Growing old comes with its drawbacks. Your muscles start getting weaker and physical exercises become more demanding. For that reason, you may be wondering if you have become too old to learn Karate.
You’re never too old to learn Karate. Just like other martial arts, this sport is for everyone. Besides, you will never be too old to learn new things – all you need is the right mindset to enjoy the benefits of Karate, such as improved confidence, cognitive function, reflexes, and coordination.
Read on for detailed explanations on why you’re never too old to learn this art, how it benefits you, and how you can improve your learning experience.
Why You’re Never Too Old To Start Learning Karate
You should never be afraid to learn Karate. It is not exclusive to people with specific features.
The following points justify my position:
Martial Arts Are for Everyone
Regardless of your strength, fitness level, size, or age, you can always learn Karate.
Unfortunately, some people assume that you have to meet specific qualities to learn this type of martial arts. Because of that, they lock themselves out of fun activities, such as rolling on BJJ mats, hitting pads, and sparring.
Your age should never be an excuse for not learning Karate – after all, age is just a number.
You’re Never Too Old To Explore New Things
Do you love the adrenaline rush that comes when you step out of the comfort zone?
If so, when did you last push yourself to the limits? Now is the right time to take on a different challenge. Instead of being passive, which can be depressing, you should challenge yourself by learning Karate.
You’re never too old to test the limits of your body and mind. Learning Karate enables you to learn how to overcome both mental and physical barriers. By participating in this art, you discover that you can do things you are probably thinking are impossible at this moment.
Training Keeps You Limber
Regardless of your age, Karate can make you more agile.
Rest assured that you will be stretching and learning how to balance and fall in a way that minimizes injury. As a result, your joints will grow stronger, reducing ligament strains.
Did you know that up to 36 million older American adults fall annually – resulting in about 32,000 deaths? These statistics point to the need for you to participate in activities that improve your resilience, such as Karate. By developing stronger joints and learning how to balance and reduce fall injuries, you acquire valuable skills.
Your Abilities Depend on Your Mindset
Your mindset determines everything – including what you can or cannot do!
Did you know that Henry Plée, the “father of European and French Karate” was a Karate stylist at 91 years?
Reasons To Learn Karate at Old Age
Learning Karate at old age can be rewarding in various ways.
Here are some of the benefits of learning this art:
Learning Karate is one of the sure-fire ways to build muscle and improve endurance.
During training, you will be doing body-weight activities that increase muscle strength, such as pushups and crunches. Besides, your trainer will teach you low horse stances and how to throw punches. These exercises will strengthen your shoulders, glutes, and quadriceps.
Improves Reflex and Coordination
According to this article by the University of Rochester, reflexes slow down with age. Therefore, your response to immediate danger may be slower today than several years ago. However, it’s never too late to reverse this situation.
As I mentioned earlier, you become more agile when you practice Karate. One of the benefits of consistent training is that it improves muscular coordination and communication. As you get more experienced, you learn advanced styles, such as Shotokan. You develop stronger legs, speed, and aerobic, powerful techniques.
As a result, your reflexes improve as you spend more hours in the dojo.
Good for Your Health
Staying active is one of the ways of maintaining good health. When you consistently attend Karate training sessions, you get in better shape due to the physical fitness routines your trainer subjects you to. These physical exercises improve blood circulation and make your body more resilient. Besides, as this study explains, Karate training improves your cognitive functions.
The better part of it all is that each activity becomes fun-filled.
Improves Self Confidence
How would you feel about this: You have been training for some time. Initially, throwing punches, kick drills, and Karate positions were challenging and seemed impossible. But you never gave up. You are now stronger, have better movement coordination, and can perform each activity without much straining.
I guess you would check “becoming a pro Karate stylist” in your bucket list.
As a result, you will feel more ready to face new challenges, learn new skills, and succeed. Besides, the goal-oriented nature of the training sessions and encouragement from your dojo’s members and the trainer would be motivating.
This YouTube video explains the benefits of learning Karate in more detail:
How To Improve Your Karate Learning Experience
Having mentioned the reasons you’re not too old to learn Karate, and the benefits of signing up for training, let me highlight a few tips you can use to improve your learning experience:
Respect Your Pace
Although Karate training provides an opportunity to explore your capabilities, it is crucial to know your limits. It will be more helpful if you understand that you’re not in a race. I recommend that you apply the Kaizen principle during training.
Therefore, train at your pace – do not rush or overstretch your limits too early!
Give Your Body the Time To Adapt
Undoubtedly, your body will need time to adjust to the rigorous exercises during training. You will be stretching, kicking, punching, and doing abdominal and aerobic conditioning exercises. Besides, legwork like the Kiba-dachi and the Zenkutsu-dachi will be physically demanding.
Depending on your fitness level, you will feel sore after each training session. That is your body signaling that you need to slow things down.
Nonetheless, don’t let these demanding activities discourage you – give your body enough time to adjust. Give your body some recovery time by having breaks between different activities.
Do Not Compete
Have you been physically active recently? Do you feel excited to show younger Karate stylists how strong you are?
You should rethink your aim of learning Karate as you answer these two questions. If your response to any is in the affirmative, you are about to start a competition against people who are younger and probably in their prime.
Avoid competing with youngsters – they are not only strong but also fast. They also heal faster.
You must learn the basics first, build muscle endurance, and become comfortable with demanding positions and moves, such as kicks, punches, parries, and blocks.
Although some people assume that learning Karate requires one to have certain qualities, this is not the case. You can practice Karate at any age. By confining yourself, you lock yourself out of the fun, health benefits, the opportunity to improve your reflexes and coordination, and deny yourself a chance to develop stronger muscles.
It’s time to get out of the comfort zone – join Karate classes today and set a new goal worth accomplishing. However, don’t overstretch yourself. Respect your pace, let your body adjust to the new demands, and consider the training a personal challenge.
- The Karate Lifestyle: Am I Too Old to Start Learning Karate?
- Century: Why There’s No Such Thing as “Too Old” For Martial Arts
- Middle Easy: 6 Reasons Why It’s Never Too Late to Start Martial Arts
- The Conversation: Five Brain-Boosting Reasons to Take Up Martial Arts – At Any Age
- Northern Martial Arts Academy: 5 Reasons Why You Should Be Learning Martial Arts as An Adult
- Quora: Am I Too Old to Start Learning Martial Arts?
- Evolve Daily: 5 Reasons Why You’re Never Too Old To Start Martial Arts
- Franklin ATA Martial Arts: How Old Is Too Old To Take Karate Lessons
- University of Houston: Benefits in Learning Karate
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Keep on Your Feet – Preventing Older Adult Falls
- Wikipedia: Henry Plée
- Science Direct: Comparing the Effectiveness of Karate and Fitness Training On Cognitive Functioning In Older Adults—A Randomized Controlled Trial
- University of Rochester: A Quick Look at Reflexes