My name is Brett Kraiger.
I am a 5th Dan in ITF Taekwon-Do, having started training in Taekwon-Do in 1989.
I got my 1st Dan Black Belt in 1994, and became an instructor soon after that.
In the not too distant past I reached the age of 40. I’m still instructing Taekwon-Do twice a week and trying to do my own training as well.
As time has passed I have noticed age creeping up on me. I’ve accumulated several injuries over the years which are both persistent and bothersome. If I’m not careful, I get injured more easily, and when I do get injured I take longer to heal.
Old injuries have started to resurface. A recent x-ray of my knees show how the wear and tear from my missing Anterior Cruciate Ligament is really starting to catch up with me, and I’ve got a shoulder that refuses to behave!
I used to be proud of my high flying kicks, but in more recent times have found myself much more attracted to the ground than to the air!
Perhaps it’s time to give up the martial arts? No Way!
I recently read a book by Sang H. Kim called Martial Arts After 40, and it has really helped me put all of this into perspective. It’s helped me to understand that it is normal to start to feel this way after age 40. Strength, Flexibility, Speed, Agility are all going to decline, unless I stay on top of things.
It might be hard to stay motivated when the young, fit 20-somethings are leaping about the place like maniacs. Or injuries (old and new) are preventing you from doing everything to your fullest capacity.
So it got me thinking that there is a big community of over-40 martial artists, ranging from the complete beginner just getting started out, to the very experienced instructors with decades of training in the martial arts, and the whole range in between.
And many of us are going through the same thing – training in the martial arts, trying to keep up with the younger ones, and either wondering whether we are going to be able to keep on training – or wondering how our bodies are going to keep us going!
I’ll be bringing together information, strategies, stories and inspiration for the over-40 martial artist, beginner and expert.