The Physical Benefits of Hard Martial Arts Training for Older Adults
Hard martial arts have become increasingly popular around the world, and for good reason. A recent pilot study aimed to investigate the effects of a six-week modified hard martial arts training program on physical function in adults over 65 years. The study discovered that while six weeks of modified hard martial arts training did not significantly improve functional fitness, there were improvements across all outcome measures that represented improved physical functioning across a number of physiological domains.
The benefits of hard martial arts are not just limited to self-defense and fitness, as this study shows. It’s encouraging to see that even a short period of modified hard martial arts training can have a positive impact on physical functioning in older adults. With a variety of techniques and styles, hard martial arts provide a unique and challenging way to stay active and improve one’s overall health and well-being.
The study found that, although hand-eye coordination did not improve significantly, there was an improvement in balance, timed up-and-go performance, 30-second sit-to-stand test, chair sit and reach test, and back scratch test. These improvements indicate that hard martial arts training can enhance functional fitness and promote overall physical function in older adults.
Of course, the study had some limitations. The sample size was small, and participants were not randomly assigned to groups. Additionally, the training period was relatively short. Nonetheless, the study offers a promising glimpse into the benefits that modified hard martial arts training can offer older adults, especially when practiced for a longer period.
Hard martial arts offer a unique way to stay active and improve physical fitness while also learning valuable self-defense skills. With the right training program, hard martial arts can benefit individuals of all ages and fitness levels. And, as this study shows, even a short period of modified hard martial arts training can have a positive impact on physical functioning in older adults. So, whether you’re looking to improve your fitness, learn self-defense, or just try something new, hard martial arts may be the perfect fit for you.
Del Vecchio, L., Exton, B., & Climstein, M. (2022). The effects of modified Taekwondo on measures of functional fitness in older adults: a pilot study. Movement & Sport Sciences-Science & Motricité, (116), 5-16.