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Never too old to start - my karate journey

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2.5 year ago I got tired of watching my kids do karate and stepped out on the dojo floor for the first time.  I had just lost my step-father to heart disease and realized how short life could be.  Last night my wife and I achieved the rank of ichi qu - meaning one degree below black belt and the highest belt rank we can achieve before that milestone.  I am 52 years old.


Making the jump from 3rd degree brown belt to black belt is a very big step.  We are now expected to practice daily at home for the next 4 months in addition to class time, and that's just to be able to interview for the prep course (10% of people who do not take prep course earn their black belt, 80% of people who do, earn it).  The prep course is a 2 hour weekly class from 7am-9am where you don't learn anything new, but they critique you to polish what you know to black belt level, and is 10 weeks long.


We will have to refresh and perfect 4 katas we learned along the way and master one new kata (seems easy, right.  Ha!).  Plus we have to master 8 standard bunkai, develop our own 4 new bunkai, plus 26 partner techniques both as attacker and defender, for 52 total partner items.  All of this has to be able to be performed perfectly, on demand, from memory.


Students thus put in usually 4 hours a week of class time minimum, plus usually another hour a day especially as things get closer to test time.


I have no idea if my wife & I will be able to achieve this level of performance in 6 months, or 12 months, or even 2 years.  But one thing is for sure I will keep plugging away until I get there!


I say this to help encourage those who tell themselves "I'm too old" or "I'm too out of shape" that these don't have to be excuses, or stories we tell ourselves that just aren't true. 


Never give up on a dream, not ever, and don't let negative self-talk get in the way.  There are many days I really don't want to go to the dojo and would rather stay at home in front of the TV with a beer.  It is also true that I never once regretted getting my ass out to the dojo and taking a class. :)


Does anyone else have a story like this?  It would be great if we could share them and help motivate each other. 




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Congratulations Paul  and to your Wife!  I have no an story like yours cause I'm in sports since I was 18's  (now 49) . Even I'm not so young, I'm still enjoy going to the Gym and running almost four days a week. This year my youngest son (14) is coming with me to the gym and this make me feel so proud and encourages me to be a better example for him.


Everything starts with a decision , one step after another and suddenly you realize how much you have advanced and you don't want to go back.


Go go go Trooper, there's no way back !!  congratulations again.  :th_AnimatedBravoSmiley:









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4 minutes ago, sylverbard said:

Ichi Kyu?  congrats :-)  

3rd degree brown belt.  In some martial arts in particular karate, each belt is one color, e.g. green, purple, etc.   For brown belt because it is a big jump to black belt, so they tend to break it in to multiple levels.  ichu kyu translates in to one rank below black belt.

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I did Tae kwon Do for 9 years and the belt structure was similar. I achieved second Dan black belt.

When I did Kung Fu, it was a very different structure, you start with nothing and must earn a belt or sash to be specific, then start ascending the levels.

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Congratulations Paul. 

I remember taking the same journey with my daughter, it was fathers day and she had a take your Dad to class and 6 years later I was day 2 into my exam trying to figure out exactly how I got here. Two dans and a teachers exam later and I still remember my Master instructor saying that a black belt is just a white belt that didn't give up. Enjoy the journey however long it takes you. 

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