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Sojourner
12-16-2014, 12:11 AM
Greetings all,

Just wondering if you have come across training classes in Aikido that are catered for over 40's in training? To my knowledge there is not one of these classes in any martial art in my city and I did wonder if it happens internationally or not?

Eva Antonia
12-16-2014, 02:44 AM
Hi,

I neither saw nor searched for aikido classes > 40; if I had seen them, I certainly wouldn't have gone, as little as to "only Germans" or "ladies" classes or any other class for a specific group except if the discrimiation was related to aikido proficiency (like "beginners class"). But once I saw, being as a tourist in Constance, that there were Karate classes offered for the > 35 age group.

So I suppose, the concept exist, even if it is not very widespread, but probably there is not very much demand for it. Except the fact that a lot of people feel ill at ease with the "only this group" concept, I think most dojos are too small to separate classes into sub-groups. The only difference are probably children, because they need another pedagogic approach, and there is also the weight/ size difference that makes mixed groups difficult.

Best regards,

Eva

Carsten Möllering
12-16-2014, 03:46 AM
So I suppose, the concept exist, even if it is not very widespread, but probably there is not very much demand for it.What would be the benefit of a "over 40 group"?
I didn' t notice any changes in my practice when turning 40 or 45.

lbb
12-16-2014, 07:50 AM
What would be the benefit of a "over 40 group"?
I didn' t notice any changes in my practice when turning 40 or 45.

You probably didn't notice the gray hair either. Doesn't mean it wasn't there. :D

(think for a second: this is obviously aimed at beginners, people STARTING after 40. People on aikiweb often need to take a deep breath and say, "Every post is not about me.")

Janet Rosen
12-16-2014, 10:43 AM
What OP is looking for is Low Impact Aikido, which does indeed exist for older folks and folks of any age with disabilities that make it hard for them to start off as beginners in a general class and also for some more experienced folk who can't train as they used to and could use a break from full regimen of general classes.

Carsten Möllering
12-16-2014, 12:06 PM
Ok, sorry.
I neither realized that the question was about beginners classes, nor that the OP referred to low impact classes.

Maybe I went into the wrong direction because we have a certain "culture" over here offering courses, events, holiday trips and so on especially to people "over 40". Years ago it was "over 30". But it grew up together with us ... ;-)

But ...
... what makes you think, that people in their fourties need special beginners classes or low impact classes?
In my realm of experience people of this age are usually very fit and healthy. So if they need a special beginners class or low impact class it is certainly not because of their age. And in our club, just like in most other clubs or dōjō, I know, there would also be no social reasons because there allways are students of that age-set.

Are your your experiences that different?

fatebass21
12-16-2014, 01:53 PM
The majority of those that participate and are dans in my dojo's adult classes are over 40. Sensei is 80!

Janet Rosen
12-16-2014, 03:29 PM
Ok, sorry.
I neither realized that the question was about beginners classes, nor that the OP referred to low impact classes.

Maybe I went into the wrong direction because we have a certain "culture" over here offering courses, events, holiday trips and so on especially to people "over 40". Years ago it was "over 30". But it grew up together with us ... ;-)

But ...
... what makes you think, that people in their fourties need special beginners classes or low impact classes?
In my realm of experience people of this age are usually very fit and healthy. So if they need a special beginners class or low impact class it is certainly not because of their age. And in our club, just like in most other clubs or dōjō, I know, there would also be no social reasons because there allways are students of that age-set.

