Saturday, September 26, 2009

Cane-Fu: Martial Arts for the Elderly (Video 1:59 mins.)

Although the U.S. Justice Department states that the elderly are the least likely to be targeted by violent crimes, it doesn’t hurt for them to be prepared and in better physical shape if they are attacked. And a cane is one weapon that can be carried anywhere. Sure, everybody jokes about using the everyday walking cane as a weapon, but at a retirement home in Maryland and at about 100 locations around the country, they aren’t joking. Cane-fu classes have been going on about ten years.

The goal, of course, is confidence building, a trait that can help anyone feel stronger and more in control. Seniors learn specific skills to help defend themselves and incorporate physical exercise during the learning process. Just knowing that the cane can do more than help them walk is empowering. Many of the class participants say they don’t walk the streets alone anyway.

Hopefully, most seniors will never have to defend themselves with canes, and it’s certainly not encouraged for the weak. I have observed how many seniors enjoy exercises using the Wii games and doing Zumba dance aerobics to Latin rhythms. Cane-fu fighting is another sign of the times, particularly in terms of senior exercise.

In this video, seniors participate in a Cane-fu class.

Frances Shani Parker, Author
"Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes”
“Hospice and Nursing Homes Blog”

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