Am I Too Old for Martial Arts?
Martial arts is an activity that attracts a diverse range of people. Young and old, men and women, and people from all ethnicities and backgrounds participate in martial arts training every single day. Despite the diversity of the martial arts community, many people still find themselves wondering if they are too old to begin training. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at this question and cover a few factors that you’ll want to keep in mind if you are starting training at an older age.
It’s a Health Issue, Not an Age Issue
There’s no such thing as being too old to train in martial arts. There is such a thing, however, as being physically incapable of training. Whether or not you are capable of participating in martial arts training isn’t determined by your age but rather by your physical health.
There are 70 year old people still physically fit enough to fully participate in martial arts and there are 40 year old people with health issues that make martial arts training impossible.
Whether or not you are healthy enough to participate in martial arts is a personal determination that has nothing to do with something arbitrary like your age.
Keep in mind, though, that being healthy enough to participate in martial arts doesn’t mean that you have to be as physically fit as a world-class athlete – it just means that you need to be capable of participating in moderate physical activity without causing yourself pain or aggravating an existing medical condition.
It’s certainly true that, as we grow older, we become less capable of physical exertion. However, the age at which the physical exertion involved with martial arts training becomes too strenuous differs from person to person.
In the end, whether or not you think you are healthy enough to train is entirely an individual decision. It isn’t, however, automatically determined by your age.
You Can Go at Your Own Pace
No one in a martial arts gym is going to make you participate in an activity or practice a drill that you are not comfortable with. You may find that there are certain activities that are too strenuous for you or certain drills that require a higher degree of flexibility than you have.
It’s perfectly okay, though, to sit these out and stick to participating in the drills and activities that you are comfortable with.
Of course, you’ll certainly want to participate as much as possible. Martial arts gyms are fun places to be, but you won’t get much out of the class if you’re sitting on the sidelines the entire time.
If you are physically fit enough for moderate activity, though, there will certainly be plenty of things that you will be able to participate in.
The point is that if there is something you aren’t comfortable with, you shouldn’t feel any pressure. As a whole, the people conducting martial arts classes as well as the people participating tend to be a very welcoming and non-judgmental group.
They are there to help you learn and have a good time – pressuring you to participate in every single drill and activity with the hopes of turning you into the next great UFC fighter isn’t going to be on their radar.
You Probably Won’t Be Alone
It’s hard to stand out at a martial arts gym. Despite the conception that many people have of martial arts gyms, they are not made up entirely of 20-something year old men in their physical prime.
Martial arts is an activity that attracts a diverse group of people. You may be training alongside young children and teenagers as well as people with more than a little grey in their hair.
If you’re worried about being the oldest person at the gym, you shouldn’t be. There’s a good chance that there will already be someone training there who is your age or older. Even if there is not, you should wear the fact that you are the oldest person there as a badge of honour.
No one is going to look down on you, and chances are that many people at the gym will look up to you.
After all, you are proving to them that they will still be able to participate in the hobby that they love for many years into their future. That’s something that will earn you the respect and admiration of your fellow classmates and certainly not something for anyone to criticize. And martial arts is potentially a great place to socialize and make great new friends.
Exercise Is Important at All Ages
Whether you are young, old, or somewhere in-between, staying active is one of the most beneficial things that you can do for your health. Unfortunately, many people reach an age where they stop exercising almost entirely. It’s not that they can’t anymore, at least in most case – it’s that exercising isn’t quite as easy as it once was, so they give it up.
If you buck that trend, though, and remain active for as long as you are physically able, it’ll work wonders for your health. One of the most important keys by far to health and longevity is remaining active throughout all phases of your life.
The good news is that martial arts makes for excellent exercise. It’s a form of exercise that works both your body and your mind, keeping you entertained and stimulated while you work out. Many people don’t enjoy jogging or lifting weights because they don’t find it enjoyable.
While not everyone enjoys martial arts either, it is certainly a form of exercising that is far more complex and mentally stimulating. If you are looking for a fun way to stay active as you grow older, joining a martial arts class is an excellent option to consider.
When it comes to martial arts training, the saying “you’re only as old as you feel” certainly applies. If feel that you are capable of participating in martial arts and it is something that you would like to try, you shouldn’t let anything as arbitrary as the year you were born stop you.