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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Monday, December 7, 2015

Age Benefits of Martial Disciplines

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

1. Teaches various principles, i.e., physiokinetic, such as proper alignment of the skeletal system resulting is proper posture, alignment, full diaphragmatic breathing, mind clarity, core or centeredness strength and control and a full range of motions for the entire body.

2. It teaches and trains physical-mental skills to actively cause the mind to work and control the body and the body to work and control the mind. The constant use of the various aspects of the mind-body are exercises of the mind where that use and continued use keeps the mind, the brain, active and flexible countering the often negative effects aging of the mind tend toward during the aging process. 

3. It teaches the body and mind to maintain balance, a huge danger to those who age and limit or stop movement. Movement is the one great key along with balance to keep the mind-body connection fresh and active. 

4. The yin-yang aspects of physical and mental training also contribute toward the soft and dynamic tensions aspects to keep our stress levels lower and remove the often physical manifestations of daily stresses. It promotes continued fluid movement when the muscles, tendons and other connecting tissues tend to lose elasticity, strength and connected movement. 

5. It in its movement through training and practice of kata generate and maintain energy levels within the body coupled with the positive effects of breathing deeply, continuously and diaphragmatically releasing healthy body chemicals that counter those released from stress, a counter to the adrenal stress releases often encountered in daily life. 

6. Through the body-mind mind-body connections, training and practices it maintains and supports continued body awareness because MA tends to teach us how to remain aware of our senses such as visual acuity, tactile sensitivity and audio detection processes used in daily life and tend to diminish as we age unless we practice to maintain and MA disciplines adjusted accordingly promote such higher levels of body-mind health, fitness and strength, etc.

7. Through its practice, especially in group settings, it also promotes a group dynamic of a social nature resulting in a body-mind-social driven life with contentment, happiness and enjoyment that comes with extended life, longevity, often promoted only through such practices and disciplines.

8. The connectedness and centeredness of practice and training lead to a natural power from alignment, breath, and movement that maintains and generates energy often referred to as “Ki or Chi.” 

The age benefits that come from the practice of such a diverse discipline that is adjustable and fluid in nature toward changes one can achieve themselves to adjust and reform toward benefits of aging to combat aging not as a stop but a fluid adjustment that many other disciplines do not advocate as can be seen by athletes who retire from sports in the early “Summer Years,” i.e., thirties and sometimes forties over after the sixty entry point of the winter years. 

Unlike most sport disciplines one can continue in the winter years in practice of martial disciplines with a focus on principles with emphasis of the sub-principles of the principle of Physiokinetics removing the contact aspects for sport or self-defense or combatives, etc.

MAD (Martial Art Disciplines) are practices that transcend most human foibles of stature, strength and most of all - Age - to achieve a well-rounded discipline that can and does take us from our youth well into our winter years for a happy, healthy, and fit time most needed in life, our winter years.

We all face many battles in our lives with some actually for our very lives but the one battle we will all face sooner or later is that of the human aging process. It is our choice how we face that greatest of battles and this venue, MAD, is a most advantageous model to win the battle of the ages. 

Bibliography (Click the link)

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Age, Diet and Martial Arts - Fueling the Machine!

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

Face it, we are all going to get older. When we are young we tend to get away, so we think, with fueling our bodies with stuff that may or may not necessarily be good not just for hour bodies but also as fuel to create/generate energy.

If we don’t already know it applying martial arts is a lot about generating and applying force and power. To achieve that goal we have to generate power from energy and then transmit that energy to a target with the maximum force and power needed to reach our goals. It all starts with the fuel we put in our body, the machine that has to generate energy so that we can transform energy into power and force. 

Look, most who may read this post may already be experiencing their winter years, i.e., age sixty and above. Those my age and older will remember the, “Muscle Car Days,” of our youth. We would build our cars with engines that we understood needed certain things to get the most horse power possible where the rubber meets the road. We all knew that filling the tank with low octane gas would not provide the maximum necessary to keep that muscle car rumbling and roaring at its best so that when we put the pedal to the metal we would screech, lay rubber and take off like a rocket to beat out competitors. 

As we age our bodies are going to change and in one area the change involves what and how much food or fuel we ingest to maximize our bodies functionality and ability to generate energy to make power and force. One reason why many of the older generation tend to have more carried around their middles that is necessary. We tend to keep consuming the same things in the same amounts as we did when we were filled with, “Piss, Vinegar and tons of testerone.” 

Part of our needs as to fuel are changed when age begins its slow, silent and deadly changes. Part of what we should have done and now “NEED” to do is change the way we fuel our bodies. It means not just how much, and that is critical here, but also what we eat. It is time to start, if not already, to discover what is best for our bodies so that we fuel it properly much like how we used high octane fuel for our muscle cars. The better that muscle car engine idled and ran the more horses hit the pavement so that it moved that mass, our bodies if you will, creating energy within and energy outside with movement of said mass so that when we applied physiokinetic principles along with various enhancing actions such as hara rotation, etc. we can create the most power and force needed in each situation. 

Another aspect of the aging process is our training and practice with more youthful practitioners. Because our bodies WILL change our muscle mass, strength, etc. will diminish and just lifting more and heavier weights will not keep us at the same level as we had in more youthful times. It will help greatly to keep us strong but our strength still changes and diminishes just at a slower rate. What do we do, we start doing something we didn’t do in younger years when we relied on our youth, our strength and our minds to accomplish, we start using more of our minds so that we can use our bodies smarter and that means applying principles over, “Muscling It!”

Yes, in our modern times you would think the younger students would be smarter when it comes to fueling our bodies but remember that they were raised in our modern food industry and that industry tends to rely on the three evils of heath, fitness and well-being - “Sugar, Fat and Salt.” We can say that one aspect the more modern practitioner is now exposed to is the, “Organic Food,” but remember those food requirements to be organic are also politically and economically influenced so be smart, check and verify and validate. 

Our age means our diet and our martial arts will change and one of the great things about martial arts models are their ability to morph to adopt and change according to each individuals changes as they live life and grow along with age. 

Adapt, adopt and embrace our aging and adjust fuel along with other aspects the feed not just the body but the mind and the spirit to boot because it will be your friend and close ally as those years keep adding on. 

p.s. there are some really good references in the bibliography on fueling diets.
p.s.s. you can bet your life that professionals in competitive martial arts are focused on proper diet to enrich fuel, its ability to convert to energy, force and then power. 
p.s.s.s. you truly are what you eat and I can attest to that myself. 

Bibliography (Click the link)