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Martial Arts

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  • #16
    I do Goju karate, taking it up at the age of 60. I have to say I've become a bit of a mascot as the only grandmother learning it and so there is a saying that if I can do it anyone can with the suggestion that able bodied people shouldn't make excuses.

    I like it a lot and after 15 months have gained vastly improved fitness, flexibility and mobility in general. I have always been bothered by the idea of being beaten up because I couldn't protect myself but it took 30 years to decide to do something about it. Unfortunately where I live there are reports several times a week of elderly people being beaten up in their homes by intruders and I'm determined not to be one of those people. Now I have the agility to turn and run if that is possible. Failing that I could now make a terrible racket (kiai) and would be prepared to punch in a variety of forms and kick if I was cornered and had no choice. I would probably do almost as much damage to them as they would do to me. I'm not yet anywhere near proficient after 15 months but then I wouldn't be a victim either. I reckon I will be half way to competent in another two years.

    My focus is on self defence first and fitness second.

    Having said all that it does come at a high cost in terms of stiffness and often pain from over exertion. It used to take a week to recover from each one hour session, sometimes needing 2 hourly pain killers - asprin 4 hourly, paracetamol 4 hourly offset by two hours. Now if I get that level of pain I force myself to ice or have a cold bath. The cold bath works well but it takes more self discipline to do now its winter unless it hurts more not to do it than to do it. I go to classes two to three times a week.


    • #17
      Depending on what your goals are for studying a martial art, I would offer the following:

      Krav Maga, in my opinion, is the best martial art to study for self-defense in potential situations that could actually happen. The movements are instinctual, and they cut out the fluff of prescribed forms; they show you the method and in training you adapt the method to how your body would naturally do it. Harnessing instincts and creating the mind-body connection necessary to act on it immediately (instinctually) is essential for self-defense and situational awareness in a bad situation.

      For purposes of fitness (and learning powerful techniques), I would recommend Muay Thai kick-boxing and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or wrestling. All are extremely demanding, physically and mentally. I asked 3 different trainers, all with masters degrees in kinesiology to gauge how many calories we burned in an hour-long BJJ session, and ALL of their estimates (after inputting data into their calculators... height, weight, age, resting heart rate, HR at work etc) were between 1,050 and 1,200 calories... in an hour.

      The camaraderie in a martial arts gym is usually awesome, too. Isn't it great to expand your circle of friends?

      Good luck!


      • #18
        I did JKD for 10 years and I loved every minute of it. But I lucked out in getting a great instructor. He wasn't in it for the money, he was just doing it on the side in addition to his regular job, so the classes were in his backyard. Those are absolutely some of the best memories of my life. He really pushed us too, giving us just as good of a workout as he did a martial arts lesson. Our classes were always small, the biggest we ever got was about 10. If you can find a small class environment like that I would go for it. I've been searching for one ever since but have yet to find it. I'm looking into the local Krav Maga location next.


        • #19
          Originally posted by Lynna View Post
          So I just stuck with tai chi, which by the way IS a martial art.
          Yes, and a devastating one.

          I'm hoping to get back into wing chun soon.
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