T Nation

Shall I Take Up Kickboxing?

I’m 40. My flexibility and cardio could be better. Lately I’ve been looking into taking up kickboxing: partly because I think it would help, and partly because it seems like time for a new experiece. But I can make up plenty of excuses for myself as to why I shouldn’t.

Has anyone here in their late 30s/early 40s tried this? I don’t mean are there any veteran martial artists here, I mean has anyone taken up this kind of martial arts at this stage of life? How was it for you?

I’m guessing I might never get as far as sparring, still less anything further … but who knows.

Dude. Just do it.

You’re only 40. That’s a great time to start doing new things. I competed in my first powerlifting meet at 39. And it was a blast and I’ve been competing off and on ever since.

I dinked around with martial arts off and on in my 20’s and then got semi-serious about it for a couple of years in my 30’s. It was a lot of fun.

Don’t worry about your age or anything. There are lots of guys older that have started in MA and done great at it and had a great time.

If your dojo is anything like mine were, you’ll be sparring from the 3rd or 4th lesson. It’s a great way to get in shape.

I’m 34 so just a little bit younger, but have been doing MA since I was 7. I have instructed many people from kids to seniors. I have no doubt that if you keep it as a hobby you will have a blast at it.

However, the caveat is that the majority of fighters spend decades training and literally kicking trees to kill the nerves in their feet and legs. They go to extremes to be even average fighters.

If your intention is to go to a dojo or dojong and get some great cardio and meet new people then by all means have a blast.

Please, kind sir, please don’t go in thinking your going to be any more or less tough than what you were before walking through the doors.

Its my humble opinion that at 40 you would be better off doing cardio or cardio kickbox, than actual kickboxing. Because when you get hurt, and you will get hurt, at 40 you dont heal like a 20 year old. Trust me recovery and physical therapy SUCK.

If you’re curious, give it a shot! I started karate at age 39, then moved to krav maga & weightlifting at 41 (I’m 42). I’m completely addicted to krav now, & my age hasn’t held me back at all.

I am 55 yrs old and I took classes in kick boxing last year. Really enjoyed it. Improved my cardio and flexibilty. And tightened up my abs. Lots of abs preparation. No I never sparred. But hitting the bags really took out a lot of stress.

The reason I am no longer taking courses is that I caught a hellacious cough/cold and lost my job. Unemployed for two months. The hours of my new job and the hours of the class do no coorespond. Hope to get back into it.
I say give it a shot. If you do not like it or become injured you can always quit. Good luck

[quote]Miss Parker wrote:
If you’re curious, give it a shot! I started karate at age 39, then moved to krav maga & weightlifting at 41 (I’m 42). I’m completely addicted to krav now, & my age hasn’t held me back at all. [/quote]

Not to highjack the thread but…do they teach Krav Maga in the states now? Worked with the Israeli forces once and they used it very… effectively.

Yep! Unless you are military or police you’d be taught the civilian version here, most likely. We do less weapons training. If you have specific questions I’d email fitandfearless.com here in Austin & they can probably help you hook up with a good place in your town.

Just do it, quit being a pussy.

As a physical activity, sure, knock yourself out (pun intended). Remember though that kickboxing is a sport. Treat it as such. It is not self-defense (though it will be sold to you that way to keep you coming back for more). Problem with doing kickboxing competitively is that it is a sport and most bouts are determined by speed and power, so you’ll always lose bouts to the 20 year old kid. Accept that now and you’ll be happy.

There is also a book by Sang Kim called “Martial Arts after 40” that might be of some use:


(FWIW I’ve done jujutsu for 25+ years and run a dojo on the side.)

– jj

Thanks everyone for your responses. Looks like I need to get my arse in gear and try it.

And, no: I’m under no illusions about what and why.