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Episode 158 S4-34

Self Defense Skills: Youth Vs. Wisdom


Battle for the South Ch 34

Special Guest:

Dan Lovas

Erika enters the sparring ring against a much younger opponent in the Battle for the South adventure. Both a youthful fighter and a more experienced fighter have advantages. Here to discuss age vs. wisdom in a fight is Chief Master Dan Lovas, owner of Auburn Martial Arts.

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Youth Vs. Wisdom in a fight is an age old debate. There are both benefits and drawbacks of each fighter. However, both can also learn some valuable information from the other.

A youthful person who is trained to fight from both a standup position and a ground position will have the advantage over the general population seventy percent of the time. However, thirty percent of the population is older and more experienced at fighting. They know that a younger opponent may attack faster and will not have the patience that a more experienced fighter has. This leaves the younger attacker vulnerable to possible traps that a more experienced fighter can set for them.

A youthful fighter can rapidly increase the speed of their techniques with a disciplined training schedule. It is possible to become so fast that their strikes can occur before the opponent even has an opportunity to block the technique. 

Agility can also be to the youthful fighter's advantage. However, if you continue training as you age you can maintain the same agility level. You have to train in the correct way though. When you go to the gym, don't try and push a large amount of pounds. This type of training builds big unnatural muscles. Instead, keep the weight light and increase your reps. This will build long, lean muscles that have a higher endurance capacity. Try to incorporate muscles that work together. For example work with small weights on a balance ball, trying to touch your toes. Change your focal point often to mess with your mind and increase your balance. 

Wisdom makes a very big difference in a fight. Experience and knowledge build up in a more experienced fighter and provides them with the intel they need to succeed. You have to know yourself and your capabilities. If possible you want to know the capabilities of your opponent too. 

Experience makes a huge difference in self defense too. If an older person is up against a much younger one, they may recognize that they need to end the fight quickly. The younger fighter  is likely to have more stamina. 

Someone who has been training for a long period of time will most likely be able to deliver a much harder impact because of the years of training, developing bone density and technique excellence.

A more experienced fighter's mind will formulate a game plan faster. The individual has a bigger base of knowledge to draw from, can rapidly assess his opponent and choose the correct course of action. 

Knowing yourself as a fighter with more wisdom also provides more confidence. A younger fighter is still testing their skills and filling their toolbox. The more experienced fighter also understands the psychological advantages that sometimes have to be deployed to stay safe.

Advancing your skills as a youthful fighter:

  • Have superior mentors and sparring partners.

  • Find what's in your toolbox! What works for you?

  • Get in the ring against more challenging opponents to push yourself.

  • You need to live it and do it but always do it with a trained professional. Working with this mentor you can learn from their experience and develop yours faster.

Advancing your skills as a more experienced fighter:

During a match:

  • When sparring younger opponents add distance because they may be faster

  • Use feints to throw them off psychologically


  • If you want to push yourself stay in closer so the younger opponent has the advantage and you can develop your timing.

During training you can choose the level of participation that you want to give, given your current state of mind. In a self defense situation, that is not possible. The important thing, no matter how you train, is to train so you have the skills to defend yourself.

Time Tested Tips:

  • It pays to spend a couple of minutes or so acquisitioning the rhythm of your opponent. Throw techniques that you may not intend to land to test their response.

  • When you start taking more damage, you start developing a bigger tool box to avoid that damage in the future.

  • Your urge to keep growing your skills should push you to add new tools to your toolbox.

  • The more skills you develop the more you have to pass on to the next generation.

Maintaining Agility and Speed as you age:

  • Proper diet is essential

  • Full body workout - jump up and reach for the sky. Then drop down and do a pushup. Jump up and reach for the sky. Then drop down and do a pushup. Do five sets of ten everyday.

  • Pushups

  • Bear, spider and crabwalks. Performing these exercises makes you learn to work from positions you're not usually in.

  • Work your core!

  • Work fast twitch muscles: ex: jump rope

  • Ride a bike for confidence with balance and speed

  • Develop ways that you can enjoy life while engaging in activities that actually make you get better.

  • Embrace physical fitness and love it as a way of life.

  • Always push yourself to grow! If you are growing, you're increasing agility, balance and muscle mass.

  • Keep at it! Stay strong!

The Changing Earth Series

Dan Lovas

When Dan was young he was fascinated by Bruce Lee movies. They spoke to his soul in a way that nothing else had. He desperately wanted to learn how to move like Bruce so he found a Boy’s and Girl’s Club that offered Judo and Kung Fu. He took them both. Plagued with indecision over which one he liked best, he decided leaving either of the styles behind was not an option. One day while practicing forms at a 24hr fitness, a man, Joe Tucker, challenged him to a sparring match. Dan’s confidence was high and even though Joe broke his foot over Dan’s head, the outcome of the match came out much differently than Dan expected. 


Joe introduced Dan to Taekwondo and Chief Master Jack Corrie, who was a third degree black-belt at the time. Applying his previously established training regimen to Taekwondo, Dan’s passion for competition grew. He jumped at every chance he had to compete and compiled a long list of competitive accomplishments including: 1990 ATA world Champion, 2xITC National Champion, 2xGSKA National Champion, Full Force World Champion (barnacles fighting) 15-0 with 9 head kick kos.


Taekwondo is still a way of life for Chief Master Dan Lovas. His relationship with Chief Master Corrie grew and he still trains under him to this day. Chief Master Lovas’s teaching instruction is internationally renowned and he has been named instructor of the year four times. His love of martial arts doesn’t end with Taekwondo, he has a third degree black-belt in Jujitsu, a black-belt in Kung Fu, a black-belt in Silat. Dan is a certified instructor of Tai Chi, and criminal counter measures and a graduate of Escrima. Even with all these other accomplishments, Taekwondo is his love and he thanks God for it at the end of each day. Many years have passed since 1988 when Dan received his first Dan in Taekwondo but his dedication and commitment to the art have earned him the honor of testing for his eighth degree in October of 2017.

Battle for the South Ch 34

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