I dabbled in martial arts as a kid, same as many kids. And like those other kids, my impatience and short attention span meant it didn’t last long. Yet here I am in 2018 with martial arts as a big part of my life. Not only teaching, but learning other styles as well.
So when did I start taking martial arts seriously? Not until I was an adult.
One of the most asked questions we hear at Riverside is, ”Am I too old to start martial arts?” Many tend to think of martial arts as a kid’s endeavor. But not only are martial arts for any age, they have huge benefit for adults. And those benefits go well beyond learning to punch and kick.
The ability to protect yourself and your family is priceless. And ageless. It isn’t just about self defense techniques either.
It’s easy to fall into the mindset that nothing will ever happen to you. You’re probably right. But self defense training is like an insurance policy. You hope you’ll never need it. However, if you ever do, you’ll be thankful you have it.
Plus, when you train, you make yourself less of a target. Martial arts training helps you develop awareness skills. It also bolsters your self confidence and how you carry yourself. Those two things make you a less attractive target to criminals and lessen the likelihood you’ll get attacked in the first place.
Age More Gracefully
One of the byproducts of martial arts training is staying (or getting) in shape. Whether you’re doing katas, sparring, or practicing a technique, martial arts has several fitness benefits.
Holding stances develops strength. Moving through techniques improves balance, mobility, and coordination. Sparring creates better reflexes, as well as cardio health.
Do you feel like you need to get in shape before you begin? You’re not alone. Lots of people feel that way. But don’t worry. Start where you are. Your fitness will improve as you train.
Improve Your Memory
As we age, our memory starts…. wait, what was I saying? Kidding…
Memory naturally declines as we age. One of the best ways to prevent that memory loss is by exercising the brain. And studies show martial arts provide that mental exercise. (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2095254615000939)
How? Well, for one, martial arts forces you to use your non-dominant side. Techniques are performed both left and right-sided. This forces your brain to work in new ways. Plus, memory is enhanced by learning and remembering new techniques or katas.
Expand Your Comfort Zone
As adults, we’re busy. Between work, running kids, and other obligations, it’s easy to fall into monotonous patterns.
Did you have big dreams or ideas as a young adult, but found they were put on the back burner as you got older? Humans tend to fall into “safe” pattens and stay there. It’s not that we lose our thirst for new things, but rather “safe” makes our busy schedule easier to manage.
Martial arts training is an easy way to push out of your comfort zone while remaining in a safe environment. What benefits does that have? Well, see number 5 below.
Ramp Up Your Personal & Work Life
When we push out of our comfort zone, we learn we’re more capable than we think. When we meet new challenges successfully, it’s a big boost to how we view ourselves.
Added to that, martial arts training increases self discipline, and the physical activity increases energy.
Not only do you gain more confidence and energy to pursue other new activities, but it carries over into how you present yourself to others.
You’re never too old to start martial arts.
Sure, we’ve all heard you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But truth is, you’re never too old to learn a new skill. It all comes down to your mindset. As adults, we have a better understanding of how those skills benefit our lives. And that tends to make us more motivated to follow through.
What about you? Have you thought about martial arts training, but wondered if you’re too old? With all the benefits, don’t let age stop you. Why not give it a shot?
Have you taken martial arts as an adult? What benefits did you get? Tell us in the comments.