So it's finally hit me, I'm 41. I started on Bullshido when I was, what? Thirty Four. So hitting Middle Age kinda creeped up on me.
What I want to know from my fellow old fuckers, how has age changed your training, what injuries are nagging or have you out of training, and what your plans are for the future.
BJJ off and on for 3 years total, about a year of MMA, and Thai off and on. As with some of us in Combat Sports, we want to test our skills. So a few MMA smokers later, I've learned that I don't have what it takes to fight anything more than the smokers, maybe an Amateur fight, but at my age, who knows.
After my 1st MMA match, I learned from that experience of getting my face punched in that my ground game on my back was ****. So for the next years, that's all I put my time into. But grappling is hard on the body. Couple with muscle imbalances from sitting behind a computer 12 hours a day, and **** breaks down. I've had both shoulders MRI'd, and have had issues with both rotator cuffs. I've been off the mats now 10 months, and feel about 90% there, in fact will be back on the mats next week, fingers crossed.
Just from 34 to 40, my training is know all about getting the most of my technique with the least amount of energy. I still have far to go. When I started, I tried to muscle out and fight the tap. Nowadays, I tap fast, and tap often. I also don't have that urge anymore to alpha anyone on the mats. It's no longer a competition for me to keep track of who tapped me, and vice versa.
I plan to train in BJJ for the rest of my life, in fact, I still dream of getting my Black one day. Guys like Aesopian are a source of inspiration to me, he loves Jiu Jitsu, and it shows.
My son is now 15, he's 6 foot tall and 190lbs. He still loves BJJ, even though he's turned into a dirty wrestler. :) BJJ is one of the bonding things we have, other than COD MW2 and games like it. And let's face it, Brazillian Jiu Jitsu is life.
I'll be 41 in a little more than a month. I've struggled with a number of medium to minor injuries for the last year and a half. About six months ago I finally started to understand that I could no longer train at a high intensity every time I stepped onto the mat. Once a week, sure, but every time? No, that way injury lies.
These days I typically spar at 50% intensity with people I trust. This prevents making my current injuries from getting worse and helps me avoid new ones.
Injuries have caused me to rethink my ego. Due to a neck injury that wouldn't go away, I had to tap to anyone when they started setting up guillotine attempts. Not when they had the position, mind you, during the set up.
I also started focusing on eating more healthy food and getting more rest.
I started training seriously at 32. I haven't stopped since. I too plan on rolling until I die or am too broken to do so.
Hmmmm, at fifty I could spar hard and throwdown; getting thrown was getting to be a problem. Around that time I started limiting my getting thrown to maybe ten breakfalls then I'd just throw. Now at a couple months from sixty, and managing to injure both shoulders even throwing is getting more difficult. I've healed enough to be able to spar pretty hard again, but gas out fast. Most standup and takedown type drills are OK. Pad and bag OK too. I gave up on BJJ/MMA school as trying to just practice triangles (put your butt up higher, pat, reach your legs up and around...) put pressure right on the fucked up shoulder. Maybe after the surgery that I'm putting off.
I'll be 38 soon and like some of you guys mentioned I seem to get more nagging small injuries than I ever used to in my 20's. It seems like they just don't heal anymore so they just accumulate until I need to just take a week or two off.
I also have a hard time keeping up with the 'kids' with regard to cardio and endurance. My biggest asset was always my speed and now that I can't maintain that for extended periods I'm having to adjust my game. It can be irritating but I just need to accept it and move on.
I still have my dirty tricks though that helps equalize things! Of course, until my training partners learn those too...
I will add this though, one of my good friends competed in Dog Brothers Gatherings until the age of 50, so the hope is there!
I am 37 and have been doing BJJ since 2001 and MMA since 2004. I boxed when i was younger.
Last year i finally realised that I couldn't keep going with MMA so I have cut back to one day a week. I started getting injuries that didn't go away ever and realised that it was not wise to continue.
I took up Judo three days a week to replace the MMA and i am really enjoying it. I also go to the MMA club once a week but just do BJJ/grappling. I also do strength training three days a week.
