Dennis Hooker wrote:
After four decades of this training I look around and see very few of the faces I saw in the beginning. Death, crippling disability, joint replacement, war and a since of failure at not being able to keep up with the young ones has taken its toll on my friends.
Luckily for me I found a friend and teacher that could take me beyond my physical limitations and offer more than just training on the mat. It saddens me though to see old bodies try to match the physical prowess of the young lions and pay the price in injury and worn-out joints. .
I do not like to travel outside the U.S. much so I ask those of you from other parts of the world. It is same where you are at? Where is the
Sure - I think its much the same everywhere.
We recently had a celebration event of 50 years of British Aikido - many of the pioneers of our aikido seemed to suffer from the problems you mention.
My personal opinion is that generally there is a recognition that Aikido practice needs to be adjusted to enable it to be a lifetime pursuit rather than a sport that has to be given up once your prime is passed.
The answer is to train smarter...not necessarily 'harder' - this for me is the driver behind the evolution on training methods.
For some this is a touchy subject - many strive to practice exactly as they were taught and frown upon change. Others move on and adhere to principles but not training methods that modern sports science recognizes as harmful.
Maybe there is also some weight in the argument that the original teachers coming out of Japan were not necessarily qualified coaches - simply technically proficient in their chosen arts. Preserving the long term well being of students may not have been high on their agendas.
Just my 2 English pence worth.