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  • What Are The Best Martial Arts Styles For Men Over 40 [3 Top Picks]

If you're over 40, you're probably thinking that you're to old to start martial arts. However, there are styles where the risk of injury is small and the benefits are great. If you're not sure which style to get involved with we made a list of my top picks for Martial Arts Styles For Men Over 40:


Best Martial Arts Styles For Men Over 40

Here's our picks

  1. 1
    Tai Chi Chuan
  2. 2
    Danzan Ryu / Small Circle Juijitsu
  3. 3
    Kung Fu

3 Styles For Men OVer 40

One of the questions that I get quite often at the Kung Fu Academy is “Am I too old to start training in martial arts?”

Warning for some of you old-timers out there,  if you're 40 years old and you've never taken a martial arts class and you have a dream of becoming a UFC champ or winning a gold medal in the Olympics for Judo it's too late. I mean I hate to be a dream squasher, but that ship has sailed and sunk.

However, if your goal is simply to improve your life, get in shape, learn practical self-defense or develop your strength and flexibility, then don't think twice about it. Sign up for a class right now.

Now lets dive deeper into these martial arts systems.

3 Of The Top Martial Arts For Men Over 40:

1. Tai Chi Chuan.

Most people have the wrong idea about the martial art of Tai Chi. And yes, Tai Chi is a martial art. The original art of Tai Chi Chuan teaches you how to kick, punch and throw.

However, in the United States today, you will be hard-pressed to find a Tai Chi Chuan school that focuses on the combat aspect of this fighting style. Instead, most schools will teach you to practice a form or sequence of movements that are performed in a sequence.

Behind the graceful movements, is very practical and useful self-defense techniques.

In my opinion, if you can find a qualified instructor that understands the actual meaning and application of all of the movements, then Tai Chi Chuan can be an excellent choice for you. In fact, Tai Chi can be trained well into your 80’s if done with care.

Tai Chi

2. Danzan Ryu / Small Circle Jujitsu

This style comes from Japan and means "compliant art". Ju-Jitsu (also often referred to as Jujutsu) is a fighting system that employs a wide range of techniques - including strikes, kicks, throws, joint locks and choking.

Don’t get this confused with Brazillian Jujitsu which is consists of mostly ground fighting and wrestling techniques. I highly recommend NOT training in BJJ if you are over the age of 40 because of how hard it is on your body.

In addition, at a typical BJJ academy, you will find that well over 90% of the people training there are young men in their 20s. 

On the other hand, Small Circle. Danzan Ryu Jujitsu contains many practical arm lock and submission techniques. These control-oriented self-defense tactics are popular with Police forces all over the world. Training in this variant of jujitsu is not hard on the body. If you are not in the greatest of shape you can still do well with this style.

Small Circle Jujitsu

3. Kung Fu

Kung Fu is one of the best martial arts for men over the age of 40 to enroll in because of its practicality. The style of Kung Fu uses the element of surprise when dealing with self-defense situations. In addition, real Kung Fu training encompasses sharp blows and kicks applied to vulnerable points on the opponent's body.

Kung fu is a martial arts style that is not competitive. Instead, when you enroll in kung fu, you will mostly be practicing realistic self-defense techniques.

A good kung fu instructor will also teach you how to preserve your body over time. The instructor will give you exercises to do at home that when practiced consistently will give you body and mind longevity. 

If you ever go to China you will see many of the elderly, practicing Kung fu in the park in early mornings. This definitely leads to living a much healthier longer life.

Kung Fu

The truth about martial arts styles for men over 40

The truth is that training in the martial arts does get a little trickier and more difficult as you get older. Let me give you an example, when I was in my teens if I threw too many punches or kicks, sure I would wake up sore, but I usually would recover by breakfast. Most days I would be back to full power by lunch. In my twenties if I woke up a little sore and might take a day or two to recover. When I hit my thirties it would take maybe 2 or 3 days. Now I'm in my late forties, and let me tell you some days I wake up and I'm sore and it may take a week or two before I'm feeling back to normal

Don't get me wrong I can still hit hard just as hard as I could have my 20 just not all day every day. 

The bottom line is I don't care if you're 20, 40, 60, 80, or 100, whatever if you've always wanted to try martial arts do it.

If you quit martial arts years ago and now you're worried that you'll never catch up, well thinking like that just going to take you farther and farther behind.

Remember that even if you can only show up for a class one time a week it's still going to be beneficial to you. Even little martial art training will make your life a whole lot better so whether you're twenty or a hundred and twenty go for it

Life is short my friend if you want to do something go do it. I promise you the climb is worth it with each step you take the view gets a little better.