Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are still two cups at my table.

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 ~

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Aging Martial Artist

Below is an excerpt from a post at Steve Maxwell Strength & Conditioning blog on the aging athlete and having to take the long view. The full post may be read here. Enjoy.

Jiu-Jitsu and the Mature Athlete: A Letter to a Former Student

As a man ages, he needs to get wiser in how he uses his body. Eventually, everyone declines as aging sets in. The biggest mistake I see is middle-aged men trying to compete and train like they did when they were younger. Even worse, is comparing their performances from their their younger days to the present day and the feelings of disappointment in the disparity. This will always be a source of frustration. No one can continue to dominate forever.

You must acquire the grace to feel satisfaction in the moment. Improvements for the man over 45 will be subtle; the days for big gains and big strides are over. Improvements will come in other ways than increased physical prowess. Thankfully, the mental game continues to improve, forever. Things like learning to quickly relax, better breath control, reducing panic in uncomfortable situations, trickery, and of course, not hesitating to tap just as soon as you get caught -- struggling and fighting out of submissions is a young man's game and beneath the mature athlete. What's important for the older BJJ practitioner is to immediately acknowledge his mistake in getting caught in a submission hold in the first place. Simply tap and continue playing.

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