I was listening to the Radio this morning and the host was talking about how for him, this was as good as it is going to get. He referenced his age and health conditions including his weight and said “this is as good as it gets”. While I do not totally agree with him, he has a point. I had a teacher in university who said multiple times a day, “If we always do what we have always done, we will always get what we have always gotten” She applied this to many situations but I am choosing to apply it to our health. Over the past 13 years of seeing patients I can say, use it or loose it. Some of my Coworkers say “Motion is Lotion”. When we stop moving we loose ability in a hurry, this reality increases as we age. We don’t stop moving because we grow old, we grow old because we stop moving.
It has always been my position that the movements of Traditional Martial Arts will save us. Especially when we use our intuition or awareness and “Act in accordance with time and change”. Most of the authentic martial arts I have looked at and practiced have value for various life stages. If you look at our Goju ryu practice the practice does not require great physical flexibility, balance or strength although it does work to improve these things. As we age we may work more at improving these items trough our practice which is in it self a form of self defense. Self defense- Protection or defense from anything that could cause us harm. This could include limited mobility, risk of falling, weight issues or atrophy (loss of strength). If you look at the age of many of the practitioners around the world of GoJu Ryu and especially Tai Chi you see it is possible to practice in to your 80s or longer.
We often share fond memories of an Okinawan instructor in his late 80s who helped us out. He was in the dojo not just to assist us, we were encouraged to see him practicing his karate, working on his balance, strength and flexibility.
At the Menomonie Goju Dojo we offer Yoga and Karate for Children and adults that is sensible and appropriate for the stage of life, to improve balance, flexibility and strength.