Can Adults Learn Taekwondo?

Elderly adult on taekwondo uniform

While Taekwondo is largely considered a great choice for kids, we sometimes wonder if it is also the right choice for older adults. So, can adults learn Taekwondo?

Adults of any age can learn Taekwondo as it offers many benefits such as self-defense, stress relief, increased fitness, self-confidence, self-esteem, etc.

Adults of any age can benefit from participating in Taekwondo. In fact, it’s never too late to start.

With proper guidance, you should gradually undergo a solid physical workout that would help tone you up and calm you down relieving your everyday stress.

Now, let’s answer in detail whether adults can learn taekwondo as well as some of the possible benefits this sport has to offer to older folks.

Table of Contents

Can Adults Start Taekwondo

Yes, adults can start Taekwondo classes as they can learn several skills valuable for real-world application. Some of these skills include physical fitness, discipline, self-confidence, self-defense, etc.

Taekwondo (TKD) is a popular sport practiced by people of all ages in more than 180 countries.

For some adults, Taekwondo may not be easy at first as they will be undergoing many activities that are new to them.

Such activities include kicking, punching, and stretching with lots of cardio work.

However, there are 6 million martial arts participants between the ages of 6 and 11, according to the Martial Arts Industry Association.

With 3 million participants over 18 years, and 100,000 being 55 years old or older, you sure can learn Taekwondo at any age.

And as you narrow it down to Taekwondo participation in individual countries, adults’ participation remains intact.

For example, statistic shows that approximately 31.6 thousand people aged 16 years and older participated in taekwondo in England in 2021.

Let the story of the 94-year-old 6th-degree taekwondo black belt (oldest ever sixth-degree black belt) also remind you that taekwondo is for all ages.

So, while Taekwondo is good for kids, adults also have a lot to benefit from the sport.

This is more so since older people have mature brains that allow them to have better learning flexibility and patience for memorization.

Since there is no age limit to healthy living, you can never be too old to get into better shape.

Taekwondo is about goal setting and self-discipline which everyone can benefit from no matter the age.

Also, considering the light contact nature of Taekwondo, there is less risk for older people to be injured especially when compared to other Martial Arts.

Note, however, that if you are an adult looking to participate in Taekwondo competitive tournaments, you may need to check to see if you are still within the required age range.

But if your sole interest is to learn taekwondo for the fun of it and the physical, mental and spiritual benefit, then nothing should stop your participation, not even your age.

Thankfully, Taekwondo is not hard to learn, making it good for beginners.

This is certainly the type of martial art you want to be involved in.

Now that your age isn’t stopping you from signing up for a Taekwondo class, let’s look at some of the benefits that Taekwondo has to offer should you decide to join.

Benefits of Taekwondo for Adults

Help Relieve Stress

Taekwondo is a huge stress reliever making it perfect for adults looking to relax their nerves after long periods of stressful activities at work or home.

Taekwondo training produces serotonin which is known to relieve stress, but it is more than just that.

Taekwondo being a stress reliever can also be attributed to the fact that Taekwondo is a beneficial form of exercise, and as you might already know, regular exercise helps the brain to produce endocannabinoids which produce sensations of calmness, and relaxation, and can also help to reduce the perception of pain.

Learning to strike by punching and kicking a defenseless bag is a great way to relieve stress.

Develops Physical Fitness

Taekwondo, just like most martial arts and fitness classes can greatly improve your overall physical fitness.

Studies have reported that regular taekwondo training can effectively enhance physical fitness, such as aerobic capacity and flexibility, and body composition.

Participating in taekwondo can help you;

  • build stronger muscles, bones, and joints
  • build strength, speed, stamina, and balance
  • develop flexibility and mobility
  • improve coordination
  • combat obesity (weight loss)
  • increase cardiovascular endurance
  • develop sharper reflexes

After just a few weeks, expect to start noticing your reflexes getting faster, and your muscles getting stronger as you learn to kick, punch and block.

And as you practice more, you will develop balance and gain core strength.

Improves Your Heart Condition

Taekwondo is a promoter of healthy hearts both in elderly men and women.

For example, a trial has shown the positive effect of regular taekwondo training in the reduction of hypertension in elderly women.

When you participate in martial arts classes such as taekwondo, you undergo intense cardiovascular workouts.

Taekwondo training stresses the heart, leading to improvements in your cardiovascular health.

So, as stated earlier, high-intensity taekwondo training sessions can give you an improved level of fitness which lowers your heart rate and blood pressure.

You Learn to Defend Yourself

Taekwondo is an effective martial art or combat sport that is a powerful tool for self-defense.

