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View Full Version : Looking into MMA. Any advice for an old idiot?



CraigShaw
4/24/2017 11:57pm,
Okay, some background that will probably get me laughed at...

The only official martial art i did was Karate back in junior school. I got my first belt before my parents made me quit saying it was too violent after my first competition. I was told by many judges that my punching was good but i didn't kick at all, so even though i had the most matches (i tied almost all of them) i didn't rank anywhere (even though others who had less matches ranched - which i have no idea how that worked...)

Anyway, I forgot about martial arts but then got interested again shortly after high school. I couldn't find any schools in my area so decided to try self train (yes, I'm one of those self-deluded idiots...). I tried Judo but quickly realised i had no hope at even basic understanding without a partner.

Through who knows what i ended up trying to focus on Muay Thai. I searched everywhere i could for as much information on basic strikes and technique as possible, as well as boxing. I know practise makes permanent and not perfect, but it was the only option i had. I would pull apart every technique before i tried it then would try do it against a heavy bag trying to pay attention to everything my body was doing. I didn't work on anything fancy, just straight pouches, hooks, uppercuts, elbows, knees and normal side kicks. I "practised" for 2 hours morning and evening (with running and excercises as well). I ended up getting pretty fit but as to my techniques they probably sucked no matter how much i want them not to.

Anyway, the point of all this is that I'm now 32, short sighted and haven't trained in any way for 4 years (I could go on the road for three hours but now can't even walk up my damn driveway without feeling winded).

My goal was to always try my best to analyze and learn on my own until i found someplace to learn.

I recently found a place called Domination Gym where the head guy used to be a boxer and then took up Muay Thai and BBJ. He is apparently one of only two MT instructors in my area. He doesn't teach BBJ though but there is another guy who does.

I'm looking at joining the Gym for three of there classes: Boxing, Muay Thai, and BBJ.

My short sightedness shouldn't be a problem as when i tried learning myself i could see enough without my glasses.

I'm just wondering if it is something i can get into or is 32 too late? Also, did my "self-training" mess up my chances of learning? If i try throw a hook now for instance i still "reflex" in the same way without having to think about it (i.e. twisting lead foot with hook, shoulders, hips, etc. with other hand up to guard). I did it all so much for so long it's literally a reflex. Which is fine i guess if they were perfect, but I'd be deluded if i thought that.

Does anyone have any advice or such? I feel like an idiot because it's all I've ever wanted to do (hence trying to learn as best as possible until i found a proper place to train) - but now after the joy of finding a place has worn off i find myself highly nervous with cold feet. (Also, does anyone know about the Domination Gym?)

jnp
4/25/2017 8:45am,
Okay, some background that will probably get me laughed at...

The only official martial art i did was Karate back in junior school. I got my first belt before my parents made me quit saying it was too violent after my first competition. I was told by many judges that my punching was good but i didn't kick at all, so even though i had the most matches (i tied almost all of them) i didn't rank anywhere (even though others who had less matches ranched - which i have no idea how that worked...)

Anyway, I forgot about martial arts but then got interested again shortly after high school. I couldn't find any schools in my area so decided to try self train (yes, I'm one of those self-deluded idiots...). I tried Judo but quickly realised i had no hope at even basic understanding without a partner.

Through who knows what i ended up trying to focus on Muay Thai. I searched everywhere i could for as much information on basic strikes and technique as possible, as well as boxing. I know practise makes permanent and not perfect, but it was the only option i had. I would pull apart every technique before i tried it then would try do it against a heavy bag trying to pay attention to everything my body was doing. I didn't work on anything fancy, just straight pouches, hooks, uppercuts, elbows, knees and normal side kicks. I "practised" for 2 hours morning and evening (with running and excercises as well). I ended up getting pretty fit but as to my techniques they probably sucked no matter how much i want them not to.

Anyway, the point of all this is that I'm now 32, short sighted and haven't trained in any way for 4 years (I could go on the road for three hours but now can't even walk up my damn driveway without feeling winded).

My goal was to always try my best to analyze and learn on my own until i found someplace to learn.

I recently found a place called Domination Gym where the head guy used to be a boxer and then took up Muay Thai and BBJ. He is apparently one of only two MT instructors in my area. He doesn't teach BBJ though but there is another guy who does.

