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Five Hard Truths about Martial Arts that you donít want to believe.

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    Originally posted by Devil View Post
    This is an older thread but I missed it the first time around so I'll comment now. Good OP, by the way.

    I think another factor that I haven't seen mentioned is the age at which a person begins training and their commitment over the long haul, beginning at a young age. Virtually every sport in the world is dominated by people who have dedicated their whole lives to it. The idea of a dude starting to play football as a young adult and being a QB in the same stratosphere as Peyton Manning or Tom Brady is fucking ludicrous.

    Why do people think martial arts or fighting would be any different? This will continue to become more obvious in MMA and jiu jitsu as those sports continue to grow.
    We get walk on's "late" in the game to high school wrestling and even college wrestling that end up doing fairly well.
    They usually have solid exposures to other sports, though.
    Football and Gymanastics being two of our common areas of pick up from other sports in the US.
    Occasionally we also get a Judo kid come over who has a lot of fun introducing his wrestling opponents to ashi-waza without a gi,
    sometimes with great effect.
    It's true that a lot of kids that start wrestling in grade school too, particularly in the Northeast.
    The trouble with starting otherwise promising kids too young in competitive contact sports with intense training programs,
    is the burn out rate and premature injury rate can be pretty high.
    In particular, while the limbs are in their period of rapid growth,
    permanent growth plate injuries or long term injuries to the complex joints occur frequently.
    A lot of Olympic wrestlers recommend giving kids a solid foundation in a wide selection of other sports,
    and then putting the kids into wrestling around 8th grade.
    Last edited by Dr. Gonzo; 5/26/2016 7:53am, .

    Comment


      Originally posted by WFMurphyPhD View Post
      We get walk on's "late" in the game to high school wrestling and even college wrestling that end up doing fairly well.
      They usually have solid exposures to other sports, though.
      Football and Gymanastics being two of our common areas of pick up from other sports in the US.
      Occasionally we also get a Judo kid come over who has a lot of fun introducing his wrestling opponents to ashi-waza without a gi,
      sometimes with great effect.
      It's true that a lot of kids that start wrestling in grade school too, particularly in the Northeast.
      The trouble with starting otherwise promising kids too young in competitive contact sports with intense training programs,
      is the burn out rate and premature injury rate can be pretty high.
      In particular, while the limbs are in their period of rapid growth,
      permanent growth plate injuries or long term injuries to the complex joints occur frequently.
      A lot of Olympic wrestlers recommend giving kids a solid foundation in a wide selection of other sports,
      and then putting the kids into wrestling around 8th grade.
      But walk ons that do fairly well are a far cry from what I'm referring to. I don't disagree with that. But I'm talking about the highest levels of a sport. You may get the occasional anomaly that rises to that level with a late start but they're going to be the exception, not the rule. And I think this becomes more true the more widespread a sport becomes.

      Mental burnout is always an issue but it's no more of an issue with kids in combat sports than it is with any other kid that is working their ass off at the highest level possible in any other sport. The kids who weather that or who have coaches that find a way to make it fun are the ones who have the opportunity to rise to the top. It's not going to be everybody, for sure. That's the whole point.

      Injuries are not a reason not to prepare for combat sports. Injuries are a reason to prepare differently for those sports. If that's lighter training, then it's lighter training. If it's cross training in other sports, then it's cross training in other sports. My point is that the kids who start early with competent coaches and intelligently pursue the goal of achieving a high level in a given sport are the ones who have the best opportunity to reach an elite level. That doesn't mean they have to be beating each other's brains in every training session.

      I don't really consider a kid who starts wrestling in 8th grade with an athletic foundation already in place to be that much of a late starter. I specifically mentioned people starting as young adults. That's late in the game if you're trying to reach an elite level.

      Comment


        I'll just drop this here.

