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Old 11-02-2005, 08:32 AM   #14
ian's Avatar
Dojo: University of Ulster, Coleriane
Location: Northern Ireland
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,654
Re: When is long enough to long?

I'm only a young at 33, but I've been training since the age of 16. However, my priorities have certainly changed in what I want from training. Although it's still heavily self-defence orientated, it's really just delving more and more into the fundamentals of body movement and psychology rather than becoming harder tougher or faster. I think it's like any activity that is practised for an extended period of time. It should become easier and more effortless because your body just gets more efficient. I try to avoid breakfalls at all times if I can do a roll, otherwise it makes you punch drunk after a while. Also, if I have to put excessive effort into a technique I seriously question what went wrong with it.
Although it must be harder starting at an older age, I think there is no problem doing martial arts until you die, and I can't think of a reason I would stop - it's an integral part of who I am and how I interpret things now. Fundamanetaly I think it should maintain your health (balance, coordination and movement) as you age. It's undeniable that many of the younger fitter and stronger students cannot compensate for good experience with power.

Unfortunately, as we get older, more people get injured and more people die (referring to general problems rather than due to martial arts). I do think if there are serious injuries occuring through training to seasoned practitioners there is something wrong with their training (or they are using it as an excuse to quit).

One of my favourite sayings from our chief instructor is 'just adjust yourself'. It's almost become a mantra for any problem of difficulty, including the necessity to change with age.

Last edited by ian : 11-02-2005 at 08:36 AM.

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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