It’s an inevitable slow decline as we age. Right?
Not necessarily so. Too often we think of training in Martial Arts like Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as exclusively a young man or woman’s game.
And while youth offers some undoubted advantages to practitioners of combat sports, with age comes some distinct advantages too.
Here are just a few reasons why training in the Martial Arts actually gets better after 30.
Maintain a Strong Mind in a Strong Body
Younger athletes often focus on the competitive aspect of the Martial Arts. They measure their progress solely on how they stack up against others.
As you move into your thirties and beyond, the realisation dawns that your biggest opponent you can face is actually yourself. You begin to gauge your progress by measuring your performance today to your performance last week, or last month, or last year.
This is the maturing of the Martial Artist. Not only does training build physical strength, flexibility, and endurance, but it strengthens our mental faculties too.
Training Martial Arts in our middle and senior years helps us build a stronger mind and body that will see us well placed to resist the worst of the ravages of aging.
Widen Your Social Circle
In our teens and twenties our lives are often a whirlwind of socialising. The same can’t always be said of our thirties and onwards.
Family commitments, work obligations, the hustle and bustle of daily life can mean it is difficult to find the time to nurture existing friendships, nevermind create new ones.
Training in a Martial Art offers wonderful opportunities to widen your social circle as you mature in years. The intensity of training often sees firm friendships forged must faster than in the normal world outside the gym too.
Friendships formed on the mats or in the ring are just about as real as they get and can last a lifetime.
Lead By Example
As kids we may have defined ourselves by playing guitar in a band, or coming first in the 100m. Later, perhaps, what defined us was our role as a parent, or our position at work. The primary roles we play change as we move through life.
As we move into middle and old age, the important position of role-model emerges. Younger people in our circle watch and emulate us. Training in the Martial Arts after 30 serves as a great example to younger athletes.
Getting on the mat or in the ring with the youngsters serves to remind them that the distractions of life, the litany of excuses for not training that are available, simply don’t wash.
To younger family members, your training throws down the gauntlet of self-responsibility and serves as an inspiration that could well set them on a path of self-improvement.
These are just a few of the reasons why training in the Martial Arts gets better as we get older. It’s worth mentioning that the Martial Arts are designed to empower a weaker person to defend themselves against a stronger person by the application of superior technique.
What greater expression of this can there be than a wily old dog going toe-to-toe with the young pups?