Best Martial Art For Older Beginners

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So you think you’re too old to learn a martial art? According to many of the instructors I’ve spoken with – and some scientific studies – the best time to start martial arts is any time after 20 years old.

Of course, there is always an exception, and I’m sure we all know people who started late and became great instructors. But the truth of the matter is, it’s easier for a young person to develop higher levels of physical fitness than an older person.

However, some martial arts suits old people better and can help them keep fit easier. This article highlights the best martial art for older beginners.

Best Martial Art for older Beginners

Can You Be Too Old to Learn Martial Arts?

No, but you can be too old to perform some of the techniques if they require a lot of speed, power, and strength. However, many styles may suit your body type, needs, and current abilities better.

Overall, age should not prevent you from enrolling in martial arts classes. The most important thing to consider is the intensity of the training sessions.

Tips for Older Beginners Martial Arts 

  • Make sure you understand that it may take years before you can perform some of the advanced techniques if your style requires them. Do not lose hope, though, there are styles that do not require them.
  • Get in touch with people who have extensive knowledge about different styles and their relative appeal to older beginners. This will help you choose a suitable style without wasting time on several others first.
  • You should be ready to accept that Martial Arts isn’t just about knowledge or skills related to fighting. It’s also about developing new friends, getting some exercise, building self-confidence. So, try to expect and accept more than just the training.

Choosing Martial Art For Older Beginners

Rule of Thumb: 

If you can, get in touch with some experienced people who train in the style you want to study and ask them if it’s suitable for older beginners.

You should be able to get information directly from advanced instructors at a dojo near you before committing your time and money to a new course.

Alternatively, you could also try contacting some associations that sponsor clubs in your area. Check out their websites for advice about styles suitable for older beginners.

Here are some of the best martial arts for older beginners:

  • Tai Chi Chuan (Taijiquan) . It was developed in China approximately 500 years ago. This form emphasizes slow movement to develop agility, balance, coordination, awareness, and stress reduction rather than physical strength or power.
  • Okinawan Kobudo. This is a martial art form incorporating weapons such as sticks, knives, spears, and many others from Okinawa Japan. It is suited for older beginners because it is not based on high speed and power techniques.
  • Kuk Sul Won. This is a martial art from Korea which has been labeled as suitable for all ages. The basis of this style involves the conservation of energy through the development of core strength, balance, coordination, and flexibility. Its primary focus is self-defense and fitness rather than competition.
  • Qigong. It’s a Chinese health care system that employs breathing techniques that are believed by some to help strengthen the body’s natural healing processes about pain management and longevity.
  • Shotokan Karate. It’s a traditional martial art from Japan that focuses on physical and mental conditioning as well as character development for its students. Training involves consistent kata practice, sparring drills, and technological applications that help improve balance, coordination, speed, strength, and stamina.
  • Taijutsu (body arts). This is a branch of Japanese martial arts that focuses more on taking down an opponent by using one’s own body as a weapon than the use of external tools such as swords or knives etc.
  • Taekwondo. This is also considered good for older beginners because it doesn’t involve rapid hand movements or jumping around as many other styles do. Also, can focus more on developing your hip movement, balance, and coordination which are the primary physical qualities required for this style.
  • Hapkido. A Korean style that uses but does not rely on muscle strength where a participant’s ability to turn, twist, and bend are key components of a technique
  • Aikido. A Japanese martial art using throws and joint locks that relies less on brute strength than on the practitioner’s ability to blend with an opponent’s force while redirecting it away from themselves or their partner
Best Martial Art for a Small Woman

5 Benefits of Martial Arts for Seniors

  • Increased Strength and Stamina

Martial arts help seniors to remain active while building strength and stamina. Build long lean muscles while maintaining your joints, which is crucial while aging.

Although this may take years of hard work, you will notice a change after 1-2 months. You will be able to complete tasks around the house with ease and look forward to going to training sessions.

  • Enhanced Flexibility

Martial art styles such as Tai Chi also help seniors remain flexible while building muscle memory through repetition of movements such as kicks, punches, stances, and blocks, etc.

Oftentimes people mistake flexibility for weakness or inflexibility when in reality it just means that certain muscle groups aren’t strong enough yet but can be developed over time.

  • Sharpened Mental Focus and Concentration

Martial arts require mental focus and concentration throughout the session of training which can also be beneficial for memory. At any age, you will benefit from improved concentration and focus.

  • Enhanced Balance Ability

Many styles train balance through kicks and other moves which help seniors improve their balance by engaging core muscles while improving mind-body coordination.

Even if you think you are too old to begin martial arts training, it’s never too late to get started practicing healthy movement patterns which may prevent injuries down the line such as falls at home or trips on broken sidewalks

Improved balance is only one way that martial arts could help seniors stay safe in a fall. Martial artists learn how to properly roll when they take a tumble, preventing painful impact with the ground that often leads to serious injury for non-martial artists.

  • Heightened Self-Esteem and Sense of Well Being

As one gains confidence in martial arts through belt promotions, one also gains a sense of pride in self-accompanied by increased self-esteem. Martial arts are known to build character by introducing individuals to new people.

A life filled with purpose is something all humans need regardless of age or gender. You may find that you enjoy your time at training so much that it could turn into an activity for socializing and connection rather than just exercise.

Elements Seniors Should Look For When Picking a Martial Arts Style

  • Balance 

This is the ability to maintain stability in both your upper and lower body. Having a good balance is critical when shifting your weight from one foot to another or when turning.

  • Proportionate size based on weight/height 

One should find a martial art with adequate movements that fit their physical attributes such as height, width, and weight.

  • Gait 

Moving around in combat is very different than moving around in everyday life. So, you should consider the type of gait used for each move or technique by examining its starting point, rhythm, and leg work.

  • Body movements and weight distribution

Look for martial arts with slow, steady movements until you achieve higher belt rankings. Martial artists should be able to balance themselves before executing any fast-paced movements

  • Flexibility – Ability to execute techniques and/or stances properly 

Look for martial arts that focus on the entire body instead of just preying on certain muscles or muscle groups. You want to find a style that is well-rounded and promotes good posture.

  • Agility- How quickly one can change movement patterns

Ability to complete techniques without sacrificing form. How quickly one can change movement patterns. Consider learning an art that allows you to progress slowly so you have time to become familiar with each phase of training before advancing.

What You Should Know Before You Go Out Looking

Tai Chi is considered the most popular martial art among seniors because it’s less intense than most other styles.

When choosing between different martial arts, it’s best to focus on the 5 key elements mentioned above.

Best Martial Art For Older Beginners – The Final Word

Tai Chi is the best Martial art for older beginners. It’s a slow-paced art with less demanding movements which are perfect for individuals who are not very flexible. There are multiple styles of tai chi training, so you can try out different types before deciding on what to pursue.

If you feel like something more intense is the right type of workout for your needs, then go ahead and try Karate or Tae Kwon Do which is best known as being “the most popular martial art in the world.” While it may be difficult at first, both karate and krav maga require proper posture and balance while also developing strength, endurance, agility, and flexibility.

Martial arts have many benefits that just about anyone over 50 could enjoy. If you haven’t considered trying one out, then now is the best time to see how it can help you stay in shape.

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