In researching warrior societies for my book, a commonality is they started training at preadolescence. There weren't any real exceptions for good reason. All of thesocietiesI focused on stemmed from hundreds to thousands of years ago where men had to protect or fight for what they had. Native Americans had to protect their villages. Scots fought for their land and freedom during the English occupation. Samurai fought for their warlords during Japan's monarchy. Spartons threw their young into the agoge to become Greece's special forces.
Life was treacherous. As a result, fighting became a necessity.
But do you have to start at a young age to be good at anything? It seems that a lot of successful people of today started their endeavors when they were children. Michael Jackson is a good example. The turn out for his remembrance is a tribute to his passion and hard work. But look at the other brothers. What happened to them?
What about the colonel? That's right. The man who made fried chicken a staple in America? Did he start frying poultry when he was young? He had a variety of jobs that had little to do with flightless birds. It wasn't until his late forties that he started a cafe, and his fried chickens had become popular. Then at the ripe young age of sixty six did he start selling franchises, which of course spawned the empire all chickens fear today.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship is about to have its 100th pay per view show this weekend. The heavyweight champion, Brock Lesnar, started to train how to fight just a few years ago. It's fair to say that a lot of great fighters on the UFC roster started when they were young. And Lesnar is highly talented as an athlete. But the one thing the UFC has proven over and over again is talent and experience has little to do with winning. More than hard work, it's a mindset forged under the heat of severe competition.
For Lesnar to become the heavyweight champion in four fights, which is amazing in its own right, he had to overcome some very experienced and gifted fighters. In listening to his many interviews, he always knew his unproven ability to win, worked extremely hard, and approached both his fights and training with an intelligence that some heavyweights ignored. A lot of them relied on their weight and size to prevail.
He scoffed at critics who said he was too green for the sport of mixed martial arts, that he needed experience before he could even challenge the prior champion, and, despite his explosiveness and size, knew he had to learn quickly with a furious pace.
Is it ever too late to start anything?
Yes. When you're dead.