The autumn leaves are falling like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are always two cups at my table.

T’ang Dynasty poem

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~


Saturday, February 27, 2016

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Who Needs Fiction: Have We Evolved to be Fighters?

Below is an excerpt from an article at The Art of Manliness. It posits that we have evolved in the way we did, particularly men, to be fighters.

I'm not sure that I'm buying this, but it can make for some entertaining discussion. The full article may be read here.



Men seem to be drawn to combative athletics and physical jobs. Violent sports like mixed martial arts remain male dominated, and 85.5% of active duty military members are men.
Statistics also show that men are more likely to commit violent crimes than women. These violent crimes range from assault and battery in a barroom fight to straight-up homicide.

Why is it that men are more prone to violence, whether recreationally, vocationally, or criminally? Many academics would argue that it’s solely a matter of social conditioning — that men are violent and aggressive because society teaches them to be violent and aggressive.

But other researchers from the fields of evolutionary biology and anthropology suggest that while social conditioning may have some influence on male behavior, men are in many ways biologically and psychologically wired to fight.

In a 2012 paper entitled “The Importance of Physical Strength to Human Males, a group of academics from the fields of anthropology and evolutionary psychology compiled research from several domains that suggest that evolutionary and reproductive pressures in our distant past nudged males in our species to develop a propensity for risk taking and violence, as well as physical traits that would be valuable in violent confrontations. The features researchers think are the result of selection for fighting are those which testosterone turns on and grows — e.g., think of the way the surging testosterone in an adolescent male during puberty increases the size of his musculature and capacity for upper body strength.

Because the competition for resources and reproductive success was much more intense among males than females, being bigger, stronger, and more adept at fighting provided a big advantage for men.

Basically, the argument is that much of what makes men different than women can be chalked up to males’ need to fight other males.

The fields of evolutionary psychology and biology are often very speculative, and it’s impossible to say that X traits definitely developed for X reason. For example, there are researchers who say that the structure of the human hand developed to allow us to make a fist and punch each other better, while others say its structure evolved to allow us to make and use tools. The intersection of biology, psychology, and sociology is quite complex, and boiling down who we are to a simple matter of evolution would be short-sighted and reductionist.

Those caveats aside, the speculation is certainly fascinating to entertain! Just because you’re wired to fight, doesn’t mean you’ve got to become a full-time fisticuffer, but you might look for ways to scratch that primal itch. Plus it’s just cool to look in the mirror at your naked body in the morning, and realize that your unique features were designed for combat. 

You’ve got warrior DNA. It’s certainly good motivation to get to the gym and not let traits thousands of years in the making go to waste. Honor your ancestors!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Who Needs Fiction: 1970's Ads for Martial Arts Instruction

Here is a link to a wonder article which is a compendium of martial arts instruction ads found in comic books from the 1970s.

I simply can't do it justice by posting an excerpt. You have to see it for yourself. 

Enjoy.


As we all know from reading comic books and watching movies, the 1970s were a time when lethal ninjas and club-wielding goons lurked around every corner, kicking sand into the faces of honest, hard-working comics readers at every opportunity. The people cried out for something, anything, that could save them from these ruffians, and as they always have, comic books stepped up to help in the most efficient and effective way possible: Advertising!
Comics had always provided their readers with the most exciting purchasing opportunities — nuclear submarines, X-Ray glasses, even the occasional piece of real Kryptonite — but between 1971 and 1974, they were full of opportunities to train yourself in the lethal arts of self-defense. That’s why we here at ComicsAlliance are compiling a comprehensive list of the greatest promises for deadly hands and death touches in this, our Grand Compendium Of Comic Book Martial Arts Instructional Advertisements From The ’70s.


Read More: The Grand Compendium Of 70s Comics Martial Arts Instruction Ads | http://comicsalliance.com/1970s-comics-martial-arts-instruction-ads/?trackback=tsmclip
As we all know from reading comic books and watching movies, the 1970s were a time when lethal ninjas and club-wielding goons lurked around every corner, kicking sand into the faces of honest, hard-working comics readers at every opportunity. The people cried out for something, anything, that could save them from these ruffians, and as they always have, comic books stepped up to help in the most efficient and effective way possible: Advertising!
Comics had always provided their readers with the most exciting purchasing opportunities — nuclear submarines, X-Ray glasses, even the occasional piece of real Kryptonite — but between 1971 and 1974, they were full of opportunities to train yourself in the lethal arts of self-defense. That’s why we here at ComicsAlliance are compiling a comprehensive list of the greatest promises for deadly hands and death touches in this, our Grand Compendium Of Comic Book Martial Arts Instructional Advertisements From The ’70s.


