Who Should Train Martial Arts?

“I wish I could train martial arts.”  

“I would train, I just have this __________ problem.” 

“There is no way that I could fit training into my schedule.” 

“I want my kids to train but…” 

Tonight, I thought back through my day and realized there are very few things that should keep someone from learning martial arts. Usually, the excuse given is out of fear or stubbornness but rarely should prevent them from training.

Here was my teaching schedule today:

10 AM - Beginner's Jiu Jitsu Class - Average Age of 40 with a myriad of joint issues, back problems, tight schedules, etc.

11 AM - 33-Year-Old Female - Takes time off from work to learn self-defense and relieve stress.

12 PM - 56-Year-Old Male - Private Lesson - This individual also uses his lunch break from a stressful 60-80 hour work-week career to learn the martial arts. Often wears a knee brace or pads to support his knees after having a surgery years ago.

12:30 PM - 67-year-old Male - Private Lesson - Trains martial arts to learn self-defense as he is sometimes involved in physical altercations with unruly patients at the hospital he works at and wants to be able to defend himself while controlling a patient without bringing them harm. Thus, he trains in Jiu Jitsu - The Gentle Art.

5:15 PM - Juniors Class (Ages 8-12) - These kids range from very athletic and outgoing to shy and physically weaker. Their parents come from all walks of life, and for some, the tuition for their children is but a small dent in their monthly income, and others work very hard to scrape together the money to get their child in the martial arts. For all - it is life changing.

6:30 PM - Adult Kenpo Class - The youngest in this class currently is 16 years old, and our oldest is 71. Some have issues jogging, jumping, kicking, etc. due to various health problems or injury, but all find a way to push their limitations and enjoy their training. 

These were just the classes I taught yesterday, but other instructors at PMA taught others. We have students with autism, cerebral palsy, asthma, chronic injuries, and many learning disabilities. We have moms, dads, teachers, doctors, lawyers, mechanics, engineers, scientists (it is Oak Ridge!), butchers, veterinarians, salespeople, mail carriers, college students, police officers, entrepreneurs, pharmacists, military personnel, security guards, retirees, children, and everything in between.

Anyone can train martial arts.

Everyone that trains martial arts will run into obstacles and limitations, but part of the journey is the ability to overcome these perceived barriers. 

Martial arts empowers people of all ages to live their lives to the fullest and enables them to conquer the same obstacles and stress of their daily life that we all face. 

The intent of this article is to motivate those that have hesitated to begin their martial arts journey due to certain limitations and motivate those that may have quit training for one reason or the other. 

Check out this video published by Ryron and Rener Gracie last week emphasizing a critical point:

If you are training now, keep it up! When obstacles present themselves,  handle them accordingly but never let them stop you from training for the long haul.

See you on the mat!