Wednesday, June 17, 2015

You're Never Too Old To Start The Martial Arts

So maybe you or somebody you know is interested in the martial arts, but think that you're too old to get started.

You want all the benefits that the martial arts has to offer - personal discipline, mental focus, physical fitness, camaraderie, the challenge to your own boundaries and fears, help with chronic insomnia, and more, but...

You think that the martial arts are for kids, or that you can only be good at it if you start as a kid.

These guys are a little long in the tooth, actually...

You see marketing for the martial arts full of young, incredibly fit adults doing amazing feats of physical prowess, and you think that you can't possibly do any of that.

You think you won't be welcome.

Well, friends, I'm here to tell you, that's not the way it is.

I know this because I, myself, started the martial arts late - a few months shy of 40 years old - and in my martial arts journey I've met many more who started even later than I did in the martial arts.

I did not take the martial arts when I was young. I was an athlete busy with other things until I sustained permanent knee damage, then I had other extracurricular activities that took up most of my time.   Other folks I've met who started late were a lot like me.

I had to be talked into trying the martial arts, as an alternative to working out in a gym (because that's boring to me), and after I finally acquiesced and actually stepped on a mat, I immediately regretted NOT starting it in my younger days.  I fell in love with it immediately.  And I've been doing it ever since (although I changed arts from what I started with), and now I'm an instructor myself, and I'll do it until I fall over on a mat someday.

I admit, keeling over and croaking on a mat is a mean thing to do to students.
Grown-ups are welcome - no, encouraged! - to try the martial arts.  We want you in class.  We understand if you're working around injuries (as I mentioned before - I have knee damage and bursitis to cope with myself).

Don't be afraid of trying a school, and if it isn't for you - trying another.  We have something for everyone and your first try at an art or a school might not be the best fit for you (that was true in my case, even though I thoroughly enjoyed my first art it was too hard on my legs and hips).

This isn't going to happen to you.  Promise.

We have competitive martial arts, we have non-competitive martial arts. We have traditional martial arts with old-school uniforms, and we have modern martial arts that don't bother with that stuff.  We have martial arts with tons of etiquette and rules, and we have others that are laid back and easy-going. We have martial arts that are very physically demanding, and we have others that are less so. We have martial arts that are heavy on philosophy. We have martial arts that are practical and down to earth. We have martial arts that are from a variety of traditions - Japan, Korea, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, China, Europe, and so many more.

There is a place for you in the martial arts, no matter how old you are.  Give it a try!