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Commentary about the Martial Arts
by Rod Lindgren

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"Age" as an Asset in Martial Arts Training
Shihan Charles Cusumano
Sensei Rod Lindgren
      A friend asked if it was true that you have to start training in martial arts by the time you are 5 or 6 years old, or you will never be any good at it. He felt that meant there was no point in even tying to do it. I told him I didn't look at it quite that way
     If you begin training when you are 60, does it mean that 5 years later you will be as good at 65 as the other 65 year old in your class who started training when he was 30? Probably not, but that does not mean you have not benefitted from your training.
     Would the one who started at 30 be as good as the 65 year old that started when he was 5? Hard to say. The question is, how much did each of these 65 year olds put into their training over the years. You get out of it what you put into it.
     Karate is not a destination. It is a journey. The goal is not a black belt or high rank or anything bestowed from external sources. The goal is knowledge of one’s self; self-mastery.
     In fact, age can be an asset in martial arts training. The many children in martial arts are there because their parents want them to be there. Some kids want to be there, but they do not really understand. They go through the movements approximating Karate. If they stay with it, they may become very skilled.
     As an adult, you come to the martial arts as a conscious decision, with a goal of some sort in mind. This mental focus can be a source of strength and motivation in your training.
     So, when should a person start training? Now. Now is all that really exists. You cannot go back and start training 10 years ago, and the future is just a concept. Now.

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