Friday, May 15, 2009

Age and wisdom

In the evening after class, I often think of clever titles or themes for the post I’m going to right, but you should know you (the reader) never gets to see any of them.  I’m usually groggy because it’s later in the evening and my internal clock is trying to relax me after getting smacked around by kids half my age. 

The newest theme that has been cropping up is one of aging.  When does a striking/kicking based martial art become no longer appropriate due to the age of the practitioner?  Taking into account that several folks over 40 are in phenomenal shape (not me) I can’t help but wonder if I’m making myself worse off when me and my partner have to stop and message our knees while the teenagers look on in a mixture of humor, disgust, and pity. 

I was partnered for bit with the returning black belt last night.  He’s a really pleasant, nice guy who likes to laugh, but he’s gained a lot weight in the last few years.  So he’s coming back to Karate to get some fitness going.  The perfect guy for me because I perpetually feel the same way.  Although lately it’s more due to fact that the last year had sporadic attendance to class. 

Technically we are both proficient in our strikes and blocks – Teacher is still pushing “in close” fighting techniques – be me and the other guy would only get so far before we’d have to break and take a minute breather.  Shameful really, but we both will endeavor to do less of this in upcoming weeks. 

On the aging front Teacher is experiencing the weirdest physical problem that I know is causing him a lot of anxiety.  He normally struggles with plantar fasciitis, but now his ankles appear to be retaining fluid and appear to be painful.   He’s definitely not one to seek out medical care, but he’s got be close on this one.  Ouch.

Caught a ridge hand across the bridge of my nose with a very large cartilaginous crunch.  Everyone stopped as I knuckled away a manly tear.  No blood after the sensational sound.  Dang.

We practiced diverting knee shots with our knees and elbows – oh god, do my legs hurt today. 

Caught my thumb in Teachers sleeve – snap.  Not pleasant.  No problem today though.


BSM said...

I've found that finding one that puts kicks as secondary will probably extend my time in a strike/kick art. As long as I am in this area Praying Mantis it is.

At some point though I can see doing something like Bagua. Maybe when I'm 50.

Potatoe Fist said...

I agree with you totally, but at the same time fighting without my feet makes me feel parapelegic. I'm fully integrated and it's a lot of effort not to use them - so much so that I fight horribly without them.

BSM said...

Oh we still use our feet, just not as much. Mostly to set up punching. It's a different paradigm but not too far removed from Karate or TKD.

Colin Wee said...

Or an art that uses traditional kicks over flashy kicks. Since reverting back to 'basics' and more conservative kicks, my hip inflammation (and kicking power!) have improved greatly! Colin

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