Alive and Kicking #19 – Your Stories, First Time Martial Arts Nerves, and Flashing Clocks

by on February 6, 2012

in Alive and Kicking


Alive and Kicking – Martial Arts Over 40


Monday 6 February 2012: Issue #19

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Published by Brett Kraiger. Your comments are always welcome.


Hi there!

Welcome to this week’s Alive and Kicking, the newsletter for martial artists over 40. In today’s edition, I’m really excited to be introducing a couple of over-40 martial artists who have been in touch with me, and who have agreed to share their stories.

There are many different types of over-40 martial artist.

There are those like me, who started at a young age and through sheer determination are still going 20 years later.

Then there’s people like Pete Rindal who are just getting started in martial arts at age 45.

And there are people like Dale Copeland who started martial arts in their mid-50s, and are still rocking it as they head toward 70!

Well, actually, there aren’t a lot of people like Dale Copeland.. she’s one of a kind  🙂


One of the things I was hoping to achieve with Martial Arts Over 40 was to develop a community of like-minded souls who could come together and talk about their hopes, dreams, experiences, and frustrations with their journey in the martial arts.

We all come from different places, have different entry paths into martial arts, and have different experiences. So I think it’s great that people like Pete and Dale are keen to share their story.

At the very least it means you don’t have to put up with me going on and on every week 🙂

Pete Rindal contacted me very soon after finding the website, and shared with me how he was just getting started in martial arts, how he’d already managed to injure himself by overestimating what his body was capable of, and how excited he was to be getting started. As Pete kept me updated with the goings-on in his first steps into martial arts, I asked him whether he would be happy to do a write-up of his experiences so that it could be shared on the site. And so the “Readers’ Stories” section of the website was born.

Take a look at Pete’s story about how he’s getting started in martial arts. I really like the way he describes the first-day nerves, which is quite often a big hurdle for people, but one that absolutely must be overcome. And overcome them he did and he’s now getting right into it. Read Pete’s story of his start in martial arts.

And then there’s Dale. I first saw Dale in action at her testing for black belt when she was 60 years old. In a room full of youngsters, there was Dale giving it her absolute all, and standing out with not only her sheer determination, but with such an amazing level of energy. And you could tell she was having great fun even though the test was very physically demanding. (These tests take two days!).

Dale will probably correct me if I’m wrong here, but if my memory serves me right there was actually another even older student at the same grading. It’s quite possible I’ve got my gradings mixed up here.

Anyway, I was delighted when I saw Dale recently graded to 4th Dan at the age of 68. In ITF Taekwon-Do which Dale and I both do, 4th Dan is a very significant milestone, and to see Dale still going strong was wonderful.

As soon as I saw Dale interacting with the site through Facebook, I got in touch immediately and asked her if she would share her story with everyone. And she agreed. Actually she’s shared two stories… one’s in her own words, and the other is from a local community newspaper in which she was featured. Check out Dale’s journey in the martial arts.

And then there’s you. If you would like to share your story too, then just reply to this email or get in touch via the contact form. I’d love to hear from you.


Pete’s story talks about his first day nerves. I had a recent experience of this. After 20 years in martial arts!

I decided a long time ago that I wanted to start Aikido one day. It’s always intrigued me and it is so different to Taekwon-Do that I knew it would be a real challenge. For various reasons I never actually got around to starting until about 18 months ago.

And I couldn’t believe how nervous I was. Here I was, with two decades in martial arts and I was walking into the dojo with butterflies in my stomach. And what was even wierder was that it wasn’t even my first time in that dojo. I’d actually trained there, with some of the very same people, several years earlier. So I already knew that they didn’t bite.

If you are reading this and hesitating on getting started in a martial art, there’s really only one thing to say… Just Do It! The butterflies will be gone in no time.


I mentioned above about wanting to build a community of like-minded souls.

A while ago (more than 20 years) I read something in a newspaper that amused me and I’ve remembered to this day. It said “You can always tell a house where the teenagers have left home, because the clock on the video will be flashing!”

Fast forward 20 years, and I can understand now how that would happen! Maybe not the clock on the video, but the endless barrage of new stuff we are faced with daily. For me one thing I have trouble getting my head around is social networking sites.

I was a real latecomer to Facebook. And to be perfectly honest I’m still not a great fan of it. So when Google goes and brings in their version I was super-hesitant to take a look.

A good friend urged me to take a look, so I put my toe in the water yesterday. And I can say that I was pleasantly surprised with Google Plus. I like it much better than Facebook. It seemed a lot easier to find people to connect with, and in this case you can connect with people with whom you have the same interests, and not just because you went to school with them 20 years ago.

It sort of felt like Facebook for adults.

I’ll be going back there for sure. If you do check it out make sure to look me up. Or Circle me – whatever that means  🙂


That’s all for this week. Again if you want to share your story then get in touch. I’m sure there are a gazillion different stories out there that we’d all love to hear.

And, as always, if you have anything you would like to see on the website or in a future newsletter then you can get hold of me by replying directly to this email, commenting on Facebook , or leave your comments on the website. (scroll down)

Thank you for subscribing (and reading!). Back in a week.

All the best!


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Quote of the Day


It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.
– Confucius

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