Posted On:8/04/2008 10:29pm
Style: Judo & BJJ hacker
If 43 is too old to start MT, then I'd better grab a cane and hobble to the gym to get my money back. I just started at 44.
I have the benefit of previous training in karate, but I'd been out of shape for over a year before joining a new mma gym. So I'm hitting hard but getting winded fast. And my back gets a little sore.
I'd say go for it, but spend a few months getting your core strength up and improving your cardio. Start slow and work up to it. Maybe you can find a local fitness club with a 3 month trial membership. When that runs out, switch to MT. It's a lot more fun to hit things than it is to lift things.
Posted On:8/05/2008 5:27am
Style: MMA, Yoga
It is do-able, just be aware that you will injure easier and take longer to recover. We have a couple of guys in their forties train with us sometimes who have to take a month off if their knees clash during sparring. Build up your training slow and steady until you know your limits.
Posted On:8/05/2008 11:54am
I recently started Judo/BJJ at the age of 31. One of the guys that I roll with is in his 60's and there are a few more who are in their 40's. I am not knocking the quality of instruction, but I think of it more like a health club membership than trying to become a badass.
Also, I have heard on a number of occasions that adults tend to come in and work out hard for a few classes and then they are never seen again because they are not used to the physicallity and that they should probably be willing to sit out now and then in the beginning if they are not prepared physically. No big deal to me if a beginner does not do all of the excersizes or fits. People should not let their ego get in the way. Even if the physical aspect is tough at the beginning, your classmates will be supportive that you stuck with it because they will have someone new to spar/randori with.
1% Shark is better than you.
Posted On:8/05/2008 1:48pm
At the right gym and an intelligent pace you should be fine. Make sure the gym is big enough for you to find a variety of training partners. If you manage to find a small hardcore gym with 5-8 regulars that are 20 something fighters it will be a lot harder to distribute the damage on your body and provide yourself with the kind of variety that will help you develop without getting hurt.
Posted On:8/05/2008 3:26pm
You're never too old IMHO but be honest w/ yourself on why you want to do this first. If its just fitness, could you do something else that would get the results you are looking for without the punishment your body could take. What type of gym you go to will dictate if you could do this or not. I'm 53 and in my dojo, MT is pretty intense and not for the faint of heart. Majority of the guys there are in the 20's with maybe 2 or 3 in their 30's. Its great for learning a strking art and to get in shape but could your body take the pounding ? Recovery time usually longer as you get older and I can atest to this. If I was at least 10 yrs younger, I would go for it myself. I think it would be fun to learn and with good training and live sparring, this makes a good combination for learning MT...
Posted On:8/05/2008 8:46pm
Style: Does exercise count?
As someone with horrendously fucked up joints this topic is of interest to me. The issue which seems to keep coming up here is more about knees than anything else.
Would boxing perhaps be more friendly on the joints due to not having to pivot on one leg while kicking, or taking shots to the legs at all?
Posted On:8/05/2008 11:17pm
Definately. The pivoting not so much because you will be pivoting while throwing punches too (hips are in almost every punch). Taking shots to the legs even with padding can injure though, as will knee clashes. I've trained both boxing and MT and i'm pretty sure you will get less knee issues from boxing.
One of my knees has been fucked up since my Rugby days but something interesting i noted was that after a few months of MT my legs got a lot stronger and are now able to support the knee better. Now instead of waking up some days unable to walk the injury only comes back from very serious impact to it.
Posted On:8/06/2008 10:58pm
Ditto what WhiteShark said. He really summed it up well but I'll add my thoughts.
Part of getting back into shape requires finding a program that interests and motivates you. If Muay Thai has peaked your interest over more "traditional" exercise options, then I say give it a try but be smart about it.
1. Get a COMPLETE medical checkup. Don't skip this!
2. Start Slow and give your body a chance to adapt. Having a gym like WhiteShark described is essential IMO.
3. Cross train. I suggest a strength conditioning program to supplement your MT workouts. Muscle burns more calories and a stronger body is less prone to injuries. Additional aerobic exercise won't hurt either. I suggest low impact eliptical or cycling (at first) because you'll be getting plenting of impact during your MT training. If you like MT, it can be the motiviation to cross train when you might not otherwise be interesting in going to gym to lift weights or sit on a cycle.
4. Take care of your injuries properly and recognize that they will take longer to heal. Do not ignore them. On top of all the usual things to treat injuries and sore muscles, I suggest investing in a massage device called "The Stick" (http://www.thestick.com). The damn thing works wonders on sore muscles, sprains, knots, etc.
5. Keep your goals in mind.....fitness and sparring/self-defense. When you're in your 40's and beyond, it's probably not realistic to be a competitive fighter. Most masters divisions start at 35 and quite frankly there is a huge difference between 35 and 45 year olds. I can only laugh when I here 20 and 30 somethings say they "feel old."
6. If MT is not what you expected, don't be afraid to give boxing or something else a try!
I know a little about the position you're in. I'm soon to be 45 and have been training for about 2 years. I'm 6'4" and started training at about 345 pounds and am now about 246 pounds at 17% bodyfat (and still improving). Boxing/Kickboxing/MT made exercise fun and motivating again. To be honest, I have had injuries with the most serious being a strained MCL (from a caught roundhouse) and a cracked rib (from a takedown that I f****ed up). Both healed on their own with time and adjusting my training to accommodate the healing. But most injuries are simple (but painful) strains, sprains, and bruises. Sparring last Thursday and Saturday resulted in a sore knee (from a knee collision), a knot in my left thigh (from a knee strike), and a slight bruise behind my left ear because I tend to lower my shoulders and hands when I get tired. Everything felt fine as of Yesterday and I'm ready to spar again. With all that said, I did not spar reasonably hard for most of the first year. I really focused on conditioning and technique with occasional light sparring.
Sorry for the long response, but your question really hit home with me. Good luck.
Posted On:8/06/2008 11:55pm
Style: Confused variety
Theres been lots of good advice on this thread. Knees seem to be a problem. all round conditioning work probably helps. Im in my late forties and I still play hard, in fact I love giving 18 year olds a run for their money, but my situation is different, as I have been training in martial arts and fitness since childhood and never stopped.
Stopping is bad news.
I would caution an older beginner to be open minded and be prepared to try a different art initially.
Its probably going to depend on the actual instructor and group that you train with?
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