Silver Cranes (Seniors 60+)
Today’s generation of Seniors are definitely not living their childhood’s version of "grandparent-hood". More active and on-the-go than any generation before them, today’s 60+ crowd isn’t settling for settling down, and martial arts is getting a lot of the extra attention!
The reasons people 60+ are attracted to martial arts are often the same reasons anyone else is interested:
Unlike many physical fitness regimens of youth (which are often designed to push the body as far as it can go to achieve the maximum benefit) martial arts for seniors focuses on:
Some studies suggest that seniors who participate in martial arts instruction are less prone to falls and broken bones due to improved coordination.
For many seniors, one of the most rewarding elements of the martial arts is the social aspect. People, who have (for most of their adult lives, formed their most lasting relationships at work) find themselves unexpectedly at loose ends in retirement. Many senior martial arts students discover a welcoming, peer-based social environment at the studio similar to that which they formerly enjoyed at the office, or other places of employment, bringing back a sense of community and belonging.
Now, as people age, we naturally tend to lose a certain amount of strength and elasticity. Seniors can regain some of that flexibility with the kind of regular exercise that the martial arts provides. The movements in the forms do not require abundant physical strength, but they do work most of the major muscle groups. Workouts begin with warm-up exercises, and sometimes include sparring and combat techniques (which can all be modified to various abilities) to build stamina along with muscle tone and coordination. Martial arts has many benefits that could rightfully be described as therapeutic, and can be used to help increase strength, stamina, and flexibility beyond just learning self-protection.
There are also direct links between mental alertness and keeping active. In the martial arts, your exercise regimen also includes a memorization component, such as the form work common to most popular martial arts (known as Kata). As the student progresses, the intricacy of the forms increase as well. As the student’s proficiency increases at their chosen martial art, their confidence increases outside the dojo as well. Martial arts are not just a set of techniques learned and practiced in a Dojo a few times a week – it’s a lifestyle. It’s a philosophical pursuit. It’s a solo discipline honed within a group setting. There is comradeship without competition.
The advantages of training in the martial arts include:
It also instills strong leadership skills, situational awareness, teaches us to be humble, compassionate, confident, mindful, kind, disciplined, respectful, and patient.
We believe this is a lifelong practice where the training never ends; rather, it progresses and evolves over time. It should teach you to be a good person (non-violent), to be a positive example to those around you.
This is all introduced in a way that promotes selfless action and empowers individuals to have strongly defined paths in life, as well as core fulfillment, and freedom of being.
We focus on 5 major areas:
1. Okinawan Karate (Traditional, Non-Competitive)
The art of self-defense (blocking, kicking, punching, and self-defense techniques)
2. Aiki Budo (Traditional, Non-Competitive)
There are 2 main styles of Aiki Budo taught at WCMA: Tomiki Aikido and Aiki Ju Jutsu (takedowns, throws, pins, and locks)
3. Kobudo (Traditional, Non-Competitive)
A very ancient art utilizing common farming tools as weapons for self defense against the Samurai. The 10 most common Kobudo weapons are: bo, sai, tonfa, nunchaku, kama, timbe/rochin, tekko, kuwa, sansetsu kon, and nunti bo.
Physical strength, flexibility, and hand/eye coordination
The third area is the intangibles; respect, discipline, self-control, self-confidence, and self-esteem.
We also offer specialized seminars throughout the year such as sword and weapons training and more.
So no matter how old you are, your skill level, or whether you’re looking to become a Black Belt or just get involved in a great fitness program, we have a place for you here at WCMA!