Yep, I just got back from visiting my doctor for my annual physical. Her prognosis - I'm as fit as any 20-year-old! Not bad for an old, retired geologist who likes to kick, punch and lift weights 6 to 10 times each week. So, how is it that I stay so fit? I train in traditional martial arts nearly every day and have done so much of my life. When I need a break from training in martial arts and teaching karate and kobudo, I lift weights at the local gym.
So, if you are working on retiring in the next 5 to 50 years, get your behind into a traditional martial arts dojo and see the difference it will make as long as you also focus on a good diet - me I eat a lot of green things and lots of fish. If you are already retired, there are some good traditional martial arts schools out there that will work with you to get you in shape. You will be amazed what it will do for your physical being and your brain health! But, be sure that it is a traditional school and not Sport and definitely not MMA.
For those who train in the traditional (non-sport) martial arts, we realize the extraordinary benefits weekly karate, kobudo, iaido, aikido, kyudo & jujutsu training has as we age. And we are not talking about tai chi, sport karate, or the non-martial art known as MMA. Think of it, we have students in their 40s, 50s, 60, 70s, 80s and even 90s who can easily lift their foot above their heads, kick and punch like lightning, take punches to vital points, and all we do is get heather, and more self-confident.
Some seniors feel they are too old to learn traditional karate, or just don't feel they will fit in a karate school at their age - they have visions of walking into a martial arts school (dojo) and training with a bunch of 5-year olds, and all they learn is how to defend against kicks to their shins; or spend class time taking 5-year old kids to the benjo (Japanese for bathroom).
In traditional Okinawa martial arts (as opposed to Sport Karate and MMA) students typically range from 6 to about 106 years. No one ever quits karate because of age, instead many quit karate to age. In sport martial arts, many schools are filled with 5-year olds and younger students. One of our karate instructors joined a taekwondo school (most are sport oriented), and was the only adult in the class. She (Paula) also had to recite the dojo philosophy at the end of the class with all of the kids while facing the instructor - the dojo philosophy - "I was obey my Mommy and Daddy". It was not something that was easy for a 50 year old to recited to an instructor half her age.
|Photo of Who's Who in Martial Arts Legends, Soke Hausel |
taken at the University of Wyoming for Martial Arts
Fitness magazine. At the time, Soke was in his late 50s.
Today, Soke Hausel operates the Arizona Hombu
Karate Dojo in Mesa, in the Phoenix Valley, where a large
percentage of his students are well educated seniors.
|Soke Hausel squatting 400 pounds at the University of Wyoming. At 175 pounds|
he was known to squat 600 pounds and even as much as 800 pounds.
|One of our outstanding senior citizens - Dennis sometimes |
needs help telling is left from his right
|Kids are encouraged to attend our classes at the Az Hombu, but|
they must train with a parent or grandparent.
|Some of our students are snow birds, such as Sensei Dee Dee from Jackson|
|Members of our dojo in include PhD, MDs, engineers,|
scientists, accountants, lawyers, university faculty,
pilots, etc. They also come from around the world, such
as Dr. Teule from France.
Aerobic dancing 420 [325-500]
Traditional dancing 238-350
Exercise and Fitness:
Bicycling 450-700 [500-750]
Calisthenics (moderate intensity) 400
Jogging 500 [700-1160]
Karate 700-930 [600-950]
Pilates - intense 300-400 [235-370]
Running (10 minute mile pace) 850
Stair climbing 430-700 [300-470]
Swimming (vigorous) 500 [400-650]
Walking 300-400 [195-470]
Water aerobics 400-700
Weight lifting (intense) 215-430 [170-550]
Yoga 400-600 [230-370]
Bowling (league play with rotation) 200
Hiking (mountains or high hills - intense) 400-700
Horseback riding (competitive level) 280
Kayaking (intense) 400-700 [500-800]
Rock Climbing [650-1125]
Aerobic Kickboxing 400
Martial Arts 700-950 [590-930]
Tai Chi 400 [230-270]
Baseball (moderate level) 200
Basketball (full court-intense) 400-700 [470-750]
Boxing 700 [350-1100]
Cross-country skiing 500 [470-750]
Fencing (competitive) 420 [350-550]
Golf 180-240 [270-420]
Ice Skating 300 [400-650]
Skiing (downhill) 450 [470-750]
Snow shoeing [470-750]
Soccer (moderate effort - team play) 400
Tennis 450-650 [470-750]