I'm looking at joining the Gym for three of there classes: Boxing, Muay Thai, and BBJ.

My short sightedness shouldn't be a problem as when i tried learning myself i could see enough without my glasses.

I'm just wondering if it is something i can get into or is 32 too late? Also, did my "self-training" mess up my chances of learning? If i try throw a hook now for instance i still "reflex" in the same way without having to think about it (i.e. twisting lead foot with hook, shoulders, hips, etc. with other hand up to guard). I did it all so much for so long it's literally a reflex. Which is fine i guess if they were perfect, but I'd be deluded if i thought that.

Does anyone have any advice or such? I feel like an idiot because it's all I've ever wanted to do (hence trying to learn as best as possible until i found a proper place to train) - but now after the joy of finding a place has worn off i find myself highly nervous with cold feet. (Also, does anyone know about the Domination Gym?)
Go train! I started at 32 myself. I'm still going 16 years later. Don't judge your performance against other people. Everyone progresses at a different rate. The main thing is to get started.

NeilG
4/25/2017 10:43am,
I assume by BBJ you mean BJJ. At any rate, just go train. I have seen many posts similar to yours over the years, self-assessments looking for some stamp of approval. I often wonder how many of those guys ever show up on the mats. Don't wonder if you can do it, just go and give it your best effort. If the instructors are any good they won't give you more than you can handle. It will be up to you to decide if you like it.

Cake of Doom
4/25/2017 10:46am,
I assume by BBJ you mean BJJ. At any rate, just go train. I have seen many posts similar to yours over the years, self-assessments looking for some stamp of approval. I often wonder how many of those guys ever show up on the mats. Don't wonder if you can do it, just go and give it your best effort. If the instructors are any good they won't give you more than you can handle. It will be up to you to decide if you like it.

You've hit on the main stumbling block: actually walking through the doors of the gym/dojo/whatever. If you can get the bollocks together to turn up to the first session, the rest will fall into place.*

*Assumes good quality training in your (OP's) area.

CraigShaw
4/25/2017 11:09am,
I assume by BBJ you mean BJJ. At any rate, just go train. I have seen many posts similar to yours over the years, self-assessments looking for some stamp of approval. I often wonder how many of those guys ever show up on the mats. Don't wonder if you can do it, just go and give it your best effort. If the instructors are any good they won't give you more than you can handle. It will be up to you to decide if you like it.

Yes, I meant BJJ. (That will be an autocorrect by my phone that I missed).

I'm going through to the gym tomorrow to talk about signing up for the three classes that I mentioned. (They have a set monthly fee and you can do one class per day so I was thinking of doing three a week.)

Showing up for the lessons wont be too hard. Once I've paid I won't want to have wasted my money! :-P

To be honest though, the Boxing and Muay Thai don't intimidate me that much, but the BJJ really does. For some reason, I don't really know, the idea of doing BJJ actually scares me quite a bit.


Go train! I started at 32 myself. I'm still going 16 years later. Don't judge your performance against other people. Everyone progresses at a different rate. The main thing is to get started.

Thanks. That's actually really encouraging. Also love your "Shut the hell up and train." sig.

goodlun
4/25/2017 8:17pm,
Sorry Neil I fat fingered the down vote.

GrouchyOldMan
4/25/2017 10:00pm,
As an older idiot who just started training judo two months ago, just go.

More importantly, keep showing up.

If you have decent instruction and a good training environment, no one is going to really care that you are not in prime physical condition, or that you don't have any proper skills to speak of, or that you are consistently fucking up the simplest of drills except for you. For me, this is the real ego problem that needs to be kept in check. I'm just now starting to accept the fact that it is perfectly ok to suck, and no one really focuses on how much I don't know or can't do except for me.

"Just keep showing up". Other than some supplementary cardio and basic conditioning exercises, because I was so sadly out of shape, that is all I have done for the last two months is simply show up for class and make an honest effort to improve. I've adopted it as my personal mantra. And, even though I still suck out loud, I don't suck nearly as hard as I did two months ago.

