Mixed Martial Arts

Karate for health & longevity

Mike Donovan, or Sensei as his students call him, has some tips on fitness and aging – and they include staying active, which he does by continuing to train in the martial arts into his 70’s.

Professor Mike Donovan celebrated his 74th birthday on Canada Day this past summer. He continues to train in the martial arts several times each week. Sensei, as his students call him, works at challenging his own fitness and skill by setting goals for himself. Last year, one of his goals was to do 73 push ups consecutively – his age at the time. He did it.  This year, it’s 74. Sensei can still do many of the skills he developed and practiced years ago. He has good flexibility because he has a regular stretching routine. His basic skills, including striking, kicking, balance, and movement, are still excellent. One of Sensei’s favourite martial arts is Arnis, in which he is a 7th degree master proponent. In May, Master Donovan was recognized as the instructor responsible for the development and propagation of Arnis in Ontario by the World Modern Arnis Alliance. When asked about his fitness and longevity, Sensei offered the following five insights:

  1. You need to stay warm.
  2. You must keep moving.
  3. You can eat anything you want but you must balance it with activity.
  4. Your body remembers your peak so getting back to sub-peak is not as hard as you think.
  5. Perseverance is the key to success; Never give up.


Submitted by Olympic Karate