As we age, we can lose physical fitness, flexibility, and mobility. It’s for that reason that people over the age of 50 must remain active, getting regular exercise. You might be wondering whether people over 50 can benefit from taking martial arts classes.
The short answer is yes, martial arts training can be hugely beneficial to people over 50, particularly those who want to build strength, maintain flexibility, and stay at a healthy weight. With that in mind, here are the 5 best martial arts for people over the age of 50.
#1: Tai Chi
Tai Chi has sometimes been referred to as “standing Yoga,” and that’s what makes it an excellent choice for people who are over 50. It is one of the gentlest martial arts and involves no physical contact, making it a safe choice for older adults who want to get regular exercise with a minimal risk of injury.
Tai Chi consists of a series of flowing movements that are performed mindfully. It helps to improve balance and flexibility while building strength. It provides extensive physical and mental health benefits, including stress reduction.
#2: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is considered to be one of the best martial arts for self-defense, particularly for people who may be worried about facing an opponent who’s larger or stronger than they are. It is the gentlest of the grappling arts and focuses on ground work instead of standing moves.
As a low-impact martial art, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is ideal for women and older adults who don’t want to put too much strain on their joints. If you’re over 50 and want to learn martial arts, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a good place to start.
Aikido is another gentle martial art that has proven to be popular among people over 50. With its focus on standing locks and minimal sparring, it’s an effective way to build strength and flexibility without a high risk of injury.
Aikido builds a strong connection between the body and mind, which means it can improve memory, decrease stress, and even serve as protection against dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
#4: Wing Chun
Wing Chun is a form of Kung Fu that’s ideal for older adults because it uses open hand techniques instead of the closed fists common in some other forms of the martial arts. It’s one of the best martial arts for older people because it’s a low-impact form of martial arts that’s easy on the joints.
Wing Chun practitioners focus on building strength and learning precision in their movements. While there is some kicking involved, the kicks are low and easily attainable for people who may not have the same flexibility they did when they were young.
Karate is a Japanese martial art that has become extremely popular in the United States and is beneficial for older students who want to stay in shape and learn how to defend themselves. Karate is safe and also highly adaptable, making it a solid choice for older adults.
In Karate class, students learn how to execute kicks, punches, sparring moves, and grappling techniques. While it can take years to master Karate, there are many people in their 70s who have successfully earned a black belt.
If you’re over the age of 50 and considering enrolling in a martial arts class, we hope you’ll consider doing so. While we have listed five good martial arts for older adults, there are many other choices depending on your needs and fitness level. Other options to consider include Krav Maga, Tae Kwon Do, and Judo.
The most important thing to remember is that you should talk to your doctor before enrolling in a martial arts class and make sure your instructor knows about any physical limitations you have.