Martial Arts for Longevity

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This may have been discussed here before, a quick search didn't turn up much. If you had to recommend a martial art that emphasized practicality for older practitioners and one that could be done by a reasonably healthy senior citizen which would you pick? I know many of us are getting older and it's one thing to be doing the same art for 30 years and another to learn something new as an older person. I guess I'm just curious about your opinions.
 

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The day that you like to do punches and don't like to do kicks, you are getting old. That day will come. As long as you keep telling yourself, "not today".

If you have developed something through your lifetime, you want to maintain those skill through your old age. You may not have time to learn anything new.

Most people when they get old, they start to do Taiji. This just doesn't work for me at all. Taiji has always associated me with old, sick, and weak. I didn't mind to do Taiji when I was young (because I knew I wasn't old). But I have problem to do it when I get old (because I refuse to admit that I'm old).

It's like when you are

- young, you grow beard and try to look old.
- old, you shave your beard and try to look young. QAQ

When I get old, I want to do something that can make me to feel young, healthy, and strong. I don't want to do anything that remind me old, sick, and weak.

I feel

- happy when I can still move fast, kick my foot over my head, and remain good single leg balance.
- sad when I do slow movement with both feet on the ground.

When you get old, if you can drill "spin back kick" 60 times daily, you will feel young, healthy, and happy. You can maintain your good single leg balance and reduce your chance of falling down. The combo "side kick, turn side kick" is a good drill for old age people. You may not have the speed as when you were young. But as long as you can still do it, you will feel young forever.



When you get old, do you want to be like this?

hug_tree.jpg


or like this?

old_man_kick.jpg
 
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Bujingodai

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I am getting to that point. Can't shave my beard as my wife likes it but it's all white so I can't hide it.
Injuries are fun as they stick around. I managed to tear an abdominal muscle pretty good that has been long standing now, if I can figure out how not to keep reinjuring it. That and it's a 8 week wait for an ultrasound to confirm that.

Ninjutsu, or Taijutsu is pretty easy on the body once you get it. Not a lot of reliance on muscle, just timing and placement. As a ***** anyway. Uke maybe not so much. Well at least the way I am practicing it these years.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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I did four years of WTF TKD (pre sine wave) as a teenager and 30 years of Hapkido. I find the Hapkido deals with the arthritis in my hands and wrists right well and is great for back pain but falling hurts more.
 
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I am getting to that point. Can't shave my beard as my wife likes it but it's all white so I can't hide it.
Injuries are fun as they stick around. I managed to tear an abdominal muscle pretty good that has been long standing now, if I can figure out how not to keep reinjuring it. That and it's a 8 week wait for an ultrasound to confirm that.

Ninjutsu, or Taijutsu is pretty easy on the body once you get it. Not a lot of reliance on muscle, just timing and placement. As a ***** anyway. Uke maybe not so much. Well at least the way I am practicing it these years.
Hapkido doesn't rely much on muscle either, that could be a mixed bag though as I find I have to do some weight training in order to hold on to muscle mass and strength.
 
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Taijiquan every day of the week
I've done the Yang short form exactly twice very badly trying to emulate an old friend. I can see the value of it. Do you do any additional exercise, weight training, cardio, etc? What are the pitfalls of Taijiquan? Ever had to use it for defense?
 

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Taijiquan. Problem there is, finding some who knows and is willing to teach the "actual" martial arts side of it.
I also know a gentleman who was 60, and in fairly good shape who started Aikido at 60, and got is Dan rank at 70, he even took the full test, even though he was offered a lighter test due to his age.

As for longevity in ICMA styles. Bagazhang appears to have had the oldest. longest training practitioners. However on average it appears Xingyiquan has/had the largest group of older. longtime practitioners. Surprisingly, Taijiquan comes in 3rd. I did some research a while back comparing groups based on past practitioners
 

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Im 52, I have several old injuries of varying origin. In my 20s and 30s I trained 10 hours of gung fu a week,Tai Chi Chuan every day and twice on Tuesdays and Thursdays, weightlifting twice a week and some lighter exercise like hiking or walking mixed in. I totaled over 20 hours a week in those days. Now I Train Wing Woo Gar Gung Fu 3-4 times per week, Shaolin White Crane gung fu 4 times per week, Chin na 1-2 times a week and Tai Chi Chuan Yang Long form whenever I get time. I still hike but not lately due to weather and time constraints. I still lift lighter weights twice a week. So I total out at around 12 hours a week of martial arts training not counting weights or hiking. Im not what I was but I am still fairly capable. I hope to continue at my current rate for the rest of my days. I find that I must moderate my life to keep up my pace, I sleep 9 hours and eat a very healthy diet. Im 62 maybe 61 now and I weigh 210 lbs/96 kg. Staying fit helps lower stress and makes it easy to see/feel when Im slipping on diet or sleep. Surprisingly my Chin na practice has helped ease my arthritis in hands and fingers. It doesnt feel great during but its a delightful experience afterwards. Drinking lots of water and stretching thoroughly (Qi Gong) every single day is probably more important than everything else I do for maintenance.
 

Bill Mattocks

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This may have been discussed here before, a quick search didn't turn up much. If you had to recommend a martial art that emphasized practicality for older practitioners and one that could be done by a reasonably healthy senior citizen which would you pick? I know many of us are getting older and it's one thing to be doing the same art for 30 years and another to learn something new as an older person. I guess I'm just curious about your opinions.
Although it may be true that martial arts promotes longevity, it may also be a correlation without causation; for example, people who like to do martial arts as a life-long activity may also tend to take better care of themselves in other ways as well. In any case, I hope it promotes longevity and I don't plan to give it up.

