With the improvements to healthcare and technology, it seems we have more prolonged and healthier lives than ever before. This means since we’re living longer, there are even more elderly residents with each passing year.
Since the elderly these days are more able to get out and about, they’re exploring at older ages, but the problem is that aging citizens are viewed as easy targets by criminals. People aged above 65 are often victim of physical or verbal abuse, scams or larceny.
But just because they’re old doesn’t mean that seniors need to give up, they can just as easily pick up the gloves and learn to retaliate. Self-defense has many branches, from intimidating language to martial art skills and even non-lethal weapons. Plus, an elderly person who learns the skills to protect themselves will live an active lifestyle that will only help them further into their later years.
Yes, old people aren’t as quick and agile as a teenager. Still, with slowly ramping and well-planned exercise they can still achieve an enviable physical condition – remember Mr. Miyagi from Karate Kid? Despite his old age, no one would dare to mess with him. But even in reality it’s a good idea that seniors with fragile bodies should start by practicing T’ai Chi.
This isn’t really a self-defense technique, but it helps the muscles get accustomed to more intense movements. We also recommend searching for a self-defense class specifically for older adults. Being in the same age group won’t make them feel uncomfortable, and the exercises and moves taught won’t require as much movement, bending or kneeling either. There are even special courses such as ‘Cane Fu’ or ‘Verbal Judo’, which teaches the elderly how to speak and act in an intimidating manner.
Of course, aging adults don’t need to undergo a whole martial art class to protect themselves from a thug, all they need is a competent weapon. In most cases seniors choose the most drastic option – guns – but there are other, less lethal alternatives as well (most of which require far less skill).
A personal alarm, for example, is a small item that starts shrieking the moment the pin is pulled out, loudly calling attention to the user in peril. There are also stun guns disguising themselves as cellphones, so the thief asking for your valuables can have a shocking surprise.
If you like the idea of electrocuting people, but want a solution that extends over arm’s reach, then arm yourself with a zap cane and go wild. Pepper sprays and sturdy batons are also on the wish list of seniors who fall victim to pickpocketing or abuse. But don’t forget: these are for self-defense only, because threatening innocent civilians is naturally punishable by the law.
Other Benefits From Learning Self-Defense
The idea of seniors learning how to fend for themselves will surely change their life for the better. Regular exercise will bring back their appetite for life, not to mention the freedom that comes with an increased level of fitness.
Having a new challenge in their life will chase away depression, while visiting the classes may introduce them to new friends around their age. Also, the knowledge they have with the ability to defend themselves will show in their behavior, as they’ll appear more collected, confident and energetic.