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Martial arts aren’t just for the young. They are a good choice for seniors, especially martial arts which are low impact and involve discipline. Martial arts can improve a senior’s flexibility and balance while also being good for the heart.

Why should seniors become involved in martial arts?

• Will help slow down the effects of aging.
• For building muscle, increase muscle tone and loosen joints.
• Relief of stress and tension, increase confidence and ease depression.
• Will help improve balance, increase coordination and relieve osteoporosis.

Which martial arts styles are best for seniors?

• Kung Fu aka Chinese Kung Fu includes several different forms. It focuses more on open-handed moves rather than striking with fists.
• Jiu-jitsu was designed to help the weak defeat the strong. It is one of the martial arts that seniors can train in that will increase their flexibility and strength.
• Baguazhang is not just a striking or grappling martial art. It involves various movements and footwork that can help a senior retain flexibility. The movements make use of the whole body. Since there are various branches of Baguazhang, finding one that suits a senior or adapting it to your present physical ability is possible.
• Tai chi is very popular with both young and old and is a good choice for most seniors. It’s practiced not only for self-defense but for its health benefits. The movements are considered a discipline and it helps with anxiety and depression while increasing flexibility and balance.

There is a long list of martial arts that seniors can look into if they find them interesting. Remember, no matter which martial art you choose to do, it will take you longer to train and also to recover after each training session. Many seniors are just now starting to get involved with martial arts and find them demanding but also a way to finally take responsibility for their bodies and their health.

Martial arts are a good way for seniors to stay in shape and look after themselves, both physically and mentally but before starting any type of physical training, check with your doctor.