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Old 04-14-2003, 08:46 AM   #1
Dennis Hooker
Dojo: Shindai Dojo, Orlando Fl.
Location: Orlando Florida
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 456
When is long enough to long?

When is long enough to long?

I am speaking in generalities now but these particular generalities seem to reflect my life fairly well. Most of the martial arts instructors I have had over the years came to America in their twenties or mid to late thirties. Even by then it seemed they had achieved such rank and skill as not to need the same daily training require of the rest of us. As we Americans grew older and matched, even surpassed, these ages by decades we still (those among us still physically capable) are take daily training. While some Judo, Karate, Jujitsu and Aikido teachers stopped taking the kind of abuse we place on 40, 50 and 60+ year old bodies in their 30's and early 40's . When is long enough to long? 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. While some Japanese and Korean teachers stopped taking hard training in their 30s masses of Americans continue to do it well into their late 30's, 40's, 50's and even 60's and what baffles me is some have been doing it for 20, 30 or 35 years or more. Much longer than the young teachers coming over to take their fathers and countrymen's place. Many of the older Americans seem to think this kind of training is required of them, and in some cases it seems to be. Their sensei require it or they require it of them selves. There seems to be little given, and little self-sense of honored venerability.

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

Dennis Hooker: (DVD) Zanshin and Ma-ai in Aikido
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