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    Too old for this stuff

    After lurking around here for a few weeks I thought it's high time I made the obligatory intro post.

    I don't have much in the way of an MA background. It's never been something I was interested in before. I've dabbled in the gym with mates and used to enjoy lifting a bit - never anything serious and I enjoyed playing badminton and squash for three or four years in my 20s.

    For my early 30s I pretty much stopped doing any working out. I probably convinced myself that I didn't really have time for sports. Work and family was more important at the time, as was pissing away my spare time playing video games. Enjoyable though!

    My first taste of anything resembling MA was about 3 years ago when a friend of mine asked me if I wanted to try a Self Defense class. His friend, Martyn Morrison, had been practising Kung Fu for several years under instruction from Keith Dwan at the Colchester Dragon Martial Arts School. Martyn was reguarly acting as one of the CDMAS instructors now and had earned his 4th? Dan BB and he now wanted to start his own, secondary class focused on teaching practical SD. We went along to check it out.

    It was a real eye opener and as Martyn's regular KF class was on immediately before his new SD class we got a chance to watch them practising. In retrospect the venue could of been better - it was a school sports hall which is rented twice a week for Keith's club. He had other venues around Clacton and Manningtree he used for teaching in the absence of his own teaching dojo. We neither minded nor knew any different.

    After a couple of weeks of getting to know the other people in the SD class I decided that I would try out the KF lessons too. It was great to start to work on techniques for fighting, practice doing some of the forms or lines that would be used in grading and following it up with some basic SD. We managed to spar semi-reguarly in KF too. it was only touch-point sparring but it was the first time in my life I had been exposed to what could be considered 'fighting'. I had realised by now that I was very out of shape and told myself I would keep doing the KF - perhaps go along to some of the other lessons in the week too. The belt grading was something I could focus on - a tangible measurement of my progress and it spurred me on.

    After about 18 months or so real life started to interfere. I got promoted at work, had a house move to Ipswich, Christmas was coming up soon and I decided that I wouldn't give it up but maybe take a bit of a break for a while. I had at this point managed to earn my Blue Belt and thought I would take the next couple of months off and plan to return to training in the new year.

    It didn't happen. A couple of months turned to six, seven, eight and I went back to doing no excersise at all. My friend had kept going and he had managed his Brown 1 belt. He had reported however some aspects of training he did not enjoy and wasn't sure if he would be able to keep it up either.

    In the end Martyn had decided that he was leaving CDMAS too - for his own reasons. But he would start up his own class in Kung Fu. He found that the Colchester School Of Martial Arts was looking to add Kung Fu to their list of martial arts lessons and they signed him up as an instructor. Deja vu - my friend was now asking me again to go back to class and help support our instructor in his new venture. I hastily agreed as I always enjoyed Martyn's instruction and his teaching method of ignoring the BS and adopting a 'what works' mentality.

    So a couple of months ago I restarted my Kung Fu classes back up and I'm back enjoying a good workout. The class is great - we get sparring practice which is generally as hard as our sparring partners agree with and the SD is incorperated to the KF as part of the same lesson. The Colchester School is also in a properly equipped gym with matted floor. I still have both elbows damaged somehow due to bad falls on the hard sports hall floors where I must of missed the mat. I don't feel anything wrong with them but I can get a shooting pain up my arm if I lean on my elbows 'wrong' somwtimes.

    This time, and these lessons, have motivated me again. I wanted more. More fitness, more fighting. I decided that as I live in Ipswich I would still support my KF buddies but I would find a local MT club and give it a go. After a couple of weeks I got up the courage (I'm not a naturally confident person) to stop into Ipswich Kickboxing Acadamy for one of their MT classes. This is a school run by Gary Staff who I understand was a semi-pro boxer in his time but I haven't been able to find much in the way of history. I still don't know the MT instructors by name yet - I should really work on that.

    The IKA again opened my eyes to a different world of fighting. The Colchester gym is large, well equipped - very 'presentable'. They cater to adult classes as well as the Little Dragon's kids' classes where their mums can sit down and have a chat about... whatever. IKA was different - there are no tables and chairs for the mums. The toilets were small with questionable hygiene practices and a slight smell of stale sweat in the air. I realise this was a gym with a priority on training, on fighting.

    My first lesson goes well. I learn that I can't skip rope to save my life. We work on pads practicing basic punch and kick drills. We work in some basic knee techniques on the pads. On of the other beginneers mention to me, "You've done this before." which gives me a bit of confidence as some part of the Kung Fu must of rubbed off somewhere along the line.

    After the lesson my instructor gives me some more information about the gym - lessons, costs, begineer vs intermediate classes for MT. He tells me that I'm welcome to come along to the intermediate classes if I want as they normally tailor the class who the level of people who show up. I decide I will give it a go and join up for �40 per month for two classes a week.

