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Old 05-10-2008, 07:15 AM   #1
numazu
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Martial arts for the elderly

I have seen much debate MMA and BJJ. True enough MMA seems quite effective, tried and true etc. I don't take anything away from them at all, however one thing people often dont realise is that when you are young and strong you can do MMA. What happens when you get over 40! I can feel that there are some things I cant do now and I am only 35! (scary)
This is where I feel Ueshiba was really smart. He knew that Aikido can work and keep working even when you are elderly.
Can people really expect to be ontop of their BJJ or wrestling game when they are 60? They definatley wouldnt be going around challenging people thats for sure.
Aikido comes into it's own here. That's why I have made the switch from Karate to Aikido.
Karate was great stuff but I started to realise that i just wasnt fast enough or fit enough for some of the young guys and knew I needed something I could rely on skill and technique and not speed, endurance or strength.
Does anybody think that was perhaps the true purpose behind Ueshiba's philosophy???
Some of the Chinese Kung Fu styles focus on this too with Tai Chi and Xing Yi etc. - developing Chi power to make up for muscle power!
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Old 05-10-2008, 11:17 AM   #2
Mark Uttech
Dojo: Yoshin-ji Aikido of Marshall
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Re: Martial arts for the elderly

Aikido is possible to practice your whole life. I remember around the time I first started, I saw a demonstration whereby three 'older' guys, 67,69,43, did a randori with a group of men in their twenties. That demonstration turned on a light back when I was 31. That was 24 years ago, and still the possibilities of aikido beckon...

In gassho,

Mark

- Right combination works wonders -
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Old 05-10-2008, 11:27 AM   #3
Jonathan Lewis
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Re: Martial arts for the elderly

Quote:
Mark Uttech wrote: View Post
...three 'older' guys, 67,69,43,...
Hey, that's 2 somewhat older guys and a youngster.
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Old 05-10-2008, 12:30 PM   #4
Mark Uttech
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Re: Martial arts for the elderly

Quote:
Jonathan Lewis wrote: View Post
Hey, that's 2 somewhat older guys and a youngster.
Onegaishimasu. People in their 30's are already a world away from folks in their 20's. But, I understand; the older you get, the older old age starts.

In gassho,

Mark

- Right combination works wonders -
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Old 05-10-2008, 03:57 PM   #5
crbateman
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Re: Martial arts for the elderly

Actually, the older you get, the better you used to be...
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Old 05-11-2008, 08:16 AM   #6
SeiserL
 
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Re: Martial arts for the elderly

AARP here. Started Aikido at 44. 56 now (okay, and counting).

I think many different style are better for certain ages and mentality. I had to evolve in Aikido. Just took me a while to get here.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 05-11-2008, 09:57 AM   #7
Mark Uttech
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Re: Martial arts for the elderly

I used my senior citizens discount at a restaurant for the first time last week.

In gassho,

Mark

- Right combination works wonders -
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Old 05-11-2008, 04:32 PM   #8
Dieter Haffner
 
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Re: Martial arts for the elderly

Jun should create an Archive Forum for these kind of threads.

Signed, a foetus.
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Old 05-11-2008, 06:02 PM   #9
Stefan Stenudd
 
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Development

Judging from the films, Osensei's aikido changed through the years. I find it increasingly fascinating, the older he got.
We can't all be Osensei, but I guess we can all allow our aikido to change as we get older, to fit what our bodies are comfortable with at each stage. I'd like to call that development.

I really believe that aikido progresses, even though the body deteriorates - or maybe just because of that incentive.
Or maybe I'm just getting old, trying to find solace...

Stefan Stenudd
My aikido website: http://www.stenudd.com/aikido/
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Old 05-19-2008, 06:49 PM   #10
Cady Goldfield
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Re: Martial arts for the elderly

There are things that researchers are only just beginning to discover and understand about the capacity and abilities of the aging body. A series of studies conducted under the sponsorship of the MacArthur Foundation, back in the 80s, found -- and proved -- that human beings can produce muscle mass AND brain cells (with the concommitant neural wiring) throughout their lives.

That said, it's not the art itself that progresses, but the practitioner's understanding and honing of the internal conditioning that Ueshiba himself learned from Daito-ryu and practiced for the rest of his life. Strip away aikido techniques, and what underlies them is this conditioning and body state. Ueshiba may not have been up for taking a lot of ukemi when he got past a certain age, but he never lost his capacity for bodywork.

Many of us have seen the YouTube vids of Ueshiba (and perhaps some have also seen vids of a number of elderly taiji guys) totally owning the young guys who were trying to push him, pull him, punch him, cut him, drag him down. They couldn't get into him, but he was effortlessly repelling them or controlling them. The bystanders look amazed, perhap because they were conditioned to believe -- as we all are at the outset -- that muscle mass and strength are the sole benchmark by which we gauge the potential for power.

What Ueshiba was doing was drawing on internal structure and subtle mechanics instead of on muscle strength and flexation. It allowed him to perform amazing feats on much younger uke even when he was elderly and frail.

It's one of the things that I truly believe we can improve with age -- not because age itself makes you better at it, but because it's something low-impact that you can continue to practice throughout life without putting harmful stresses on the body. When you have practiced and trained correctly for decades, the conditioning and "wiring" you've gained push you ahead despite the ravages of age.

