At the age of 65, clients and friends of similar ages have told me that they have been advised to go to a gym or start lifting weights to ‘strengthen’ their joints as they age. I believe this is the wrong thing for our joints, especially as we age. I believe the body and joints have different needs to maintain their integrity, and learning to move the body in an integrated and efficient way is the best way to do this. This means teaching all the joints in the body to work together effectively, to never leave one part in isolation.
At the age of 85 my mentor Dr Hatsumi, still practises the martial movements against much younger, bigger and fitter opponents. He said that it was not strength that is important but correct body movement. He once told us in an interview that he does not use weights or calisthenics to maintain this power, but natural movement principles, known in Japanese as ‘Tai Jutsu’, which literally translates as ‘skill with the body’
Following these principles and the knowledge I have gained over 40 years of training, I have now developed a simple time economic movement programme that can be done safely to develop these natural movement patterns and reflexes, which I believe to be the key to the health and longevity of our joints and spine.