Martial Arts for Older Adults

Martial arts for older adults

Martial arts training – Illustration from

Is martial arts for older adults also – not just kids and younger people with lots of energy to burn? Strange question, you say?

To anyone familiar with the fighting arts, this may indeed appear to be an odd thing to ask about.

However, this is actually a rather common question – or should I say worry – that we get from time to time: Am I too old to take up a martial art without making a fool of myself or risk getting injured? Or phrased like this: Martial arts is something that only young people do, right?

Just like any other form of physical activity, it is safe to say that taking up combative arts is not for everyone – be that young or old. It would be plain silly to state that martial arts suites anyone (A statement we have seen or heard more than once).

Although the chances of getting an injury is very slim in most properly run martial arts classes, it is always a possibility – just as it is with any type of comparable physical sports activity. Also, it should be noted that the class formats, group activity, techniques, intensity level, as well as a lot of other things involved, may not suit everyone.

That said, the arts cover such a broad specter of styles, techniques, applications and teaching formats that is should be possible to find a suitable form of training for a lot of people – including senior citizens.

And let us give you a prime example… Introducing 69-year-old Annie Carter who recently was graded to black belt.

Martial arts for older adults

“People over 50 really buy into the stereotypes that they really can’t do certain things because the media and their friends and their family tell them, ‘You can’t do this, you can’t do that,'” Wilson said. “Mentally, they think they can’t.”
Carter’s accomplishment has made her an inspiration to people all over the world. Visitors from the United Kingdom were in town for a seminar and were ecstatic to see her and watch her test, (…)

Remember to log in to Cartersville Patch to read the rest of the inspirational story about how one grandmother achieved her black belt.

What do you say – isn’t this a cool story about martial arts for older adults, represented by Mrs Carter, a sporty senior who reportedly gets her kicks by literally kicking with her grandchildren?

I’d love to hear if you have any other nice stories about older people who have taken up martial arts!

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4 comments for “Martial Arts for Older Adults

  1. Beatrice
    May 20, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    Can you give us some tips on how you did to make your blog so popular? Thanks a lot.

    • Torbjorn Arntsen
      May 20, 2012 at 7:25 pm

      You mean popular enough to attract spammers like yourself? If that’s the question, then I suppose it’s just a matter of writing enough content.
      And who knows, eventually the blog might even be popular enough to attract a spam poster which is wise enough to add some on-topic comment (hint: martial arts). And if so, perhaps I’ll be tempted to even leave the link intact?

  2. September 11, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    Hi Torbjorn.

    I’ll take you up on your challenge of writing a non-spammy on-topic comment about martial arts for older adults :)

    I’ve personally been doing martial arts for 23 years, starting as a young buck, leaping about the place no problem at all, to now a 43 year old with several broken-down joints and not quite the same physique! I stick with the martial arts despite the pain and loss of mobility and speed, because I get so much out of the arts and couldn’t imagine life without them.

    Many of my students are over 40, and over 50 too. It’s a growing group of people worldwide as adults seek to find a way to get fit that’s enjoyable and has way more benefit than going to the gym.

    I encourage anyone over 40 to get into a dojo (or dojang) and get started. The key things are not to compare yourself to the young ones around you. They might be fitter and faster, but you have a whole lot more to bring to the table, including a wealth of experience and a stick-to-it attitude that most teenagers just do not have.


    • September 11, 2012 at 11:44 pm

      Excellent Brett, thanks for an insightful comment, and also thanks a bunch for dropping by!

      Not sure if I’ll agree with 43 being an older adult though… I’m close to 60 myself and have no plan of slowing down yet :-)

      That said, of course we have to realize – however hard that might be at times – that we are twenty years old no longer.

      I salute you for sticking to these great arts of ours, and I totally agree with you that anyone – no matter their age – should give it a shot!

      Again thanks, and I wish you all the best!

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