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Old March 14, 2001, 07:08 PM   #1
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This may have been discussed before, but if it was, my search didn't find it. If so, please point me to the thread.

I am 51 (*well* over the hill). I practice at the pistol range at least once per week, I try to be heads up, I have a carry permit & I carry pepper spray to boot. The situation I worry about is being suprised by a BG. How do I create enough distance to escape or draw a weapon?

I am not in great shape. I ski or hike on the weekends, I walk a couple of miles most days, but no workouts or weight lifting. I would like to find a more interesting workout.

Being a practical guy, it seems to me that I could combine some close-quarters training and get a workout at the same time. I did read a couple of threads here that basically said that if you are over 40, don't bother. I don't buy that. Some training and some conditioning have to be better than none at all. However, it needs to be less intense than some group of 20-somethings would want.

I could easily dedicate a couple of nights a week to this, if I could find the right place. Any suggestions? I think that practical techniques are better than structured sports.
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Old March 14, 2001, 09:40 PM   #2
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You have already made the first (and most important) steps. Those are trying to be aware and trying to remain phisically fit. Our minds are the weapons but the body is the instrument (even if only to use a tool.)
With all do respect I would recomend a local martial arts class. Don't get hung up on the particular style, they all have their good and bad points. The things that all of them will give you are: some cardiovascular workout; a feeling of where your body is in relation to your agressors; a basic set of moves to defend yourself with; a better awareness of your suroundings; and a less than lethal option. Hope this helps, If not, at least you got your moneys worth (0 for $0!)
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Old March 14, 2001, 10:37 PM   #3
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Good reply. Thanks, Steve.
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Old March 15, 2001, 12:27 AM   #4
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I think Steve gave very good advice. You mentioned "...if I find the right place." That is key to your enjoyment of the activity that you will participate in. Training is much simpler if you like where you are going. At this point, I wouldn't worry so much about how practical or "reality based" the style is. Instead, the ambience of the location, instructor and students will be of higher importance.

Above all, persist and ENJOY. Being a beginner at a particular martial art can be a humbling experience because you might find the techniques look easy but for some reason your balance is off or the movements just don't "feel right."

Just as in a classroom, you will benefit the most from an open mind and a willingness to ask questions. Good luck! I'm interested in how your search goes!
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Old March 15, 2001, 01:33 AM   #5
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"I did read a couple of threads here that basically said that if you are over 40, don't bother. I don't buy that."

and well you shouldn't. I don't have a whole lot to add to what's been said before, but I will say this: it's been a long time since I underestimated anyone's ability based on size, gender, demeanor, or, least of all, age.

"Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest." (Gandhi, an Autobiography, M.K. Gandhi, 446)
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Old March 15, 2001, 06:06 AM   #6
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Tai Chi or Yoga.

You need something that keeps the body limber, your blood pressure relaxed, and your muscle conditioned so that you can respond effectively. Both Tai Chi and Yoga are easy to get into, are non contact, and would be a huge benefit not only for your mental and physical response to CQB, but also improve your general well being immensely. There's usually a lot of hot chicks in these classes as well.

You also might check into your local range, ask if they teach defensive pistol courses, ask to speak with the instructor. If he/she knows there stuff they should be able to put you in contact with a hand to hand defense program that would work for someone who carries. Police departments, Security agencies all have instructors and programs that teach this sort of thing and I bet their are some programs available to civilians as well.
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Old March 15, 2001, 07:13 AM   #7
David Scott
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"I did read a couple of threads here that basically said that if you are over 40, don't bother. I don't buy that."
Oh yeah, the Young And The Arrogant are always ready to tell us old fogeys that since we're 3/4 dead already, we may as well just give up and make room for Generation X or Z or K or whatever. I said the same crap when I was young and stupid, ignoring the evidence of people like my grandfather. In his '70s, he worked construction with my Dad just for something to do in his retirement, and he worked as hard or harder than guys one third his age. In the evenings he played drums with a jazz trio at a local bar. He even went home with one of the bar maids once in a while (you can't keep a secret in a small town), and this was before Viagra.

Drothen, you get out there and do what you feel driven to do, and ignore the Young And The Arrogant. Do your Tai Chi Chuan classes or whatever. I'd also suggest talking to pistolcraft/CQB instructors about tactics for those of diminished mobility. If you learn any good tips share them; I'm only 5 years behind you.
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Old March 15, 2001, 09:35 AM   #8
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I agree with Steve's idea, and think that Akido is one of the better choices. It relys less on blocking and striking (less effort for us older folks) and more on evasion and using the opponents force against himself.
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Old March 15, 2001, 09:44 AM   #9
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one of the baddest dudes i know on this planet just turned 51 years old this week.

i would not want to fight him if he was blind, gun less,and in a broken up shape.

he is not in the best of condition just average but he has the killer instinct and desire to f u c #### you up...

age is not a big deal as long as the desire is there.
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Old March 15, 2001, 10:39 AM   #10
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The best marksman I've ever known was my late grandfather, who was at first turned down for military service because his trigger finger was handicapped (it could hardly wiggle). He ended up a Lt. Col. in the Air Force regardless, and was very much qualified in pistol marksmanship. Even in his 60's he outdid everybody in the turkey shoots, using his middle finger to squeeze the trigger. My dad would be not far behind with his second place ham. And some say old people's eyesight is bad!

There's the familiar phrase, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks." That's a crock of poo. You're never too old to start working out unless you medically can't. (I've decided I'm going to buy my first motorcycle when I'm 70 and tote my great-grandkids around in the sidecar.)
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Old March 20, 2001, 05:57 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the info and encouragement, guys. I am going to check out the local places and find a spot I like. I'll let you know how it goes.
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Old March 20, 2001, 07:12 PM   #12
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Just and added thought...

You may want to look into several styles of martial arts to find something that is to your liking. I know your goal is to try to put some distance between you and an attacker, but it may not always be possible depending on the aggressiveness, speed, agility, and physical strength of the attacker. There are essentially two types of fighters out there - the ones who want to stand toe-to-toe trading punches/kicks, and those who want to grapple on the ground. My suggestion is find something that provides a foundation in both areas, as well as covers transitioning between the two.
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Old March 20, 2001, 07:25 PM   #13
Jay Baker
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Hey, Drothern, don't despair. Always remember that old saying, "I'm not as good as I once was, but ONCE, I'm better than I ever was."

That's the way I think... and I've got some years on you.

Best of luck. J.B.
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Old March 20, 2001, 09:42 PM   #14
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Drothen, I'm 15 years ahead of you. I still manage fairly lengthy daze with my backhoe and dumbtruck and road-grader. Play therapy with the lifesize Tonka Toys beats being an Old Fart couch potato. Keeps my arthritic shoulders loose enough to speed-shoot on multiple targets.

Since I can pinch a nerve in my back doing such strenuous activities as leaning over to wash my hands or fold a shirt, I figure maybe one side kick to a knee is about all I've got--after that it's my friend Judge Colt.

(Hmmph. These young sprouts...mumble, mumble..)

, Art
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Old March 21, 2001, 12:05 AM   #15
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I once read that When things get violent, the only way to win is with greater violence. I'm a firm believer that winning the fight is a mind game not an age thing. sounds like your already better prepared than most.
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