Training in martial arts can be beneficial to the mind and body.
Even better: your options are wide considering there are several different disciplines to choose from. The tough part then comes in deciding which martial art suits you personally.
Taking on these arts professionally comes with a separate set of requirements based on health and age. For the sake of this article, we’ll focus on the training as a hobby or part of your exercise routine. Some disciplines are better for certain people than others.
Below, you’ll find further information about 10 popular martial arts and who can best train in them.
Boxing is a physically demanding sport. It isn’t universal in terms of athletic ability, so you should be in good health to prevent injury. There isn’t much of a limit when it comes to age though. From 5-years-old to 40-years-old and older, many take up boxing in their spare time.
It serves as a good means of getting into shape or releasing stress.
Muay Thai is perhaps the furthest from a universal martial art style. As it requires a lot of coordination and skill, waiting until a child is older (7-12 age range) before starting is ideal. Beyond that, it may not be the best sport for those over 50 since it does place a lot of stress on the body. Being in above average physical condition is helpful in this case.
Beyond being a competitive sport, kickboxing can be a great aerobic and cardio workout. It’s normal to find the average adult in their 20s or 30s taking up a class. Young children such as those in the 3-5 range may not perform the best considering the high-intensity seen in these classes. Check your fitness level and health to ensure you can handle such high-impact cardio and aerobics.
Out of all the martial art styles, karate is one of the most universal ones. It’s common to find people anywhere from 4-years-old to 50-years-old and beyond taking the art. Karate is particularly useful for children as it doesn’t always require high-intensity like other art styles. You don’t have to come in with excellent athletic prowess in order to train in this art.
The moves from taekwondo make it ideal for young children or older adults to improve or strengthen things like balance, coordination, etc. Children under 4-years-old may not fully grasp the techniques, while you may want to wait until around 16 or so to introduce sparring.
Those close to senior age or with some health problems may not keep up well with the kicking, takedowns, etc. required from the art.
The grappling and such found in BJJ may turn some young children away, so this may be an easier art to introduce children to once they’re 7-years-old or older. Also, it can be difficult for younger ages to truly understand what’s expected from BJJ.
Adults in their 60s have been known to participate in the art too, and some adjust the training in order to suit their athletic capabilities.
It’s simple to find young children taking up judo. It offers a good introduction to helping them understand their bodies. As such, it can better serve the 6-8-years-old crowd. There isn’t a maximum age as you can find people in their 20s, 40s, and older taking the art.
What can limit you is your health; if you can’t move without joint pain, this isn’t the art for you.
Wrestling is an art many people of variety of ages take. You can find wrestlers from 5-years-old to 35-years-old. It’s almost a universal art if not for the physical demands. You shouldn’t take it if you don’t believe your body can keep up with the strenuous moves.
Also, those around age 5 don’t usually compete and just learn the basics.
An art that incorporates numerous other martial art disciplines, MMA works best for those who have average to above average athletic skills. With the combat moves required, the average age range is around 16-30. You can always find people older than that training if their health and determination fits the bill.
Going younger can be tough considering how intense the training can be.
Although Krav Maga training isn’t as intense as it initially was for military personnel, it still teaches serious self-defense moves. Some classes don’t accept those under the age of 14 to learn. With that said, it aims to be universal in terms of age and ability in order to provide people with the necessary self-defense tools. Young children won’t have the same type of lessons as older people though.
The benefits from training in martial arts are numerous. From gathering some self-defense skills, to improving your overall confidence, and leading an overall healthier lifestyle, anyone can find success. Some arts are geared more toward certain age groups and athletic skills than others.
Even so, with the right research and understanding about your own body, everyone should be able to find the right martial art style to suit their needs.