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Karate is a very diverse martial art that has many forms, stages, and disciplines. Some of them are basic and can be learned by anybody, while some require more practice and skill. However, the nature of Karate lies in balance and speed, which is why it is preferable to start training at a young age if you want to reach full potential. But, can adults learn Karate, too?
You can still learn Karate, even if you are of mature age. You might not be able to master some of the more challenging techniques, but you can learn the basics and get into a great physical and mental condition. You can learn enough about self-defense and health, and more.
People believe that adults are incapable of learning new skills as children are, especially complex things like martial arts. That is true to some extent but doesn’t mean you can’t learn a craft as well. Karate can help improve your memory and coordination. Also, some higher levels of training require a lot of focus and precision, which younger children still don’t possess, so you shouldn’t ever get discouraged because of age.
Can We Learn Karate At Any Age?
Like any other martial arts or sports in general, Karate provides the practitioner with consistency. Consistency means repetitions, the same principles applying with little exception, and building from the basics, utilizing them to mastery. That is why, with proper tutoring, a person of any age can learn Karate and its principles, as far as their physical condition allows it.
Both adults and children are welcome in a dojo, as Karate is the complete opposite of what we think of when we say “fighting”. We think violence, aggression, and anger. Karate, on the other hand, works only if you can accept the principles of calm and focus.
You need peace and clear thoughts, as you are to understand that conflict in life, in any form or fashion, cannot be avoided. So, to avoid unnecessary damage or fury, it should be resolved briefly and respectfully. When you think about it, it is obvious how children could benefit simply by being able to learn that mindset, let alone adults.
Yes, adults and older people will probably take longer to master something, but will mentally be able to go as far as they can go physically. And, after all, it usually isn’t about becoming a master at that point, but to get incredible exercise and stay healthy.
With children, progress is a lot easier because they still learn a lot more about life and everything around them. So, it is easier to mold them and direct them from the get-go. However, children have problems with focusing that is required to master higher tiers and techniques in Karate, which is why it usually takes for them to get older to advance belts.
Is Karate Good For Adults?
Karate is a skill that is great for adults for many different reasons. From health, fitness, mindset, to confidence, Karate can benefit you even with only learning the basics. And, as we mentioned, the progress is structured in stages, so you don’t have to push yourself over your limits. Take your time to master each step as well as you can. As you continue to practice, you will notice a lot of positives over time.
1. Health & Fitness
Learning from the ground up in Karate is true not only for mastering the technique but for taking care of your body as well. As you practice balance, you will begin to be more aware of where your center of balance is at any given moment.
Stretching combined with fluid movement can also be good for your tendons and flexibility, reducing the risk of injury. Of course, training will get you more fit and have you a lot healthier, energetic, and strong.
2. Mindset and mental strength
The art of Karate is all about focus and determination. You have a distinct goal, and you are concentrated only on that. It can be to disable your attacker for long enough to flee, or to perform Kata and other drills. The same principles of focus and determination can easily be implemented in your life outside Karate.
You will be more determined to complete your goals and learn to silence aggression or anger. To keep calm in the most stressful situations, in most cases means the difference between making a mistake, and doing the right thing.
3. Confidence and self-care
There is so much that you think that you simply can’t do. But, once the training starts to garner the first results, you will be amazed at how far you’ve come. And that’s only the beginning. You’ll want to know how far you can go, and that translates to real life as well.
Confidence, or lack thereof, is the reason many people never reach their potential. But, when you see that your limits are often only in your head, you will be more open-minded and ultimately happier overall. Also, taking care of your body is going hand in hand with learning Karate, so that is also a huge plus. Remember not to push your limits, though, to avoid any injury.
Is It Hard To Learn Karate?
As we stated, there are more simple techniques and more advanced ones. So. the answer to the question “Is it hard to learn Karate?” depends on what your goals are and just how much you wish to learn. If you want only the pure basics to be able to practice it for recreation, it shouldn’t take you too long to get a hang of the ground things.
On the other hand, if you wish to test yourself and see how far you can go, you have to be aware that nobody ever learned Karate overnight. It takes years and years to master it and earn the final, black belt. However, going up only a couple of belts will be more than enough for you to be able to defend yourself in case of an emergency, and also get into amazing form.
First, you can learn the stances. The front, back, and neutral stances are the ground for everything else in Karate, so you should dedicate a lot of attention to what your tutor is saying. Pick up on every detail while they demonstrate what you should do. If you get a hang of it, you’ll notice how body balance can be manipulated purely by the most simple, subtle movements.
After you learn a few basic strikes and blocks, you can try combining them to see if you can feel the balance shifts when you move. If you can master your balance, you’re halfway to performing excellently in all varieties of methods.
Can I learn Karate at 40?
If you are considering a change in your life and want to start with a new activity, Karate is the perfect option for you. There is no denying the benefits it can give you. So, even if you are in bad shape at the moment and are looking for something to turn it around, this is an opportunity you shouldn’t miss, especially if you have a dojo nearby and you can attend regular practice.
You probably think that you have very limited capabilities because you haven’t worked out for a long time, or think you are starting to get too old – you are wrong. A lot of 40+-year-old people walk into a Karate gym simply for recreation. But once you see how easily you are doing stuff now you couldn’t even think of doing before merely a month of training, you’ll start setting the boundary further and further.
You can get gradual results, and the pace at which you progress isn’t set in stone. You can take as much time as you want to get in shape, to remember every detail and execute the way you want to. Don’t be impatient and don’t rush. It can only lead to bad technique and harder advancing to higher belts.
Can I learn Karate at 50?
Let us give you a clear-cut, resounding answer – you can learn Karate even if you are 60! That is if you feel well enough to practice. It is never too late to do it because of the nature of the Sport.
A lot of Karate masters continue to practice and teach deep into their mature age because they use skill and natural movement. instead of force. For instance, the great Morio Higaonna is over 80 years old, and he still practices regularly and mentors a lot of your fighters.
If you are over 50, learning the Karate Kata can help you very much to improve memory and regain the coordination of movement you had when you were younger. You’ll regain some flexibility in your joints, easing you of pain and injuries caused by stiffness.
Warm-up and stretch thoroughly before and after every training session, and you will feel the difference every time, working towards a better, healthier you.
If you still can’t decide whether you should start with Karate or choose some other martial art, take a look at our complete guide to choosing the first martial art to start with.