You just have to keep doing it and pushing your own envelope physically and mentally. That was the conclusion of not just the MacArthur Foundation-funded researchers ("Use it or lose it."), but of very dedicated martial artists from a variety of MA disciplines in Japan and China who trained until their deaths at ripe old ages.

And Stefan, I believe we can be -better- than Ueshiba. I hope I don't get flamed for that.
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Old 05-19-2008, 07:39 PM   #11
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Martial arts for the elderly

Hello Stefan,

I see you are 54 today. Many Happy Returns!

I put this here because it perhaps has a distant relevance to this thread . For me it has a very direct relevance, because I am just over ten years your senior.

I think Cady is right on target, but I think the point is the training regime when young and the 'maintenance' of this as you age. We have just had Hiroshi Tada here for a seminar. He was born in 1929, which makes him nearly 80, but he moves like someone thirty years younger. I never knew O Sensei, but I have had a few decades of training under Tada Sensei, including much ukemi. To me, he is a sharp reminder of what I failed to do well, when I was younger.

Best wishes,

PAG

P A Goldsbury
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Old 05-19-2008, 07:47 PM   #12
tuturuhan
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Re: Martial arts for the elderly

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Hello Stefan,

I see you are 54 today. Many Happy Returns!

I put this here because it perhaps has a distant relevance to this thread . For me it has a very direct relevance, because I am just over ten years your senior.

I think Cady is right on target, but I think the point is the training regime when young and the 'maintenance' of this as you age. We have just had Hiroshi Tada here for a seminar. He was born in 1929, which makes him nearly 80, but he moves like someone thirty years younger. I never knew O Sensei, but I have had a few decades of training under Tada Sensei, including much ukemi. To me, he is a sharp reminder of what I failed to do well, when I was younger.

Best wishes,

PAG
Hello Stepan,

I also send my regards. You are my senior by two years.

Ditto to Cady. I might add, 15 years ago I was a bit frightened by the "tech savy" youth especially with computers. With what know of "brain flexibility...guess what...we have not only caught up. We have gotten better in our "older age"

Best wishes,
Joe

Joseph T. Oliva Arriola
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Old 05-19-2008, 09:53 PM   #13
Ryan Sanford
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Re: Martial arts for the elderly

I'm a few months past 18. I hope to be posting on a thread like this 60 years from now! Sheesh,I can't even imagine 60 years into the future... most of you guys will be gone by then. Man, what a depressing thought.. don't you guys be leavin' Aikiweb anytime soon now!

"There's only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self." - Aldous Huxley
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Old 05-19-2008, 09:57 PM   #14
Randy Sexton
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Re: Martial arts for the elderly

I started Aikido one year ago at 51. I felt a little intimidated about the falls and rolling but now they are second nature to me. My wife loves me doing Aikido because it helps to keep me fit and flexible. As a hobby it gives me something to do; but as a way of life it helps keep me in balance.
She jokes that someday at the nursing home when they are missing a broom stick they will know where to find it. Check the garden and see if Doc "borrowed it" for Jo practice again. We "old guys" may even appreciate the art more than the "young whipper snappers"
By the way, I met Lynn Seiser at an Ikeda Sensei seminar recently. I hope to have his grip at 56!
Doc

"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will"
Gandhi
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Old 05-20-2008, 05:38 AM   #15
Cady Goldfield
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Re: Martial arts for the elderly

In reference to my earlier mention of the MacArthur Foundation studies, if anyone's interested in looking up more info on the extensive research on aging, the program was called "MacArthur Studies of Successful Aging." I believe the specific area on physical and mental function research was referred to as "Health, Aging, and Body Composition."
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Old 05-20-2008, 06:00 AM   #16
dps
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Re: Martial arts for the elderly

Older Aikido students don't have to be told to do the technique slow, its just natural.

David
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Old 05-20-2008, 06:52 AM   #17
crbateman
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Re: Martial arts for the elderly

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Older Aikido students don't have to be told to do the technique slow, its just natural.
True that. I've discovered how AARP got its name... It's the sound old people make when they try to get out of bed in the morning...
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Old 05-20-2008, 09:38 AM   #18
SeiserL
 
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Re: Martial arts for the elderly

Quote:
Randy Sexton wrote: View Post
We "old guys" may even appreciate the art more than the "young whipper snappers"
By the way, I met Lynn Seiser at an Ikeda Sensei seminar recently. I hope to have his grip at 56!
Doc,

It was great meeting and training with you. Totally agree, as I get older I enjoy and appreciate the training just for that, training.

BTW, most people think I am losing my grip (on reality).

Looking forward to the next time.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 05-20-2008, 10:48 AM   #19
Aikibu
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Re: Martial arts for the elderly

As I have mention before We awarded a Shodan to a guy in his 70's. He had limited movement in one shoulder but Aikido helped him allot and his spirit was strong. Since the footwork and movements in our style are smaller, relaxed, and focused on internal dynamics it's possible to progress despite age or some physical disabilities.

Shoji Nishio was another good example. He got much more powerful as he got older up until his illness.

William Hazen
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Old 05-20-2008, 11:03 AM   #20
tuturuhan
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Re: Martial arts for the elderly

I know I'm not capable of everest. I know I don't have the courage. But, he give me something to aspire to:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080520...ngeveresttibet

Best,
Joseph T. Oliva Arriola

Joseph T. Oliva Arriola
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