Martial Arts Over 40, 50, and Beyond!

Martial Arts Over 40, 50, and Beyond!

Hey. Ando here from Happy Life Martial
Arts. I just sat down with my Kung Fu teacher, Sifu Matt, for a little after
class chit chat. I asked him if I could turn on the cameras so I could share
what we were talking about with you. He said yes, so in these clips, we talked a
little bit about longevity in the martial arts. But the funny thing is,
whether you're ten or a hundred, I really think you'll find this advice helpful. So,
here it comes. Hey, Sifu Matt. Thanks for joining us
today. >Thanks for having me. >So, now that I'm getting older, not anywhere near as
old as you… >Welcome. > I'm getting older, so I know that my training has started to
really morph from my late 30s now into my late 40s. So, how do you manage your
training now that you're older? How do you manage your training over the years?
What have you done consciously to say, okay, I can't do that anymore, but I can
do more of this? Or however your priorities changed in your training.
>First of all, I don't like the word "older". >We're all older every second. >Yeah, right.
>When you say now that you're older, it makes me sound like an octogenarian, which one day will be coming. >It's coming.
which a long day will be coming and then > And I'll be insulted that you called me that. Look, as you get into your 50s and I'm now moving next week into my late
fifties… >What's that? Speak up. >I'm going into my late 50s. >Okay.
>And when that happens to you, you have to give up any illusions that you're
still a young person mm-hmm and so now I'm I'm less concerned than I used to be
about getting stronger in any way and I'm more concerned about keeping every
bit of strength I have for as long as possible mm-hmm so that's that's really
where my my kind of my training head is right now is I'm just trying to keep
everything as long as I can okay is it now is it really just maintenance or are
there other measures that you can see that you can still improve as you've
gotten older or like the old external internal type of debate or that kind of
thing well I think there there's the external internal stuff which is a whole
whole discussion in habits but let me answer this part first yes I
think you can be more effective sometimes especially as you get older if
you can you can become more effective if you do less which is good because as you
get older you can do less that works out really well but I think it's actually
true that there are there are plenty of times and examples of people being able
to do more with less especially as they get older how do you manage your
training well I think you just have to be realistic about where you are in life
if you are 22 in everything that breaks heals beautifully in two weeks later
you're fine great enjoy that and then when that changes or slows or ceases
altogether in terms of sometimes things don't heal you just that is where you
are you can't change that so you just accept that okay this is you know I have
two very arthritic knees from all these years of sports and martial arts you
know a lot of tennis on hard courts a lot of basketball on hard courts a lot
of falling and a lot of horse stances in here a lot of kicking a lot of being
kicked you know – very bad knees that's just a fact they're not gonna get better
arthritis doesn't get better but if you do knee replacement surgery then you may
not be able to do martial arts anymore mm-hmm I don't know and you just live
with it seems like you're damned if you do exercise and go through this or
you're damned if you don't but you feel it's definitely worth to do it well
that's like you know people say if you exercise you're just gonna wear out body
parts right what's the point well yeah you are that's true you are
but if you don't exercise you know you'll get fat and high cholesterol and
you'll have a heart attack exactly you know we've talked about this before in
terms of the difficulties and the resilience
required to do martial arts for a long period of time because the psychological
toll of getting beat up frequently is tough sometimes you feel bad you feel
like you're not getting anywhere you plateau and you stop seeing improvement
for a month or two months or a half a year and you just feel bad there are
physical injuries where things just hurt or they you know when you're in your 20s
they heal but when you get into your 40s and 50s they don't always heal a friend
of mine says that things that used to come and go now come and stay hmm so I
mean there are those aspects of it that you know I don't love but I do embrace
them as part of this journey okay embrace the pain that's your honor I
embrace whatever comes with this journey and this is martial arts it's not chance
it's not checkers it's nothing it's not a game this is the art of fighting the
way we teach it not the art of competing and sometimes people will hit you too
hard or you unexpectedly or you'll fall badly or you know and things happen and
would you say like even just managing pain and accepting pain that's the
fighting spirit that you would want to bring into your martial arts anyway
because you have to learn how to roll at the punch and keep fighting anyway yeah
so it's the persistence and the resilience that comes with I guess
learning martial arts and learning anything else you you know you can learn
these lessons from anything martial arts is a good vehicle for it but you can
learn them from dancing you can learn them from I don't
other other arts I don't have another enough experience in other arts to say
but I know that you can learn resilience patience and persistence from anything
sure well you calluses on your fingers from
playing guitar right calluses on your fingers
katar gardening whatever I mean you can learn these these are life skills not
specifically martial arts skills but you can learn them through martial honors
absolutely so now let's talk about what are you doing differently today than 10
