Tai Chi is a form of martial arts that elderly people can easily practice. It has slow movements, but requires balance and is good for you health. There are sword forms as well. Finding a good tai chi teacher may not be easy.
In my opinion, karate is a bit of a hard martial art, at least from my understanding (not sure about akido) I believe the philosophy of kung fu is softer and also perhaps well suited to older people because you can practice kung fu slowly and instructors do not generally discourage that as there is no prescribed speed for the most part at least for many of the forms. If I was old I would also try to work with a staff or large stick, though that tends to be taught to more advanced students.
Part of fighting I think is realizing that a fight is not simply a contest or points. Boxing matches are about points. Self defense is defending yourself in a real situation. There are no rules or referees neither for you nor the opponent. It is very important to stay relaxed. If you tense up, it effects your movements and your judgement. This is actually perhaps not at all easy as it may sound and there is a psychological component. A true warrior they say should not fear death. He would rather die than lose his honor. Unfortunately being wounded could be a gray area someplace in the middle, but as they say there are worse fates than death, again easier said than done ..
Maybe something like this book might give you an edge as well:
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Vital Points of the Head
Vital Points of the Neck and Throat
Vital Points of the Upper Trunk
Vital Points of the Lower Trunk
Vital Points of the Hand and Arm
Vital Points of the Leg and Foot
Vital Points of Pistol Shooting
The self-defense techniques described in the Black Medicine books are extremely dangerous. These techniques, particularly the use of weapons, inevitably reflect the author's individual beliefs and experiences that the reader cannot duplicate exactly. Therefore, they are presented for academic study only. The author, publisher, and distributors of these books disclaim any liability from any damage or injuries of any type that a reader or user of information contained within these books may encounter from the use of said information.
Excerpts from Black Medicine, Volume 1
She has great teeth, doesn't she?
"EAR LOBE: Under certain circumstances, the ear lobe can be seized in the teeth and even torn off, severely distracting the opponent. Women can use this technique to dissuade a drunk from amorous advances." Page 22.
Sure you can use your car keys as a weapon, but how?
"FACIAL NERVE: The facial or seventh cranial nerve emerges from the skull just beneath the ear canal, from which position it branches out to supply the muscles of the face which control facial expressions. A knuckle blow to the soft spot immediately beneath the ear will bruise this nerve, producing startlingly severe pain and possibly some disorientation due to the shock to the inner ear. This point is frequently used as a "releaser," in that a coordinated attack on the left and right facial nerves will disconcert a masher or strangler sufficiently to allow his victim to escape. A gouge at this point with a yawara stick is very effective." Page 25.
Who says karate books have to have dull pictures?
"SCIATIC NERVE: The striking point is the center of the back of the thigh just below the fold of the buttocks. The largest nerve of the body, the sciatic nerve, is vulnerable at this point. The sciatic nerve gives rise to the peroneal nerve and the tibial nerve, hence a kick to the gluteal fold will interfere with muscular control of the back of the thigh and the entire lower leg and foot. The blow also produces relocated pain the abdomen as well as pain and cramping at the point of impact." Page 73.
Actually, as pictured here, this kick stands a good chance of breaking the thighbone.
In a lot of places it is illegal to carry MACE or pepper spray. Hair spray is legal to carry everywhere. As for the legality of spraying it in someone's face, that's a different story.
"EYEBALL: The layer of bone behind the eyeball which separates the eye from the brain is paper-thin, and the brain case can be penetrated at this point by a knife, pencil, or even stiffened fingers. In general, any finger poke or foreign substance in the eye will serve to distract and temporarily blind one's opponent at the very least. Permanent blindness is also quite possible." Page 16.
Copyright © 2008 by N. Mashiro. All rights reserved.