Are your your experiences that different?

oh, no need to apologize....here too....I was an out of shape 41 year old beginner and managed :) so maybe my post made an incorrect assumption but if it isn't asking about folks concerned about fitness and flexibility I can't imagine WHY over 40 either.

phitruong
12-17-2014, 08:06 AM
we have a number of middle age folk, 40+, who came to our dojo and asked if they could physically handle aikido. i told them, the hardest thing in aikido is walking through the door. They all laughed. Few made it back. i guessed walking-through-the-door waza is pretty hard on folks.

some of the discourage points:
- they believed they could move like when they were in 20+, so when they can't figure out their left foot from right, they weren't meant to do martial arts.
- many thought martial arts should look like "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" where folks should be able to fly through the air (we could launch them, but the insurance would kill us) and eat a dozen of those "white buns of death" and talked with the sound delay.
- they actually have to work at it, which they, somehow, thought it would be like playing bocce or maybe golf (we have the dojo weapons in a big golf bag. i need to number them though, like one of the bokken "7-iron"). actually, one of them asked me why i do martial arts, which i replied, that i was considered golf, but found out golf just too violent.
- and one of the toughest thing for the American folks, which they have so much difficulty to deal with: they will be up close and personal with other folks. yup, American tends to not like the physical touchy-feely kinda folks. god forbid if i show them the bjj guard positions. they would be running out the door screaming that they are trying to get away from their spouse, and don't want to do any missionary work.

Keith Larman
12-17-2014, 02:36 PM
A while back a guy came in to our dojo and asked about training. We had about 6 folk on the mat, the youngest was probably 45. He asked if he was too old to start training. I pointed out that he was probably younger than everyone on the mat.

Of course most of the folk on the mat have been doing it since they were younger. And I think people also get concerned about getting paired up with some young, testosterone soaked nitwit who's only going to hurt them.

I just smile a lot and say we aren't an aggressive style and everyone knows to toggle things down to the level of the student.

That said most aikido dojo don't have enough students to even consider having classes limited in such a way.

Keith Larman
12-17-2014, 02:38 PM
i replied, that i was considered golf, but found out golf just too violent.

I told one guy he should just go watch teenaged girls' soccer at the club soccer level. Now there's some violence...

James Sawers
12-17-2014, 06:03 PM
I help teach a class of low-impact, sorta pre-aikido, classes for 50+......It is designed for people (beginners) who may not be that physically active and may feel that they are not up to a regular aikido class. We sometimes have people transition on to regular aikido classes. Since I am in my 60's, they kinda use me as the dummy.....sorry uke.......

Sojourner
12-17-2014, 08:29 PM
Cheers everyone!

I apologise for not having been clearer in the opening post, the question was meant to be aimed at novice practitioners who are starting into Aikido at an older age.

I trained initially in Krav Maga, yet as I have gone on I have discovered Aikido. I currently train on and off in a Jujitsu club that offers Karate and Aikido training as alternate training as a part of the Jujitsu curriculum. The problem that I struggle with is that I am over 40 and I just find myself totally overwhelmed at times trying to learn and remember Jujitsu/Aikido/Karate techniques all in one. The gradings are for all three at once and I don’t cope well with it and have never actually graded as a result.

Yet I love Aikido, whilst my techniques are not great, the whole Aikido system and philosophy openly clicks with me and after reflecting on it I feel that I would like to try Aikido alone in training in the new year. Hence the focus on looking at some other options.

Perhaps age should not be an issue and I am hoping that as I go on it won’t be. Yet at the same time I feel very conscious of being slow to pick up technique and feeling like an idiot because I cannot do things that others seem to pick up easily. Still at the same time the only way to learn things is by stepping out and experiencing them and that is likely more relevant than anything else at this stage.

philipsmith
12-18-2014, 02:35 AM
Hi we did try this a few years ago and found that uptake wasn't sufficient to sustain the class. People seemed to like the idea of training with a range of both ages and; in fact; abilities.

Janet Rosen
12-18-2014, 11:00 AM
Perhaps age should not be an issue and I am hoping that as I go on it won’t be. Yet at the same time I feel very conscious of being slow to pick up technique and feeling like an idiot because I cannot do things that others seem to pick up easily. Still at the same time the only way to learn things is by stepping out and experiencing them and that is likely more relevant than anything else at this stage.

