The idea of starting TaeKwonDo as an adult is pretty straightforward: you sign up at a TaeKwonDo School, put on the uniform and go to class. But what about all the kicking, stretching and punching? Don’t think it’s possible? Think again!
What are the benefits of TaeKwondo for adults? While it does require some physical fitness, TaeKwonDo is good for adults because its enjoyable way to exercise, you are able meet other adults who enjoy TaeKwonDo and its a great chance to participate in a sport with your kids.
But even thought it may seem difficult at first, if you stay with it the benefits will far out way the initial discomfort.If you are considering starting to take TaeKwonDo Classes, here is what you first need to know.
Benefits of Learning Taekwondo as an Adult
According to the Martial Arts Industry Association, there are 6 million martial arts participants between the ages of 6 and 11. Despite this, Taekwondo can be learned at any age, with 3 million participants being above the age of 18, and 100,000 being 55 years old or older. The oldest person to attain their black belt in Taekwondo was actually 96 years old!
Older people have mature brains which allow them to have better patience for memorization and learning flexibility. There is no age limit to become healthy, and you are never too old to get into better shape.
Taekwondo is about setting goals and having self-discipline, which everyone, no matter young or old, can benefit from. Also, due to the light contact nature of Taekwondo, there is less of a risk for older people to be injured as compared to other Martial Arts.
How Taekwondo as an Adult Helps You
As adults the amount of factors that contribute to stress are enormous, and contribute to many illnesses. Exercise is one of the best ways to combat high stress levels. Focus and meditation are huge aspects of Taekwondo, and being able to set aside one hour, 2-4 times per week will help to eliminate your stress load.
On average, the goal of attaining a black belt in Taekwondo takes around 3½ years to achieve. By achieving something over a period of time, this gives you, as an adult, great self-confidence that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.
As adults, often socialization is thrown to the back burner with the only opportunities to do so, being through your child’s school, or in a bar setting. By participating in an adult Taekwondo program, you will have the opportunity to socialize in a healthy environment and have fun.
An activity to share with your kids
If both you and your children take Taekwondo, it is a great opportunity to bond. Not only will you be able to help one another, but you can practice and stretch together at home as well, promoting a healthy lifestyle.
What to Do Before Beginning TaeKwonDo
Especially as an adult, to avoid injury, you will want to consider a few factors before beginning any type of physical activity.
See Your Doctor First
Before starting any type of physical activity, especially martial arts, always contact your physician. Even if you are an already active person, it is always good to confirm that you are in the best physical condition in order to participate in an active sport such as Taekwondo.
As an adult you are no longer as flexible as a 10 or 11 year old. Your muscles and tendons need more opportunities to get warmed up, so make sure to take time to stretch before your Taekwondo class. It is a good idea to take 10-15 minutes before each class to stretch your arms and legs, as well as a light jog. This should be a good warm up before your training.
Talk with your Taekwondo Instructor
Never be afraid to speak with your masters or instructors. Some adults might be afraid to ask questions, but these are the first people who are there to help clarify things for you. Most instructors are extremely passionate about Taekwondo and want to see you succeed.
Monitor your Weight
When you go to see your physician before starting Taekwondo classes, inquire if you are sitting at a healthy weight. If you are 10-20lbs overweight, it would do you good to consider losing a few pounds. Mainly because this will prevent injury. By losing a few pounds you will lessen the impact on your joints in your knees and feet.
Invest in A Good Pair of Shoes
Normal Taekwondo shoes are very lightweight and comfortable. There is usually a padded top that will protect your foot when you kick a bag, and a black circle on the sole. This is important because you do not want to injure yourself. You can also choose to tape your ankles and toes instead. Ask your instructor how to do this properly to prevent injuries.
Obstacles of Learning TaeKwonDo as an Adult
You will make mistakes
Often beginning students are self-conscious and want to avoid making mistakes. This is inevitable, as everyone will make mistakes when they first start out in anything. If you are making mistakes, it means you are trying. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, and realize that at some point, you will make a few.
You may get hurt
Try to be aware that injuries do happen, and are more common for those at an older age. If you do happen to get hurt make sure to take adequate rest before resuming Taekwondo classes. If you already have a chronic injury, make sure not to aggravate it by being careful with certain activities.
You may want to take a break
When first starting out, you may find the classes very exhausting or too intense. Don’t worry about this. Taekwondo classes are fast paced and may take some time getting used to. If you need to skip 1 class during the week or take a break for a few minutes during class, this is fine. Taking a break will allow you to come back full force and put your all into it without being exhausted.
You will have to practice
If you do not practice your martial arts at home, you will not see as much progress as you would like. Be aware that you will need to set aside some time to practice on days other than your Taekwondo classes. Consider practicing at night, as this practice time can be used similar to meditation.
Benefits of Taking TaeKwonDo as an Adult
You will have fun
Taekwondo is a sport that can also be a lot of fun. Focus on yourself, and allow it to be a time for you to relax and let loose. It is inevitable that you will make friends and have a good time while reaching for your goals.
Total Body Workout
Most martial arts consists of a cardiovascular workout that uses almost every muscle group in the body, Taekwondo is no exception. Regardless of your fitness level, your endurance, flexibility, balance, and strength will all improve by participating in Taekwondo.
One aspect of martial arts is kicking, punching and screaming. Being able to release any built up anger or emotions is great for stress relief regardless of your age. In addition, martial arts has been known as a way of stress relief and meditation for 1000’s of years.
Due to the amount of calories burned in Taekwondo classes, you will be able to easily keep your weight down. Not only that, but it is much easier to lose weight or keep it off when exercising in a fun and motivating environment.
Learn Self-Defense Skills
Knowing how to defend oneself is extremely important. With Taekwondo, not only will you learn something new, but you will also learn useful skills that you can use to protect yourself.
Taekwondo requires you to learn and practice forms. This leads to the practice of concentration, and better control of the mind.
Many adults struggle with self-confidence, and this is one of the most important benefits involved with Taekwondo. The atmosphere of Taekwondo is an atmosphere of teamwork, setting goals, positive encouragement, and respect for others.
When you feel supported in a situation that is beyond your comfort zone, your confidence becomes increased in every aspect of life. You will realize you can accomplish anything if you put hard work and effort into it.
You will naturally become more flexible as you participate in Taekwondo. This will help you avoid injury, develop balance, keep your joints healthy as well as increase blood flow. Although you may not be dropping straight into the splits any time soon, you will definitely see an increase in flexibility.
Starting Taekwondo as an adult can be daunting, but eventually will be very rewarding. What is often thought of as a child’s sport, is really a great opportunity to learn something new.
If your child also participates in Taekwondo it will be an even greater chance for you to be involved in an activity in their life. Although there are small risks involved such as light injury, the benefits greatly outweigh the risk.
Whether you want the chance to get physically fit and bond with your children, or have fun and socialize, there are so many aspects to Taekwondo that anyone can benefit from regardless of age. Take time for yourself to set goals, and watch as you achieve them.