I do find that very fortuitously for me, Isshinryu karate remains practical as I age. We're not big on high kicks or fancy techniques; we tend to do things that my body is still more or less capable of doing. Double kicks and dropping to one knee is hard on me, but we don't do that very much; most katas are still in my wheelhouse.

I would like to explore Tai Chi at some point. There is no place near enough to me at present, but you never know.

I did take a local community course in a type of dance called "NIA Movement" for awhile and I found it quite beneficial to my karate. It helped my flexibility and my balance. Perhaps I'll look into a Yoga course at some point.

And of course, if I get to the point where I require a cane, I'll be checking out the various weapons styles that incorporate the use of a cane.
 
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Although it may be true that martial arts promotes longevity, it may also be a correlation without causation; for example, people who like to do martial arts as a life-long activity may also tend to take better care of themselves in other ways as well. In any case, I hope it promotes longevity and I don't plan to give it up.

I do find that very fortuitously for me, Isshinryu karate remains practical as I age. We're not big on high kicks or fancy techniques; we tend to do things that my body is still more or less capable of doing. Double kicks and dropping to one knee is hard on me, but we don't do that very much; most katas are still in my wheelhouse.

I would like to explore Tai Chi at some point. There is no place near enough to me at present, but you never know.

I did take a local community course in a type of dance called "NIA Movement" for awhile and I found it quite beneficial to my karate. It helped my flexibility and my balance. Perhaps I'll look into a Yoga course at some point.

And of course, if I get to the point where I require a cane, I'll be checking out the various weapons styles that incorporate the use of a cane.
The cane is my favorite martial arts weapon and you can still carry it on an airplane.
 
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Im 52, I have several old injuries of varying origin. In my 20s and 30s I trained 10 hours of gung fu a week,Tai Chi Chuan every day and twice on Tuesdays and Thursdays, weightlifting twice a week and some lighter exercise like hiking or walking mixed in. I totaled over 20 hours a week in those days. Now I Train Wing Woo Gar Gung Fu 3-4 times per week, Shaolin White Crane gung fu 4 times per week, Chin na 1-2 times a week and Tai Chi Chuan Yang Long form whenever I get time. I still hike but not lately due to weather and time constraints. I still lift lighter weights twice a week. So I total out at around 12 hours a week of martial arts training not counting weights or hiking. Im not what I was but I am still fairly capable. I hope to continue at my current rate for the rest of my days. I find that I must moderate my life to keep up my pace, I sleep 9 hours and eat a very healthy diet. Im 62 maybe 61 now and I weigh 210 lbs/96 kg. Staying fit helps lower stress and makes it easy to see/feel when Im slipping on diet or sleep. Surprisingly my Chin na practice has helped ease my arthritis in hands and fingers. It doesnt feel great during but its a delightful experience afterwards. Drinking lots of water and stretching thoroughly (Qi Gong) every single day is probably more important than everything else I do for maintenance.
Qi Gong has always interested me but I've never seen it offered anyplace. Yoga seems to be everywhere, how does Yoga compare to Qi Gong?
 
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I love our cane program at Hapkido but I also think if a person had a bad knee or hip and actually needed the cane to stand with they would be limited very much for using it as a weapon.
 

Wing Woo Gar

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Qi Gong has always interested me but I've never seen it offered anyplace. Yoga seems to be everywhere, how does Yoga compare to Qi Gong?
Hmm. Well there are many versions from many schools of both. My wife is a yoga and Pilates instructor, she is a beast of a trainer. For a year or so I made all my Gung fu students do her 90 minute hot Vinyasa flow yoga class directly following an hour each of gung fu and TaiChi Chuan. It was killing us, far from the slow gentle stretch of Yin Yoga. There is a vast array of difficulty levels.
 
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The day that you like to do punches and don't like to do kicks, you are getting old. That day will come. As long as you keep telling yourself, "not today".

If you have developed something through your lifetime, you want to maintain those skill through your old age. You may not have time to learn anything new.

Most people when they get old, they start to do Taiji. This just doesn't work for me at all. Taiji has always associated me with old, sick, and weak. I didn't mind to do Taiji when I was young (because I knew I wasn't old). But I have problem to do it when I get old (because I refuse to admit that I'm old).

It's like when you are

- young, you grow beard and try to look old.
- old, you shave your beard and try to look young. QAQ

When I get old, I want to do something that can make me to feel young, healthy, and strong. I don't want to do anything that remind me old, sick, and weak.

I feel

- happy when I can still move fast, kick my foot over my head, and remain good single leg balance.
- sad when I do slow movement with both feet on the ground.

When you get old, if you can drill "spin back kick" 60 times daily, you will feel young, healthy, and happy. You can maintain your good single leg balance and reduce your chance of falling down. The combo "side kick, turn side kick" is a good drill for old age people. You may not have the speed as when you were young. But as long as you can still do it, you will feel young forever.



When you get old, do you want to be like this?

View attachment 30680

or like this?

View attachment 30681
Is that video of you doing the spin kick? Still looks badass!
 

Xue Sheng

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I love our cane program at Hapkido but I also think if a person had a bad knee or hip and actually needed the cane to stand with they would be limited very much for using it as a weapon.
Been my complaint about many cane martial arts systems for a long time. There are things you can learn if you have those conditions, but the jump kick, step back, cane strike is not one of them
 

Wing Woo Gar

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Qi Gong has always interested me but I've never seen it offered anyplace. Yoga seems to be everywhere, how does Yoga compare to Qi Gong?
Most of the warm up I teach during Wing Woo Gar is a type of hard Qi Gong sets. It includes elements of the Muscle changing, marrow washing and Stacking and folding classics.
 

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