bit difficult. Has there ever been on record anyone who has rolled and broken their neck on a first uke?

I don't want to be the first!

I think I can do it, if I take it gently at first. You can only know when you try, I suppose. I don't want to leave it any longer. Aikido may be regarded as 'soft', but some of those throws are fantastic! I don't definitely don't want to leave it until i'm fifty, or even forty five. It's now or never.

I'm not planning on using Ki to make me fly through the air and land on my feet, so no sarcasm, please!

Amir Krause
08-13-2007, 07:15 AM
Do not worry, copmared to some of the beginners in our dojo, you are young :)

You should find the right teacher for you, who would not push you beyond your abilities.

Amir

Nafis Zahir
08-13-2007, 07:24 AM
Dear Aikidoists,

I am forty and still thinking of taking up Aikido. Thing is, some of those throws look a bit difficult. Has there ever been on record anyone who has rolled and broken their neck on a first uke?

I don't want to be the first!

I think I can do it, if I take it gently at first. You can only know when you try, I suppose. I don't want to leave it any longer. Aikido may be regarded as 'soft', but some of those throws are fantastic! I don't definitely don't want to leave it until i'm fifty, or even forty five. It's now or never.

I'm not planning on using Ki to make me fly through the air and land on my feet, so no sarcasm, please!

Being someone over 40, I advise you to do 2 things: Keep your weight down and stretch everyday. This will keep you light and help you to relax. Take it easy and just enjoy yourself!

Kevin Wilbanks
08-13-2007, 07:24 AM
Actually, I think your concern for your own safety is wise. It is highly unlikely that anyone is going to severely injure you in your first class or two, but, with some of the practice I've seen in my travels, it has probably happened. I suggest you scout all the dojos that are within a reasonable distance and watch a class or two to start. Ask questions and observe the attitudes and behavior of the people there. If it seems like people are getting yanked and slammed around and most people have unpleasant expressions on their faces, cross that one off your list. I have seen many people "trapped" at such dojos because they never shopped around and didn't know any better.

Also, once you are training, do not hesitate to assert yourself for your own safety. No matter how rude or unheard of it may seem, you are always free not to train with someone whom you think is endangering you, or even bow out, get dressed, and walk right out the door. It's your neck.

Dewey
08-13-2007, 08:50 AM
Dear Aikidoists,

I am forty and still thinking of taking up Aikido. Thing is, some of those throws look a bit difficult. Has there ever been on record anyone who has rolled and broken their neck on a first uke?

I don't want to be the first!

I think I can do it, if I take it gently at first. You can only know when you try, I suppose. I don't want to leave it any longer. Aikido may be regarded as 'soft', but some of those throws are fantastic! I don't definitely don't want to leave it until i'm fifty, or even forty five. It's now or never.

I'm not planning on using Ki to make me fly through the air and land on my feet, so no sarcasm, please!

In response:

Being someone over 40, I advise you to do 2 things: Keep your weight down and stretch everyday. This will keep you light and help you to relax. Take it easy and just enjoy yourself!

I second this. I began Aikido training when I was 34 going on 35. Granted, it's not the same as 40...but I most certainly can tell that I'm not a kid anymore! For me, stretching is most important.

Actually, I think your concern for your own safety is wise. It is highly unlikely that anyone is going to severely injure you in your first class or two, but, with some of the practice I've seen in my travels, it has probably happened. I suggest you scout all the dojos that are within a reasonable distance and watch a class or two to start. Ask questions and observe the attitudes and behavior of the people there. If it seems like people are getting yanked and slammed around and most people have unpleasant expressions on their faces, cross that one off your list. I have seen many people "trapped" at such dojos because they never shopped around and didn't know any better.

Also, once you are training, do not hesitate to assert yourself for your own safety. No matter how rude or unheard of it may seem, you are always free not to train with someone whom you think is endangering you, or even bow out, get dressed, and walk right out the door. It's your neck.

I agree with this also. Contrary to what a lot of nay-sayers and critics claim, Aikido can be very dangerous. If you do not learn how to properly fall, you could seriously injure yourself...so your concerns are well-warranted. The litmus test for me: is safety constantly emphasized at the dojo? This in the form of both proper execution of the technique, but also taking considerable time to instruct newcomers on proper ukemi. As Kevin said, if you don't feel comfortable and/or safe taking a fall...then don't do it! Any instructor or classmate that demands you take a fall that you're not comfortable with, provided adaquate ukemi training was not provided, is no place for you to be. Challenging you to grow is one thing, endangering you is another. Be smart & be safe.

