For many people aging is synonymous with the loss of ability. Ability to jump as high, bend as low, kick as fast etc… Yes we all will age and, yes, we will become less able to do many of the things that were possible when we were younger. (On a physical note, it is very important to continue striving for our highest level of ability no matter what limitations may come our way. This is an important part of growing old gracefully).

This short article is specifically meant to address your self defense ability as you age. Can we continue to effectively defend ourselves as we lose physical ability? The answer to this question is an absolute yes!

The key is in understanding this effectiveness formula: Physical strength, speed, balance, flexibility, (all of the physical stuff). Multiplied by technical knowledge/understanding, timing,distancing, leverage, sensitivity etc… equals = effectiveness. Effectiveness is what we are after, yes?

If we were to put a number value on the physical (let’s say a 6) and then put a number value on technique (let’s say a 4). Then 6 times 4 = 24 on the effectiveness scale. Now let’s say that the physical (over time) loses some of its ability (value) due to ageing. Obviously, if you are still training, this is a slow process over time. Maybe you lose two points on your physical score between the ages of 55 and 62. So now your physical score is a 4. But, with diligent training your technique score has gone up to an 8. Four (physical) times eight (technical) = 32 on the effectiveness scale. You may not be as strong or as flexible as you once were. But, the possibility of being more effective in your application of self defense technique is not only possible but highly probable if you do not give up on your training as you age.

I have trained with several old masters and, while not as physically vigorous as they once were, their effectiveness was well beyond what anyone younger could equal. But, remember, ageing does not give us some kind of magical ability. We still have to continue the process of working hard. Which goes for technique as well as strength. The old saying “If you don’t use it you lose it” is so true.

You are getting older. But, with the right mind set and continuous training. Your self defense effectiveness will do nothing but get better and better.

Remain dedicated to the strengthening of your Kung Fu. See it as a life time pursuit and the benefits will astound you.