Martial artists in movies are almost always young and attractive. In some of the more imaginative martial arts movies, they literally fly through the air, defying gravity and the laws of physics. For that reason, people who are a bit older may worry that they’re too old to start martial arts training.
The good news is that as far as we’re concerned, you’re never too old to enroll in a martial arts class. Whether you’re interested in self-defense or have developed a passion to learn a discipline such as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Karate, or Muay Thai, here are the things you need to know to start training at any age.
What’s the Ideal Age to Start Martial Art Training?
The martial artists you see in the movies — assuming they are martial artists in real life — probably started their training when they were still young. Many of our instructors began training when they were still too young to go to school — but that’s not a requirement!
The truth is that it’s never too late to start training in the martial arts because you’re never too old to learn something new! In fact, it’s great for the brain to take on new challenges at any age. You may not become a ninth degree black belt if you start your martial arts training at 50 years old, but that doesn’t mean you can’t improve and reap some of the significant mental and physical health benefits of martial arts training later in life.
What Are the Benefits of Martial Arts Training for Older People?
We love it when people of any age want to start learning about the martial arts. Many older adults come to us because they want to get in shape, lose weight, and tone their body. The practice of martial arts is good for the body and mind and students of all ages are welcome in our classes.
If you want to start martial arts training as an adult, you may be interested to know about some of the mental and physical benefits. Physical benefits include:
- Improved cardiovascular health
- Lower blood pressure
- Improved flexibility and mobility
- Increased strength
- Weight loss
- Improved overall fitness
The mental benefits of martial arts such as Taekwondo, Jiu Jitsu, and Karate are just as impressive. They include the following:
- Improved focus and attention
- Improved memory
- Reduced anxiety and depression
- Social connection and fun
Martial arts training builds a strong connection between the body, mind, and spirit. Whichever martial art you choose, you’re never too old to reap the physical and mental benefits of the martial arts.
What Class is Best for Older Students?
We sometimes have students ask us if one martial art is more suited to older students than another. The short answer is no. We’ll never tell you that you should have started years ago if you wanted to learn Muay Thai or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
In fact, our mindset is that the best class for any beginner martial artist to take is the one that inspires them to pursue excellence and improve their physical and mental wellness. While it’s true that kids and younger adults may have more flexibility than their older counterparts, we also believe in mind over matter. You can start martial arts training late in life and still earn belts — even a black belt if that’s what you want to do!
The bottom line is that it’s healthy to get regular exercise — and the best fitness class is one that you love. Exercise should make you feel good about yourself and we find that martial arts classes are terrific for self-esteem. Whether you want to learn self-defense or simply get in better shape, you’re never too old to take a martial arts class!