First, let me start by saying that this is my first post ever on I've been an off-and-on lurker and I really enjoy coming back to this site for articles, tips, insights, etc.

A lot of you guys really know your stuff. For this reason, I'm coming here to ask a serious question regarding Krav Maga.

I want to start KM training this summer. I've never taken KM before but I have been trained in other martial arts over the years (starting in my early 20's). I'm turning 37-years old this month (yes, getting I am athletically built. Each week, I practice cardio, weight lifting, yoga, and speed/heavy bag martial arts drills and whatnot. In the warmer New York months, I do a lot of outdoor workouts. I have partners I exercise and practice with. They are martial artists but not trained in KM. I really work hard because I LOVE it. Things are good.

Still, I have a dilemma. My dilemma is that in 2005, I shattered my left elbow while sparring. It was put back together surgically and docs did a fantastic job. I do have some metal parts in that elbow now. The injury took me out of practice altogether for about 8-months. For the last couple years or so, I eased into strength training and other activities again, pushing myself and gradually challenging myself a little more as time passed. Today, my arm is good enough for me to do all the working out that I have come to at this point. I do have a couple slight limitations in movement but nothing really troubling. My biggest issue with my left arm is that it has a little less power and speed to it than my right. I work on this as best I can to improve.

Since the injury, though, what I HAVE NOT YET done is sparred with any opponent. Believe me, I WANT TO. If I were forced to, on the street, I would get things done without thinking twice. However, I have a little concern inside me for getting on the mat against someone I'm training with and just going at it. I know my left arm has healed probably as best as it can, but...

My question to any of you folks that are long-time students OR instructors in KM is this: Could and SHOULD I get into KM even with such an injury in my history?

I believe I'm tough enough to handle (or adapt to) whatever the classes throw at me. But something inside me is making me want to seek out real advice from folks like you that know the practice. I'm all ears (or eyes...well, ya know what I