Why Adults Over 50 Should Train in Taekwondo
by KJN Fred Parks
With more than fifty years in the martial arts I consider these my top five reasons for training in the martial arts after the age of fifty. If you are over fifty years old and have done martial arts in the past, I encourage you to take it up again. If you have never done Taekwondo before I want you to know that it is never too late, and you are not too old.
Do you ever wake up with aches and pains? After the age of fifty our bodies aren’t in the same shape as in our 20’s or 30’s. We need to up the ante. You must do the work to get the rewards. Eating healthy and general exercise is paramount to overall good health. Traditional Taekwondo is great exercise to promote and maintain your regimen. Taekwondo can improve strength, cardio, and mobility. However, over-training can have disastrous effects, particularly for those over 50. Give yourself plenty of recovery time between training sessions. Regardless of style, divide your time between contact sparring and drilling techniques. If you fall in love with a style, you’ll be tempted to take classes five days a week. For the first two months, limit yourself to two to three days of training. The best school for someone over 50 could depend on the style. Most styles are divided into striking and grappling. Striking arts such as Shotokan and Taekwondo employ kicks and punches and are the most popular for adults. Grappling arts like judo involve submissions, throws, and pins. Pick one. There are styles like Mixed Martial Arts that mix the two, but those tend to call for a long recovery time. They aren’t designed with older adults in mind.
2. Physical Condition
The martial arts training you pursue is a necessity in building and maintaining excellent physical health. It also promotes stamina and endurance. I usually work out 2 – 3 times a week. Most Taekwondo classes begin with some warm-up exercises followed by light stretching and some strength building exercises. This makes each class a total body workout.
3. Mental Improvement
Your mind first, is the cornerstone to the right state of mind, especially in our generation. While training in martial arts, focus and concentration is amplified greatly. You can’t stop it naturally, it just comes. As your fitness improves so will your focus and memory. Scientific studies show that a healthy body that isn’t always in a state of fatigue helps you think more clearly.
4. Spiritual Enlightenment
The spiritual aspect is sometimes controversial. I’ve found that it enhances my soul and heart from that special “source” that spills over into my day to living. Meditation is key for me as well as listening. Being healthy and having more confidence from Taekwondo training helps me feel a better since of gratitude for the blessings in my life.
5. Self Defense
As we get older, we are more likely to be the target of criminals and might experience a self-defense situation that requires us to defend ourselves and family/friends. The Taekwondo can provide us with an adequate response. I take the exit route first. If cornered, I go to my Taekwondo training. I might get injured but I’m still alive!
I invite you to join your local traditional Taekwondo school to get all of the benefits that I have discussed above.
About the author: Grand Master Fred Parks is the Dean of the USNTA International Academy https://usnta.net and a senior consultant for the World Martial Arts Marketing Program https://worldmartialartsmarketing.com . He can be reached through his school website site at https://americandragonkoreanmartialarts.com .