years ago or 20 years ago so that even though the people listening to this can
say yeah yeah when I'm 40 or 50 or beyond I can still keep doing this I
think that your body can take less impact on it as you get older that's why
you don't see 50 year old NFL players okay they can't did the body cannot take
it sooner or later it breaks it gets brittle and so as I said earlier you
know most of my training right now is designed around keeping everything I can
for as long as possible and what that means is you know I'm not on the mat as
much as I used to be I'm not taking hits as much as I used to be I'm not even
delivering hits as much as I used to be because I think that there is an impact
too even when you're the hitter there's a there's an impact in your body
that you feel and that is additive and so there's a limit to what I think our
bodies are designed to withstand that said you did just buy new bags another
round of bags yes I have two heavy bags but I don't slug away at them as hard as
I possibly can I use my bags maybe differently from uh somehow somehow from
how some other people use their heavy bags now I don't hit them as hard as
possible and try and shake the chain and shake my house and first of all I
probably couldn't cuz even now I only weigh 140 pounds but what I use it for
is making sure that all my mechanics and fundamentals are still lined up and
correct you know that my wrist is straight that my elbows behind my wrist
at my shoulders behind my elbow at impact so that these things are you know
I used the resistance in the weight of the bags to to kind of retest myself
periodically that things are still aligned the way they need to be for me
to be able to deliver as much power as I can you know let's face it at five seven
one forty I don't have a ton of power so I have to deliver everything I have
whatever that is and so I use the bags in that way just to kind of refine and
maintain my my alignment and fundamentals but I don't slug away at it
and I don't run anymore I used to be I wouldn't say I was an avid runner I
wasn't running 5ks or anything but I would run three four times a week a
couple miles three miles and I don't do that anymore it's just my knees can't
really take it I ride a bike now okay and I don't ride every day I ride every
other day okay in between I do something else so I'm always varying my heavy
making sure I don't do the same thing two days in a row ever okay because I
think that's a good for general fitness and be it just it hurts so I avoid
things that hurt like anyway else does but I'll do something else I'll ride one
day and I'll come out here and I'll work with my bags you know I have two speed
bag two had two different kinds of heavy bags I have a jump rope I have a micro
whare I those for a day and on a third day maybe I'll lift weights not only
heavy weights but I do I do work with weights like we do mostly bodyweight
exercises but I will add some weight to my squats I will add some you know some
dumbbell weights for reverse flyes I'll do things with weight to keep my
strength up because that's one of the things you lose as you get older they
said 10% every year after the age of 60 if you don't work at it 10% of your
strength percent of your strength if you don't work at it you'll lose 10% a year
after the age of 60 I think I read wow that just seems like a lot right yeah
you just frightened me yeah so but the answer to do how to keep it is simple
resistance training okay let's talk about your diet you've gotten this far
you're joining a smoothie right now so what are you doing to support your body
I you know a lot of people go for whatever the current fad diet is right
now it's a you know paleo low carb diets there were times where it was completely
low fat zero fat diets there were times where it was high fat diets I don't try
to follow any of that okay I don't because I don't think in the long run
every time one of those fad diets comes in and there's some studies that seem to
support it 10 years down the road there's some studies that don't support
it hmm it's the you know it's the Woody Allen's sleeper movie it turns out
thirty years from now they'll find out smoking is good for you I doubt they'll
find out the smoke is good for you but I actually think they're probably a better
and smarter way to not be over reactive to these trends is to you know adopt the
old Greek mantra of everything in moderation
Biron seeds are still okay yeah I still drink have a beer I have pizza last
night for dinner I'm having a smoothie which is you know
a lot of carbs a lot of sugar fruit sugars but also I put some protein
powder in it that helps they're not but I try and cover my bases I don't eat a
high fat diet but I certainly don't eat a low fat zero fat type diet I don't eat
I eat spaghetti so you know I love pasta so good oh yeah that's so 80s are you
talking about a caramel loader but I definitely pro carbs okay um you know I
have some wine with dinner I I just I just think that I think we all want to
know what the magic potion is and I think this the unfortunate reality is
there may not be a magic potion mmm just like with fighting I think there may not
be an answer once again you have to find out what work what what feels good to
you and don't eat things that make you feel bad that's my advice don't it makes
you feel sick after you eat it or you feel gassy bloaty whatever if you don't
like how you feel after you eat it don't eat it again please yeah really it's
that's really simple at least not before class but yes definitely not more class
but no just don't go make yourself feel bad you know that we're only here for a
very short time mm-hmm so so do the things that feel good that you know are
good for you don't I'm not I'm not saying do cocaine because it makes you
feel good you know that's bad for you but do the things that make you feel
good run if you like to run dance if you like to dance do martial arts if you
like to do martial arts. That's what we're here for.
>Wonderful. Well, thank you very much, sir.

