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Jack M.
11-08-2005, 10:31 AM
Hi! I was a Tae Kwon Do student for a year or so, and I now plan to take Aikido classes. I'm 48 yrs. old and am wondering if anyone else here started when they were older and if your age affected your training and experiences in Aikido.

I'm not worried about being able to keep up in class, just interested on how things may be different. For instance, have you made slower progress than others, or does your life experience make understanding the philosophy behind Aikido easier?



Mark Gibbons
11-08-2005, 10:48 AM
I started at 48. Recovering from injuries takes a bit longer than it did 10 years ago. That's the only effect of age I notice. I've visited dojo's where the average age was about 19 and they bounce around a bit faster than I can. Training slowly and precisely is probably better for learning than going full speed anyway.

Good luck,

Lan Powers
11-08-2005, 10:52 AM
Hi Mr. Walter
I started at 42. It seemed to be more of an issue of experiance in any martial art much more than effect from age. I would wager that your time in Tae Kwon Do will reveal itself as being more of a plus for you physically than anything relating to age. (unless age+ infirmity in some manner)
Being trained to be aware of your body position through kata, sparring, or any other form will only enhance your learning curve.

11-08-2005, 12:35 PM
Hi Mr. Walter.

Lets see, I started Aikido as a 250lb 45 year old weight lifter. That was 11 years ago. I think that what you can expect is that in some areas of Aikido you will progress faster than younger folks and slower in other areas. I will admit that being bounced all over the place for hours at 56 is not as fun as it looks like it is for the 20 somethings. But things like patience in technques, understanding openings, really listening to your body and your uke's, the age and hopefully some wisdom seem to help. Either way it's all fun and good.

Enjoy your practice.
Bruce Wells

Berney Fulcher
11-08-2005, 02:15 PM
I started at 43 after a few years of TKD. Yeah it's harder to stay in good condition that it is for the 20 year old crowd, but don't let anyone convince you that you are in any way limited.

I agree with the advice above that you come in with some plusses and minuses from your previous training, for me it was having nice stances, but some problems initially learning to blend. But you also probably come in having some experience in persevering since you are sticking with martial arts in your 40's :)

Jerry Miller
11-08-2005, 03:38 PM
You do not bounce as well at this age. You will learn to be careful to mitigate injuries as serious ones can interfere with training. So you will have to find a balance.

11-08-2005, 06:00 PM
I have a friend who started at 50 and made black belt at 62, and I must say, I'm 42 and I would be happy to bounce as well as he does, or look as good. He has some knee issues but aikido offers a lot of scope for working around physical limitations.

I'm told that one senior Ki Society teacher started at 48, which gives me hope.

Older students may be slower to learn rolling and falling, but they often have an edge in learning rhythm and non-collision. In any case aikido offers plenty of hard-to-learn stuff for people of all ages, so you will not be alone in your struggles!

Mary Kaye

11-08-2005, 10:32 PM
I started at 44, 11 years ago.

Try not to hold other's inexperience and immaturity against them.

Lan Powers
11-08-2005, 10:43 PM
> Try not to hold other's inexperience and immaturity against them. <

Probably the soundest advise given so far. :)

Pierre Rood
11-09-2005, 12:00 AM

At almost fifty I started Aikido. The Ukemi is difficults, especially the free fall's. But its typical I set myself to learning those also, even if these can be left out if you want for 'older' people.

Besides this, I hope to do this until very high age.

One advice: to avoid many of the physical problems of getting older you should eat no sugar and very litte carbs. If you eat mainly a paleo type of diet (stone age like) with a lot of proteine and vegetables, nuts and some fruit and good fats you will see a remarkable feat: you will get physical younger. :o

11-09-2005, 04:07 AM
We have two persons in our clas that started training in Aikido the first two years ago and the second just a few months ago. One of them (man) is 55 and the other (woman) about 50.
They both do energy-demanding jobs (a blacksmith the first, a scuba-diver instructor the latter) and also follow another martial art (the first) and take balet dancing (the latter).
By the time they come to the dojo the man has had a 12hrs working day while the woman travels 100 km from her town just to attend the class, so they are both pretty tired.
Yet, they managed to unify harmonically with the class, their progress is quite satisfactory according to my Sensei and they admit they really enjoy themselves (something that is obvious in their faces). Maybe they do not react as fast as a 19 year old and maybe they cannot take breakfalls but their technic is improving and their ukemi is just about perfect. Having them in our class is pure inspiration of human will and strength.

11-09-2005, 04:25 AM
There is no reason for you to either compete or compare. If you approach training with the mindset that you want to get a little better today than you were yesterday, and then repeat the process tomorrow, you will be glad you undertook the training. And the spiritual and philosophical aspects know no age limit.

Dan Carreau
11-09-2005, 08:15 AM
Hello Jack

I have been with Kevein Blok for abiut 5 years nows.

I started when I was 40.

I have restarted and have handed in all of my belts to begin again as a White Belt.

Now at the age of 45 I heve found it is best to start in the Relaxed program to get your basic movements honed.

You will find one of the hardest movement is the back break fall as you may not be able to get back up very quickly. Dont worry this will come with time.

As a Older Beginner be very careful of your front break fall, you may injury your shoulder so do this slowly and build up to it. Go down to one knee and roll dont try to keep up with the class and jump into the roll.During the first few months wil be the hardest on your body, and where injurys will most likely to occur.

It is most important for you to know that Aikdio is all about you and how much you put into it. Unlike other Arts this one is differant as it has many circular movements and will take at least 6 months for you to feel comforatable.

Unlike your past martail Art trainning Aikido is all about defence however you can lead a person to a postion for you to take them dowm if the situation warrants it.

In class dont worry about keeping up with other persons, When you are on the mat remeber that, that mat is yours. Go slow and treat it like a hobby and you will do fine. Dont caught up in the Belt Race as this will not allow you to enjoy your time on the mat. Advance when YOU want to this way you will know when your ready to go for your next belt. Dont focus on how fast others are advancing around you, focus on what you can do and do that part as wel as you can. Then once that item is being done to your liking pick one new item to master. Once you get about 6 months into it your confidence will grow. like anything new it seams a bit odd but this will diminisish over time

Any progress slow or fast is still progress.

Good Luck

Watch your shoulders in those fornt break falls.

Dan Carreau

11-10-2005, 10:17 PM
Look up the biography of Norio "Mike" Mamura (deceased), founder of the Milwaukee Aikido Club. :ai: :ki: :do: He was an Aikidoka in the purest (and purist) sense. He started Aikido at the age of 47 (born in 1918, started aikido in 1965), and achieved 6th Dan before he passed away in 2000 at the age of 92, teaching and practicing up until the day before he died. (He was my first Sensei, and a very wonderful inspiration.)

Try Google or : http://www.aikidoonline.com/Archives/2000/oct/feat_1000_mm.html

A late start in life can be a very good thing -- much better than no start at all.


11-11-2005, 09:55 AM
I started at 46 and I bounce just fine, thank you. And am now learning to fly...