NeilG
4/25/2017 11:57pm,
Budo is the art of sucking slightly less each day. As an instructor I am interested in teaching the guy who shows up and tries his best, regardless of talent level. The guy who gets the most respect in our kendo club? The 73 year old who shows up for class more regularly than anyone else and does all the same drills without complaint. He started at age 45.

ChenPengFi
4/26/2017 12:11am,
the idea of doing BJJ actually scares me quite a bit.




Your fears are unwarranted.


Chef Anthony Bourdain, coming off of a lifetime of smoking and excess started BJJ at 57.
He won a gold medal at blue belt recently and he's almost 60.

https://www.maxim.com/.image/c_limit%2Ccs_srgb%2Cw_839/MTM3OTQxODc0ODE1MDE4ODU5/anthony-bourdain-promojpg.png

CraigShaw
4/26/2017 6:02am,
Okay. Went to the gym today to find out about lessons and everything entails. Don't know what I expected but it was very relaxed and a fairly small place. The owner (Clint Walters) was very friendly. It was only him there, I think his junior instructor and one other guy training on his own.

I told him I was going in blank slate and zero experience and wanted to know what he thought. He suggested that I train every day if possible at least one lesson and that I start with morning cardio and then Muay Thai and Boxing on alternate evenings and then move onto BJJ later.

From what he explained, for the Muay Thai they have a required beginners class that I need to take for approx. 5-6 months before being allowed to go onto the Muay Thai MMA class when he thinks I am ready. For the Boxing I understood that both the beginners boxing and technical boxing are open to me and the BJJ is a mixed class with no beginners class.

He also said I could train in my glasses but would need to take them off for light sparring (I just assumed there will be heavy sparring in the future when I finally get to the MMA class). He asked how well I could see without them and I saw a shelf about two meters away, took off my glasses and told him I could see objects on the shelves but not what they were. He said that's fine.

So I thinking of doing two Beginner Muay Thai and one Technical Boxing class a week and starting the BJJ after I've got grounded enough in the Muay Thai and Boxing so I'm not overloading with too much information to adjust to at once.

On the fee side, There is a R200 ($15.20) joining fee and the monthly fee of R600 ($45.55) with a one month advanced deposit required. So I would effectively be paying R1400 ($106.2) for the first month and R600 ($45.55) for each month there after. No long contracts required but I have to give a months notice if I ever decide to stop and I can choose to either get the deposit month back or train it out.

Fees run 1st of month to 1st of month.

I'm looking at starting on the first next Monday. (Anyone wanting to maybe help me out with knowing that they think, their website is dominationgym in Durban, South Africa. Though I can't post links yet so you will have to search for it.)

I didn't get to see any actual training or lessons but they do sparring and they do train fighters for MMA so I'm sure that's good? Also, I was made to feel extremely welcome. (Not that I was over pushed anything, he was just very friendly and open).

Cake of Doom
4/26/2017 6:13am,
Ask if its possible to observe one of their classes before committing to to anything. Saying that, it sounds pretty easy to quit there if you find an alternative you like better. On the down side, the website doesn't mention who the BJJ coach is or what rank they are.

EDITED EDIT:-

It mentions a black belt but not whom or pictures of the training.

HURM

Cake of Doom
4/26/2017 8:03am,
Ask if its possible to observe one of their classes before committing to to anything. Saying that, it sounds pretty easy to quit there if you find an alternative you like better. On the down side, the website doesn't mention who the BJJ coach is or what rank they are.

EDITED EDIT:-

It mentions a black belt but not whom or pictures of the training.

HURM

EDITED MORE:-

Found out its Darrell Moodley.

ermghoti
4/26/2017 8:11am,
If they have MMA fighters, a decent schedule, an adequate gym, and a BJJ black belt, they'd be like $100-140/mo most places in the US. I don't know about the local culture, but I'd jump all over that.

CraigShaw
5/06/2017 3:33am,
I posted my experiences with my first "Muay Thai" lesson at the gym as well as a local Judo instructor for anyone whose intersted: http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=126720&p=2930259&posted=1#post2930259

I haven't tried the BJJ yet, or the ACTUAL Muay Thai (post explains). I'm looking on trying the BJJ on Monday and (hopefully) the Muay Thai on Tuesday while keeping up Judo (separate place) on Thursdays.