Read More: The Grand Compendium Of 70s Comics Martial Arts Instruction Ads | http://comicsalliance.com/1970s-comics-martial-arts-instruction-ads/?trackback=tsmclip

Thursday, February 18, 2016

The 48 Laws of Power, #16: Use Absense to Increase Respect and Honor

One of my favorite books on strategy is The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene and Joost Elffers.  Where The Art of War, by Sun Tzu is written as an overview of the whole topic of strategy, seeking to provide an overall understanding of the subject; and The 36 Strategies tries to impart the knack of strategic thinking through 36 maxims related to well known Chinese folk stories, Mr. Greene focuses on how we influence and manipulate one another, ie "power".

Mr. Greene draws from both Eastern and Western history and literature as his source material. Sun Tzu and Machiavelli as cited as much as wonderful stories of famous con men. Among my favorites is about a scrap metal dealer thinking he bought the Eiffel Tower.

Each of the 48 Laws carries many examples, along with counter examples where it is appropriate that they be noted, and even reversals.

It is a very thorough study of the subject and the hardback version is beautifully produced.

One of the things I admire about Greene is that he not only studied strategy, he applied what he learned to his own situation and prospered.

Today's law is #16: Use Absense to Increase Respect and Honor.
Too much circulation makes the price go down: The more you are seen and heard from, the more common you appear. If you are already established in a group, temporary withdrawal from it will make you more talked about, even more admired. You must learn when to leave. Create value through scarcity. - See more at: http://48laws-of-power.blogspot.com/2011/05/law-16-use-absence-to-increase-respect.html#sthash.Y0bz17GR.dpuf

Too much circulation makes the price go down: The more you are seen and heard from, the more common you appear. If you are already established in a group, temporary withdrawal from it will make you more talked about, even more admired. You must learn when to leave. Create value through scarcity. - See more at: http://48laws-of-power.blogspot.com/2011/05/law-16-use-absence-to-increase-respect.html#sthash.Y0bz17GR.dpuf
Too much circulation makes the price go down: The more you are seen and heard from, the more common you appear. If you are already established in a group, temporary withdrawal from it will make you more talked about, even more admired. You must learn when to leave. Create value through scarcity.




Monday, February 15, 2016

Who Needs Fiction: Seriously Applying the 10,000 Hour Theory

From time to time there have been posts here regarding the 10,000 hour theory, famously explained by Malcolm Gladwell.

Basically, something in common among masters of virtually anything is that they have logged at least 10,000 hours of deliberate practice.There is far more to it than that, but there you have it in a nutshell.

Once that was published, there was a rush among amateurs of every endeavor to begin logging hours like mad, hoping to achieve mastery through the simple accumulation of training time. 

Training more helps, but it isn't everything.

In a book by the authors of Freakonomics, "When to Rob a Bank," they introduced Dan.

Dan decided that he wanted to become a professional golfer, never having golfed seriously before. He quit his job and devoted himself to trainng under a golf pro, according to the 10,000 hour plan. 

His progress has been remarkable. Below is an excerpt from his website. The home page from his website is here.

It’s a project in transformation. An experiment in potential and possibilities. Through 10,000 hours of “deliberate practice,” Dan, who currently has minimal golf experience, plans on becoming a professional golfer. But the plan isn’t really about golf: through this process, Dan hopes to prove to himself and others that it’s never too late to start a new pursuit in life.  For a detailed description of the project, please read this blog post: http://thedanplan.com/blog/?p=1090

WHO IS DAN?

Dan is an average man by most standards. When The Dan Plan began, he was a 30-year-old commercial photographer with no previous experience as a competitive athlete, nor was he in particularly good physical condition. Dan is slightly under average height and weight, had never played a full 18 holes of golf, and had only been to a driving range a handful of times. He was not even sure if he was a left-or right-handed golfer. Dan currently resides in Portland, Oregon.

WHY?

Through his journey Dan hopes to inspire others to start exploring the possibilities life affords them. Though his isn’t an easy endeavor and is quite possibly impossible, if it inspires even one person to quit their day job and find happiness in their own plan, then the Dan Plan is a success.

