Martial arts may not seem like an appropriate sport for older adults, but the truth is, in both fiction and fact, old age and martial arts go together well. There is a reason for the trope of the older martial artist whose skill surpasses that of even the most talented amateurs. Martial arts is founded upon the link between the athlete’s body and mind. While practices such as Mixed Martial Arts, or MMA, certainly require younger bodies with faster recovery speeds, many types of martial arts are suited to the physique of senior citizens. The benefits for senior citizens are extensive: increased strength, balance, and concentration are just the three primary effects enjoyed by those who engage in this practice of the ages.
The Benefits of Martial Arts for Senior Citizens
Older adults who dislike boring routine or who are easily frustrated with mundanity often find that martial arts are an exciting means of staying in shape. All styles of martial arts provide full-body cardio, and they also help individuals build muscle without the necessity of lifting weights and further develop coordination. The challenge of these classes also helps older adults to improve flexibility, overall stamina, and range of motion. The mind is trained the entire time, as well; martial arts combine mindfulness, meditation, and deep concentration along with the physical elements of practice.
Tai Chi is an example of a soft martial art that are perfect for senior citizens just beginning. It is comprised of flowing movements that are mindfully executed, and the form encourages practitioners to cultivate mindful awareness with a focus on the present. Tai Chi offers a senior citizen a gentler activity that does not require physical contact; it is, however, often used in conjunction with harder martial arts like Karate.
Senior citizens looking for a martial art form that is more dynamic while still being safe could study Jiu-Jitsu. It provides an aerobic workout that is high in intensity. This style involves quite a bit of groundwork, which works to strengthen the body as a whole and works to improve the mobility of the hips. It also serves as an introduction to other martial arts that feature grappling. Jiu-Jitsu can serve as a good starting point for harder martial arts including Karate, Aikido, and Judo.
It is reasonable to argue that not all martial arts are appropriate for older students, but that should not discourage any senior citizens from engaging in the sport. Beginners are found in all age groups. Senior citizens should feel encouraged and empowered to take up a martial art to improve their health and capabilities.
Javill Byron is an accomplished martial artist, entrepreneur, businessman, and philanthropist based in Miami. As the owner of Top Shot Miami and WMB Martial Arts, Javill strives to serve as a valuable resource for individuals who want to improve their physical abilities and learn to protect themselves. Javill is especially passionate about helping children with disabilities and children who are bullied.
As a philanthropy-minded person, Javill Byron devotes much of his time to his nonprofit, WMB Foundation, Inc., which provides services to families and children diagnosed with ADHD, ADD, or Autism and aims to promote academic success and generally enrich their lives.