I asked Google: “What is the best form of martial arts for over fifty?”. It turns out that others have been trying to figure out the same thing for years. The google search pulled up several articles. But they seem to have missed the obvious answer.
The American Cane System was developed specially for older students of Martial Arts. Grand Master Mark Shuey saw an attack on a group of older women on the news. One of the women used a cane for mobility. His brother, watching the same news story, said it happened all the time. Disgusted, GM Mark Shuey set out to develop a self-defense system using a weapon many seniors had handy: the cane.
GM Shuey began to get students ready to turn their canes into self-defense weapons. But he soon discovered he needed to do more than teach cane-combat techniques. Before students learned martial arts techniques, students needed strength, balance and flexibility training. Without this step, there was risk of serious injuries.
A whole system of martial arts and exercise was born, called The American Cane System. Cane fu was developed as an overview. Cane Fu gives students insights into Cane Ja and Cane chi, and whether they wanted to learn more. Cane chi, more exercise than combat, was developed to strengthen and rehabilitate the practitioner so they could practice Cane Ja. This new system was implemented carefully, so as to avoid injuries or become disheartened.
Learning martial arts later in life can offer many benefits. Studies of seniors in martial arts show improved strength, cardiovascular health and mobility. There is a risk that an overzealous approach can lead to over training. Your body needs time to recover between training sessions.
Regardless which style of martial arts you want to learn, it’s a good idea to alternate types of workouts. That’s why GM Shuey will remind you, if your body hurts when you move a certain way, listen to it. Your body is telling you to stop. Learn the difference between pain of injury and the soreness you feel from a gentle stretch. Recognize it. Put safety first, so you can keep learning your style of martial arts and developing in it.
If it has been an extra-long time, since you were in an exercise or martial arts training session, start slowly. It might even be a good idea to work out every other day at first. Gradually increase to daily workouts. (This does not include yoga stretches).
When you learn The American Cane System later in life, you are learning it for yourself. The rewards are for you only. You receive health benefits, in flexibility, cardiovascular health and strength. You receive emotional benefits, feeling happier and calmer as you consistently work out with Grand Master Mark Shuey. You gain confidence. You know you can defend yourself regardless of where you are because you know how. And you learned how safely from Grand Master Mark Shuey at The American Cane System.