44 thoughts on “Martial Arts Over 40, 50, and Beyond!

  1. Majority of my sensis are in pretty good shape they are older then me without a doubt they can easily kick my ass lol since age brings experience

  2. I’m 44, and started Taekwando at 42 with a blue belt now. I still go beast mode with heavy weight gym training 3 times a week, Taekwando 2 times a week with a sore lower back at times. Other then that it’s pretty good so far god willing. I find stretching after Taekwando always puts ease on my back and the fact that maybe I started taking vitamins at 18, who knows.

  3. Be afraid be very afraid of getting old ! LOL …Nah in reality as we age we realize we really need it for self defense no more show off spinning kicks etc.. light weights , planks, and hitting the bag to stay in shape..Just in case..Besides its great for stress. Good video and very true,but dont fear age it's just a cycle of life we will all go through and will continue as it did before us,so it will after us…If you live to get old consider yourself very fortunate,….

  4. I was looking forward to hearing more on Internal vs. External training methodologies in relation to longevity. Hope you guys get back to that. Now that I'm almost 42, its really only now that I've started to understand what Internal training looks like. Those Systema guys are on to something. Great video

  5. I'm 60. I started training at 23, never stopped, even if it is just a few minutes a day. Working on basic skills is a very real thing. There's always some room for improvement in adjusting flow, balance and sensitivity. As Les Paul said somewhere around age 70, he sure as hell wasn't Les Paul at 30. He hadn't had all that practice.

  6. I started Shotokan karate at age 70 with the goal of maintaining fitness at the highest possible level while maintaining health. After the first year, I find I can move freely, my balance is greatly improved, my strength is up, my weight is down to my army standards, I wear clothes in sizes from my 20s, and I feel nearly as good as I did in my 30s. Society keeps sending us messages that we old folks are inevitable doomed to an existence of weakness and fragility. I refuse to listen!

  7. Intermittent fasting, lots of water and veggies, moderate cardio, moderate to heavy weight training if your body allows, and recovery dominated training. These, maintaining a peaceful demeanor and having strong family and social relationships.

  8. PS, I was a little disappointed that you didn't show what "moves" you can still do as an older guy. for example, I'm 50 in bad shape because of a car wreck. so I haven't been able to stretch. and as a result, I can no longer do high kicks without pulling a groin(OUCH!!!) so I have to rely on my fists, and the occasional lower kick. I'd like to see a video like that

  9. even if you're young. you should never do the same exercises every day. weight training for example should be done every other day. or if you're able, work on chest, biceps and forearms one day. back and legs the next day. even if you're young. after working out, you need to let those muscles rest and rebuild for a day. otherwise you won't get as good results as you could, or you will have to train for longer to get the results. this is how Bruce lee trained. and we all know what awesome shape he was in. as a matter of fact, he was in his best shape when he died in his 30's!

  10. my Dad stayed so long,through 86 years of pain..because he was a 'master'.
    He never complained about his lot in Life…only cold soup.

  11. Fun to read the comments from all these +45 y/o still training but feeling they're not as fit as the 25y/o guys. I've got news for you: you're in better shape that most of 25/35 y/o people that don't do sport! My advice is keep on training, don't smoke, eat healthy and have fun… I'm 45 and still rolling on the mats

  12. i am 68 years old and a shodan in wadoryu but havent trained for 24 years and have just started again but in shotokan. Wearing a white belt and loving the training but it takes me 2 days to recover from a session.

  13. After 60 you've learned all you're gonna learn, after that it's about maintenance. No way I'm gonna get involved in freefighting at 60+., which is the only way you learn really, unscripted controlled fights, apart from real streetfighting.

