Stay relaxed, offer no openings, and only attack openings. When you are under attack, counterattack exposed openings. Conserve your energy until the opponent begins to tire and slow, then finish them. Only use a few kicks and avoid high kicks; kicks sap energy. Rely on basic, clean techniques that score with little exertion.
One plan I am always suggesting in jest is to use a bracketing system in sparring that similar to that used in drag racing. In drag racing, a small horsepower car may race against a big horsepower car; the more powerful car is simply handicapped by having to start a few predetermined seconds after the smaller car starts. Relating this to sparring, as the match starts, the younger fighter would not be able to score for as many seconds as there is a difference between the ages of the fighters. For example, when fighting an opponent who is 10 years older, for the first 10 seconds, the younger fighter would not be scored any points.
Not all is bad; age does have its advantages. When I compete and I win, I look good in the eyes of the spectators because I beat the younger opponent, and the opponent looks bad because he got beat by an old man. When I compete and I loose, I look good in the eyes of the spectators because I put up an unanticipated good fight against a younger opponent, and the opponent does not look good because he beat an old man. I look good either way; the opponent looks bad either way.
Opponents fear me! Either because they are intimidated by my demeanor or skills, or because they fear I may fall over dead while sparring them and they will always be known as the one who killed the old guy.
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