THE DETAILS
On April 5th, 2010, Dan quit his day job as a commercial photographer and began The Dan Plan. Having never played 18 holes of golf in his life, Dan started the 10,000 hour journey with just a putter.  After five months of putting, he received his second club, a pitching wedge. Just before the first anniversary of The Dan Plan dan took his first full-swing lesson.

 After 18 months he swung a driver for the first time.  On December 28, 2011 he played his first full round with a full set of clubs.  Since then it has been off to the races.
Logging in 30-plus hours a week he will hit the 10,000 hour milestone by December 2016. During this time, Dan plans to develop his skills through deliberate practice, eventually winning amateur events and obtaining his PGA Tour card through a successful appearance in the PGA Tour’s Qualifying School, or “Q-School”.

THE THEORY

Talent has little to do with success. According to research conducted by Dr. K. Anders Ericsson, Professor of Psychology at Florida State University, “Elite performers engage in ‘deliberate practice’–an effortful activity designed to improve target performance.” Dr. Ericsson’s studies, made popular through Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers and Geoff Colvin’s Talent is Overrated, have found that in order to excel in a field, roughly 10,000 hours of “stretching yourself beyond what you can currently do” is required. “I think you’re the right astronaut for this mission,” Dr. Ericsson said about The Dan Plan.


Friday, February 12, 2016

Mastery the Hard Way

This post at The Modern Team was brought to my attention by Cameron Conaway, the Warrior Poet.

With all the talk of the 10,000 hours and what not, we sometimes lose sight of just plain hard work. 

At extract is below. The full post may be read here

When it comes to dedication to his craft, no one surpasses Jiro Ono. Out of a small shop in an underground Tokyo subway station, he runs the most renowned sushi restaurant in the world.

His path to the top came not through exposure, business model innovation, or riding trends.

He became renowned, and is able to charge the fees that he does, through total dedication to excellence. His singular guiding principle is the quality of outcome for his customers—how good his sushi tastes, and the pleasure of the tasting experience.

In Jiro’s mind, there are no shortcuts. There are no tricks. Mastery is reached the hard way—in such small increments that you don’t realize it’s happening.

For example, whereas many elite sushi chefs have a single supplier for everything they need at Tsukiji Fish Market, Jiro builds relationships with specialist suppliers who deal in only one of his ingredients. The result is that when Jiro gets an octopus, it’s from a supplier who has spent a lifetime developing mastery over how to select the best octopus for sushi.

Whereas many elite sushi chefs bring in new recruits and put them through rigorous training, an apprenticeship under Jiro is a 10-year journey.

He’s a perfect exemplar of how doing things the hard way can help you rise to the top. 


For starters, it’s about taking the time to do every step properly. It’s about becoming an expert at what you do so you can create a better product for your clients. It’s an embodiment of “measure twice, cut once.” By focusing on mastery of each step, we learn the repeatable patterns that can be improved upon with each iteration.

The “hard way” tends to get cast aside when one of its many forms is confused as its only form. It’s fair to be wary of work that comes with self-imposed challenges, arbitrary restrictions, or starting things from scratch. While making things more difficult for yourself in order to feel more reward can be admirable in recreation (e.g. “I’m going to swim solo across the Channel”) it’s not a valuable approach for a productive team.

It’s obvious but worth stating: those who spend extra time doing things right end up producing a better end product. Take custom carpentry’s go-to joining technique, the dovetail, for example. It’s considered a mark that a piece of furniture is well-built. And it’s one example where quality arises from the hard way. Kerry O’Brien for Sweeten.com puts it like this:

“Custom cabinetmakers will often use dovetail joints that interlock pieces of wood to distribute weight and stress more evenly, whereas stock nut, bolt, and nail methods isolate wear on a few points.”
 
Taking the hard way means laying out the steps. When you clear the cobwebs of an unknown process by learning from experts, you realize that mastery isn’t magic or even luck as popular myths try to make us believe. An apprentice under Jiro, for example, doesn’t just start learning to prepare the fish. They first have to develop mastery over how to welcome a customer into the restaurant. Then they graduate to developing mastery over how to create the perfect hot towel for a customer, then how to wash dishes, then how to prepare rice. It’s often months or years before they can even touch a fish.

It may be an extreme example, but this kind of repetition of each step in the process can allow you to isolate areas for improvement. Only when every step is done methodically can you understand the effect each has on the outcome. The only way Jiro knew to try massaging the octopus for 15 minutes longer was that every other step was followed rigorously and consistently. And he can taste the difference because he’s done it for years and because no other variables were changed.

