I have of late become more interested in how to keep training as you get older, as many of us lose flexibility, get stiff joints/injuries and lose the natural athleticism of youth. As such, I’ve become more interested in what I call “natural movement“. By this I mean, (as far as is possible) moving in a way that is natural for the body, rather than forcing a movement. For example, many people overly tense up at the end of the end of a technique with too much forced exhalation. Learning to relax more and breath more naturally is healthier at all ages, but more so as get get older.
Being a subscriber to Russell Stutely’s email Newsletter, it seems he is also having thoughts about adapting training as you get older (and he’s younger than me).
Anyway, I’ve long been an admirer of Russell Stutely (who has done an interview for this website before, so I thought I would share his thoughts. If you want to join up to his newsletter or find out more about Russell then CLICK HERE to visit his website.
Anyway, here in Russell’s own words:-
What are we all training for? You know I have been giving this a lot of thought over the last few days. After many long years of training, some great times, some awful times, some amazing times… I look back at the training partners / friends / colleagues etc. So many have stopped training for various reasons; Family, fed up, drifted away, injuries etc.
We have trained pretty hard… In my biased view anyway! We were always the first to step and try something out, spar or fight at whatever level people want… and for what? What did we really gain from it? I have a list of niggling little injuries (some a bit more than that) which are going to plague me for life.
I have friends in the same boat give or take. Yesterday I was at the gym, at my hilltop lair… and there was a younger couple doing Yoga together. They looked in great shape, were physically gifted (judging by the positions) and as I found out were completely injury free after 20 years!
I hobbled away cursing them under my breath They were also really nice to chat to… which made me hate them even more!
As a Coach it is my job to teach in the best possible way. To give the best possible advice on an individual level. To guide, help, assist and to pass on as much knowledge and information in the most efficient manner possible. I am asked on many occasions about hard training, sparring, fighting etc. My answer recently has been do it if you want to.
A few years ago my answer was ALWAYS that you MUST do it.
My answer today and for the forseeable future, is why do it?
Unless you have aspirations to be a proper fighter, then why bother? You will probably get injured. The injury / injuries could well have an impact on your daily life – for the rest of your life.
Do you really want to take those chances to satisfy your own ego? I need to know what I am doing works? Is a standard cry… or it needs to be pressure tested.
Well… yes and no. We all know that a good punch in the mouth works right? So do we really need to pressure test that? We all know that a soccer kick to the head works right? Do we really need to pressure test that?
What we really need to pressure test is HOW TO GET INTO POSITION to punch them in the mouth etc etc.
This can be trained at speed and power with SAFETY in mind.
This is called training HARD AND SMART.
Something which I did mention in my 200+ A4 Page Book – Karate – The Hidden Secrets many years ago. Available all over the web and at my store:-)
I don’t know about you but I really wish I was as injury free as the Yoga couple I met!
NO.. I am not bothered about being in as good as shape as them either! Or about being as nice….They need to rotten up like the rest of us!
What is IMPORTANT is knowing what I / You want from your training. That is the KEY. Everyone is different and everyone is on their OWN JOURNEY. I will try to NEVER judge anyone else’s journey ever again.
If you / they or I am ENJOYING my training, then carry on doing it. I still think it is CRITICAL to UNDERSTAND as much as possible about your Art. It is ESSENTIAL that you make it as efficient and effective as possible.
This is achieved through UNDERSTANDING…. and NOT through beasting yourself and others in the blind hope that ONE MORE PUSH UP will make me understand better!
Use some of the annoying Yoga couples wisdom… take your Art to the next level by UNDERSTANDING IT BETTER.
Ironically, this is what I have been doing for years with the various studies made… BUT at the same time doing that ONE MORE REP as anyone who has actually trained with me will testify!
Now it is time to drop the ONE MORE REP mentality!
I have officially stopped hard / open sparring. At 46 that is acceptable I think!
I am actually taking my own advice and training a bit smarter! I hope that this little note has given you food for thought?
I will write more soon.