I dont think you are ever too old to train, just to old to do certain types of training. One of the guys at Judo is 63 (and 7th dan).
I'll be 58 in June. Cardio is not where I would like it and the "after work out soreness" lasts a little longer than it used to. I still take the breakfalls without problems but will tap out quick when someone catches my re-habbed elbow. I'm still enjoying the workouts though but have no interest in competition. (I will admit that it still looks fun though and I sometimes think about getting back out for an occaisional comp. now and then.)
I just turned 42 and I've been training in BJJ for about 3 and half years now. I definitely feel a lot stiffness and soreness that I don't recall when I was younger. But I also know I'm a lot stronger.
I'll be 44 in March. I've been incredibly fortunate in that I haven't received any shall we say life-changing injuries in training. Mostly my problem is with cardio, and injuries take a lot longer to heal - especially anything involving hits to bone.
Right along with the age is (hopefully) a little wisdom though: I baby my injuries (ice, dit da jow, and rest, religiously), protective gear makes a lot more sense (what the hell is it with arnisadors eschewing eye-protection?).
Paradoxically, I'm probably training harder now than I ever did in the past, as well as free weights, body-weight exercises and capoeira on the side.
i'm 38 and will be 39 in june. started hung fist boxing in 95 and racked up my share of injuries from it (torn meniscus, torn rotator cuff, fractured orbital, etc.) found out that i don't have the mentality for full contact ring fighting, and focused more on coaching. found that i was not getting enough shuai (throwing) in my kung fu, and that it was hurting my ability to coach sanda fighters, so i signed up for judo this last august (put aside all other training for the most part, and my teaching entirely.)
judo is great, and i have been learning really quickly. i should be competing soon, and have set the goal of at least shodan and a certified coach before getting back into coaching sanda.
the workouts are really hard on me, and i have to be careful and tap before injury during newaza, but i haven't had any injuries that really took me out (yet.) i have to deal with a lot of youthful aggression, as the guys my size in the dojo are young and full of energy, so i have to be crafty. the guys my age are twice my size and much craftier than me, so they throw me around and crush me with no problem.
recently started weight training with some of the guys from the dojo, hoping to improve my strength and endurance. we'll see how that goes, but it was long overdue.
Will hit 59 in March. Have been training in formal martial arts since mid teens. Love the mat and have had to limit my hard sparring. Surgeries, permanent injuries and the odd medical issues that come with age had curtailed my hardest activities due to longer healing/recovery periods. Still have to demonstrate the lessons and coaching requires hands on, but no competitiion for me, not any more.
The short version is that I've carried an injury throughout my adult life and just work round it. It'll be there regardless of whether I train or not, and I like training, so I might as well train. For the long version, read on... (warning, is long.)
I'll be 41 in a month, and only took up combat sports two years ago. A million years before that I was a college soccer player, but had a bad ACL tear that the British National Health system refused to fix because they said that I didn't play sports at a sufficiently high level. As a result, my knee would occasionally pop out, over the years shearing off much of the cartilege and miniscus with it, eventually producing arthritis in the joint. There is never a time that it doesn't ache. Somehow, though I have no idea how, I also managed to pick up a hernia just above my pubic bone during this period. I went to see the doctor about it, and he said "just try not to strain too much" and laughed!
This put me off all sport for years, as I couldn't confidently balance or turn on my right leg with thinking it was going to give way. For exercise throughout my mid-20s, I did yoga and Tai Chi forms, and was lucky to have really great teachers in both of those.
Then I came to work in the US and the first thing I did with my new health insurance was get my knee fixed by a sport surgeon. Next came kids, and trying to impress at my new job and suddenly I was 37-38 with a big gut and the largest pants I'd ever owned.
