hook kick

Most martial arts trainers would be aware of the right techniques. Find somebody along to help you with the technique when you start practicing splits.
Some people don’t have the required anatomy to reach the frontal split, due to their pelvis conformation. They won’t do it no matter how hard they try and how young their start practicing.
Sagittal splits can be achieved by most people, if they put the necessary work. Work which is slow and painful and must be performed with dedication. The average person just isn’t interested enough in performing splits and doesn’t spend enough time stretching to gain that ability and maintain it.
The amount of work varies depending on your natural flexibility, your sex and your age. An average 8 years old girl could manage to reach sagittal splits working 10 minutes, twice a week for 3 or 4 months, for example. That is very little work. An adult who never performed sagittal splits before could require more daily work for several years to achieve the same result.
Some people (mostly girls) are lucky and just try and perform splits in a couple of days.
Why do we have to practice stretching? Because the movements of daily life (both modern and primitive) don’t require muscles and tendons to be that long. Actually it would be normal if nobody were able to perform splits. A more logic question would be “Why are lots of people able to perform split at all?” The answer is that fortunately the human body is able to slowly adapt in different and incredible ways and we may manage to extend those muscles and tendons and assume those positions.
Beware of the “How to do splits in 5 minutes” videos on YouTube: 5 minutes is the time they take to show you how to work on splits. Then you have to put more than 5 minutes every day to reach those results (provided you have the required anatomy).
If you want to reach a highly competitive (or even remotely competitive, possibly) level, then yes they are right in saying that you are too late. The flexibility moves that you have will help but they are just the beginning of a plethora of skills that you have to learn. It will also be hard to find a class suitable to your schedule and with kids that are your age.
Here are a few things to consider before jumping into the sport:
  1. Many kids lose interest at high school when the opportunity to play high school sports presents itself. Gymnastics can help with many other sports, particularly track and field, but do you want to commit?
  2. Money and time. Gymnastics is expensive, and time consuming too. Much of the beginner lessons, unless private lessons, can consist of waiting, more waiting, listening to directions and standing in line. In addition, gymnastics is expensive. This will be a commitment for not only you, but your parents, who will have to drive you to and from training and possibly pay for your lessons.
  3. What type of gymnastics are you interested in? Do your research. Artistic, rhythmic, acrobatic, aerobic, tumbling, trampoline….the possibilities are endless, but you don’t only have to think of artistic gymnastics when you consider joining this sport.
  4. What is your future in this sport? Why do you want to do it in the first place?
  5. Do you want to be competitive? If you’re looking for the olympics or even a college scholarship, unfortuantely it is far too late. However it is possible to be competitive. Look for a gym with an Xcel or AAU program.
You can do rhythmic gymnastics at 12 you should just be realistic in your goals for the sport as many successful athletes start from toddlers.
In saying that it really depends on the country you live in and how far you can go with the sport. Competitive countries such as most of Europe, Japan, Korea and the USA would make it more difficult to be successful. Due to the high competition.
If you don’t live in one of those countries you may still have a chance to compete internationally if you train 24+ hours a week.

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