Sunday, September 23, 2007
Aging Martial Artist: A Perspective
There's an interesting essay by Bob Orlando (whom I've never met), who runs a martial arts school in Denver, on a natural progression in types of martial arts to pursue with age. His template is the progression in Taoist Chinese martial arts from xing-yi, a very linear, meet-force-with-force art that sounds like karate, to ba-gua, which introduces more circular-type motions (sounds like aikido, though I don't know for sure) and finally to taijiquan (tai chi chan), see photo.
Orlando says there's no loss of effective self-defense in that progression, and that there are ways to make that progression outside the Taoist Chinese martial arts.
It makes a lot of sense to me. It makes me wonder about taking up, say aikido at some point (though I do worry about the falls aikido requires).
However, the vigor of the hard martial art I'm pursuing is great for my physical condition. And I'm eager to return to sparring. And I do want to get that black belt. So my thought is to continue down this path as long as I'm able, knowing though that if my body won't let me any farther, due to age or injuries, there are alternatives to dropping training entirely.
I'm off the training wagon for the past four days due to illness, a martial-arts-school holiday, and demands on my time today from family and others. Monday's a new day.