Alive and Kicking #22 – I Say Sayonara To Aikido. Plus a new Reader’s Story

by on February 27, 2012

in Alive and Kicking


Alive and Kicking – Martial Arts Over 40


Monday 27 February 2012: Issue #22

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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.

I quit Aikido this week! Partly because of the injury, but there was also another reason, which I go into below. Also today, we have another Reader’s Story. I’ll introduce you to Craig Hart shortly.


by ojonudo under CC BY  with


You may recall that in last week’s Martial Arts Over 40 newsletter that I was talking about how my shoulder injury was really giving me grief, and that as a result I was seriously contemplating what to do about that. I really would love to do Aikido, but really – when it ceases to be fun you do have to question it. I enjoy everything about Aikido, except that at the moment my body is not really up to it.

As well as this, there was something else that got me thinking about whether Aikido was a good thing for me or not. And this was nothing to do with physical limitations or pain, and actually I think it is something worth sharing.

After losing 15kgs (33lbs) last year, I’ve really struggled to get back on track this year. My motivation to get to the gym has been poor and my diet has wavered between “Not so good” and “Absolutely terrible”. Steve, my personal trainer, has been pulling his hair out trying to understand why this might be.

As he pointed out, I exercise many times a week. And I do understand what I should be doing with my food. I understand that the combination of good food and proper exercise will lead to steady weight loss, and I’m motivated to lose the weight. So why on earth am I struggling to do the two fairly simple things that will lead me to my goal weight?

So what was the missing part of the equation? Steve had a brainwave and asked me for something I never expected to be asked for by a personal trainer.

He asked to see my schedule!

I don’t keep a written schedule, but on his advice I drew one up, showing everything that I am involved in. And it was CRAZY! No wonder I am struggling. Many 6am starts, many midnight finishes (and later), and jam-packed days in-between, with one full-time business, two young children, two martial arts, gym sessions, cycle commuting, and after that long day, I’d be sitting down to a bunch of websites that I am building, managing, nurturing, or planning.

Too much! And some things have to go. It’s tough, because I absolutely want to be doing everything on that list. (well – if I won the lottery that full-time business would be gone before you could say YEEHAH, but the rest I want to keep!).

So with much reluctance I have started to ditch some things. Starting with Aikido. I’m still a bit cut up about that, but I’m sure it’s the right thing.

I guess that’s something though for everyone to watch out for. How much are you trying to do? Are you trying to squeeze your martial art in around everything else? Or do you think you’ve got the mix right. It’s definitely worth some time taking a look at your schedule and realistically assess where things are at.

It certainly was a bit of an eye-opener for me.


Craig Hart Changed Martial Art When Age Caught UpAs you will be aware, I have a “Readers Stories” section on the website. I am pleased to introduce the latest contributor to this section, Craig Hart.

Actually it was my musings about my injuries and whether that would mean I’d have to give up Aikido that prompted Craig to get in touch. Because he went through a similar experience, having to give up a martial art because of the demands on his body.

Up until recently I held the opinion that the best way to carry on in a martial art if niggles, injuries and (dare I say it) age were starting to get in the way, was to just battle on. Adapt and adjust. Emphasize your strengths and come up with ways of overcoming or getting around your weaknesses.

That was easy to say, until I went through the experience myself! I now have a totally different perspective, in that I think that sometimes you do have to consider whether “battling on” is the right thing to do.

The important thing, if you do decide to give up on a particular martial art, is to make sure that you find yourself another one (preferably before you stop training!)

Here’s what Craig had to say:

The next mistake I made was thinking “I’m now too old for martial arts” so basically gave away the thought of it and turned my focus to gym training and off road running for my goals. That lasted a good few years but it still didn’t fulfil me and the desire to train in a martial art just wouldn’t go away.

Click this link to read the rest of Craig’s story about his forced change to a new martial art

If you would like to share your story, then please reply to this email or contact me through the website. I’d love to hear from you.


Let’s spread the word! We’ve got a good thing going on Martial Arts Over 40, and we’re starting to get quite a good community together. But we need to get the word out there!

Let people know about this site. Mention it on Facebook, or Twitter, or Google+ … anywhere your martial arts friends hang out.

The more people we can get here, the more we can learn from each others experiences. So spread the word!


I did have another item lined up for this newsletter, but it’s already starting to get a bit long! So I will leave it here.

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.

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

All the best!


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Quote of the Day


A bee is never as busy as it seems; it’s just that it can’t buzz any slower.
– Kin Hubbard

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