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Old 03-02-2006, 12:59 PM   #6
Mark Freeman
Dojo: Dartington
Location: Devon
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,219
United Kingdom
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Re: Training over 50

Hi Alec,
I just fall into the over 50 bracket, and am painfully aware of the truth of your post. There is not much we can do to turn back the clock, and if the body has been damaged due to earlier hard training, there is little chance ( other than bionics! ) of these old war wounds repairing themselves.
My own feeling is that it is really important for a teacher to take ukemi for students for as long as possible, for one thing it allows the teacher kinesthetic feedback as to where the student may be going wrong. However, it is not absolutely essential. Much depends on the teacher and his/her teaching.
My own teacher is in the latter half of his 70's and has been in Aikido for over 50 years. He no longer recieves techniques or rolls, this does not diminish his teaching ability though, as he has developed his own method over the many years of practice. Not one of his many students feels that he is any 'less' for not rolling. He has two artificial hips, both of which he puts down to his judo practice in his younger years. Many years of hard (sometimes brutal) training has not left him feeling that we should all be doing the same. So our practice is a distillation of all his years of experience 'priceless'
So, my advice is, be the best teacher you can be, despite physical limitations, your students look to you for insight, inspiration, guidance, and empathy, and from reading some of your posts I recon they probably get all of those things and more.
Our bodies may not do exactly what we want them to do anymore, our youger students will find this out soon enough!!
Our minds are what we lead with, this is the area that we must concentrate on, it is our area of greatest advantage. We may not be able to out run the young upstarts, but we can out smart them.

Cheers,
Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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