SeiserL
08-13-2007, 09:29 AM
Welcome youngster,
I started at 44. Almost 13 years ago.
Go slow, learn good form, and you probably won't break anything.
Okay, maybe a good sweat.
Relax, breath, and enjoy yourself.
Again, welcome youngster.
May I show you how to bow in?

Larry Cuvin
08-13-2007, 09:39 AM
Carl,
Without any background in any martial arts, I started when I was 44( I'm 47 now) and I had to get permission from my doctor to train due to my lower back problem. Just relax, take it easy, and know your limitations. I you decide to take the plunge and try it out, voice your concerns to the sensei. As you probably know, there are a few aikido styles. Sample as much as you can then decide which teaching or dojo you want to join.

Oh, in Ki Society style aikido, we have to extend ki all the time so ki training is part of the curriculum.

Larry Feldman
08-13-2007, 10:11 AM
I have several students in their 50's practicing, just tested one for his black belt.

Kevin's advice is good - shop around. See how beginners are treated.

Qatana
08-13-2007, 11:58 AM
I strted at 46, injured myself (as opposed to being injured by a partner) in my second class, and made 2nd kyu in four years.
One of my teachers is 77 and is taking the same ukemi as the rest of us.

You're just a kid.

Michael Hackett
08-13-2007, 02:26 PM
Wish that I had started as early as forty! I started at fiftysix and have been training for four years now. I've had my share of bumps and bruises and dislocated a toe (by kicking my training partner accidently as he threw me). I don't delude myself into thinking I'm only 19 again, or as indestructible as I was at 19, but we play hard and have fun with the training. Kevin gave you some very sage advice and I strongly suggest that you follow it. If you find the right dojo for you, you should have nothing to worry about. Generally you won't be asked or expected to do anything beyond your capacity and your training partners will take good care of you in a quality dojo. Taking ukemi is, for me at least, a great part of the joy I experience. It will come to you - just trust yourself and find a good school for you. Have fun and let us know how your training goes. Good luck.

crbateman
08-13-2007, 03:44 PM
Carl, I got stuff in my closet older than you. Just look around with an open mind, and find a school and a teacher that feel right. Don't sell yourself short, as you are there to enhance your capabilities and overcome your weaknesses. It takes work, and you can't just mail it in. And most importantly, don't compare or compete with others. Just try to get a little better every day.

Ron Tisdale
08-13-2007, 03:50 PM
I trained in a dojo on wednesday (one of the hottest and most humid days of the year here) who must have been over 60. This guy really had some guts as an older beginner training in that weather. I really admired him. When we did oto geiko after class, he took a couple of soft falls, but his butt hurt. So I just had him walk away from the throws, or we turned the waza into connection and stretching exercises.

He did really well.

Best,
Ron

SteveTrinkle
08-13-2007, 09:07 PM
Hey Ron,

The guy you're talking about would probably be flattered to hear you think he in his 60's. He says he's in his early 70's and he does train hard and with an outstanding attitude.

It was a bit warm that evening though...

Thanks, as always, for training with us.

Steve

Don
08-13-2007, 11:00 PM
I was 39 when I started. I'm 52 now. Good advice given by all. I would add one thing. When you visit a dojo ask them to demonstrate and explain how they teach beginners to fall. It has been my experience that for anyone overcoming the fear of forward rolls is one of the major hurdles a beginner must make. Its not the back falls or back rolls. Its almost always the front rolls. Pay attention to how they would teach you to roll and how much time they will devote to it. As we age our fear of falling naturally increases, and your instructor should recognize that. However, given the right instructor and dojo you (and virtually anyone else) CAN master ukemi...If you can, it would also be useful for you to do some weight training exercises that strengthen your lower back. Between that and ukemi, you should never have to visit the chiropractor! Good training!

tarik
08-13-2007, 11:19 PM
Personally, I plan on quitting when I hit 40.

I mean, how can I guy over 40 continue to perform?