        Comment


          Originally posted by WFMurphyPhD View Post
          We get walk on's "late" in the game to high school wrestling and even college wrestling that end up doing fairly well.
          They usually have solid exposures to other sports, though.
          Football and Gymanastics being two of our common areas of pick up from other sports in the US.
          Occasionally we also get a Judo kid come over who has a lot of fun introducing his wrestling opponents to ashi-waza without a gi,
          sometimes with great effect.
          It's true that a lot of kids that start wrestling in grade school too, particularly in the Northeast.
          The trouble with starting otherwise promising kids too young in competitive contact sports with intense training programs,
          is the burn out rate and premature injury rate can be pretty high.
          In particular, while the limbs are in their period of rapid growth,
          permanent growth plate injuries or long term injuries to the complex joints occur frequently.
          A lot of Olympic wrestlers recommend giving kids a solid foundation in a wide selection of other sports,
          and then putting the kids into wrestling around 8th grade.
          I'll drop this in here again, I've posted these links before.

          Kids who start out early being active, playing different sports, whose lives are focused on physical activity instead of playing video games or watching TV, are going to have a huge jump on kids who do not do so, or who start later in life.

          http://www.judocanada.org/long-term-...lopment-model/

          Read that stuff, all of it, and let it sink in. I'm sure Bill will be familiar with it, as he got a lot of flack for making the essentially same assertions about BJJ, if I recall correctly.

          Also note that the average age of olympic level judoka, to start judo training was 13 or 14....Judo is a "late development" sport (as compared to say, women's gymnastics). Of course, some judo and wrestling kids start when they are little kids and go on to be world class/elite level. Outliers happen...

          I will say that I've seen the results with my own boys. Neither their Mom nor I are outstanding athletes, decent, yes, better than average, probably so. Neither of us has outstanding genetics in terms of muscle mass or conformation for any particular sport.

          But my kids grew up outside, being active hours a day outside of school, and even the school they go to has 3 recesses a day (grade school), and in middle school they have PE and advanced PE, which my older son does. They grew up watching very little TV, no video games at all, and some mostly educational DVDs/Video. Default was to go outside and play. They played soccer as organized sport since they were 4 years old, ride bikes, horses, (and goats in the case of my younger son, LOL) have gone through the Canadian Red Cross swimming program, , hiking, camping, doing chores, have a trampoline to jump on, shoot bow and arrow, pellet/bb rifles, .22 rimfire, shotguns, and yeah, high powered rifles and sling shots, slings (that the make) and atl-atl, play lacrosse (see my Dad-bragging video, LOL), and now Judo and BJJ.

          And you know what I see now ? I see two boys, neither of which has any sort of outstanding physical conformation in terms of structure or genetics (neither has fully hit puberty yet, but structure wise, doesn't look like it), but both are in good shape with very little body fat and defined musculature (as in six pack abs at 11 and 12, something I sure as hell never had!). The 12 year old can do 15 or 20 pullups...

          But somehow, both of them essentially run circles around and through 90% of their peers when it comes to competitive athletics.

          One thing they DO get from both parents is examples of motivation and hard work balanced with having fun. OK, both of us (although no longer married to each other) would really rather have fun that work, LOL!

          LTAD is where it's at, whether you want to eventually be an elite athlete (which requires a strong dose of masochism and crazy, IMO and IME) or just a healthy and active human being for life.


          Yeah, I'm bragging, but there is a point other than my own ego aggrandizement. So cut me some slack, I don't get much of that or allow myself much of that.
          Last edited by BKR; 5/26/2016 10:05am, .

          Comment


            Originally posted by Devil View Post
            But walk ons that do fairly well are a far cry from what I'm referring to. I don't disagree with that. But I'm talking about the highest levels of a sport. You may get the occasional anomaly that rises to that level with a late start but they're going to be the exception, not the rule. And I think this becomes more true the more widespread a sport becomes.

            Mental burnout is always an issue but it's no more of an issue with kids in combat sports than it is with any other kid that is working their ass off at the highest level possible in any other sport. The kids who weather that or who have coaches that find a way to make it fun are the ones who have the opportunity to rise to the top. It's not going to be everybody, for sure. That's the whole point.

