Aging Martial Artists

When older martial arts are practice many tend to think, Tai Chi Chuan. Where older practitoners are seen in parks, etc. making slow movements that are graceful, rhythmic and peaceful. Aging martial artists have to deal with those aging issues just like people who are not martial artist but one of the great things about martial arts is that one can practice the arts regardless of their age.

Tai Chi Chuan is a wonderful and beneficial system for any age but is especially beneficial, in my view, to those who have reached the, “Winter Years” of life. It is a wonderful time of life, the age beyond the first sixty years. The changes nature inflicts on us can be mitigated by certain mental and physical efforts and this blog is about how the effort of martial arts practice can and does mitigate and alleviate the aging processes.

So, this blog will be about that aging process and how the practice of martial arts can help. The first article that will follow will simply list those aging issues that directly relate to the practice of martial arts such as balance as it relates to falling. As with any effort such as this it warrants the readers effort in understanding that this effort is from a non-professional view and with that stated I encourage each reader review the caveat provided here and at the start of each article. I also encourage each and every person who is taking up this practice to make sure it meets approval by your personal medical professional. Get that before you try to participate in martial arts or any program that would benefit you as you age.

Blog Article/Post Caveat (Read First Please: Click the Link)

Bibliography (Click the link)

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015


Blog Article/Post Caveat (Read First Please: Click the Link)

I had noticed not long past that my normal walking gate, rhythm and cadence had changed. I realized due to certain uncomfortable feelings that my gate was beginning to shorten. I also made note that my legs didn’t stretch out when climbing stairs and that I was relying on the railings more than I was not that long ago.

It occurred to me that my flexibility was encountering some issues so I had to make adjustments. I began to change the way I trained, my karate or martial arts requires a certain level of flexibility to perform principled based technique so I focused more on those as well as adjusted my walking on a focused and conscious level. I deliberately stretched out my hips, knees and gate and also stopped using the stair rails as well as stretching out my hips, etc., by taking two steps at a time. 

In my karate practice we perform basics where the lower leg basics involve performing technique that stretches and exercises the hip, knee, and ankle joints while requiring more use of balance (I tend to use the legs for stability in practice over kicks, etc.). Adding slightly higher kicks, not a traditional practice in Oki-karate, and that added height also will stretch the hips, etc.

One of the greatest benefits of karate or most martial arts practices are they set the tone for the entire life, i.e., the stretching and practice of techniques, etc., in our younger years creates a state of muscular, skeletal and mental abilities that even when the winter years creep up you still have the ability to both maintain and actually prevent loss of flexibility from the aging process. You may lose some of it because muscles, tendons, cartilage, etc. still have certain losses but to mitigate them early on makes it easier to maintain and prevent in those winter years. 

Now, in the winter years, the focus on both a defensive model along with the health and well-being can be practiced on a daily basis. The kata, basics and drills all will promote a body that remains flexible and actually mitigates loss of flexibility. Even if you had stopped your martial arts practice those early years promote a body capable of retrieving its flexibility, mostly, that will keep you from suffering the pitfalls of aging way into the later winter years.

Okinawa is one of those societies that is known for its aging. It has more people living on into the ages past 100 years and it is due to such things as diet as well as activities that keep the body and mind moving creating a spirit that overcomes obstacles set by nature such as those of aging. Martial arts contributes to attitude and it is the indomitable attitude of Okinawan’s that is conveyed through traditional martial arts practices. 

This is so true that many of our aging fathers and mothers can actually take up forms of practice even if they never did in their pasts and benefit greatly toward a healthier aging lifestyle so they can enjoy the retirement of the winter years. 

Bibliography (Click the link)

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