Another popular example that dispels the “magic of mastery” myth is how Cristiano Ronaldo rose to the top. While he was developing his skills at Sporting Lisbon, he was seeded among a group of peers whose talents—according to the coaches—were on par with his own. But as Luis Lourenço, his compatriot, recalls in Sky Sports’ The Making of Cristiano Ronaldo:

“When he had nothing to do he would secretly go to the gym at night. He started doing things that we only did when we were with the team and the coaches. He’d get ready on his own and sneak off to the gym. He’d do leg and body exercises and that’s when he started to stand out. While we went to the gym to work out ahead of the next game, he was already working out ahead of his future.”

Ronaldo’s rise to the top is often attributed to devotion to self-improvement through practice and effort; notably, his talent comes second in his story.

A nice bonus of a methodical process is that you can give your consumers a taste of the effort put into your product. When people know what went into something, even though the product itself hasn’t changed, they may value it more. We see this with studio footage from musicians, weekly updates from agencies, and donation requests on popular blogs.

While extra time and effort might not be worth it if the outcome doesn’t budge, taking this kind of pride in your work can bring other benefits. For starters, it means that when the work is complete you’ll be more likely to feel a greater sense of accomplishment for achieving what you set out to do.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The 2016 Lenten Challenge Starts NOW!


Every year, I throw out the Lenten Challenge to my martial arts buddies. It has nothing to do with Christianity or religion (unless you want it to). We are simply using this time as a convenient reminder to rededicate ourselves to our training. It’s kind of hard to miss either Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras, the last day before Lent, which is also Paczki Day!) or Easter Sunday (Bunnies, candy, colored eggs; that stuff). Several of us have been doing this for years now.

The challenge is this: from Ash Wednesday (today!) until the day before Easter (Mar 26), train every day, without fail, no excuses; even if you have to move mountains. Simple enough said, a little harder to do.

It's not as easy as it sounds; things come up. Some days, you might only be able to get a few minutes of training in; but the point is to do it everyday, no matter what.

It doesn't have to be martial arts training either. Whatever it is that you need to really rededicate yourself to: studying, practicing an instrument, walking, watching what you eat, immersing yourself in something new; anything - do it every day, without fail.

In the past on some forums, people have posted what they’ve done everyday. I think everyone who’s done that has become tired of writing, and the others get tired of reading it. How about you just post if you’ve had some breakthrough, or you’ve had to overcome some unusual circumstance to continue your training? Maybe just check in every once in a while to let everyone know you’re keeping at it, or to encourage everyone else to keep at it.

If you fail, no one will hate you. If you fall off of the wagon, climb back on board. Start anew.

For those of you who already train everyday anyway, by all means continue and be supportive of the rest of us. For the rest of us who intend to train everyday, but sometimes come up short due to life’s propensity for unraveling even the best laid plans, here is an opportunity to put a stake in the ground and show your resolution.

Won't you join me? The challenge starts NOW!

Late update: Besides working out, I had been struggling, trying to decide something to give up for Lent. I finally figured it out: Facebook. I'll still be using FB Messenger and will add members to groups for which I am an admin, but other than that, if we're Facebook Friends, I'll be off until Easter.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Continually Rediscovering Kung Fu

At the excellent Kung Fu Tea blog, there was an excellent post examining the attitudes of foreigners towards Chinese martial arts in Hong Kong over the years, decades and centuries. The author noted that it seems that Kung Fu is discovered again and again and again.

An excerpt is below. The full article may be read here.

The TCMA as a Perpetual Revival Movement

Kung Fu has an odd relationship with the past. It seems that for the last century (at least) each generation has discovered the beauty of the Chinese martial arts only to realize that they are quickly “dying out,” and will likely succeed in doing so unless steps are taken. In other words, there is a strain of the Chinese martial arts that exists in a state of perpetual revival. This is not just to say that each generation must discover these arts for themselves, but that the very language of “loss” and “preservation” are inherently bound up in this process.

Once we understand this, we come closer to grasping the social meaning and function of these practices throughout time. This same discourse seems to be deeply meaningful in our own era. In striving to preserve an ‘authentic’ aspect of martial history, practitioners find something equally authentic within themselves. It may be an increased awareness of their Chinese heritage, a sense of self-creation and empowerment, or simply the awe of touching a relic from humanity’s deep past. After all, few things in our daily life claim to be as ancient as Kung Fu.

