This is a easy topic for me to cover since I started TaeKwondo in my late forties. However, A common question I get from older people when they want to start training is “am I too old to learn TaeKwondo? The answer is definitely not. You are never too old to start your journey into TaeKwondo training.
Sure there will have to be alterations to your training, but it doesn’t matter what age you are. You can still train TaeKwondo techniques just like younger students. Just with a few alterations.
If you’re an older person that is curious about starting TaeKwondo training keep reading below. This will be a guide for how you should go about training TaeKwondo when you’re older.
We’ll list the advantages/disadvantages you have of being an older TaeKwondo student. Also how you should go about sparring when your opponents are younger, faster, and more athletic.
TaeKwondo Training Safeguards
Since you’re older, you can still train, but there are a few safeguards you need to take before , during, and after training. Below are three important precautions you should take before training.
If you’re on any medication such as blood pressure, arthritis, diabetes, or heart medication definitely take it before training. Training can be hard and can trigger underlying problems if you train too hard. So if you’re on medication remember to take it and avoid any problems.
Being older, your joints don’t work as well as they used to and you may sometimes have pain. You can still train, but you may need joint support such as elbow sleeves or knee support to train comfortably. This will offer you extra protection and help your old joints work better.
When you’re older and practice TaeKwondo one important thing you must is take the time to stretch everyday. Younger students should also stretch everyday, but you’ll have to stretch for a longer period.
The reason why is when you’re older it takes longer to get going, so you have to put more time into stretching. So remember to take a good amount of time stretching, so that your body will be ready for training.
Disadvantages for Older TaeKwondo Students
When you are older and training TaeKwondo, you should have no problem getting a few training sessions in each week. However, there are certain disadvantages you may have being older.
Some disadvantages include:
- You’re slower
- Less athletic
- Have less cardio
- May have a chronic issue
- More prone to injury
This may seem like a lot to overcome, but don’t stress. We’re going to go over the advantages you have next.
You will most likely be slower and less athletic than younger opponents you face. They are at the peak of their health, while you’re more or less just trying to keep it together. Also if you’re just starting out in TaeKwondo, they will have a definite advantage in cardio since you aren’t conditioned for sparring yet.
Being older also means that you’re dealing with chronic issues that younger opponents don’t have. These chronic issues make you more prone to injury, while younger TaeKwondo students don’t have to worry about this.
Advantages for Older TaeKwondo Students
Just because younger students may be faster and more athletic than doesn’t mean you shouldn’t train TaeKwondo. There are actually a few advantages you may have over younger students.
Advantages you have been an older TaeKwondo student include:
- Being more experienced
- Understanding your limits
- Better at strategy
These are some great advantages to have over younger opponents. They will definitely help you get the better of some younger teammates.
Being older means that you understand your limits better. You know what you can and can’t do, which means you can make what you can do with extreme precision.
Also generally older students are better at strategy than younger students. Younger students tend to rely on their athleticism and speed to win matches rather than strategy. Older students can be great tacticians and win against younger students with their mind.
What Should I Be Careful Of When TaeKwonDo Training ?
Being older, there are some obvious things you should avoid in training. There’s things you can do and other things you can’t. Keep these things in mind when you’re older and training TaeKwondo.
Don’t try to keep up with younger students
In order to train TaeKwondo at an older age, you first need to come to terms that you’re older and have limitations. You aren’t as young as you once were and can’t do the same things you used to.
Do not try to keep up with younger and faster teammates. You won’t keep up and are likely to hurt yourself. Go at your own pace and never try to keep up with the speed of younger teammates.
No Fancy Jumping Kicks
Jumping 360 roundhouse kicks seem cool, but being older you have to be realistic about what you can and can’t do. Jumping kicks will probably not be in your repertoire of techniques. If you tear a tendon in your knee trying a jumping kick, your time training TaeKwondo may unfortunately come to an end.
Since you’re older be okay with taking breaks when you need to. You aren’t in a competition with anyone there, so there’s no point going past your limits. It takes longer to recover when you’re older and by going too hard you may pay for it.
Remember that you are there to learn technique and stay healthy. Take breaks when you need to, so you can train longer.
If you read up to this point, I hope you realize that its never too late to start training in Taekwondo. Just don’t train with the same intensity as you may have had when you were in your twenties.
Pace yourself as the only one you need to compete against is yourself. Everytime you go to class. try to kick at little better, stretch a little farther and spar for a little longer. If you do it this you will be surprised to find what your capable of.