Here at Venture Martial Arts, we know that today’s generation of elderly people is definitely not living their children’s version of grandparenthood! More active and on-the-go than any generation ever before them, today’s 50+ crowd isn’t settling for settling down, and Karate is getting a lot of the extra attention. The reasons people 50-plus are going to martial arts are often the same reasons anyone else is interested; physical fitness, self-defense, mental alertness, and to immerse themselves in the rich culture and history of most of the popular arts. What the potential new senior student must take into account that younger students take for granted are the physical limitations and health considerations that are part of growing older. Fortunately, more and more martial arts schools than ever are offering workout and self-defense programs geared towards seniors’ specific set of needs.
Seniors may not be the first class of people that come to mind when taking Karate is mentioned, but that is old-fashioned thinking! Today’s senior citizen was yesterday’s Baby Boomer, also known in some circles as “the fitness generation,” and they are taking old age by storm. Fitness habits lifestyle do not simply go away just because your knees may have run their last marathon, but in later years your workouts do change, they adapt, they become more age appropriate.
For more and more people, this means turning to Karate. Unlike many physical fitness regimens of youth, which are often designed to push the body as far as it can go to achieve the maximum benefit, Karate for seniors focuses on improving stamina and endurance, maintaining physical safety and even promoting mental acuity. Some studies suggest that seniors who participate in Karate instruction may be less prone to falls and broken bones due to improved coordination.
For many participants in their later years, one of the most rewarding elements of karate, or other martial art disciplines for seniors is the social aspect. People who have, for most of their adult lives, formed their most lasting relationships at work, find themselves unexpectedly at loose ends in retirement. Many senior Karate students discover a welcoming, peer-based social environment at the studio similar to that which they formerly enjoyed at the office or another place of employment.
As people age, we naturally tend to lose a certain amount of strength and elasticity. Seniors can regain that flexibility with the kind of regular exercise that martial arts provide. The movements in the forms do not require abundant physical strength, but they do work most of the major muscle groups. Workouts begin with warm-up exercises, and some disciplines include sparring and combat techniques to build stamina along with muscle tone and coordination.
Karate is a type of exercise widely used by seniors and the physically disabled. It has many benefits that could rightfully be described as therapeutic and can be used to help increase strength, stamina, and flexibility beyond just learning how to defend oneself.
So if you have been contemplating joining a martial arts class but you weren’t sure about your age being a problem, now is the time! We offer classes for ages 4-99! So come in and give it a try! We know that you’ll be glad you did!