Recently I was struck by the notion that not only is there a degree of regularity in the on-going rediscovery of Kung Fu, but that certain rhetoric regarding its social meaning and significance also reappears, with surprising regularity, over the decades. Each generation is bound to rediscover, more or less, the same thing about Chinese masculinity, whether it is embodied in Huo Yunjia, Bruce Lee or, more recently, Daniel Wu. Not only have these individuals carried the same symbolic torch, but they have even been discussed in broadly similar terms by their contemporaries.

This is not to say that they have all played identical roles. Ideas about gender, nationalism and identity are in constant flux. Change is a vital part of this process. Still, the similarities between them are interesting enough that it causes one to stop and think.

The need to look into the past and discover something of value, an idea or symbol that will point the way to a better future, is not confined to the present moment in history. This seems to be an almost universal impulse. Perhaps we enthusiastically rediscover similar inspirations in the lives of each of these figures because there is a ‘Kung Fu shaped hole’ in the human soul?

Alternatively, if we dig deeply enough we will find that the archaeology of popular history and media provides valuable insights into the motivations and meanings driving the current embrace of the Chinese martial arts. The fact that each generation is compelled to “discover” so much anew also mandates that much must also be “forgotten” just as regularly. I personally find the odd forgetfulness that surrounds the contemporary history of the Chinese martial arts to be one of their most fascinating traits. Yet one still suspects that deep currents of discourse from the past shape at least some attitudes in the present even if most of us remain blissfully unaware of this cultural inheritance.

For this reason I am always looking for clues as to how the Chinese martial arts were perceived within the ‘trans-national’ or ‘global’ community prior to their rediscovery in the 1970s. It is tempting to allow our impressions of these attitudes to be shaped by the narratives of popular Kung Fu films in which Western forces were always implacably hostile to the Chinese martial arts. These practices were, after all, tasked with defending the nation’s dignity against the forces of imperialism and spiritual colonization.

Nor is it all that difficult to find racist or bigoted accounts of the Chinese martial arts. Still, it is interesting to note that many of these hostile accounts date to the middle or later periods of the 19th century. This was an era of active military conflict throughout the region and doubts about the Qing government’s ability to adapt to its rapidly changing environment.

By the second and third decades of the 20th century there was a notable change in foreign language discussions of the Chinese martial arts. The main sentiment expressed by these writers was one of mild curiosity rather than derision. And a notable percentage of western authors were inclined to see positive values and potential strengths in these systems of boxing and gymnastics. (Readers should recall that the Chinese hand combat systems were rarely referred to as “martial arts” in the pre-WWII period).

The following Research Note includes two articles found in Hong Kong’s English language newspapers written nearly a decade apart. Both are interesting in their own right and introduce some important facts about the period in question.

The first documents a Jingwu (Chin Woo) demonstration at a local school. This specific organization did much to promote the practice of the Chinese martial arts among students during this decade, spreading their base of support widely throughout society. Readers should also note that this article follows Jingwu’s linguistic convention and uses the term “Kung Fu” as a label for the traditional Chinese martial arts. This usage provides further evidence reinforcing certain arguments about the historical evolution of the term that I made here.

The second article reminds us of the importance of court records and legal proceeding as historical resources. It is a notice of charges against a Kung Fu teacher in Kowloon for the possession of unregistered weapons. The brief nature of this account raises as many questions as it resolves about how the martial arts community interacted with law enforcement during the 1930s.

The police appear to have had no interest in pressing charges against the Sifu as they were aware that the weapons were only used in teaching, and the judge dismissed the case as a technicality after imposing a minimal fine. Still, one wonders why the instructor was dragged into court at all for a weapons offense that no one was interested in enforcing. We know that during the 1950s-1980s there was a degree of hostility between the Hong Kong police and traditional martial arts schools, whom they often viewed as fronts for organized crime and Triad activity. Cases such as this one raises the question of how far back these tensions went.

Taken together these articles seem to illustrate a more nuanced reception of the traditional Chinese martial arts on the part of Westerners in southern China than current popular culture troupes might lead one to suspect. Their attitude was not always one of derision or implacable hostility. Jingwu’s involvement with the education of the youth was seen in a generally positive light. Both the police and presiding judge in the second account seemed capable of distinguishing the social function of the Kowloon school as a place of instruction from any technical infractions of weapons regulations that existed at the time.  As a set these articles shed light on how the Chinese martial arts were being discussed and imagined prior to their “re-discovery” by the English speaking world in the 1960 and 1970s.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Aging and Martial Arts



Before getting to the meat of this post, I want to make readers aware of the upcoming Lenten Challenge.