            Injuries are not a reason not to prepare for combat sports. Injuries are a reason to prepare differently for those sports. If that's lighter training, then it's lighter training. If it's cross training in other sports, then it's cross training in other sports. My point is that the kids who start early with competent coaches and intelligently pursue the goal of achieving a high level in a given sport are the ones who have the best opportunity to reach an elite level. That doesn't mean they have to be beating each other's brains in every training session.

            I don't really consider a kid who starts wrestling in 8th grade with an athletic foundation already in place to be that much of a late starter. I specifically mentioned people starting as young adults. That's late in the game if you're trying to reach an elite level.
            Nope, not a late starter at all for a kid with a solid athletic foundation for judo, wrestling, or BJJ, all of which are late development sports (physical peak in mid-20s, require 10 years to get to that technical level).

            Start at 18 or 19, success is for outliers only.

            Comment


              Originally posted by Devil View Post
              But walk ons that do fairly well are a far cry from what I'm referring to. I don't disagree with that. But I'm talking about the highest levels of a sport. You may get the occasional anomaly that rises to that level with a late start but they're going to be the exception, not the rule. And I think this becomes more true the more widespread a sport becomes.

              Mental burnout is always an issue but it's no more of an issue with kids in combat sports than it is with any other kid that is working their ass off at the highest level possible in any other sport. The kids who weather that or who have coaches that find a way to make it fun are the ones who have the opportunity to rise to the top. It's not going to be everybody, for sure. That's the whole point.

              Injuries are not a reason not to prepare for combat sports. Injuries are a reason to prepare differently for those sports. If that's lighter training, then it's lighter training. If it's cross training in other sports, then it's cross training in other sports. My point is that the kids who start early with competent coaches and intelligently pursue the goal of achieving a high level in a given sport are the ones who have the best opportunity to reach an elite level. That doesn't mean they have to be beating each other's brains in every training session.

              I don't really consider a kid who starts wrestling in 8th grade with an athletic foundation already in place to be that much of a late starter. I specifically mentioned people starting as young adults. That's late in the game if you're trying to reach an elite level.
              I attribute a lot of my bjj ability to being a linesnman apprentice at 15 1/2. Pulling ropes,climbing trees,climbing poles with some times 80lbs of gear strapped to me and working up there on a pole for sometimes 30 mins and then pull cable to next one and do it again, using tools that made my grip abnormally strong,swinging a 10 lb sledge hammer, using a hand tree saw. The shit is like cross fit. When cross fit became a thing. I laughed because I get paid to swing a hammer. These cats pay 200 bucks a month to do manual labor.

              My coach tells me he thinks I can be in the upper world ranks in the next few years if I don't get hurt bad and I compete a lot. We will see if he's right I suppose. I think can be to. I would be an outlier , I started bjj at 25.
              Last edited by Raycetpfl; 5/26/2016 10:35am, .

              Comment


                Originally posted by Raycetpfl View Post
                I attribute a lot of my bjj ability to being a linesnman apprentice at 15 1/2. Pulling ropes,climbing trees,climbing poles with some times 80lbs of gear strapped to me and working up there on a pole for sometimes 30 mins and then pull cable to next one and do it again, using tools that made my grip abnormally strong,swinging a 10 lb sledge hammer, using a hand tree saw. The shit is like cross fit. When cross fit became a thing. I laughed because I get paid to swing a hammer. These cats pay 200 bucks a month to do manual labor.
                Ever do grapple with a plumber ? Holy mother of dog, talk about a strong grip...

                The best shape I was ever in of my middle aged life was when I worked in the planer portion of a lumber mill. That shit was 8 hours of working out, mind and body. It nearly killed me the first 4 or 5 months, though.

                I looked for videos of that job, but all the ones I found were moving way too slow. The boards came out of the planer a anywhere from 100-150 a minute where I worked. These guys are pulling veneer, which is a lot lighter, but the speed is comparable to what I did for several hours a day. I was pulling studs, anywhere from 8' to 9' 2x4s, 2x6s, or 1x4s (those fuckers came out EXTRA fast).