Oh... wait.... what? Bonds just hit 756 a few days ago?

Damn...

Well.. I guess I'll be getting some vitamin shots in my ass :uch:, but at least I ain't quitting!

Damn...

Just found out that my teacher ain't no spring chicken either!

(more shots)

CarlRylander
08-14-2007, 04:41 AM
Thanks for all the encouragement, guys!

I suppose I passed my athletic peak at twenty three, like most people. I can still do one hundred pressups. My back's a little weak, but it could be brought up to strength.

If I don't do it soon, I never will.

justin
08-14-2007, 06:59 AM
Thanks for all the encouragement, guys!

I suppose I passed my athletic peak at twenty three, like most people. I can still do one hundred pressups. My back's a little weak, but it could be brought up to strength.

If I don't do it soon, I never will.

100 press ups :eek: i would say your to fit, just passed 35 myself and i dont find the fitness side of things hard at all, stopping my brain going to mush when i am trying to do various techniques now thats a different matter.

wish you all the best

Ron Tisdale
08-14-2007, 08:20 AM
Hey Steve,

That was one of your best classes ever, I really enjoyed it. Your group has always welcomed the Yoshinkan Nut, and I really appreciate it. Some of my best training has been with you, Lia Sensei, and especially Kirisawa Sensei. You guys will hold a special place for me.

Best,
Ron

lbb
08-14-2007, 10:04 AM
To OP, I would say look at the school very carefully. If it's full of oblivious young guys who don't understand that they (and other people) can get injured, you might want to look elsewhere.

tarik
08-14-2007, 11:04 AM
Thanks for all the encouragement, guys!

I suppose I passed my athletic peak at twenty three, like most people. I can still do one hundred pressups. My back's a little weak, but it could be brought up to strength.

If I don't do it soon, I never will.

I'm not sure that I've ever been able to 100 press ups. Strengthen that back and your core, but you sound like you'll do just fine. I know people who started in their 50's and 60's and are still training.

Regards,

Jonathan Punt
08-15-2007, 06:50 AM
We had a member who started Aikido at 68.

He trained for about 10 years until health issues forced his retirement.

He was a great chracter, deaf as a post, practically blind but enjoyed every minute he was on the mat.

We used to call him 'old Phil'

Sadly he passed on a few years ago but he will always be remembered by those who trained with him.

jennyvanwest
08-15-2007, 09:42 PM
I'm 39, have been training about a year. I will admit that I broke my collar bone in the spring, not from any spectactular breakfall which generally don't hurt, but from a bad roll when i was much too tired to be doing what I was (stretching my limits on the mat late in the day after a poor night's sleep). Now I'm back at it. I absolutely love it and am going to really study those rolls and respect my own limits, whatever they happen to be on a given day / time, and hope to train into my oldies.

I hope you have a great time! I'll be joining the 40+ club next spring.

Lan Powers
08-16-2007, 03:40 PM
quote..< I hope you have a great time! I'll be joining the 40+ club next spring. >

As the unofficial treasurer, you may send your dues directly to me.
;)
Lan

Ron Tisdale
08-16-2007, 03:45 PM
I'm not sure that I've ever been able to 100 press ups.

I used to be able to do about 300 in 15 minutes.

That was a VERY LONG TIME AGO.

Best,
Ron :D

PS Lan, I know I'm late on my dues...the check is in the mail...

Mark Uttech
08-16-2007, 04:28 PM
Once you turn forty, the watchword seems to be: "it's now or never."

In gassho,

Mark

driri
08-17-2007, 04:28 AM
Hi Carl,

I started at 40, two years ago together with my son of 18. I take it a little slower than my son, but I am sure glad I did start!
Sure, it is really exhausting sometimes but always very rewarding.
Finding the right dojo is very important, but when you do I am sure that you will enjou every minute and will continue to do so for many years to come.

Have fun!