  14. Hi Ando I am turning 46 years young and getting my black belt 27 years ago in guju ryu I stopped due to life style change I have now returned back to martial arts 9 months ago and have my red belt grading on the 24th February with my son who is nearly 18 it is great to train with a friend.

  15. I will be 57yr old this year,been learning self defense now for 2yrs.from an instructor who has trained in 8 different styles of martial arts,so he cherry picked the best of all eight incorporated that with krav maga our main venue to as we say to deter violence with superior violence.martial arts as a sport is fine if thats what you want to do but in a real world scenario it will most likely get you injured or killed,so we train as realistic as we can,kicks no higher than the groin.all open hand strikes except for hammerfists,elbow strikes.thats it very simple.the israelis have a word call fencik meaning continious combat,thats our workout.guard,cover,crash.all this is done while in a horsestance to strenthen the home i do this routine with 10lb dumbells in each hand as i practice my guard moves.anyways age is not a factor,any pain lets you know your still alive,us older students give some of the younger students a run for money and inspiration.if you got the heart and drive age is not a barrier.

  16. Yep. It is much harder to work up the will power to train. But, it is worse not to train. The aches don’t go away whether you train or not. When you train, you do not lose muscle mass or bone density. Your hormones also are better maintained. Most people think I am 15 years younger than I am. I attribute this to training. My training has changed. I don’t need to be hit a million times a day, if at all, but I still do light sparring. I feel once you are over 50, you have probably had enough head and body trauma. Ha! The weights are not as heavy. And, I use water filled, softer heavy bags instead of the rock hard bags that I used in the past. The key is to never stop. And, avoid injury. Just keep moving and working. It is never too late. Never. Get out there and train. You can continue to improve and grow. You can. You just have to try and believe. Good luck

  17. Even old Okinawan Karate masters focus on the basics. (I think feeling good and health have alot to do with your genetics)

  18. Great advice! I've just turned 60 and the only thing that I would add is, rather than viewing strength training as "maintenance", we SHOULD be trying to increase (whether it's possible or not). My reason for saying this (and in my own experience) is that if we focus on maintaining, we often slip backwards (due to the mindset of, "Well, I can't get any stronger anyway") whereas by constantly trying to increase our strength we remain at the strongest we can possibly be for our age. In my own case, I can honestly say that I have never been as strong as I am now, at ANY time in my life! The trick is in understanding that our "old" bodies need longer to recuperate and therefore over-training is a much bigger problem than it used to be. I lift double HEAVY kettlebells (plus body weight stuff) three times per week, on a full-body routine and keeping the exercises to a minimum. I do ONLY basic compound exercises (multiple muscle groups per exercise) and include some pulling, pushing and squatting in every workout. I also alternate an "A" workout with a "B" workout to facilitate greater recovery. Each workout only takes about 30 minutes but it's intense! In addition to this I walk and do martial arts practice everyday. At age 60, I feel great! "Old age"? Bring it on!!! 😉

  19. Just wanted to say thank you. For me this was good and seemed to be balanced and realistic. Know yourself and adjust accordingly….

  20. New subscriber here…these are great videos…well done Sir. 👍🏻

    I’m 55 and just started Martial Arts training 2 months ago…more boxing and kickboxing right now but that’s enough! Training 2-4 hours a week while continuing my training the bootcamp style workouts 2-3 hours a week. Time management is my biggest battle with taking on this new journey in life. I started this to learn more about myself, improve and to get some additional/different physical activity. It’s quickly turning to a huge thirst for knowledge and training.

    I have stayed active and athletic my entire life so my body is well used….I’m usually sore but not injured 😁 there is a huge difference but being 55 does mean it takes longer to recover.

    Right now I am learning so much with techniques I had zero clue about with boxing and kickboxing and I absolutely love it. The mental side is refreshing, the physical side is wonderful and just getting another dose of confidence makes me stand taller and feel better…it’s hard to explain but maybe there is no need and everyone feels it and why did I wait so long to start!?!? 😎

    Thanks for the informative videos for the mental side of self defense and beginner vids….they have all hit home with me. Looking forward to learning from your other videos. 👍🏻

  21. I got the calluses from playing guitar! And all the bruises from Kyokushin Karate. Fun fun fun for 61! 😉

  22. I started kickboxing at 49 and I am now 50 and will be grading for my blue belt in 5 weeks time. I have learnt a lot about my self (body and spirit) and in the process I have made lots of new friends and lost 2 1/2 stone 🙂 I have had a few 'injuries'… torn hamstrings, blisters, rotator cuff problem but I have continued top train with these and just adjusted what I could do while I was injured 😀 I love it and have no plans to stop!!

