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  • Certifications for instructing senior citizens in martial arts?
    Greetings to all my martial arts brothers and sisters. I am looking for a school or organization that offers seminars with certification to instruct senior citizens in the martial arts. I have been active in martial arts for 37 years, and have been instructing for 32 years. I would love to offer an opportunity for senior citizens in my community to get involved in something that can add to their quality of life like it has for all of us in the martial arts community. Having said that I also wish to approach it in the most professional and safe manor. I have the utmost confidence in my own teachings skills, but also understand that there must be proven approaches that would insure that my program is the best possible. Thank you in advance for any assistance you might provide. Master Simle
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      Bill Emmes Hello Master Simile,

      I have been involved in martial arts for many years, studying Ju-Jitsu, Tia Chi Chuan and Hung Gar Kung Fu. At the age of 63, I have come to realizations of my physical limitations and how to overcome and adapt to possible dangerous situations in what I practice.

      I have found that the martial arts aspects of Tia Chi Chuan have provided me with a more subtle and softer approach on self defense. My instructor does teach a lot of senior citizens in Tia Chi to give them the balance and flexibility they need to feel confident in before exploring any martial arts interests. Most senior citizens, unless they had previous training are fearful of the physical demands of their interpretation of martial arts.

      During my experience in assisting my instructor, I can see that most senior citizens want to feel confident about the ability to defend themselves and not become a victim or easy target in society. Also, they feel that they cannot be as fast or strong as younger students. Kata, forms and normal exercise/technique drills are typically seen as extremely physical and also intimidating to most senior citizens as is participating in a class with younger and more experienced students.

      Having said all that, in senior classes, a more slower and focused approach to the limitations of the students has been pretty successful. No one is expected to be as fast or forceful of a student looking to be ranked and moving forward in their process. Actually, rank has no place as experience of martial expertise is given more consideration than what color a belt is around their waist. Actually, senior students seem to feel more at ease as they have spent most of their life acquiring experience and are so willing to pass on what they learned in a very humble manner.

      We all learned very early in our training that going slow and understanding the fundamentals of the techniques, will give us the ability to execute them properly. Speed will come with practice and the ability to not think will come thru the repetitions we do. Patience will be key in the instruction of seniors as they have a lot less confidence in their abilities.

      I personally like training seniors on the ability to use their physical conditions to their advantage. If a cane is needed for balance, etc - then cane techniques can be very helpful to building confidence. Strength is not always needed for successful execution of techniques, but the ability to apply submission to an attacker is always a positive, so I like the Ju-Jitsu/Chin Na approach to training seniors.

      I have seen senior students rise thru the ranks performing the standard taught techniques and forms for each belt requirements, but that is fewer than many. My opinion is that teaching seniors is better when teaching core necessities and using the physical situations in which they may be limited to in their individual situation, to introduce techniques that can be successfully executed against an unknowing attacker.

      I once had a 78 year old senior execute a throw on me that seriously would have defeated a street attacker with great ease!! Thank goodness I spent many years learning how to break fall.....otherwise, I would be learning how to use a walker for self defense!
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        Master Gordon Simle Thank you so much for your insights. Sorry I took so long to respond. My instructor found a new location, and we've been busy getting it going. I am still focused on running a senior program outside of the school environment, so your input is very much appreciated.
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      Brian Milligan Where was your old school and what was its name.
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      Brian Milligan Where is you Dojang Master Gordon Smiley. I cant find any ref. to you google. or F/B.
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        Master Gordon Simle My Kyoshi is opening a new school in Sun Prairie, WI in September. I will be the senior instructor, and sparring team coordinator. My former school was Blue Dragon Martial Arts.
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          Will - Black Belt Wiki [251968,Master Gordon Simle]

          Good luck with the new school. I hope you will let us know how the school progresses in the early days.

          Do you have any special plans for the opening of the school? Is there an existing base of martial arts students in this town?

          Black Belt Wiki
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            Will - Black Belt Wiki Also email us with your school info when everything is up & running. We will add it to our school directory (with an extra highlight) to hopefully help you gain some new students -

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      Brian Milligan The ITF Over 50 Harmony Development Program. Has training for instructors under the leadership of ITF President Gaston Casero. Contact him for further Info. 4 conferences have been held so far and they are well attended. Gaston also has a video on U TUBE describing the philosophy behind the Program well worth a watch. There is a class upcomming in Spain Feb 9th 2018. Run By the President and Maximilion Montel. I am 78 and started Taekwondo last year ,now have my Yellow belt and take my green strip benalmadina Spain. under my Sabum Maximilion Montel. My Sabum here in Scotland is Grand Master Sutherland GMSA livingston.
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      (deleted) Having your experience, I am certain that you could develop a curriculum that would be suitable for this demographic. My first counsel is to keep it simple. I would recommend a book called "Streetwise" by Peter Consterdine (also available in video). It examines real life situations which would be beneficial to the development of your course...
      I would be very interested in your progress.
      Godspeed with your project. I am certain that you will be successful!
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        Master Gordon Simle Thank you very much for your kind and encouraging words. I will definitely get a copy of "Streetwise." Godspeed to you and yours as well.
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      S.P. Congratulations on your continued efforts to instruct.
      (FWIW, in the karate kumite category of local competition in Japan, it seems the manner of classification is from age 55, one is Senior...)
        • 1
        Master Gordon Simle Thank you Sir. I continue to compete in kumite at the age of 62. Thank goodness for my studies over the years of alternative healing. ;-)
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      David Ianetta I don't have any help to offer, but I did want to say that what you are doing with a school for seniors is awesome!
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      Will - Black Belt Wiki The first thing that pops into my mind is the Cane Masters program (self-defense training for people who use a cane) -

      Black Belt Wiki
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        Master Gordon Simle Thank you Sir. I will definitely look into that. Thank you so much for attaching the link. Osu
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          (deleted) CaneMaster techniques seem to get a bit involved. Check out Soke Takayuki Kubota's "Tsue No Kata." It's a six part series of kata aimed at real life situations.
          Practical techniques with practical application.
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      Brian Milligan In Taekwondo there is ==== The Over 50 Harmony Program.=== a wonderful new addition to the Arts age defined groups.
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        Master Gordon Simle Thank you Sir. I will look into this program. If you remember any websites connected to this program, please feel free to share. Continued good health and happiness to you and yours.
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