                Comment


                  Originally posted by BKR View Post
                  Ever do grapple with a plumber ? Holy mother of dog, talk about a strong grip...

                  The best shape I was ever in of my middle aged life was when I worked in the planer portion of a lumber mill. That shit was 8 hours of working out, mind and body. It nearly killed me the first 4 or 5 months, though.

                  I looked for videos of that job, but all the ones I found were moving way too slow. The boards came out of the planer a anywhere from 100-150 a minute where I worked. These guys are pulling veneer, which is a lot lighter, but the speed is comparable to what I did for several hours a day. I was pulling studs, anywhere from 8' to 9' 2x4s, 2x6s, or 1x4s (those fuckers came out EXTRA fast).
                  THAT Shit's For real. Framers are another group that have awesome grip and arm strength.

                  Comment


                    Originally posted by BKR View Post
                    I'll drop this in here again, I've posted these links before.

                    Kids who start out early being active, playing different sports, whose lives are focused on physical activity instead of playing video games or watching TV, are going to have a huge jump on kids who do not do so, or who start later in life.

                    http://www.judocanada.org/long-term-...lopment-model/

                    Read that stuff, all of it, and let it sink in. I'm sure Bill will be familiar with it, as he got a lot of flack for making the essentially same assertions about BJJ, if I recall correctly.

                    Also note that the average age of olympic level judoka, to start judo training was 13 or 14....Judo is a "late development" sport (as compared to say, women's gymnastics). Of course, some judo and wrestling kids start when they are little kids and go on to be world class/elite level. Outliers happen...

                    I will say that I've seen the results with my own boys. Neither their Mom nor I are outstanding athletes, decent, yes, better than average, probably so. Neither of us has outstanding genetics in terms of muscle mass or conformation for any particular sport.

                    But my kids grew up outside, being active hours a day outside of school, and even the school they go to has 3 recesses a day (grade school), and in middle school they have PE and advanced PE, which my older son does. They grew up watching very little TV, no video games at all, and some mostly educational DVDs/Video. Default was to go outside and play. They played soccer as organized sport since they were 4 years old, ride bikes, horses, (and goats in the case of my younger son, LOL) have gone through the Canadian Red Cross swimming program, , hiking, camping, doing chores, have a trampoline to jump on, shoot bow and arrow, pellet/bb rifles, .22 rimfire, shotguns, and yeah, high powered rifles and sling shots, slings (that the make) and atl-atl, play lacrosse (see my Dad-bragging video, LOL), and now Judo and BJJ.

                    And you know what I see now ? I see two boys, neither of which has any sort of outstanding physical conformation in terms of structure or genetics (neither has fully hit puberty yet, but structure wise, doesn't look like it), but both are in good shape with very little body fat and defined musculature (as in six pack abs at 11 and 12, something I sure as hell never had!). The 12 year old can do 15 or 20 pullups...

                    But somehow, both of them essentially run circles around and through 90% of their peers when it comes to competitive athletics.

                    One thing they DO get from both parents is examples of motivation and hard work balanced with having fun. OK, both of us (although no longer married to each other) would really rather have fun that work, LOL!

                    LTAD is where it's at, whether you want to eventually be an elite athlete (which requires a strong dose of masochism and crazy, IMO and IME) or just a healthy and active human being for life.


                    Yeah, I'm bragging, but there is a point other than my own ego aggrandizement. So cut me some slack, I don't get much of that or allow myself much of that.
                    What specifically would you say sets judo apart as a late development sport? And why is it different from other sports with heavy contact where all the greats have been playing since they could walk?

                    Comment


                      Originally posted by BKR View Post
                      Nope, not a late starter at all for a kid with a solid athletic foundation for judo, wrestling, or BJJ, all of which are late development sports (physical peak in mid-20s, require 10 years to get to that technical level).

                      Start at 18 or 19, success is for outliers only.
                      Agreed.

