How long do you want to be doing this for?
If you’re like me, you will answer “for as long as I can swing a sword”. And that’s great.
When you’re in your twenties, everything is fun and easy. You’re fast, you’re fit, and you can run and fight all day. When you start getting older, you find that things change.
While there are certainly exceptions, in general it is a true thing that people aren’t as fit when they’re in their forties as they are when they’re in their twenties, and that can pose a problem.
The activities you do in your twenties are harder in your forties. You get tired more quickly. Partly this is because when you’re older, you’ve spent more of your time trying to earn a living, paying off your mortgage, and drinking beer with your mates than exercising. It adds up.
Eventually you find that all of the high-energy techniques and moves that you practiced so hard to commit to muscle memory aren’t as easy any more. The problem is, you still have the muscle memory. You find that your body tries to do things that were once easy but now threaten to just break you. Most of the time it will succeed – you will do the technique, and you will break. You will tire quickly, and won’t be able to fight for as long. Which means that you miss out on a lot of fun fighting because you just don’t have the energy any more.
There are a couple of ways that you can overcome this. The first is to make sure that you stay fit and active as you grow older. But as they say, good intentions blah blah blah. Suddenly you’re hitting forty-seven and you realise that you haven’t kept up with the exercise the way you had planned.
The other is to plan ahead – learn and practice techniques now that focus on energy management. Don’t practice high-energy, explosive techniques. Don’t waste your energy on unnecessary movements.
Low-energy doesn’t mean slow. On the contrary, it means that your techniques are quicker because you’re acting directly and without waste. All your energy is directed towards your goals – hitting your opponent and not getting hit – and none is wasted on extraneous movements.
The other advantage of training in this way is that those times when you do want to do something fancy, you have the extra energy to do it.
No-one ever plans to become old and fat. In fact, most of us plan not to. But then life happens. Training for energy management pays off now, and prepares you for your future. And hopefully it will help you to continue doing this hobby for many years to come.