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)

Hey, Attention on Deck!

Hey, NOTHING here is PERSONAL, get over it - Teach Me and I will Learn!

Search This Blog

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Aging Martial Artists Concerns

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

Keiko Fukuda, 98 in 2011 :-)
These concerns apply to anyone who is reaching their winter years but for martial artists it means a change in how we practice, train, teach and apply martial arts and karate. This article will only discuss those aging effects that have special meaning to us.

Bones, our skeletal system, the bones start to lose marrow, etc. and lead toward weaker bones. In our advanced age it can result in brittleness. This means all those awesome things we did in our twenties should be tempered to take this into consideration because broken bones are easier to encounter in harder training and practice. 

Our muscles and therefore our strength due to loss of muscle tissue, etc., result in weaker muscles so our strength, to which many rely on heavily, will no longer carry the day especially in self-defense applications, i.e., defending against attackers in the real world. 

Our metabolism changes and with that, if we don’t adjust for eating habits, will add on weight while reduce body mass, i.e., muscular mass. Our bodies will not have the same ability to continue working efficiently unless we hydrate a lot more. Then there is hearing loss.

Hearing is a sense we use, along with sight and touch, to detect things in our environment. We lose hearing, our sight diminishes and our touch is not as sensitive. All of these are really necessary to achieve proficiency in applying martial and karate skills in competition as well as self-defense. 

Now, here is one that should get all the guys attention - the secretion of testosterone diminishes. You can image how that effects our body and especially our mind-set because a lot of our youthful ability is carried by our testosterone and why the age of military and other like professions has an age thing.

Our joints suffer and things like ligaments and cartilage tend to become less flexible and succumb to injuries that younger folks can avoid by their health and fitness. 

Now, for the good news, your remaining active in karate and/or martial arts is a solid model of remaining heathy and fit meaning that all those losses and reductions and weaknesses, etc., from the aging process will be slowed significantly. Movement in practice and training, if modified and adjusted IAW the aging effects of the body and mind, will allow you to continue way into those winter years.

Now, the second thing is all that practice and training also provide a means to keep the mind from losing its elasticity and capacity and capability making it possible for you to remain up with younger practitioners by using it to be sneakier. Add in that with the mind still up to par your ability to now learn and apply principles over muscling it will simply baffle those young bucks. They will increase their respect and admiration for you because you can keep up while being a lot older. 

One aspect of teaching karate and martial arts is most Sensei tend to train, practice and apply their craft by performing and leading classes right along with all students regardless of age. Because of the aging process and its changes you can still do that but with proper adjustments simply because of remaining active. What is great is you can reduce intensity in your body and mind while maintaining a higher level in students at the same time. 

Once you get to a certain point then you can stand aside and still lead, teach and mentor because you are taking a position often assumed by teachers who can’t even stand with athletes like in football. When have you see a football coach who isn’t actually in shape like their teams? 

Aging is inevitable, you are going to get older if you are lucky and live that long. You can continue karate and martial arts far longer than imaginable and that is good for that activity means you can combat that same aging process. Ain’t life grand!

Bibliography (Click the link)

No comments:

Post a Comment