Martial Arts and the Veteran Fighter


I recently arrived home from a local Ju Jitsu tournament and just about every muscle in my body is hurting including ones I didn’t know I had.  Fighting is a young man’s sport no doubt and at 47 difficult to recover from.  It will probably take me a week to be back to myself but of course I must make-believe I’m ok because my wife thinks I should no longer fight.  As I sit here typing this, I can’t say I entirely disagree with her.  But the beauty of the Martial Arts is an older, over the hill fighter can actually beat a young, strong and hungry fighter.  Now I’m not talking about MMA where young, crazy guys at the top of their games are fighting.  I’m talking about fighters in tournaments around the country, including the US Open, held in Florida each year.  Experience in the Arts equates to years in age and allows older fighters to beat younger fighters.  Tonight I fought three young twenty-somethings who thought the older, graying and yes, thinning, hair guy was going to be a pushover.  Almost like “what is the old guy doing here” although they showed no disrespect to me.  As the match began, it became apparent that experience, and knowledge would make up for the difference in age.  At one point, the man, boy I was fighting thought he had me in a strangulation hold only to tap out as I applied a vicious and old Japanese leg lock.  He “tapped like a fish” as we say.  His mistake was he was so focussed on strangling me, he forgot about everything going on around him, suffering from a severe case of tunnel vision.  My strategy was to let him think he had me, only to work in the leg lock.  Fortunately, it materialized as I had planned.  He was quite surprised but showed tremendous respect.  The other two fights I won by executing a couple of rarely used Judo throws, that if inexperienced in Judo, would be and was, very surprising.  One throw works particularly well when your opponent is trying to shoot.  I never shoot in, never did, as I hate leading with my head.  At some point, in the not too distant future, I suppose I will have to start fighting men my own age, but I think I may have one or two more good showings left.  I certainly have gained an understanding of why boxers have such a difficult time staying retired, other than for financial reasons.  They love to fight.  It is in their blood. Well, time to sit in the Jacuzzi and pray I can get out of bed in the morning.  Bonne Nuit.

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