                      Comment


                        Originally posted by Raycetpfl View Post
                        I attribute a lot of my bjj ability to being a linesnman apprentice at 15 1/2. Pulling ropes,climbing trees,climbing poles with some times 80lbs of gear strapped to me and working up there on a pole for sometimes 30 mins and then pull cable to next one and do it again, using tools that made my grip abnormally strong,swinging a 10 lb sledge hammer, using a hand tree saw. The shit is like cross fit. When cross fit became a thing. I laughed because I get paid to swing a hammer. These cats pay 200 bucks a month to do manual labor.

                        My coach tells me he thinks I can be in the upper world ranks in the next few years if I don't get hurt bad and I compete a lot. We will see if he's right I suppose. I think can be to. I would be an outlier , I started bjj at 25.
                        I'm certainly in no position to argue your skill level. I have no idea. I'll take your word for it. Good luck.

                        Comment


                          Originally posted by Devil View Post
                          What specifically would you say sets judo apart as a late development sport? And why is it different from other sports with heavy contact where all the greats have been playing since they could walk?
                          Also, I'm no Judo expert so correct me if I'm wrong. But don't a shitload of the top competitors still come from Japan? And isn't it still extremely common for them to begin learning Judo at a very early age?

                          I'm not arguing. I'm asking. I want to understand the thought process behind the "late development sport" notion. As it stands, I do not see much of a differentiator from sport to sport.

                          Comment


                            Originally posted by Devil View Post
                            What specifically would you say sets judo apart as a late development sport? And why is it different from other sports with heavy contact where all the greats have been playing since they could walk?
                            I'm using judo as one example of a late development sport, I wasn't thinking it was set apart from say wrestling or, maybe boxing, rugby, American Football ? Others ?

                            There are judoka who have been playing since they could walk as well, more or less. But not all of them end up as elite level judoka, either. Very good, excellent, yeah, elite level, no.

                            In general, I would say that late development sport require peak adult physical development and a relatively long time for skill development as well.

                            I may take off on a tangent here, but I think you will see why. I'll use Judo as an example, as it's what I know best. To different degrees, same would apply to other "late develpment sports".

                            1.) A great athletic foundation is needed to excel at an elite level later in life (long term athlete development) of agility, balance, coordination, speed. There are of course psychological/emotional factors and economic factors to take into account.
                            2.) To excel at judo competition at elite level, one needs what might be called extreme levels of those athletic factors (and you have to like to "fight"...really like to do so).
                            3.) Judo is a very complex physical activity (see 2), that has a long learning curve (perhaps up to 10 years of serious technical training once a sufficient level of physical maturity is reached to be able to handle the load). Compared to say football or rugby, I'd say it's more technically complex in many ways, plus involves the interaction of two basically tied together bodies moving in time and space.
                            4.) You simply cannot do the volume and intensity of training as a child to develop the high level technical skills (or fitness) needed to be an adult elite level judoka. It's neither physiologically or mentally/emotionally possible. Of course, that's true of other heavy contact sports as well.
                            5.) So, those greats that have been training since they could walk (I'm not sure who you are referring to) in heavy contact sports probably were not engaged in adult level play or training. I suspect some but not all of them had parents (some of them) who were heavily involved in the same sport. Like say, Jimmy Pedro in Judo, or the Mannings in football. I think that sets up a special (outlier) type of situation.

                            Anyway, that's probably enough.

                            Comment


                              Originally posted by Devil View Post
                              What specifically would you say sets judo apart as a late development sport? And why is it different from other sports with heavy contact where all the greats have been playing since they could walk?


                              Did you see Dr Bill's piece on BJJ world champs?

                              Also playing since /= specializing in.

                              Comment


                                Originally posted by Devil View Post
                                I'm certainly in no position to argue your skill level. I have no idea. I'll take your word for it. Good luck.
                                I imagine that the peak age of successful elite BJJ competitors could be older than say, Judo, because the issue of reaction speed is not so huge in ground work as it is standing.

                                Comment

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