From AJ forums: “Too old to learn Aikido?”

The following post by Jorge Garcia is excerpted from a thread currently in progress in the Aikido Journal forums:

“You’re not too old but you need to know what to expect. I am 52 now and doing great. I can run almost anyone in the dojo into the ground and I train every day of the year. I have been injured but I just protect the injury and keep going.

Having said that, I started when I was 38 and out of shape. I experienced dizziness when learning to roll and that continued for many months. I was frequently exhausted and had to stop. Everything in my body hurt and I always had some form of pain in my body up until last year. These were pains that moved around and I just hurt. My shins, feet, heels, forearms, back and ankles hurt- in short – everything.”

Click here to view forum thread


  1. You are never too old to learn anything or practice any physical activity. But there is a caveat in that the body changes with age. These changes must be understood and consciously addressed.

    Starting up should always be gradual and any physical exertion should always be WITHIN YOUR PRESENT LIMITS. The first three months is a period of transformation.

    Whilst that’s just commonsense, most doctors seem incapable or unwilling to offer the most important advice, self care and maintenance. Naturally, it interferes with profits if everyone understood how to properly care for their mind and body and put it into practice. And yet it is very basic.

    Also after age forty ukemi should be treated with caution.

    Pain is normal but the athlete or budoka, MUST learn to distinguish between beneficial pain of change, and detrimental pain of injury.

    Above all: RECOVERY IS EVERYTHING. This includes sufficiency of sleep, proper nutrition, hydration, time out, cycles of training etc.

    There’s more but it can be a long subject which we owe to ourselves to study well as your body is more important as the vehicle which will carry through your life, than a car.

    Training must be modulated to suit age and fitness levels. You do not have to train hard all the time and it is not necessary to do so. Everything in balance. Light training can often teach you more about skill than unnecessarily hard training. training is training, not straining. Leave the “s” out

    Above all: learn to LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!

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