Every year, I throw out the Lenten Challenge to my martial arts buddies. It has nothing to do with Christianity or religion (unless you want it to). We are simply using this time as a convenient reminder to rededicate ourselves to our training. It’s kind of hard to miss either Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras, the last day before Lent, which is also Paczki Day!) or Easter Sunday (Bunnies, candy, colored eggs; that stuff). Several of us have been doing this for years now.

The challenge is this: from Ash Wednesday (Feb 10) until the day before Easter (Mar 26), train every day, without fail, no excuses; even if you have to move mountains. Simple enough said, a little harder to do.

It's not as easy as it sounds; things come up. Some days, you might only be able to get a few minutes of training in; but the point is to do it everyday, no matter what.

It doesn't have to be martial arts training either. Whatever it is that you need to really rededicate yourself to: studying, practicing an instrument, walking, watching what you eat, immersing yourself in something new; anything - do it every day, without fail.

In the past on some forums, people have posted what they’ve done everyday. I think everyone who’s done that has become tired of writing, and the others get tired of reading it. 

How about you just post if you’ve had some breakthrough, or you’ve had to overcome some unusual circumstance to continue your training? Maybe just check in every once in a while to let everyone know you’re keeping at it, or to encourage everyone else to keep at it.

If you fail, no one will hate you. If you fall off of the wagon, climb back on board. Start anew.

For those of you who already train everyday anyway, by all means continue and be supportive of the rest of us. For the rest of us who intend to train everyday, but sometimes come up short due to life’s propensity for unraveling even the best laid plans, here is an opportunity to put a stake in the ground and show your resolution.

Won't you join me?

I'm no spring chicken anymore.

While checking in for the 2016 Disney World Marathon, we happened to meet and have a nice conversation with a senior runner.

He was 87, stood straight, was clear eyed and was sharp as could be. He took up running after he retired and is still at it. He had been participating in the Disney events (5K, 10K, half or full marathons) since 1997. 

He had run many of the marathons, even doing the Dopey Challenge (the 5K, 10K, half and full on consecutive days) four times. He's even run with his wife, kids and grand kids (a total of 14 of them on the track).

One time he qualified for the Boston Marathon, which in itself is a feat. At mile 24, he tripped, fell and broke his hip though. 3 months later he ran his first post recovery 5K.

Now with age, he is only (only!) running 10Ks. He says that he isn't beating anyone anymore; he's just outliving them.

There is a new role model for me.

Well, what about martial arts? What is the aging martial artist to do?

Below is an excerpt from a post that appeared at Aging Martial Artists, on this very topic. The full post may be read here.


These concerns apply to anyone who is reaching their winter years but for martial artists it means a change in how we practice, train, teach and apply martial arts and karate. This article will only discuss those aging effects that have special meaning to us.

Bones, our skeletal system, the bones start to lose marrow, etc. and lead toward weaker bones. In our advanced age it can result in brittleness. This means all those awesome things we did in our twenties should be tempered to take this into consideration because broken bones are easier to encounter in harder training and practice. 

Our muscles and therefore our strength due to loss of muscle tissue, etc., result in weaker muscles so our strength, to which many rely on heavily, will no longer carry the day especially in self-defense applications, i.e., defending against attackers in the real world. 

Our metabolism changes and with that, if we don’t adjust for eating habits, will add on weight while reduce body mass, i.e., muscular mass. Our bodies will not have the same ability to continue working efficiently unless we hydrate a lot more. Then there is hearing loss.

Hearing is a sense we use, along with sight and touch, to detect things in our environment. We lose hearing, our sight diminishes and our touch is not as sensitive. All of these are really necessary to achieve proficiency in applying martial and karate skills in competition as well as self-defense. 

Now, here is one that should get all the guys attention - the secretion of testosterone diminishes. You can image how that effects our body and especially our mind-set because a lot of our youthful ability is carried by our testosterone and why the age of military and other like professions has an age thing.

Our joints suffer and things like ligaments and cartilage tend to become less flexible and succumb to injuries that younger folks can avoid by their health and fitness.