    So here I am now. Still going to KF once a week and, as of yesterday, done my 5th MT lesson and enjoying it immensley. I find the MT gym a different world now. I have prmised myself now I won't give up. I will make it to lessons EVERY time - no excuses. We spar every lesson and the guys I spar with are going easy on me - I know they are. Yesterday we were working on kick counters and my sparring partner is being very good to me going through the drills. I ask him how long he has been doing MT. "A long while" is all he says.

    I still feel fear when sparring with these guys. I know they have been doing this for longer than I and it shows. I am gassed within a minute - all my weak ass punches meet air or are deflected off the side of their gloves. When they come at me I flail my arms in a desperate bid to do the same but it's always the same result - I get hit once, twice, three times and then a kick for good measure. I managed to counter a couple of the kicks my partner throws and pat myself on the back for it. In the back of my mind, no matter how good I may of thought I was, I realise that everyone in this gym could take my head off in a real fight. It's a bit depressing when I think of it like that but I know that it takes practise, commitment, all those other words they use in youtube videos when you seach for "Muay Thai Motivation". Pain is temporary.

    My main problems at the moment is controlling my fear of 1) Being Hit and 2) Hitting someone else. I have never been in a fight in my entire life. I am also questioning myself on if I can be competent. I am 36. All the other fighters are probably in their mid twenties if not younger. Maybe this is why I'm the one who gets hit and cannot land a punch? At this age I'm too SLOW?

    My age is the reason I keep trying to convince myself I shouldn't be doing this. I shouldn't be putting my body through this. Thai Boxers RETIRE before they are 25 so WTF am I doing this for? I persuade myself that I do this because I WANT to. I know I have limits but I will never find out what those limits are if I don't continue.

    So this is me, too old, too overweight, too lazy etc. But for now - fuck that shit - I'm going to train.

    Originally posted by Stoneskin View Post
    ...So this is me, too old, too overweight, too lazy etc. But for now - fuck that shit - I'm going to train.
    Welcome to Bullshido.

    Maaaan, what a long post... :-)

    36 is not too old. We got a ton of guys on here who are past that number and still train and compete regularly, myself included. Just keep at it. :-)

    I got BULLSHIDO ON TV!!!

    "Bruce Lee sucks because I slammed my nuts with nunchucks trying to do that stupid shit back in the day. I still managed to have two kids. I forgive you Bruce.
    " - by Vorpal


      Wait wait. You are doing something new and you are not instantly good at it?

      You are not supposed to be. This is why you are paying the money to the guy who is good to teach you.

      The feeling of being overwhelmed and uncertain is where growing takes place.


        Originally posted by Stoneskin View Post
        So this is me, too old, too overweight, too lazy etc. But for now - fuck that shit - I'm going to train.
        That's the spirit! There are plenty of old geezers (Tonuzaba excluded, obviously) here who train hard and generally kick ass into their 50's and beyond. If it's making you happy & could help you in a pinch it's worth it.

        Welcome to Bullshido! Enjoy the boards, perhaps we'll see you at a meet-up sometime. :)


          36 is not too old. I started BJJ at 36, and I regularly train with a blue belt who is now 65.

          For me, the best thing about being older when training is a rekindled excitement with learning. While sparring, it is always a fantastic thrill for me to apply something I've recently learned.

          Welcome to Bullshido.
          Consider for a moment that there is no meme about brown-haired, brown-eyed step children.


            Dude you are only 36, Randy couture fought while he was 47..fought! not just trained a little.
            I have a friend that started boxing at your age, today he is 40, and also entering the crossfit games. Dude is as fit as it gets.
            It is true that some asspect are slower to sink in in this age (flexability, reflexes), and maybe you won't be a world class MT practitioner.
            But, You can improve imansly. I remember taking it easy on him when he started, today..he is one hard mo fo, maybe not the quickest maybe not the most graceful, but sure as hell effective.
            A week ago a couple of guys in their early 20's show up, saying they have boxing experience...(not much), it was infinitely easier sparring those young fit kids than him..infinitely.
            If they take it easy on are lucky to be in a good place, take advantage of it, and after a few months of braving it all ( etc.) a young guy will show up, green, and you will find out that you have to take it easy on him...
            Tips to gain skill faster: FITNESS. when gassed, the best fighters technique reduces to nothing. So add some cardio (hand a heavy bag at home, start running etc.).
            Also, if you want to kick, you need flexibility, so add flexing regiments

            All the best.
            p.s you get used to this sinking feeling in your gut before sparring, and it get easier and easier, just don't think about it until it starts, and if someone is too rough feel free to use your age card to make him go easier. (you are there for the long run).


