I have been a fan of martial arts since I was a kid. I begged my father when I was a teen to register me into a martial art school, like Aikido, but he never actually did it. I was frustrated, and learned boohoo moves from movies (Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Delon Tam, Meng Fei, you name it. I watched every kungfu movie there is, imitate the moves and back when I was a teenager I called it martial art of my own, lmao!). I had a fare share of my addiction to those wing chun and snake moves, ya know. Thought I was some sort of Kung Fu master back then.

Anyway, getting to the point. I was thinking of doing martial arts, but I am already 26, and I believe my body is not anymore ready as my joints might be stiff (such as doing splits and all that).

Inspired from watching Cobra Kai, at this time, I want to learn Karate, and probably entering a dojo in our town nearby. My question is: do you think I can still learn the moves and kicking techniques in my age? I maybe able to do the blocking and punching, but I fear doing all the other kicking skills won't apply.

  • Keep in mind Cobra Kai karate does not exist. Most karate styles don't do things like you see in the Cobra Kai TV series. Sorry. The closest thing is MMA. You could maybe look into American Kenpo Karate as well (Ed Parker style). Or Chinese Kempo. I recommend looking around near you to see what different schools teach. And look stuff up on the web. Good luck! Feb 27, 2019 at 16:49
  • @SteveWeigand thanks for the heads up. I heard that some schools in America tried to override the fame of the movies way back Karate Kid, and used it. Cobra Kai Jiu Jitsu if I am not mistaken. I was thinking of Shotokan Karate or yes, Kenpo Karate and how they differ. I thought, is there a style of Karate that is best for self defense and street fight together? Kyokushin, maybe?
    – Xelza
    Feb 27, 2019 at 17:20
  • What do you want? Karate or practical self-defense? Does the style matter or the goal? Feb 27, 2019 at 17:24
  • @SteveWeigand the goal. There's MMA around here as well, but as far as I know every one who joins I think have to sign a waiver or something that they will join a tournament of some sort. I dunno if I am right about this though. I just want to train for those two purposes anyway. I've been eyeing Karate for awhile because it's quite the popular ones here with a lot of dojos.
    – Xelza
    Feb 27, 2019 at 17:28
  • If you want self-defense, karate is totally wrong for you. The self-defense knowledge is gone. Please read my answer here: martialarts.stackexchange.com/questions/7006/… Feb 27, 2019 at 22:04

2 Answers 2


26? Oh, you sweet summer child…

You are absolutely fine.

That said, if you are unfit and stiff, it will take time to get get fit and more flexible. Take it slow and steady. Do not over do it. Listen to your body and allow time to heal if/when you over do it.

If you were really concern, review your diet to eat better and more healthily, look at your sleep routines to get enough rest, and avoid all SCAM. You might even join a gym to increase your fitness. Just careful not to over do it.

  • 3
    Absolutely this: We have students who started training for the first time in their 40s. The important thing is to build up slowly, and manage your expectations - do not expect miracles overnight. But do consider taking a video of your flexibility and technique after you've your first couple of lessons, then another after 3 or 6 months to compare - you will probably be surprised by how much you have improved. Feb 27, 2019 at 11:29
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    Thank you both for your comments and replies! Will start this summer for sure! <3
    – Xelza
    Feb 27, 2019 at 13:17
  • 2
    You are never too old to start with Karate: yakimaherald.com/news/watch--year-old-sensei-passion-for-karate/… Feb 27, 2019 at 16:19
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    @Chronocidal 40s? At my (TKD) school, we have a student who started in his 70s!
    – Mike P
    Feb 27, 2019 at 16:33
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    @Xelza Why start in the summer? Start now. Just do it. Feb 28, 2019 at 10:15

Your motivations for learning karate is wrong and will not sustain you through the learning process. Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Cobra Kai.... these are all fantasy.

Your age (26) will not be the deterrent, but your reasons for joining, yes. You will sign up for class and realize in disappointment that traditional martial art classes are boring. Some do punches for 2 hours, others practice the same kata over and over and over and over.

I've had parents who try to sign up their kids after watching Karate Kid (old/new) and I politely turn them away. Experience has proven these children quit after 1 month.

It's time to ask yourself this question. What do you expect to get out of it? Do you want to be like Jackie Chan or Jet Li? Then I suggest you take up 'tricking'.

Do you want to learn self defence ? (somebody answered that above)

Do you want to train martial arts to challenge your mind and body and integrate the budo philosophy in your life?

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