Martial arts are often touted to be a physical activity for the young and extremely active. It is often stereotyped as a contact sport, requiring sparring partners and optimal muscle and bone strength to defend oneself.
However, there are still some forms of martial arts systems that can be done even for those who are more advanced in age. With slower movements, less contact, and more focus on physical fitness, these sports can definitely come with an array of health benefits. Below, you will find great examples of martial arts that are great fits for seniors.
Tai Chi is a form of martial arts with no physical contact with opponents. This involves the mindful use of movement to create poses that flow from one to another. Tai Chi is a relaxing activity that helps in muscle endurance, coordination, and balance.
Tai Chi is great for seniors since it is low impact and does not elevate the heart rate at a fast pace. For beginners in martial arts, it is a great sport to engage in.
Krav Maga is a martial arts system that has its roots in Israel. Although there are some strength-based movements in Krav Maga such as throwing or kicking, the main purpose of this sport is learning self-defense.
Krav Maga is all about learning how to defend oneself in the most efficient way. This does not mean exerting the maximum strength but finding ways to deflect attacks with the least effort but great effectiveness. It is also a functional sport that can be useful in potential real-life situations.
Wing Chun is another Chinese martial arts system designed for close combat. However, the difference between these martial arts from other types such as Tae Kwon Do or Karate is the focus on efficiency.
Like Krav Maga, teachers train students to use the least effort but the most effectiveness in self-defense. Wing Chun is more of a close-contact sport, which involves arm blocks, body stances, and leg movements. This martial arts system can be useful in developing one’s reflexes, muscle endurance, and hand-eye coordination.
Martial Arts for Seniors? Yes, It’s Possible
With these three suggestions, seniors who want to explore the world of martial arts can begin with minimal to no risk of injuries or accidents. Finding a reputable trainer, using safety measures, and being present in the moment can help seniors benefit from regular martial arts training.