  23. Accepting pain is probably what we know how to do with the state of our medical system. I call bs on 'accepting' pain. It takes energy to 'accept' and keep a lid down on the 'box of pain'. This also changes chemistry causing depression. I hurt EVERYWHERE and my doc who will soon become my ex doctor won't give me but one Norco .5 per day. I have been found to not be addictive to opiates. Not a bit of 'euphoria'. Sigh. I find I DO less, I am outside and riding less, I spend too much time on the internet.

    I love Matt's advice…Ando, I am 65. Great attitude about nutrition and that is rare to find on this internet. The two new 'trends' in dieting; fasting and ketogenics are helping evolution and population control? Asinine fads. 'Dieting' is just wrong anyway. All this focus on food when one diets! Very bad.

    Fasting is actually on the same spectrum with eating disorders. "oh I can eat and eat and eat because I start my week long fast tomorrow"…Bulimic type thinking. Only muscle gets burned NOT body fat.

    There is a lot to be said about 'using up' one's body. I kinda did in a big way. I always thought I'd be Jack LaLane when I was older, didn't know my bones could not support my muscle, speed of moving, at this age. My muscle supports my bones and I am serious. I am saving myself, grins, for the day I need to either run or do battle. Lots of muscle memory but tough to 'ask for help' to open a jar's lid when guys use to ask ME to open their beers. Getting old was a surprise because I refused to imagine myself old. I was never old until 2 years ago. Such a battle. If we lived in the families of yore where grandparents lived with their grand and great grand babies I think that would help accept old age better…but we don't. All of a sudden the mirrors are gone in the home.

    Sound advice, Matt! Ando will tell you that that is a rare compliment from me. Ando is my mentor…grins! Thank you, domo arigato!

  24. I’m 57, teach karate and train in judo. And yes, things hurt, but I’m not ready for the rocking chair yet. And no, my kicks are not as high as they used to be.

  25. I recently acquired a knee injury that now that I'm over 40, is taking its time to heal. While I haven't stopped training, I have had to adjust my training so as to be careful of of my knee, and it has been very frustrating. I still believe that someday my knee will be better and I'll be able to train harder. Am I kidding myself?

  26. Have just started wearing the white belt again at the ripe age of 42 after a long gap (have taken up Sankukai karate 27 years after I quit Shotokan, to complement the T'ai Chi and Qigong I've practised in the interim). Great video, definitely feel like I'm on the cusp of age creeping in, so some great points to bear in mind as I start training again after years off 🙂

  27. I know dudes who are in their mid 40’s benching over 300 pnds. The key is ketogenic diets. Sugar/carbs add inflammation to your body. These dudes don’t have any pains. They also use at least 1 tablespoon of turmeric everyday. In martial arts, the Shotokan Karatekas have the worst hips in martial arts. Many, many hip replacements. So, stay out of Shotokan. It’s the long stances that does it.

  28. Great video for us older folk who are still active

    Your sifu is in great shape for pushing 60… and you too at about 50

    Rock on gentlemen

  29. No one is Never too old to practice Martial Arts and when he speak about his Arthritis on his Knees . He wrong there is Cure for Arthritis it Depends on the training one do . The Grandmaster I know is old 73 years old and is Fast .

  30. …63…used to practice Okinawan karate (Isshinryu/Gojuryu/Uechiryu…still do some kata practice), have practiced Kajukenbo, Kendo, Judo, Escrima/Kali…currently mostly do Wing Chun, Tai Chi, and Yoga. No alcohol, little meat, as little refined sugar as possible, lots of nuts, fruits, and veggies. Hope to keep practicing until I croak. Actually, there is something to the development of internal stuff…as crazy as it might seem.

  31. Great video with sound advice, thank you! I also think 'miles on the clock' is another important factor to consider. You see some Olympic and top pro level athletes who wear out their bodies by their 30s. You should consider your body to be like a car as well. Feed it good fuel and know that every mile you drive is another mile on the clock. So don't speed too often and don't wreck the clutch or engine! Otherwise you may burn out a lot sooner than your 50s or 60s.

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