I'll be 55 this fall and have been training in martial arts for 10 years. I achieved my black belt in taekwondo in 2005 and last year, due to increasing knee problems, switched to isshin-ryu karate. I also train in kobujutsu (Okinawan weapons) and Russian Systema. I've competed in some 3 dozen tournaments but only last month got back into the ring after taking more than a year off from competition. I did well and really enjoyed it. Some of my higher-ranked colleagues urged me to consider competing in the Diamond Nationals tournament next October in the Twin Cities, which now has two divisions for black belt competitors and thus is more attractive to the less-experienced among us. It's one of the country's biggest and best tournaments and in fact I competed there twice before, a few years ago when there was open competition and nationally-ranked entrants were seeded against those of us who aren't, making for rather quick exits from the field by yours truly.
I'm in pretty good shape overall (6'5", 225lb) and have been working with a personal trainer in recent months as I rehabbed an injured foot. When my sessions with him end next month I will be utilizing the new "Spartacus" workout (see it on www.menshealth.com) which I know from experience is a great workout. I've also discussed a training regimen with my karate sensei to help me get ready for the tournament. My goal is to start seriously training in mid-July, after a vacation, giving me three full months to train hard. This would include competing in two or three smaller tournaments over that span, helping me get re-acclimated to competition. I would compete in empty-hand forms, weapons forms and sparring.
I'm interested in any suggestions you might have to help me with this type of training. Even if you don't have martial arts experience, your opinions are valuable. Also, any sources of inspiration such as books, films, etc. Basically, I'm looking for help as I make one last push toward achieving success in the ring before I "retire" for good. I never went into the military due to a high school knee injury, so I am considering this my "boot camp" and want to make it as good as possible. Over the past several years I've studied what I call the "warrior ethos" quite extensively and I consider this challenge to be my way of getting as close to "enlightenment", if you will, as I can get at my age. I look forward to reading your insights.

Tags: arts, karate, martial, training

Views: 1070

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I am in a similar situation at a similar age with a bad knee that started taking abuse in the military.  Despite feeling my age a little more every day the rest of my body still wants to win tournaments.  I am enjoying the advantage of experience, timing, and focus that I have over most folks.  With my frequently gimpy knee (and other joints) I have a feeling that I only have a limited number of fights left in me and want to make the most of them. 

 

I do not feel that I have found a "magic bullet" yet but I do seem to be doing better than my peers and even hard fighters fifteen years younger.  1) I have personally seen more harm than good from knee surgeries and I am not willing to accept those odds until I cannot move at all.  2) Exercises to develop supporting muscles seem to help a lot (if you rememember to keep up with them every day) like:

 

These seem to build a stable "cup" of muscles under the knee.  I have gotten at least one friend off the knee surgery list with this.  3) Practice good knee habits like not crossing your legs when you sit down.  Warming up before you stretch before you practice.   Drink more water.  Bicycle.  4) I avoid pain meds.  They just treat symptoms.  Pain is nature's way of telling you what not to do to make things worse.  I have come to trust veterinarian medicines much more than human.  No one cares how a horse "feels" just how fast it runs or how steady its gait is.  Check out the liniments at your local tack and feed shop.  Research DMSO.  

 

I am always looking for other practical tricks. 

Dave, congratulations on your diligence and pursuing your fitness and martial arts enjoyment. I'm 50 and still train hard in both martial arts and fitness, but mostly on my own. I think the key for guys like us is abbreviated workouts (No more than 3x per week, ~30-45 minute sessions) and a LOT of recovery time. For your training purposes, I would do a heavy, strength-based workout no more than twice a week, with something like the 5x5 protocol. I would not max out on any weight exercises, and do the workout as quickly as possible to allow for some cardio, but not so quick that you cannot lift fairly heavy. I would also say never max out, and never do any weight you can't do at least twice or three times. Also do your "skills" and sparring workout no more than twice a week, and concentrate on quality instead of quantity. Make very minute count, in both your workout and skill sessions. I would also allow a day in between each workout, regardless of if it is skill or weight based. 

 

An excellent reference book for older lifters is "Gray Hair and Black Iron" by Brooks Kubik, author of Dinosaur Training. Great workout ideas for us older guys.

 

Good luck, and I think you will do well. 

Work on explosive cardio and back off on the roadwork.  Roadwork is good for general fitness, but works against your flexibility and doesn't contribute to the start-stop kind of conditioning you'll need for the ring.  It sounds like you're pretty fit anyway and weightloss isn't a major concern.  I'd recommend short intense runs - e.g. a quick 1/4 mile jog, then sprint between telephone poles, jog to the next pole, then sprint again, jog, sprint, jog, etc.  When you're just about winded wind down with a final 1/4 mile jog. 

 

Good luck.

RSS

Latest Activity

Joshua replied to Vytautas's discussion What Do We Learn From History?
"The question also reminded me of some C.S Lewis I read a while back... "A man who has lived in many places is not likely to be deceived by the local errors of his native village; the scholar has lived in many times and is therefore in some…"
7 minutes ago
Travis Spuhler replied to Leto Atreides II's discussion Ferguson Grand Jury Decision in the group The Great Debate
"If that is the ultimate decision they come up with, I think it's the correct one. Given the evidence from the ME, combined with conflicting "eye witness" testimony, I think it would be a grave injustice to the US justice system…"
44 minutes ago
Leto Atreides II added a discussion to the group The Great Debate
Thumbnail

Ferguson Grand Jury Decision

Tonight the Ferguson DA announced.....Well, they haven't made an announcement yet. But given the amount and tone of pre announcement coverage and preparation I'm going to step out and predict the Grand Jury declined to prosecute. No charges.Consider this your open discussion thread for the decision.See More
47 minutes ago
Simon O'Brien replied to Satanist Dan's discussion Pacing a work in the group Writers
"If it's a first draft then just write it.  You can figure out what works and what doesn't when you edit it five times."
48 minutes ago
Simon O'Brien joined Slacker's group
Thumbnail

Writers

A place for writers to discuss and critique projects.
53 minutes ago
Simon O'Brien commented on Alan Fisher's group Manliness in the UK
"Good evening from Basingstoke in Hampshire."
55 minutes ago
Simon O'Brien joined Alan Fisher's group
Thumbnail

Manliness in the UK

For all those members over here in Blighty, we'll get some meets organised and have a few beers.
57 minutes ago
EA Burt posted a discussion

Ford Probe Parking Break Problems.

Alright gentlemen, so this is my first car inquiry/first car project, So I'm pretty new to mechanics. We have a '93 Ford Probe with parking breaks that have been sticking. We thought at first that it was a snapped cable like the usual issues seem to involve. I managed to get the breaks un-stuck while driving the car a little, then one night I spaced and used the parking break again, thus re-sticking the breaks. So I decided to check out the problem myself before we go to pay the mechanic for a…See More
1 hour ago

© 2014   Created by Brett McKay.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service