View Full Version : Avg. longevity in stand up and grappling: What's ideal?
12-27-2004, 08:55 AM
While I equally enjoy stand up striking and grappling, my instructors and I sometimes reflect on the long-term abilities to participate in both. Outside of the professinal realm, if one looked at the age distribution in a sample of thai/boxing style fighters versus the age distributionin a sample of BJJ/sambo/judo/wrestling fighter, what would you find?
I am thinking-Hoost, Evander etc are in their late 30s early forties and are considered very old.Yet guys in their forties regularly compete in grappling tournaments. Plus, after 20 years of taking hits to the head, TBI is very likely. With grappling it's more the joint damage that's prevalent and common. Personally I'd rather have joint surgery than drool on myself and slur words.
12-27-2004, 09:20 AM
Good Question. My limited experience is that BJJ veterans have a medicine chest full of pain pills, blown out joints (knees and elbows), and atleast one serious injury that will not heal. All of that \"poping the Capsule\" and stretching the ligaments is not good.
Judo, on the other hand can be done for years and years. Tumbling and rolls are good for you.
Muy Thai can ruin your shin after 15 years, making it hard to walk.
As for general striking arts, most people do not spar that hard that often, so the brain damage that sport boxers recieve is uncommon. Chinese arts should have a health aspect and so many actually improve your physical health in the long run. These are sometimes considered the soft arts.
KM is only one generation old so it does not have much reference material to see what happens over the breth of time. I think with all the pads and gloves it should be pretty safe for many years. Exercise is great too. :D
IMO, anytime someone says, \"this will tuff 'en you up\", it means these injurys will result in you tolerating more pain, and the pain my never go away. Since the point of self defense is to NOT get injured, injurys on purpose seem silly. I have seen people calus the knuckles, smash boards on eachother, kick trees over and over, and even let people punch and kick them so they can get used to it. Not healthy.
Also, it seems that much of this intense training is great for combat oriented programs, where you will need it and need it soon. It is for conditioning and in short duration. Civilians often extend this abusive conditioning over many years and this may cause damage.
12-27-2004, 12:27 PM
Yeah, the Hoost/Helio comparision makes the issue glaringly clear, but I guess I'm looking for anecdotal information.
In other words, for, say Krav BB/Muay Thai BB/kyokushin BB/Judo BB/BJJ BB, how long have you been sparring? When did you (or plan to) stop?
And please indicate any competitive or semi-professional endeavors. I'm trying to distill expectations for the high level Krav Magistas who intend on keeping their day jobs.
I remember a guy at Phase telling me that one should plan to do 2-4 years of hard sparring and then slowly titrate away from it.
What do you think?
12-27-2004, 02:08 PM
I am not sure what is so clear to everyone? I have never heard any reference to Helio being in perfect health and pain free. He maybe be ( he may be dead?) I don't know.
Boxing is about scoring hard blows to the head over and over. This relates to the rest of us how? I do not spar that way.
The Jui Jitsu people I do know are ALWAYS injured and the older ones have ruined tissue in the joints from tap outs. These are students not teachers, so they have gotten tapped alot over the years.
Now a real friend will not tap you out but let you escape and set their own lock, so you can escape....but most tap out artists are into ego and enjoy tapping you out. So it really depends how you train and who you train with.
I agree with the notion that 3 years of reality based practice, heavy sparring, and senarios will give you a solid base and then the sparring is less important and the details become more important. Then you spar lighter to see if the detail training is having effect. In details I mean slower muscle memory work and other things like evasion drills, stamina exercises, etc..
12-27-2004, 03:13 PM
Who do you think is more likely to be slurring words and suffering from dementia pugilistica in the sixth and sevent decades of life: Holyfield or de la Riva (or Dan Gable for that matter)?
The discussion is not about the mere presence of injuries. It is about the genre of the injury and what it can mean in terms of quality of life later on. Joint problems are prevalent in both dimensions, but which modality allows for the average joe to train for longevity?
