The transcript below is from the video “Aging and Martial Arts | ART OF ONE DOJO” by Art of One.

Art of One:

So, a couple of years ago, we did an episode called – Are You Too Old To Take The Martial Arts and in that episode which I’m going to link below in the description, we talk about considerations to take if you want to join the martial arts at an advanced age, and if you do what are some of the better options. Because obviously, you know, it’s not one size fits all. There’s arts that are better for younger people or there’s arts that have high impact. There’s all sorts of things out there. So in that episode, we talk about what, you know, how to pick out the art that works best for you.

Art of One:

Today, we’re going to do the caveat of that because while I feel like there’s really no age limit to starting the martial arts whether you’re 18 or 80, there’s always some benefits you can get out of it. But the flip side of that coin is there’s a lot of things you have to consider. There’s no denying it, as we age, we don’t retain the same strength, we don’t retain the same muscle mass, the speed, the flexibility. There’s a lot of things that we do fade on a little bit. And yes, there are a lot of martial arts out there who are still really really good. I know a few of them that age 70 can still kick, they can kick my butt and they’re in fantastic shape. But you do notice a difference. You do feel a difference. I know for our older viewers out there, you know exactly what I’m talking about because I’ve talked to you about this before. And I am now 42 and while I’m still young enough, you know, I’m still middle-aged.

Art of One:

I’ve had some aging issues, you know. I can’t do this stuff I did when I was 25. And I’m even facing some new issues now, you know. I have an old knee injury that I’ve had since I had surgery on in 2009. I’ve been fine up until this point but it’s been giving me some grief again lately. I’ve had it checked out and it’s like the re-entry is kind of coming back and I’m facing a lot of options. And it got me thinking this is more of an observational episode and there’s two parts to this. But it got me thinking of- oh man, you know, am I gonna need new surgery? Is this a problem that’s gonna get worse? Where am I at? And then my next questions were, of course, my first question was- Oh my god! My martial arts! What am I going to be able to do? You know, I think about what I do now, my kicking stuff. I’m not doing the flying, jumping, spinning, fancy kicks I did when I was a kid. But, you know, I do kick hard. I do work hard. I plant my stances. I’m, like, my whole thought was- am I gonna be able to do all that in the future or how long am I gonna be able to do all that? So, it just kind of brings in the fact that you do have to face aging and you have to face it appropriately and choose the activities that’s right for you.

Art of One:

Now, there is another side of this coin I want to talk about because it’s a little bit of a psychological experience I’ve been doing for the past year. Been going back to work, you know, I work late nights sometimes and, you know, I’m driving home on the highway and all of a sudden, a five-lane highway goes down to a one-lane highway because we’re doing construction. I’m in South Florida. There’s always construction on the highways. It’s frustrating because you can see everybody fighting for that merger and you can see that flashing arrow up ahead and you see these five lanes, you can see all these little red lights, they’re all fighting for this pinpoint spot. Well, I started to do an experiment. If I’m in the far left lane and that’s the lane that’s open, so I’m already in the lane I should be, I start to slow down, I mean, traffic’s already going at the crawl. So, I start going a little bit slower and I let that gap open up. You know, the gap goes from one car to two cars, to three cars, to four cars, to the point where like five cars can easily come in and I wait and see the people next to me. They can all see that same arrow up ahead. They can see that merge. Nobody comes over. And I thought that’s like, really strange because they know they have to get over. I’m giving them the opportunity to come over and they’re not taking it. What are they doing instead is, they’re trying to push past to go all the way up and they’re still trying to cut up in front. It’s like you’re making it worse. You’re actually causing the jam. You’re overlooking an opportunity. And I’m even talking like the big 18 wheeler trucks that nobody ever lets in. I will give them a gap and they’ll do the same thing for most of the time. They’ll try to fight at the beginning and it’s just the weirdest thing.

Art of One:

It makes me think about, you know, as we get older, you know, there’s this whole other side of it of missing opportunities and whether we procrastinate and think that there’s time to do it, or we don’t realize them when we see it, we don’t recognize it. I think it’s a real problem. And the reason I’m bringing this up as an observation today in this episode, because I am getting questions all the time, all the time, daily, about Mr. Dan, am I too old to do xyz? Or, Mr. Dan, I’ve been thinking about this art but I don’t know if I should? Or, I really want to go back to this or, I trained 5 years ago and I really want to get back into Shotokan but I haven’t done it yet. There’s so many comments like that. And I’m like that too. I spent years, you know, I’ve been into Kenpo for 28 years now. Probably the last 15 of those years, I’ve been telling myself, you know what, I would like to try another art, a grappling art of Jiu-Jitsu art or Judo art, that I would like to mix in with Kenpo. I said that to myself up until about 3 years ago when I finally just did it. Actually, it was when my father passed away and I kind of reverted back to my martial arts for balance. I said, I have to make a change. That was a reminder to me that time runs out and I don’t want to miss out. I started that but I’ve noticed there’s a big trend of people saying I want to train this, I want to do this. I’m still doing it, you know.

