6 Reasons Adults Over 60 Should Do Hapkido by KJN Jae Jeannotte
Being a lifelong martial artis with advanced experience and knowledge of Hapkido I can tell you from experience that staying active and engaged in later life is crucial for both physical and mental well-being. While many fitness activities cater to older adults, some offer unique benefits beyond basic exercise. Hapkido, a traditional Korean martial art founded by Choi Young Sool, is one such activity that can be especially rewarding for adults over 60.
Hapkido is a diverse martial art that blends kicking, striking, grappling, and joint manipulation techniques. It emphasizes using an attacker’s own force against them, making it effective for people of all sizes and strengths.
Here are six compelling reasons why adults over 60 should consider practicing Hapkido:
1. Improved Physical Fitness and Flexibility:
As we age, maintaining physical fitness becomes increasingly important. Hapkido training incorporates various exercises that improve cardiovascular health, muscle strength, and flexibility. The dynamic movements and techniques keep you agile and limber, which helps us maintain our confidence and improve self-esteem.
2. Enhanced Balance and Coordination:
Hapkido training emphasizes balance and coordination through footwork drills, stances, and throws. This translates to improved stability and confidence in everyday activities. These things come in handy when playing with our grandchildren or doing other activities.
3. Stress Reduction and Mental Well-being:
The physical exertion and focus required during Hapkido training provide a welcome escape from daily stressors. The meditative aspects of the practice, such as breathing exercises, further promote relaxation and mental well-being.
4. Boosted Confidence and Self-Defense Skills:
Knowing how to defend yourself can be incredibly empowering, especially for older adults. Hapkido training equips you with self-defense skills that can deter potential attackers and provide a sense of security.
5. Social Connection and Community:
Hapkido classes provide a fun and welcoming environment to connect with people of all ages who share similar interests. The camaraderie and support within the Hapkido community can combat loneliness and social isolation, common challenges faced by older adults.
6. Adaptability and Lifelong Learning:
One of the beauties of Hapkido is its adaptability. Techniques can be modified to suit individual limitations and physical abilities. This makes it an ideal martial art for people of all fitness levels and ages, allowing you to continue reaping the benefits well into your senior years.
BONUS REASON: It is a great way to bond with your spouse:
My wife and I have enjoyed doing Hapkido together for more than twenty years now and the process of doing something challenging together strengthens our personal bond.
Getting Started with Hapkido
If you’re interested in trying Hapkido, it’s essential to find a reputable school with instructors experienced in teaching older adults. Most schools offer beginner-friendly classes that focus on foundational techniques and safety. Start slow, listen to your body, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Remember, Hapkido is a journey, not a race.
Here are some additional tips for getting started:
- Consult your doctor: Before starting any new exercise program, it’s crucial to get your doctor’s approval, especially if you have any underlying health conditions.
- Wear comfortable clothing: Choose loose-fitting clothing that allows for freedom of movement.
- Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water before, during, and after class.
- Listen to your body: Don’t push yourself too hard, especially when starting out. Take breaks when needed and modify techniques as necessary.
Embrace the Challenge and Reap the Rewards
Stepping outside your comfort zone and trying something new can be daunting, but it can also be incredibly rewarding. Hapkido offers a unique blend of physical, mental, and social benefits that can significantly enhance the quality of life for adults over 60. So, why not give it a try? You might just surprise yourself with what you can achieve.
Remember, it’s never too late to start your Hapkido journey. With dedication and perseverance, you can unlock a world of fitness, self-defense, and personal growth, all while having fun and connecting with others. So, take the first step today and discover the transformative power of Hapkido.
About the author: KJN Jae Jeannotte is a lifelong martial artist who has served as an officer in some capacity in several of the top Hapkido organizations in the world. He is the Founder of JaeMuKwan Hapkido which is recognized by several of the leading Korean organizations. KJN Jeannotte is also the Vice President of the USA Hapkido Union. For information on seminars or private lessons contact him through the USA Hapkido Union website or Facebook page.
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