Maybe we shouldn't even use such comparisons. My concerns are for the majority of Krav Magistas out there who just want to train without grandiose plans about the WBC/IBF/WBO unification or Abu Dhabi.
So basically, how long seems ideal enough for the common person to spar in a lifetime without severely compromising too many ADLs?
12-27-2004, 04:17 PM
Well, first off, we have to exclude sports minded people, as the training for MMA events is bad enough, not to mention the injurys in the ring if you lose.
But we are stuck looking at sports for these comparisions. :D
We regular people have different needs. Exercise, confidence, health, philosophy, and self protection. Now as Martial artists, self protection is the most urgent need, but we shouldn't sacrific the others if we can. I think after five years of \"fight\" training one could focus on other aspects and not lose there edge on the \"street\".
I know some people in the 4th and 5th decades of life with severve joint problems due to Jui-Jitsu. This is constant pain and inability to due normal things we take for granted!! And as American Health care declines, injurys from things we choose to due will begin to fall under your own pocket, not insurance, so expecting reconstructive surgy is not a good idea, unless your rich.
Boxers take alot of head trama!! Even heavy sparring should not result in that much head trama. If you spar that much, that hard, that often, then your an Animal!! :wink: Most regular martial artists will not get that much head trama, but will get alot of joint damage.
As i said, It really matters who you train with.
12-29-2004, 06:25 PM
Although I am not currently taking any classes, I have been doing martial arts (varied training in Muay Thai/Jujitsu/JKD/Combatives/FMA) for 10 years. I've got to admit that I've had occassional lower back pain when I get out of bed and some lapses in memory (forgetfullness). Because of that, I've reminded myself to take it easy and not go too hard. It's amazing how the body changes when you turn 30.
12-31-2004, 08:50 AM
I thought this was an interesting article on mild head injury in sports:
It certainly gave me some insight on my situation, which is a history of pre-KM head trauma including four blackouts that I can remember (only one since I started Krav and it was in a Krav class), and more concussions than I can count. A few weeks ago I experienced disorientation, headache, and nausea from just three sort of hard punches to the head, with headgear on. Someone else might not have thought they were hard punches, but to me with my history of head injury, they were. I don't know, maybe it's time for me to quit sparring already, even though I'm only 25 and I haven't been sparring for very long.
12-31-2004, 02:56 PM
Trying to delete double post. Why doesn't that work anymore?
12-31-2004, 02:56 PM
I really don' think you would have to worry about these kinds of things too much unless you are a professional fighter. As a professional fighter you will often go harder even in training. Also of course you will have tournament fights, where your opponent will go as hard as he can and actually try to hurt you, injure you, do whatever it takes to win the fight.
In sparring we're just trying to score points, not really hurt each other. The occasional injury can happen, but it's mostly scratches and bruises that probably won't lead to long term damage.
Conditioning the body (getting used to absorbing punches) wouldn't cause much long term damage either I would think, unless you keep getting hit so hard you hit the floor in agony many times in a row (liver punch/kick for example).
But that doesn't happen too often in sparring, since sparring is obviously designed to teach you how to move in a fight without getting seriously hurt.
So, the way we normally spar at Krav Maga, I don't think it would be a big problem, unless you like to turn it up a notch and often go with people, who hit a lot harder than they are supposed to. But that would be more like professional sparring.
If we are talking about non-professionals (just regular students coming to class) I'd say Jiu Jitsu would be more dangerous than boxing/kickboxing. In both cases you are not really trying to hurt each other, but if you accidently go too far it can have a lot worse consequences in Jiu Jitsu. One heel hook taken too far and you might have a twisted ankle or torn knee. In boxing, if you accidently punch a bit stronger than planned you might give someone a bloody nose or make his head rattle a bit, but that would be less severe and heal quicker than a broken limb.
But, like Cali said, it depends on whom you spar with. Some people always want to win, it hurts their ego if they don't, so those guys are dangerous to spar with. They might not care if they twist your ankle as long as they make you tap. So try to avoid sparring with those kind of guys. Also watch your own ego. Better to tap early and stay healthy, than try to win at all cost and get your arm broken or something.
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