Never Too Old

When I first started thinking about joining karate with my son, I wondered if I was too old.

I am not.

After I joined, a couple of people asked if I was too old to start learning karate.

I am not.

Today I read a 50-year-old man named Walter Miyanari just earned his black belt. The writer believes Mr. Miyanari started is training at age 44.

That’s impressive. It’s also a good reminder you’re only as old as you feel. Right, Cullen? Right, Brian?

A woman just joined my karate school this summer at age 49. Like Mr. Miyanari, she joined her daughter on the mat. There are two other dads who come to the dojo to watch their sons, and they’ve been thinking about signing up. They’re a little older than I, and feel too old and out of shape. Maybe this article will give them a little more incentive.

John once told me a 60-some year old joined his kung fu school. I know you’re out there, John: was he new to martial arts, and do you have any idea how he’s doing?

If I can do it, if they can do it, we all can do it. Even if it’s not martial arts, get up and move while you still can!

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

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  1. John U says:

    Sifu Ron was, in fact, more than 60 when I met him, a second degree black belt in kempo (which is related to kung fu), and also practiced in kung fu and tai chi. Far as I know, he’s still teaching, and still manager of a huge hotel in Orlando, Florida.

    I could be wrong on the age. I don’t remember. I do remember that he started about 10-15 years ago, but again I’m unsure of exact numbers.

    Never too late. If you’re 50, and you think it’ll take 10 years to earn your black belt–in 10 years you’ll either be 60 (if you decide against it), or a 60 year old with a black belt.

    (Same’s true with anything you decide to do, at any point.)

  2. […] For those who are curious, there are five more steps before black belt in my style: green belt, purple belt, and three degrees of brown belt. It’s at ikkyu, first-degree brown belt, that things slow down. As my sensei put it, it’s when things “come to a screeching halt.” If I nail every review from here on, I’m looking at about a year and a half before I hit ikkyu. From what I’m told, it could be three to five years after that before I’d be looking at black belt, dependent upon when Shihan Walker decides I’m ready. In that sense, it’s almost like going through a college program, and thus it’s not hard to see why some think the martial arts is a young man’s game. […]