The Aging Martial Artist The Ageing Martial ArtistOver the years of training in martial arts I’ve come to realise that as I get older the more I feel the aches. But the benefits are so much better. To people older than me you may be thinking I’m still young, and to those that are younger you may look at me like I’m ancient but in over a decade of training I certainly feel the difference. There are several reasons for that but age is one of them. As we get older our bodies change and that’s no secret but I’ve also come to realise that without training I would almost certainly be in a much worse condition. Firstly, what else would I have done?The internet, game consoles, technology in general now have the masses turning in to what can only be described as zombies and I for one think I could have possibly been one of them if it wasn’t for the better choice I made all those years ago.I see some people from years back and realise that they still make the unhealthy lifestyle choices that they did back when we were younger. Now here’s the big one. The aches and pains.But before you start thinking of the aches you have felt in the past week, answer just one question: Do you know anyone your age that doesn’t have aches? Some of you may think you do but chances are they still feel those aches, in fact its proven that if you don’t look after your back you will inevitably feel more aches as you age.This leads us onto the next section. The backbone of martial arts I’m not talking about any techniques or ancient mystical knowledge. I mean the actual spine. Your body requires the involvement of the spine to do most of the movement it makes. You will understand this if you have ever hurt your back. I certainly do from a car crash I had, and felt most movements, from turning my head to putting my socks on.Medical experts tell us that prolonged sitting will change your spine and cause pain later in life.Sitting in a chair isn’t natural. When the spine balances naturally over the hips it brings many benefits:FlexibilityProper circulationProtection of surrounding body partsHelps muscles movementHowever, when the spine isn’t aligned properly it compresses nerves, muscle, and the spine itself gets damaged. This in turn puts pressure on other parts of the body which could promote arthritis, muscle damage and other aches. The great thing about martial arts is that in order to perform most of the techniques we teach it requires a well-balanced spine, and it also gets you up and out of that chair that so many now spend their time in without realising how much time has passed before it’s too late. The bottom line of it all is that your choice should be easy, you could let your body diminish or you can choice to keep it healthier and stronger for longer. Doing nothing will ultimately give you a lot more aches though.