I found this really great pep talk for the older martial artist on YouTube. It’s by a great martial artist and leader, Mr Tom Callos, and he created it when he was promoting a site aimed at older martial artists. That site is not around any longer, so I thought I would ask him whether he minded me putting the video (and transcript up on this site). There’s some great stuff in this short video.. so make sure to watch it.
I’m here to train a little bit and to talk to you – the injured, older athlete.
You know in the battlefield, and I haven’t really been on the battlefield so I am speaking hypothetically, I don’t really think if you lose a weapon or you are somehow mildly incapacitated that you give up.
It’s not time to hide your head, it’s time to become resourceful and that’s what you have to do when you’re an athlete with knee, back, hip or whatever injury.
I’ve told a million people but you know I’ve had both my hips replaced, torn my Achilles, broken all kinds of bones.
You know training doesn’t have the same flavour it did at 51 that, you know, I did at 25. It doesn’t mean you give up, you have to become a master of adaptation.
If you can’t use your legs you go to your hands. If you can’t kick you use sticks, if you can’t go heavy you go light.
But the consistency of practice is so good for your health and it’s such a good way to role model for your students who are young, to remember what their instructor was like when he was older.
Keep up the activity, because you are not going to hide from it just because you can’t do your stuff just like you used to.
You have to stay on the ball yeah, you still can derive health benefits and stay pretty flexible and you know occasionally even maybe, slip in a shot yeah, but it’s not the same is it.
I challenge all of you 30, 40, 50 and excuse me 60 year olds for talking out of turn but ah stay on the mat, train in any capacity you can, younger guys need your feedback, they need to see you aging gracefully and continuing to practice your martial arts.
Okay that’s my message for today, I’ve got to work out.
Tom Callos (http://www.tomcallos.com) talks to his fellow “older” martial artists —some with injuries, about staying on the mat –and adapting the training. Visit and join the free site, www. MartialArts40plus.ning.com