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Old 06-08-2022, 01:36 PM   #1
Location: Helsinki
Join Date: Oct 2021
Posts: 1
Nearing 60

I was wondeting…

I am soon 60, just couple of years to go. I've been practicing aikido for 8 years now and I am at 1 kyu presently.

After the covid break it took some time to get fit again, but now practice is going really smoothly. I attend classes usually 3-4 times a week, and 1-2 times a week I do gym.

It is of course wonderful, but I did not expect to be able to perform this well. It usually takes first 15 minutes to get used to the speed, but then I can do high shigonage falls and somesuch for 15 minutes (taking turns of course) without problems and the rest of the class, keep up with younger ones (although, who knows, probably they have been partying last night ) and at end of the session I am usually full of energy, and would not mind continuing for couple hours more.

I almost would like to take more lessons, or another art like (light, exercise) boxing too, but I have to admit that after having 8 days in a row of some exercise, I really start to feel I need a day's break.

I do have an occasional knee problem, there is a mild arthritis in another one, but I seem to cope with enough muscle exercise and a very rare day off the mat when the knee is having a bad day.

You see, I did find aikido so late, and I feel like I have to make up for the time lost outside dojo.

But it kind of seems too good to be true.
Any thoughts? Things to take into consideration?
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Old 06-08-2022, 07:55 PM   #2
Walter Martindale
Location: Edmonton, AB
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 798
Re: Nearing 60

Well... I'd probably suggest avoiding boxing - actually volunteering to have people hit you in the head? no thanks.
We were discussing over-work of elite athletes today at a coaching session - one of the athletes said "you don't get excellence without rest" or something to that effect. When you feel tired after a number of days of training, take a day or two of reduced activity to recover, get stronger, and go at it again.
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Old 06-08-2022, 09:46 PM   #3
Dojo: Berkshire Hills Aikido
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 825
Re: Nearing 60

Jouko Kivinen wrote: View Post
Any thoughts? Things to take into consideration?
I agree with Walter, boxing is probably not the best choice unless you are going to limit yourself to very light sparring. Getting hit in the head is never a good idea. OTOH, the training that one does in boxing is excellent for developing speed, agility and all around cardio fitness. I have an overall training regimen that involves, in addition to Aikido, stretching, weight training, jogging and cycling (in season).

I'll be turning 75 in a couple of weeks and have been training in Aikido for 45 years. When I was in my early 40's I figured I had better stop being part of class and concentrate on just teaching. My wife Mary (35 years on the mat) immediately dispelled those notions and encouraged me to continue to participate in my own classes as just another student; to keep falling, keep rolling and generally climb down off my instructor horse. Best advice I have ever received, even if it was delivered in a less than gentle manner.

We have since evolved a class format where each of us teaches for half the class and then switch roles. It was awkward at first but now it feels natural and gives both of us time to develop our teaching and our practice. Thanks to that simple adjustment I've been able to keep my skills honed, have increased my strength, agility and mind/body coordination.

Keep up the good work Jouko.

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