Taekwondo and age

12:26:00 PM Tkd kwan 10 Comments

Many people ask if they can join taekwondo classes at a certain age, because they think that starting so young is the only and unique option, it is true that starting taekwondo so young would be the best thing ever, especially if the objective is the making of a new champion.

                 When people get older, it becomes harder for them to learn as quick as young people, their bodies also loose the ability to handle the hard training, and their progress in gaining more flexibility get so slow except for few of those who are genetically flexible.

in the other hand, young people have more and most abilities 
to learn and  their bodies respond so fast in a good way.
the age can make a huge deference when it is a question of learning or gaining new techniques in taekwondo, but it is not always an obstacle, because there are other factors that can decrease the role of age, such as the genetics, the courage, the determination, the will and the indomitable spirit.

There are many examples who started taekwondo in their thirties, 
and have proved that they have won the challenge, they learned 
the basics, and some even learned the complicated kicking techniques.

Taekwondo is a very dynamic martial art, it is not soft, it requires 
strength, power, endurance and flexibility, that is why some people 
leave taekwondo when they reach a certain age, and they think 
that they should try another martial art or sport that suit their abilities.

they key of keeping the practice as long as possible in taekwondo 
or any other martial art, is to do it the right way, to avoid injuries 
as much as possible, to keep practicing it in a systematic manner. 
and by aging in taekwondo practice, you will learn the most easier ways to perform techniques, and your body will get used to this practice.

In the global taekwondo community, there are many Grand 
Masters and Masters who still can perform taekwondo techniques 
in a very good way. some of those great GMs are hired by Kukkiwon to teach the basics to masters during seminars.

In poomsae competition, we still see some older Grand masters 
competing and do good performance, and in Kyurugi, there is 
a good example that we should mention here, Steven lopez 
is 36 years old now, and he is still sparring with athletes 10 years 
younger than him, and in last World Taekwondo Grand Prix, he won against Aaron Cook (23 years old).. what?? yes Cook who knocked down Lopez few years ago lost against now!

Age is a number, so keep practicing Taekwondo in a correct way, 
eat well, get your deserved rest, avoid injuries during your training 
and stay healthy.
Good luck.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          By Master S.E.H


  1. Hello Masters and Grand Masters,
    I want your help. I am a 43 male. I love taekwondo so much but for financial problems I could not start early when I was young.
    I started taekwondo two years and a half ago. Now I am red belt but my problem is that I am so stiff. I am training hard but my gains in flexibility are too slow and I hurt myself hundred of times because I train using youtube videos. Do you have any suggestions to help me become more flexible in a short time? Can I use youtube videos? which videos should I follow?
    I am training five days a week (Mond. to Fri.) as follows:
    1) Warm up : 15 min
    2) Hand techniques: 20 min
    3) Poomsae : 10 min
    4) Kicking: 30 min
    5) Stretching: 50 min (statically using yoga stretches)
    6) trying the side splits : 20 min. but I am still off the ground about 12 inches. I cannot do the splits yet.
    My gains are too slow. What do you think of my workout? Is it too long? Isit overtraining? How do you advice me? Thank you.

  2. Thank you for your message,
    2 h 41 minutes for session/ 5 times a week, this too too too much. yo said that you started about 2 years ago, which mean that you are still a beginner, so these long sessions are for advanced athletes. this could cause injuries and make you sore always, you should know that too much stress on your muscles and body make they response too low and sometimes 0.
    my advice for you is that you should find a good master, because videos are not made for all people, so the master who trains you in person can know what you need according to your abilities.
    In case you are far away from any school of Taekwondo, you better do light exercises with low risks. about flexibility, people are not the same, some respond well while others do not. do not put the split as the main goal, the main goal should be master the kicking techniques.
    good luck.

