The general advice you get from people is that age shouldn’t prevent you from chasing your dreams and aspirations. That advice is partly true; however, in self defense, age is a significant limiting factor to what you can learn and respond with. As such, some martial arts forms are inadvisable for people over a certain age.

Taekwondo isn’t effective self defense for men 50 or older because it can be too physically demanding for them. Men over 50 risk injuring themselves during Taekwondo training due to the immense performance levels the discipline requires. Taekwondo also involves punches and kicks that can lead to injury.

Before we delve deeper into the disadvantages of Taekwondo for men 50 or older, it’s worth mentioning that you can enjoy Taekwondo at nearly any age. However, the distinction here is that it may not be the best self defense available as there are other martial arts more suited for older men.

How Taekwondo Affects Men Over 50 or Older

Taekwondo is physically demanding, requiring high stamina, flexibility, and power. The training is intense and, therefore, unsuitable for men over 50.

Most 50-year-old men’s bodies are past their prime. The bones get weaker as the body has more broken-down cells than it can replace.

Your body’s muscles start getting weaker as muscle mass starts deteriorating. Furthermore, you start feeling joint pain caused by the gradual wear of the tissues lining your joints.

In a nutshell, your body is considerably weaker in your 50s than in the past several decades. Placing it through the intensity of Taekwondo will likely do more harm than good.

The rapid movements of Taekwondo can stress weak and less flexible joints, increasing the chances of joint pain. Men are likely to develop joint pain earlier than women, so there’s a high chance of joint injury in men over 50 trying Taekwondo.

Taekwondo involves intensive kicking and punching, which might stress an older man. Unfortunately, the risk of heart disease increases in people over 50, as well. It’s not a good idea to stress a weakening heart through intensive Taekwondo.

The martial arts form is a two-way street: even the best fighters take hits. Winning hinges on a practitioner’s ability to strike and endure attacks from the opponent.

A punch easily absorbed by a 30-year-old can knock out a person two decades older. The 30-year-old is also more likely to retain all his teeth after the impact; the 50-year-old might lose a couple.

The risk of serious injury in Taekwondo is higher for seniors. Furthermore, the younger person will likely recover faster than the older one.

Effective Self Defense Disciplines for Older Men

Unfortunately, older men are attractive targets for attackers as they are less likely to defend themselves effectively. It is, therefore, crucial for men over 50 to learn self-defense.

The best self-defense martial arts forms for older men are less intensive than Taekwondo but just as effective.


Boxing is the perfect self defense form for men over 50. It can be more easily tweaked than a traditional martial art to accommodate the demands of an older person’s body while giving them efficient self-defense skills.

Before starting, ensure you take the necessary safety precautions. Before wearing boxing gloves with a lot of padding, tie hand wraps around your hands to protect your wrist and fists.

Sparring is a significant part of boxing but is unnecessary for a man over 50. Your trainer can teach you the self-defense skills you need while wearing punching mitts.

You can also train using the heavy bag or speed bag. If you insist on sparring, wear headgear and a mouthpiece.

boxing is the perfect self defense form for men over 50

Boxing warmups can be modified to include low-impact exercises that protect the joints and place minimal stress on the heart. Such exercises improve:

  • Mobility
  • Endurance
  • Coordination
  • Cardiovascular health

Cane Fighting

Cane fighting is a popular self-defense form for older people as it uses a weapon some of them use for mobility. A cane isn’t a weapon, but it can be an effective self defense tool.

The martial arts form involves using a cane to defend oneself against common attacks. For instance, a person can use a cane to unsettle a would-be assailant before finishing them off with several well-placed strikes.

It’s effective among seniors because it’s easy to learn and doesn’t require intense physical exertion. Furthermore, it helps build upper body strength and balance.


Taekwondo isn’t an effective self defense tool for men 50 or older. Its intense nature increases the likelihood of serious injury in bodies already past their prime.

The best self defense forms for men 50 or older are boxing and cane fighting. They lack the intensity of Taekwondo but are effective self defense forms.

Furthermore, they help improve the health of the practitioners.

It is advised you look for a training program focusing on self-defense programs for people over 50. You’ll find trainers conversant with the needs and limitations of bodies over 50.