That isn't age, that is learning style.
I had the same problems at age 41 that I had as the child who flunked somersaults and who could never learn simple choreographed dances: it had nothing to do with flexibility or age.
Every single basic technique I learned during my first couple of years required me parsing it down into simple steps and muttering each step under my breath as I did it.
To this day I cannot learn a weapons kata without writing down every single step and movement, then going home and with the paper in front of me, doing the movements, never learning more than 3 steps at a time before moving on to add another.
I sincerely mean it when I say, if I can do Aikido, anybody who WANTS to can do Aikido :)

Michael Hackett
12-18-2014, 02:41 PM
No, that doesn't sound like an age issue to me either. Trying to learn techniques from three arts at the same time would be confusing for almost anyone, especially as a beginner. Choosing one art and focusing on that would be beneficial I think. If aikido is your choice, just train aikido and the things that are mentally overwhelming today will sort themselves out tomorrow - or the next day or the day after. Who cares? Just get on the mat and train and it will come to you.

Best wishes,

Michael

Dave de Vos
12-18-2014, 04:23 PM
I'm 45 now, started aikido at 40. I'm not really bothered by how quickly I progress compared to others. Some will improve quicker, some slower. Perhaps most improve more quickly than I do (and even overtake me in rank progression as well), but it does not really matter to me. It does not diminish in any way how much I enjoy participating in aikido classes.
I too think it is not age related.

Adam Huss
12-18-2014, 07:42 PM
Greetings all,

Just wondering if you have come across training classes in Aikido that are catered for over 40's in training? To my knowledge there is not one of these classes in any martial art in my city and I did wonder if it happens internationally or not?

I have not seen classes specifically geared toward an age group, but there is an "relaxed aikido" class one of my dojo have on Monday nights. The name is misleading, however. The pace is slow, but that means you find yourself and deep and uncomfortable stances for very long periods of time while the teacher form checks everyone to make sure they are in proper position. Karate people will know what I'm talking about...basically an aikido version of the same thing. This class is often attended by people recovering from injuring wanting transitionary mat time, people who can't handle hard ukemi or the fast pace of a typical class - sometimes this translates to students who have been around the block a few times (i.e. on the wrong side of 40) who just aren't up to training in a full paced regular class and don't have the discipline to slow down their training in regular class, lol.

All this being said, I know plenty of practitioners in their 60's who are still training fiercely.

fatebass21
12-20-2014, 12:20 PM
I'm 45 now, started aikido at 40. I'm not really bothered by how quickly I progress compared to others. Some will improve quicker, some slower. Perhaps most improve more quickly than I do (and even overtake me in rank progression as well), but it does not really matter to me. It does not diminish in any way how much I enjoy participating in aikido classes.
I too think it is not age related.

:)

:circle: :square: :triangle:

Sojourner
12-24-2014, 07:54 AM
Greetings all, - I wanted to pass on the link that I had found to "Old farts martial arts" on facebook. Great bunch of people from a variety of backgrounds, yet all older people into martial arts, some novice, others experienced. - https://www.facebook.com/groups/oldfartsmartialarts/

Dave Gallagher
12-25-2014, 09:30 AM
I am 65 and started Aikido in about the mid 1980's. I came from a Shotokan Karate background starting in 1975. I prefer a class with old and young combined. In the last eight years I have been sidelined with multiple injuries not from Aikido but from work, Kendo and daily life.
I think it's best for everyone to train together, young, old, healthy or injured. This way we learn to adjust for the ability and needs of each partner. That adjustment is true Aiki in my opinion.
Just an aside, I am well and will return to the mat next week. At my age I don't know how long that will last before another injury. I've gotten used to being the oldest person in any dojo. I would never wan't to be in a separate class for the elderly.

kewms
12-25-2014, 01:26 PM
I think the steepness of the learning curve will vary depending on the base level of fitness you bring to the dojo. That's true regardless of age, except that of course a college-age athlete comes from a better baseline than the same person after working at a sedentary job for 20 years. Still, the people you see bouncing around the dojo like rubber balls have been practicing for a while: don't assume that you can or should be able to do the same.

It can help to remember that aikido is difficult. Period. Full stop. Struggling to learn it simply means that you are trying to do something hard, and doesn't have anything to do with age, underlying intelligence, non-Japaneseness, or any of the other ways that people make their struggles about themselves. Yes, Janet is correct in that different people have different learning styles, but pretty much everyone will struggle in some way.

