Dont forget about Bernard Hopkins. He was 39 when he knocked out Oscar de la Hoya and unified the Middleweight title for 4 major boxing sactioning bodies. He was 43 this year when he lost a split decision to Joe Calzaghe (I thought Hopkins bested him, but thats another thread)
Or Mark Law, writer of The Pyjama Game, who was nearly 50 when he started judo. He is now black belt and competed in it. And still does, I guess.
thanks for all the input, pros, cons.
Upon closer examination, the gym in my reach offers training being incompatible with my work hours and other activities. I tried traditional Wing Chun (Ip Chin/Ip Chung -> Samuel Kwok -> Flecken). Nice and friendly people, they allowed me to visit their training for free for a whole month. And then I contacted someone from VT-line of Wing Chun (Wong Shun Leung->Philipp Bayer). That was an eye-opener! Direct, simple, effective, that's what all VT/WC/WT-lines claim.
In VT, they don't do something like "oh, a punch comes and now you make your Tan Sao/Bong Sao and softly absorb the energy, turning to the side ...". Nice theory, but won't work on the street. They don't do complicated moves. The goal is: punch your enemy. If possible, punch him. If not, make room so you can punch. Chi Sao with pressure, learning, how to cope with aggresive forward pressure, and later (after internalizing basic moves/stances) controlled full contact sparring. Few techniques, but hard techiniques. No ballet. Yes, I'm sold to VT (WSL/Pilipp Bayer).
As the main goal is not making a lot of money, in VT there are no ranks, no titles, nothing to pay for forms, applications, weapon forms or paying an additional fee to your organisation. No "Just do it this way. In seven years, after paying 4000$, we show you the secret blabla, and you know why." Just training and hard work. Where I live, we meet in the attic. Yesterday, I got a 2h free private lesson on the balcony. Distance: 5 min from my home, by feet.
Thanks for all the input and happy punching
PS: Please forgive errors/typos, I'm a German and English is not my mother-tongue.