    Master S.E.H

  3. Thank you Master for your reply. The first time I started taekwondo was in 1992 when I was studuing at the faculty. My coach at that time was Mr Mana Saidi
    He was at that time Black Dan 1, and now he is 6th Dan. So, If I continued training I would be 6th dan, too. But because of financial obstacles I could not continue. Later on in 1997 I found a Taekwondo school and trained again but could not continue because there were no means of transport, so I stopped. Then, in 2005 I bought a car and decided to train taekwondo. The school was about 50 km (28 miles) away from my home but I decided to start training. The first day I drove to the school I had a bad accident with my car and were unable to continue because I lost my car. Later on in October 2010, I moved to a big city (Sfax south of Tunisia) and found a big school and started training for three months BUT by January 2011 there was a REVOLUTION in Tunisia, and all schools were closed for nearly one year. In January 2012, I met my old coach working in the area and I started training Taekwondo with my two kids: a girl 7 years old, and a boy 5 years old Now, the girl is black belt She was very flexible and professional but my son is red belt. The coach encouraged me too much. I passed all the belts promotion until the red belt (WTF). Last december my coach moved to another place and I stopped training because he was the only professional coach in the area. He was preparing for his 5th Dan. That's why I started training at home using yiutube videos but I hurt myself too much. I love taekwondo too much and I have one goal: I want to be a MASTER. I don't care about time or age. That's why I train hard and hard. The only problem I have is FLEXIBILTY. I think that with flexibilty, kicking will be quickly masterd and that the body will quickly respond.Now, dear Master, you know my sacrifice and perseverance and patience. Will help me with a scientific and precise workout to improve my flexibilty in a short time? How long should I train a session (1 hour or more or less)? How many sessions a week (three? four?) Should I train and then stretch for 15 minutes for 3 times a week? Or should I dedicate a whole session for stretching only? Now, I stopped my workout because you told me it was too much. So, how should I start again. Thank you Master.

  4. Hello again, honestly your love for Taekwondo is really amazing, and we are sorry to hear that you had so much struggle with the practice.
    try to work static stretching with a partner, try to do 2 stretching classes per week, 30 minutes for each would be good, and be sure to start with a good warm up (8-12 minutes).
    This is just to help you to improve your flexibility and to fee more comfortable when kicking, but as we have mentioned before, master the kicks comes before high kicks.
    besides, keep 3 regular tkd training session per week (one hour each), that way you give your muscles an opportunity to recover and also earn what you have trained for.
    good luck
    Master S.E.H

  5. You are correct Sir, age is just a number. I began my Taekwondo journey at the age of 49, a little over 3 1/2 rears ago. I just achieved the rank of 1st Dan, something I am very proud of and greatfull for.
    With reagular training and stretching at home, I have become more flexible than when I was 20 years ago. My mind has also become more flexible. I am surprised at all of the new information that it has retained.
    Our school has an extensive corriculum, we train in ITF and WTF forms. Old and new. We also train in Hopkido.
    I was worried when I joined that I would be able to perform some of the material such as kicks and es
    Especialy the jumping and spinning type. I am byfar not as adapt at them as the teens in our school, put I am contstently trying to improve and learn new techniques to pecome a more proficient practitioner.

  6. I am 47 years old and began my Taekwondo training 2 years ago. I have the same flexibility issues, but I keep working at it. I train at least 4 nights a week in the dojang and then practice/stretch at home daily. I get frustrated when I am unable to do certain kicks with the ease of younger students, but I keep working at it. Luckily, I have a great GrandMaster and Masters to work with that are patient with us.

  7. I stopped training in early 40s. I'd had a long break and tried to get back into it but by that time I had neck and back problems (for other reasons). My physio (a TKD BB) suggested I stop because the head twisting on spinning kucks would irritate my neck.

    I stopped fir several years, during which I lost most of my flexibility.

    Eventually, I began thinking "TKD is supposed to be for everyone, so why not train but avoid spinning kicks?" So, that's what I did.

    It's all a matter of being realistic.

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  9. Hi there, yes age is just a number and the most of it is in our mind! I’m 45 now and just achieved my red/black belt after 4 years of training. Furthermore, I’ve never practiced any martial art in my whole life. I can say that obviously there are limits my body involves, but the right mental approach is probably the most of it: we’re of course not teenagers, so don’t be frustrated from what a 20 y o trainee can do in TKD; we can’t be compared on the same baseline of youngers! Gains in flexibility are slow... very slow... but there are some! I couldn’t perform a good yop chagi until one year ago... now I’m happy because even if my side kick is as high as my shoulder... it is (my GM says) very good in the execution! When sparring, my heart goes 180bpm... but I’m still able to have a 3 rounds sparring session with some 16-25 yo athletes, and place some good kick, chest and head. In poomsae local competitions, I scored 3 gold and 1 silver! So, be proud of what we can do over 40, no frustration, no stress. Just stay healthy and have fun! Alex, from Italy.

  10. I wish there was a way to click like on these comments here, I love the encouragement from different practitioners.