              Welcome to Bullshido. While it is perfectly acceptable to use expletives in posts, please don't use them in the thread titles. It upsets Google and they halfway pay the bills around here.

              The best cure to get over the fear of being hit is to keep on training. You will adapt and overcome if you persevere.

              I started MA training as an adult at 32. Twelve years later, I am an instructor. Do not quit. Do not compare yourself to others. Everyone learns at a different pace.

              I have seen some truly talented guys quit when they hit a rough patch of training. I have also witnessed the guys who are mediocre when they begin never quit and became pretty talented themselves.
              Shut the hell up and train.


                Welcome to Bullshido Stoneskin
                Originally posted by Stoneskin View Post
                I am 36.
                I, no joke, turned 36 yesterday.

                I'm curious, are you still attending the intermediate MT class, or did you go to that one, and then do the beginners?

                If you're getting tooled around, sparring, then possibly get your fundamentals down, prior to sparring at all. This might also ease your fear of getting hit/hitting.

                EDIT: I was in my late 20's when I got into training.


                  I'm currently taking MT lessons twice a week, the beginners and intermediate classes.

                  I am comfortably getting my ass handed to me in the int. class and in the beg. class I get beat on by all but the other newish members.

                  I have tried to analyse what I need to do to improve. Is it my guard is too high/low? Are my elbows tucked in enough? Should my stance be squared up more? Am I not punching fast enough or even hard enough? Point sparring has given me a habit of really pulling my punches - coupled with the fact that I am not an aggressive or even very competative person means that perhaps my strikes are nothing the other guy has to worry about.

                  I am 6' 2" and weigh around 235lb. My instructors tell me I should use my reach advantage, keep the other guy away with my legs to maintain the distance. This works to a degree until my opponent creates his opening, closes the gap and I then have a tendancy to cover up, duck away to the right and lose sight of my opponent. I don't know if there is anything better I can do to improve my sparring besides listening to my instructor and to, well, spar.

                  When I started touch sparring in KF I had a real tendancy to turn away from the attack to the point of facing the other way. I got out of this habit. I will work to improve my defense for the above too.

                  I am sparring with people who have a far greater ability than me right now. I know I am outclassed and I accept it. But I feel as though this is the point. This is also my motivation - I want to be where these guys are at and I need to put in the effort to get there. I will train, I will practice, I will get beat on but I will also get better.

                  I have started to "run" in the mornings now. I put quotation marks around that as it's more of a 2 minute jog followed by a 5 minute walk. Repeat for about 20 minutes. But last week it was more of a 1 minute jog in between the walking - progress!

                  I suck at fighting right now. But my aim, besides general fitness, is to try and suck a little less every day.


                    Originally posted by Stoneskin View Post
                    But my aim, besides general fitness, is to try and suck a little less every day.
                    That is a powerful aspiration.


                      36 is not too old. I'm older than that.


                        Welcome to BS.

                        37 here, and I can still eat a peach for hours.

                        What CMA styles are you training?


                          I'm on the wrong side of 50, and restarted judo in my 40s after a 25 year break. At 36 you're a mere pup.


                            Originally posted by W. Rabbit View Post
                            What CMA styles are you training?
                            This is where I will start to show my ignorance of the Chinese Fighting Styles. I first started trained based on the fact my friends went there, it was something I hadn't tried before and it was better than going to a gym and spending a couple of hours on a treadmill/rowing machine. I have never really been too interested in the history of fighting styles and so didn't really question it. I mean no dis-respect to those who study the different styles or appreciate the history of them but I'll try to answer the best I can.

                            The class I'm taking is called Freestyle Kung Fu under intruction from Martyn Morrison.

                            Martyn trained under Keith Dwan who, in turn, trained under Tony Lloyd. Tony trains a style he calls 'Seal-Lung Kung Fu' which is based of the teachings of Bruce Lee (according to a google search on his name).

                            When I trained with Keith we included what he refered to as Tiger/Crane/Dragon aspects. These were normally trained with effectiveness in mind rather than a strict doctrine of style. Lines, forms etc. were trained with practicality. For example, we used horse stance purely for lines or forms as a method of improving leg muscles - never for use in sparring. Keith also tought Tai Chi classes but I never attended those.

                            Now while training under Martyn he places more importance on semi-contact sparring, SD - forms, lines and SD tecniques are required to learn for grading to new belts.

                            Martyn himself has started to compete in amateur matches (I belive he has 1 MMA and 1 Kickboxing bout so far) both were losses FWIW but he is working towards his next match.

                            References for interest;
                            Can't post links so nevermind...


                              No worries about being 36. A lot of people get a late start and do fine.
                              I trained with a gentleman who started BJJ in his 60s.



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