You don`t just have to do stick with Tai Chi type training, although Tai Chi is an excellent Martial Art in itself! As long as you have a good teacher who sees and understands your potential, you can master all sorts of things. I have had students from as young as 5 years and up to 67 years old. I have trained with others who have been well into their 60`s and have the desire to make a healthier, fitter and happier life for themselves. I train in Peterborough with Grandmaster Ian Parker (8th Dan) as often as possible and he has a student (John) who turned 70 last year!!! As long as you start slowly and build your technique and confidence up, you will be fine.
I would not recommend the sparring at first, as the stress it could put on your body can be quite tough, build yourself up gradually. I am happy for my students to spar, but they must wear Gloves, Foot protectors and Gum shield and it is `light contact`, safety comes first!
“Limits are only the ones that we put on ourselves”
If you have the desire and the gumption to join in and want to meet like minded people, then Martial Arts are a great way to enhance your life and make friends.
What if I can`t kick high ?
Kicks above the waist were only intrduced into the West in the 1960`s, mainly to look good in competitions. If you look at the forms we do, all the kicks are to the mid-section or lower. The combat applications from the forms we do, only have lower kicks and they were created thousands of years ago. My point is, you train the way your body lets you and you will still get the benefits that can be attained from the Martial Arts.
What if I can`t do press ups ?
You start with press ups on your knees and progress to tip toes. If you cannot pysically get down to do them, no problem, there is always something else that you can do and still be part of the class.