Taekwondo literally means “art of hand and foot fighting,” and is more than two thousand years old.

Yet, its physical and spiritual content has never been so vigorously sought after and practiced as it is now.

Uniquely developed in Korea, Taekwondo is largely considered the oldest self-defense martial art in the world.

Interestingly, some adults sign up for Taekwondo just for the main purpose of learning self-defense techniques.

And if you are one of those adults, you shouldn’t have any trouble since most taekwondo schools have dedicated adult self-defense programs.

Improves Self-Confidence and Self Esteem

Self-confidence is an issue not only for kids but also for some adults.

Luckily, being proficient in Taekwondo sure helps to develop self-confidence.

Taekwondo improves the self-esteem and confidence of all participants using its built-in core values such as courtesy and respect.

Taekwondo makes a difference not just to your skill and fitness levels but your outlook on life.

Confidence is about self-belief and the ability to succeed.

Once you go beyond beginner classes and start to develop form and take part in sparring, you will be amazed at how that impacts other parts of your life.

With taekwondo, you become more comfortable in all situations, whether you’re in danger or just doing a task that takes you beyond your comfort zone.

 You’ll discover you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.

It Is an Activity to Share With Your Kids

If you have kids, taking taekwondo classes will surely be a great opportunity to bond with them.

Not only will you be able to help one another, but you can practice and stretch together at home, therefore, promoting a healthy lifestyle in the house.

Socializing Opportunity

Yes, taekwondo is an individual sport, but it remains a group activity requiring teamwork and support to succeed.

This is true for you and your kids who may be taking a Taekwondo class.

According to legendary Greek philosopher Aristotle “Man is by nature a social animal” who doesn’t always like to be alone.

Being alone, especially for extended periods is never fun and it can sometimes get quite depressing.

So, taking Taekwondo class a few times, or even just once a week, can be a great way to get out of the house, get a change of scenery, meet new people, and possibly make new friends.

The truth is that friends are important and a Taekwondo class is a great place to find them.

You Feel Happier and Better

Participating in taekwondo is a great way to lift your mood and feel happier about yourself and your environment.

This is because Taekwondo training causes your brain to produce an excess of neurotransmitters such as serotonin.

Serotonin is a chemical produced by the brain which produces feelings of joy, happiness, elation, and calmness.

Serotonin, also known as the “feel good” neurotransmitter, plays a part in our well-being and is important in balancing mood.

This chemical would make you feel happier than you usually would.

This makes it useful for fighting depression and anxiety, which are usually caused by a lack of serotonin in the brain and an overall imbalance of neurochemicals.

Also, the simple fact that Taekwondo is a social activity will make you feel happier since you get to socialize with people and make new friends.

Let’s not also forget the joy and happiness you would get from learning a new discipline and learning to defend yourself as well.

Is Tae Kwon Do Good for Adults?

Taekwondo is good for adults as it helps them to relieve stress, learn self-defense skills, improve fitness, develop discipline, and increase general happiness.

First, taekwondo gets you out of the house, office, or wherever you find yourself and into a world of learning.

My uncle started Taekwondo at the age of 31. He retired at 44 but still considers it one of the best things he did.

He was physically active, and it was a place where he could go after work and forgets his day by plunging into round kicks, side blocks, spin hook kicks, and more.

He may have been a little sore now and then, but he doesn’t regret going.

I guess just like most things in life, you get out of it what you put in it.

He met a few people, but was there for himself, and not just to make friends.

So, I highly encourage you to join, even if you don’t intend to go far up the chain.

Instructors love adult classes because they have a strong work ethic and are most times very committed to learning.

For more on this, visit my article Is Taekwondo Good for Beginners?

Can You Be Too Old for Taekwondo?

You are never too old to learn taekwondo since it provides amazing benefits necessary for your mind and body.

Asking if you’re too old to start taekwondo is like asking if you’re too old to care about your health, your balance, your confidence, and your overall fitness.

So, NO! You’re never too old to begin taekwondo and enjoy all the benefits of a sport that exercises your mind and body. 

And while you are not too old to learn taekwondo, you are also not too old to get good at it.

For sure, most Olympic medalists started before the age of 20, but other famous martial artists, like Michelle Yeoh and Chuck Norris, didn’t even set foot into a dojo until they were adults.

There are even practitioners in their 90s.

So, no matter your age, taekwondo offers some great benefits that you shouldn’t miss out on.


Taekwondo is great for adults of all ages, and while it might be easy to think that kids and teens are the greatest beneficiaries of the sport, adults also have a lot to benefit from by participating.

Age is not a barrier, so don’t let that hold you back from enjoying the enormous benefits that this art has to offer you.

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