View Full Version : Longevity

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Brian Boyd
04-19-2003, 02:03 PM
I am thinking about starting Aikido, and have been looking into it. I have noticed that it appears that people get banged up on a regular basis. I imagine that getting tossed and thrown over a long period of time would take a toll on the body. My questions are:

1. Up until what age can the average person study Aikido?

Or, how long can the body take getting banged around?

2. What is the oldest anyone has seen someone practicing Aikido?


04-19-2003, 02:31 PM
>1. Up until what age can the average >person study Aikido?

2453 yrs. And not a day more!

>Or, how long can the body take getting >banged around?

Not long. Learn to love ukemi and get ungodly at it, to save your own skin. Then you'll become superhuman. Bonus skill - annoying your friends with pratfalls onto concrete etc

>2. What is the oldest anyone has seen > someone practicing Aikido?

77 or 78. Oldest judoka 55.

Brad McMillan
04-19-2003, 04:00 PM
I started at 35, and have been practicing for the past two years. While I do get "banged up" from time to time, I have not noticed any long term effects yet. What I have noticed is that older injuries (from, say, soccer twenty years ago) show up again. But that happens when I run/swim/bike/whatever hard, too, so I do not think it is the aikido.

As long as I recognize that I am not 22 any more, I have found that my practice is not constrained.

04-19-2003, 04:19 PM
1. Up until what age can the average person study Aikido?
I never new any average person that studied aikido :D :D
2. What is the oldest anyone has seen someone practicing Aikido?
85, a nice old man with lots of spirit:)

04-19-2003, 10:32 PM
I never new any average person that studied aikido
Hahahaha, good one, Erik...

Yes, if you watch a class it looks like you get banged up...but, hey, no pain, no gain. Actually, though, as your rolls get better, the pain decreases. Worst I've had was diziness and headaches from doing too many rolls at once and landing too hard, sending a jolt to my head.

As for the clotheslining, wrist locks, etc., you're trained to take the hits, so after a few times, you start learning how to roll with the "punches."

The body can't take getting banged around for a long time, but the thing is, you won't get banged up a lot once you get used to things.

Of course, this is from one who can't roll worth a flip (painful pun) except a left hand-led forward roll...'tis mere speculation and research.

Paul Klembeck
04-20-2003, 01:13 PM
1. You can practice up until you are confined to your deathbed.

Training in a way you get banged around is not so long and definitely individual. This is more of a young peoples thing. However the flashy, end with a thump falls, are not necessary for good aikido. They're fun and can be a good learning experience in some ways, but as you gain skill you can also learn to hit the mat lighter and lighter. You ask, "but what if some youngster throws you really hard". Well, by the time you've studied aikido long enough to not want to take thumpy falls, you'll be so good that nobody can throw you in anyway that you don't want to fall.

2. I have rumors of people in their nineties. I know people in their seventies who have studied 50 years or more. They simply become more awesome each year.


04-20-2003, 03:35 PM
I restarted in aikido when I was 38. At least in our dojo, we do have the very occasional shoulder separation. Maybe one every 4 years. That always comes from someone trying to do more with their front ukmei than they know how to do. But other than that, its mostly sore muscles from people falling too hard or incorrectly (which I suppose are one and the same)

I'm 47 now and you definitely do learn to take better ukemi as time goes on. Even a young dude gets tired of hitting hard. And there aren't any old dudes that hit hard all the time. Actually though softer, better ukemi makes for better aikido. Because once you are good at soft ukemi, you can (a) attack faster and more realistically, making it better for nage, and (b) control the pace of the technique so that it ends up at the speed you want to fall at.

Maybe a more pertinent question is how long can you practice aikido and still be uke? My guess is that if I am around at 80 I will not be taking breakfalls. They probably would literally be breakfalls then.

04-20-2003, 06:00 PM
I know a man in his mid-70's who is still taking lovely ukemi (not doing much in the way of breakfalls though) and his main restriction is really bad knees, so no suwari waza or hanmi handachi, otherwise he does what everyone else does, and does it beautifully. He started practice in his mid-50's, and is now a sandan, so obviously the age has not held him back too terrifically.

04-21-2003, 05:36 PM
I'm 52, started at 44. IMHO, Aikido was designed to be practiced by all ages. Getting thrown isn't nearly as hard on the body over time as getting hit and kicked, and a lot easier than breaking boards and bricks.

Lan Powers
04-21-2003, 10:49 PM
Hey Lynn

I am 42 and just starting to get it together. Hope to be doing it forever!

(Good for you on starting at 44... I was scared I had waited too late).