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Hi @nathanu Glad to meet another outdoorsy martial artist! I'm still doing the punchy-kicky thing but now that I am in my 50s, I totally understand the pain of getting hit. A close friend of mine (we received our first degree black belts within a couple months of each other) and I call ourselves "The Bruise Brothers" because we would not hold back when training with each other.
The sad thing now is that we're still The Bruise Brothers but, sheesh, it's so much easier to get bruised these days 🤣
But, to keep this somewhat relevant to the forum, once I got into hiking (and as I am getting into backpacking), the years of MA training has done wonders for balance keep a solid footing underneath me as I go.
My last striking was Tae Kwon Do, and I did that for about 7 or 8 years. Really enjoyed it but seemed like I was landing wrong more and more and, when I did, it took longer and longer to heal. Even if I didn't strain, sprain or pull something or get bruised up, I found that it was just taking more and more of a toll on me than I was comfortable with. I took up BJJ four or so years ago and have absolutely loved it. The adage that it's like folding clothes with the wearer still inside or 'involuntary yoga' is accurate but I genuinely feel *better* after class rather than worse. I definitely think that BJJ is better suited to my 45-55 year old body than TKD was. The school also offers Muay Thai so, if I get a hankerin' to hit something, I have the option 🙂
As far as the benefits of MA training to hiking and backpacking, I 100% agree. I think that it also helps with drive and motivation (one more hill, one more mile, etc.).
Great to meet you @Dad_Aint_Hip !!
Muay Thai? That's like saying "I've not driven a stick-shift in a long time, so to get back into it, I'm going to get into a Formula 1 car" LOLOLOL
I've been bouncing back and forth between BJJ and Judo, but all the Judo schools within a reasonable distance are sport-focused. My art is Karate and over the years, the grappling and throwing portion of it has really been diminished. So I'm looking at adding BJJ to my training. Glad to hear you like it for people who are... "at our level of life experience" 🙂
I like flying, camping and water sports. Guess that's why I love kayaking and camping. I also scuba dive. As far as flying, thats why I am getting into powered paragliding.
Growing up my family was not a terribly active one, so these are mostly fairly recent developments, and largely enjoyed together with my wife (and now our little girl as she grows up too!).
Hey @TomV !
I can't speak for everyone else, but I've never gone Fat Biking before and would love to know more. What do you need to be fully prepared and what is it like once you're out there?
@REI-DannyB Hah that's the one I'm still learning myself! I don't actually own my own fat bike yet, hoping to get one this year or next if we can swing it. We've just rented some from our LBS a couple times, which honestly is a great way to test the (frozen) waters. Also just ridden some trails on our skinny tires after they've been packed enough.
From my limited experience I'd say it really depends on the exact outing? Groomed trail vs blazing your own path off the trail, etc. At the base level it's not too different from a regular bike, just hop on and go, except now you're kitted out in warm winter clothes. Layers important as always. I've used my downhill ski pants in the past, but I do have concern about their relative bulkiness getting caught in the chain/gears, so I thought maybe XC ski pants might be something to try. Regular winter boots work fine if using flat pedals, though I think they do make some for clips. For hands, they make "pogies" that go over the bars so your gloves can be less bulky themselves.
Snow conditions matter a lot too, not all snow is the same. Fresh deep pow can still be tough to cut through even with the flotation, we've had to deal with ice ruts that were absolutely terrible to try to keep the bike tracking straight in. It's my understanding that freezing rain can sometimes leave a very grippy surface I've heard called velcro, but haven't ridden it.
Like any other winter activity, you're gonna encounter fewer people, so all the necessary precautions there in case anything goes wrong (go with friends, have a charged phone, let others know of plans, know that it will be harder for emergency services to reach you, etc...) I think @REI-JohnJ has a bit of fat bike experience maybe he could say more.