Art of One:

I started the online program. We did an episode on that, about trying online martial arts. I work with it and I put it down for a little bit. I am definitely going to go back to it. And this pandemic, oh my gosh, this whole pandemic! My first thought was, okay, well, the schools are closed. I can’t go to a dojo but you know what, I can’t go to work right now, we’re isolating. I’ve got all this time to practice and train on my own. I ended up focusing on work. I’m focusing on this channel, getting stuff done around the house. And I realized when the pandemic goes and I’m like I worked out less during the pandemic than I did when the schools were open. I missed that opportunity because in my mind, I’ll do it tomorrow. You always have that time, you always have that time. And when you get into that mindset, that time goes away. I know this is kind of more of a ramble today but I see these questions come up all the time, I’m going through a lot of it myself and I just really wanted to say something and actually talk to you guys and get your inputs because you guys give some of the best conversations. I read your comments, I see what you guys are saying and I can relate to so much of it and I’m seeing this trend constantly is that, you know, there’s so much that we want to do and if we don’t force the self to make the time, if you don’t dedicate yourself to make the time, it’s not going to happen. Because there’s always I’ll do it tomorrow, I’ll do it tomorrow, I’ll do it tomorrow and then one day, there’s no tomorrow, and you’re like I should have done that.

Art of One:

You know what they say, they say that people who are on their deathbed, people who have regrets, it’s never Oh, I should have, oh, I wish I bought that Porsche or I wish I made the extra million dollars. The regrets tend to be is: I wish I spent more time with my family, I wish I would have gone on that ski trip, I wish I would have done that internship abroad. It’s the experience. People tend to regret their missed opportunities versus missed possessions, if that makes sense. That’s just been stirring in my head a lot lately. Like, it was recently father’s day, I’ve been thinking a lot about my dad. I did the lesson last week about one of the most important lessons my dad taught me and it just reminds me that time runs out. If there’s something you want to do, you gotta do it because wanting to do, it’s not enough.

Art of One:

And it’s so prevalent in the martial arts. I could have been in the martial arts a few years earlier than I was. When I was a kid, we lived on Long Island for a little bit and my friend had just started taking Karate. I don’t even know what style it was but I went with him to watch a class and they offered me a trial class. My initial gut reaction was to take a step back. Like, let me think about it, let me think about it, and I didn’t join the class. I ended up taking Karate when we moved down here to Florida but that was like 2 years later. So, I could have started my martial arts 2 years prior to that and who knows where that would have led. Who knows what I would have studied. I don’t know. I won’t know. And even this channel, this channel is a great example. And I have to give, for those of you who know who white belt Zack is, he gets just as much credit for this channel because the concept was his idea.

Art of One:

Years ago, we started this channel about, well, art of one. The branding art of one what we’re doing now was about 2018. For about 2 years before that, you know, he’s like we should do a martial arts channel, we should do martial arts channel and I’m like, oh, it’s a great idea but in my mind- okay, we’ll work on it next week, or we’ll come up with ideas next week, we’ll work on it next week and it was always next week. It was always next week until like I said when my father passed away, I stopped, I’m like, there’s only so many next weeks that we have. And I like the idea and he and I sat down and we conceptualized this channel and we finally just did it. And I am so happy that we did and I regret not doing it 2 years earlier because I love you guys. Our interactions are great. I have learned a tremendous amount. I’ve had some great interactions with all of you. There’s a lot of opportunities opening up and I’m kicking myself for not doing it earlier. So, now I’m definitely going into the territory of rambling but this is just again another observational video that I wanted to talk to you guys about because I’m seeing things in my life. I’m seeing what you guys are saying to me.

Art of One:

The martial arts are a huge huge part of my world and in a lot of your worlds and there’s a lot of missed opportunities and I don’t want to miss anymore. I don’t want you guys to miss anymore. We’ve all heard the expression; you miss 100% of the shots you never take. That holds true because eventually, there’s no more shots left to take. And that feeling of regret for not doing something is, you know, it overweighs the fear of trying something new to begin with. So, here’s what I’m asking for all of you, and I promise next week we’re gonna go back to normal topics and all that but like I said, I feel a connection with you guys, I see these comments and I want to address it.

Art of One:

Here’s what I’m asking for you guys to do. I appreciate you watching this far into the video. So, of course, I want you to like it, share it, if you haven’t subscribed, please do and click the notification bell. But after you’ve done that, I want you to turn YouTube off right now. And as much as I would love you to keep binging and watching the channel right now, just hit pause. Get up from the computer. Ask yourself what is something you’ve really wanted to try and go do the first step. Whether you just want to pick up a book to read or you want to go visit the school. All of you out there right now who have talked about, should I take this art, I’ve been thinking about taking this art, pick up the phone and call them and just ask your first question or just go by ask them if you can watch a class. There’s no commitment. Just do that much. Go take your first step. Please come back and share in the comments below what you tried, what your experience was. Those who tried a new martial art, how did you like it? What did you think? Are you happy you did it? Or, tell me about the book you’re reading, whatever. Let’s do this now and I’m going to go do the same thing. I’m going to turn this camera off and I’m going to go try something new. So, and I’ll even respond down in the comments below as well. So, that’s what I’m asking you guys to do. Find that merge. Don’t wait until that pinpoint when everybody’s fighting. Look for that opportunity earlier. And if you don’t have that opportunity, hold back, create the gap so that you can get in there and try something different.

So, thank you guys for sticking with me, if you’re still here with my ramble. I appreciate you guys more than you know. Share your experiences down below and we will see you again next week.




Watch The Video Below! 👇