Something needed to be done, so I signed up at a Kung-Fu school. The school had a great mentality, and gave a really serious work-out that absolutely kicked my ass, but ultimately it wasn't for me. Next I joined the boxing club, which was just fantastic. Loads of full contact sparring from the beginning and hard training. Lost loads of weight and my cardio really improved. I even started running. However, it was a college club, and trying to keep up with the kids half my age - the smallest of whom looked like Shane Mosley, and the biggest like Lennox - was just too much and I started to accumulate injuries. First my shoulder started to hurt, then my arm when numb, and now it's pretty certain that I've got the attractively-named bulging disc for which treatment is just getting underway. I haven't boxed at all since last Easter, and tried to fill the gap with Stronglifts, but that just made me want to eat like a horse and my aim is to be slim. I have also just started judo, though, and have my third class tonight. This may be another dead-end, but I have a hunch that with judo, I may have found my sport.
So my conclusion is, **** it, you can sit on your arse and moan, or you can find a way to work round it. Something's got to kill you so you might as well enjoy yourself. Fatuous conclusions aside, I also note that while my quick-twitch reflexes have slowed down enormously with age, my general stamina and cardio endurance seem to be improving - at least for now., I always hated long distance running, but don't even think about it now.
Thanks for listening - I obviously had something to get off my chest.
LOL welcome to my world.
I think we all grow up after awhile and see the fading of the big red S on our chests coupled with the gray hairs popping up here and there and think its all over or soon to be. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The problem is that we have set so high of a goal for ourselves in MA that we think we are failing if we can not perform daily. One of the problems with being a goal driven person and getting older.
The physical can not be over come without medical help. Unless you want to get on HGH you will be dealing with soreness and age related fatigue. All I can say is get a good chiro or masseuse and a bulk bottle of ibuprofen. Learn to train more effectively. Currently I am being the grouchy old man and telling people to slow the **** down and drill drill drill. I spend a lot of time just doing repetitive drills. I spar MMA for a week then take off a week but I randori/roll virtually every day.
During the randori sessions if I am not feeling it I will just work out of bad spots and tap to just about anything. It makes the guys in the gym happy when they get one on me BUT it also shows them how to train. On the days I am feeling really frisky I tend to put it to them just as a reminder. I know that many of you are not instructors so they training should be easier for you since you just need to worry about yourselves.
I guess what I am trying to say is relax and take your time when it comes to training at our age. The fact of the matter is you will get more out of a slow steady pace then a race to the finish line, Aesop would be so proud of me.
I am 47 and am upping my fitness training some more this year, plus cross training with BJJ and Muay Thai guys.
Got my first grey hairs in my beard recently. Also have accepted I need reading glasses.
41 in May
doing only bjj now (almost 2 years), 4x per week most weeks, and do some biking and swimming on the side. i used to spar mma-rules a coupla years back, and on some mornings i could barely move, so after the place shut down in 2006 i took a couple years off, training for triathlon instead, and then switched to bjj. motivating factors were soreness and injuries, yes, but at this age and with kids i figure getting hit in the head a lot just probably isn't the greatest idea anymore.
generally my cardio is good to very good, a remnant of the triathlon training. i breathe deeply while rolling, but don't get out of breath. mild soreness is a daily presence, but not enough to mind. sometimes i take ibuprofen.
occasionally i'll need to take a week off to let my hands recover. from about month 3 to month 7 or 8 my hands were so stiff and sore (relax noob!) that i'd have to soak them in very hot water in the morning. they'd ache all the way up to the elbows. nowadays if they start to stiffen up i'll just do classes and skip open mat afterward.
i definitely subscribe to the idea of picking your training partners carefully. there are several like-minded older guys at my school who like to work the slow and contemplative game, and i work with them most of the time. but every session i'll do at least a couple matches with younger guys who go harder, for the experience.
Just turned 40, and have injuries going back to childhood that still nag, like that broken neck thing for example.
Also injured both knees, left shoulder, right wrist/hand etc, etc...
I think everybody summed it up pretty well, i tap early and often at BJJ and do yoga and eat much better now. Sleep plays a bigger role now than when i was younger.
My CMA training has also taken a somewhat more health oriented track.
46 next August and still on the mat. Age and treachery FTW!!!
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