David Warden
08-17-2007, 04:16 PM
Hi Carl,
I know many people, me included, who started in their 40's. It is not a problem. I have had back problems for years and have found that all the rolling and moving has improved my back flexibility, it is just the rest of the body that is falling apart.
There are dojos from several organisations/styles near Thornaby, check out the dojo search on British Aikido Board website for details.
The group I train with,UKAU, has three dojos within 20 minutes of Thornaby, training Mon,Wed and Fri so you are more than welcome to pop in for a chat to see what we do and I am sure the other groups would be happy to discuss it with you as well.
Aside from all the aches and pains, it is the best thing I have taken up and have just returned from a excellent week long course in Strasbourg.
Good hunting

arderljohn
08-17-2007, 11:00 PM
Dear Aikidoists,

I am forty and still thinking of taking up Aikido. Thing is, some of those throws look a bit difficult. Has there ever been on record anyone who has rolled and broken their neck on a first uke?

I don't want to be the first!

I think I can do it, if I take it gently at first. You can only know when you try, I suppose. I don't want to leave it any longer. Aikido may be regarded as 'soft', but some of those throws are fantastic! I don't definitely don't want to leave it until i'm fifty, or even forty five. It's now or never.

I'm not planning on using Ki to make me fly through the air and land on my feet, so no sarcasm, please!

if you wanna try it, just be relax,be yourself, and mostly, streching is most important. everyone can pratice the art of aikido.

Goodluck to you!

Kenn
08-18-2007, 11:28 AM
Carl,

I just turned forty a few months ago. Although I have studied Aikido and some other arts over the last 10-15 years, I haven't been training for a bit now and will begin Aikido again in the next few weeks.

Get in there and train my friend, you will not regret it. The only thing I regret about my Aikdo training is that I ever stopped in the first place.

Age, although relevant to physically ability to a certain extent should me but a small barrier for you. An anecdote for you: I was at a seminar with Yamada Sensei at USF in Tampa.(at the time I was training with Nobu Arakawa Sensei in Tampa, FL. Hi Sensei if you're reading this.) Well, were doing a form of Nikkyo and apprently I wasn't doing it exactly correctly. so Yamada Sensei comes over, and offers his wrist. I go to grab and before I am even able to grip, I was on the mat with my arm behind me, pinned. Now I'm not sure exactly how old Yamada sensei is, but I know he's over 40.

Carl, go get 'em. Train as hard as you are able. BTW, where areyou located? Perhaps some on here could help you find a compatible dojo in your area.

Peace, Kenn

Walter Martindale
09-14-2007, 05:36 AM
Dear Aikidoists,

I am forty and still thinking of taking up Aikido. Thing is, some of those throws look a bit difficult. Has there ever been on record anyone who has rolled and broken their neck on a first uke?


I started Aikido at 40 in 1993. Admittedly, I had a judo background from 72-80, competitive rowing for a few years also. Started Aikido with a very tender lower back, was receiving relatively regular treatment for it. After a few months of Aikido the physio said that my back was stronger, more flexible, and more stable than she'd seen it.
I'm USUALLY ok... Little niggles tend to take longer to heal, but I'm usually fitter with Aikido than without. I've had long gaps with little training, and it has only been after a few weeks back at Aikido after a gap, that I'm fitter, more able to work, more able to move without a stiff hip and back...
If you're 40 and have a sports/fitness background it will take a while to get your Aikido up and running, so to speak, because in a lot of movements, it's a lot like learning to walk over again.
If you're 40 and have a no sports/fitness background, it will take a while, and partly it will take a while to get your fitness up, but as with most new activities, the fitness and the skill rise almost hand in hand...
Cheers
W

Aikibu
09-14-2007, 11:54 AM
46 now I started my present Aikido practice when I was 31 I echo the comments about stretching. My Sensei is a certified Yoga Instructor too. I have been trying to slide on it but if I don't keep stretching I have a terrible time blending and have to use too much strenght.

We had a guy get his Shodan at 70. His can't move like a man in his 30's or 40's but his Martial Spirit is huge. :)

William Hazen

Mark Freeman
09-14-2007, 12:17 PM
This thread reads like a "confessions of a late aikido starter fest". Good on all of us chronologically challenged folk.

My advice, stop reading all the good advice here, and start practicing. In the future encourage all of those who are in the same position as you are now, with your own story of how you were over 40 when you started!;)

Hope you find a good dojo.

regards,

Mark

jennyvanwest
09-15-2007, 07:20 AM
We had a guy get his Shodan at 70. His can't move like a man in his 30's or 40's but his Martial Spirit is huge. :)



This is very inspiring!!!!