Katherine

sakumeikan
12-26-2014, 07:35 AM
What would be the benefit of a "over 40 group"?
I didn' t notice any changes in my practice when turning 40 or 45.

Hi Carsten
There are numerous benefits of an over 40s class.1.Older guys could begin training [beginners]2.Pace of training intensity does not have to a priority.3.The older guy /lady would not have to contend with some young buck who thinks he /she is King Kong.4. Keeps the older people fit .
4.Good way to meet /extend friendships[not a dating agency however ].Lots of mature people are in need of company.Why not meet at Aikido?5 Most mature people are pretty well stable , usually have life experiences and can bring a lot to the table in terms of areas such as advisory /business capacity[Club Treasurers/Secretaries etc.

One last point EVERYBODY IS GETTING OLDER BY THE MINUTE!!Merry XMAS . CHEERS, JOE.

PeterR
12-26-2014, 08:02 AM
Hi Carsten
There are numerous benefits of an over 40s class.1.Older guys could begin training [beginners]2.Pace of training intensity does not have to a priority.3.The older guy /lady would not have to contend with some young buck who thinks he /she is King Kong.4. Keeps the older people fit .
4.Good way to meet /extend friendships[not a dating agency however ].Lots of mature people are in need of company.Why not meet at Aikido?5 Most mature people are pretty well stable , usually have life experiences and can bring a lot to the table in terms of areas such as advisory /business capacity[Club Treasurers/Secretaries etc.

One last point EVERYBODY IS GETTING OLDER BY THE MINUTE!!Merry XMAS . CHEERS, JOE.

We (not me but have seen it) have beginner classes geared toward university students, woman, church groups, high energy physicists (<---that was me) basically anywhere there was a need and desire. I think the most robust groups enjoy a range of types. The strengths and weaknesses of one compliment the other.

Sure have a specialty beginners course - an occasional class devoted to one group or the other, but really subdivision does not help anyones aikido.

fatebass21
12-28-2014, 09:15 AM
Just an aside, I am well and will return to the mat next week. At my age I don't know how long that will last before another injury. I've gotten used to being the oldest person in any dojo. I would never wan't to be in a separate class for the elderly.

Good luck with your return in the new year Dave.

lbb
12-28-2014, 04:58 PM
It can help to remember that aikido is difficult. Period. Full stop. Struggling to learn it simply means that you are trying to do something hard, and doesn't have anything to do with age, underlying intelligence, non-Japaneseness, or any of the other ways that people make their struggles about themselves.

This (emphasis mine).

Sojourner
12-31-2014, 07:06 PM
I found this video, and it did make me think that age clearly is no barrier at all in any martial art if you are committed! - https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152563344968869&set=vb.8701278868&type=2&theater

JP3
12-31-2014, 07:12 PM
You probably didn't notice the gray hair either. Doesn't mean it wasn't there. :D

(think for a second: this is obviously aimed at beginners, people STARTING after 40. People on aikiweb often need to take a deep breath and say, "Every post is not about me.")

Wha-wha-whattTT!

Ha. You are correct. Having some folks 45+, actually 60+ in my school, it sort of hit home immediately that the writer of the O/P probably was speaking of beginner classes. If you've already been "in" class for 5, 10 or 20 years, who would need it. You've acclimated. But a beginner at age 55.... different thing altogether.

RED
01-05-2015, 01:20 PM
Gee, I hope 40 isn't considered old. haha
Yeah, I've seen plenty of older guys tear it up just fine. But, alternatively, I've seen how hard it is for people who are older to start, especially ukemi, as new students. Conditioning is an interesting thing. My sports doctor said you either use it or lose it. I'm an optimist--I believe anything is possible at any age...somethings are just harder for some people. Whether or not that is unfair doesn't matter--it is reality. But it is possible. There is a blessing, in my opinion, in the possibility alone. (Even if it is never achieved.)