NEW HARTFORD, NY…Clifford Crandall, Jr. has a message for everyone over age 60, “Get up, get moving, and enjoy yourself!”
Crandall, 75, founder and grandmaster of the American Martial Arts Institute, has produced a video series, “Still Alive and Kicking,” promoting life-enhancing activities for seniors. Crandall said he got the idea for the series about three months ago when he realized he would soon be 75 and saw what he describes as resignation from people as they age.
“I see people in their 60s and older who aren’t doing anything because they don’t realize what they can be doing,” he said. “Still Alive and Kicking” demonstrates a varied scope of physical activities available to improve everyone’s quality of life.
Activities featured in each 60-second video include pickleball, golf, kite flying, hiking, canoeing, golf, horseback riding, bowling, cross-country skiing, trimming Bonsai trees, and skeet shooting. Crandall added that he routinely participates in all of the activities that are featured. “I’m not just telling others to do the activities, I do them myself.” Topics for future videos include aerobics, bicycling, darts, and billiards. An activity does not have to be physically strenuous, and can be as simple as joining a library book club, Crandall said. The purpose of the videos is to stimulate body, mind, and emotions. “Anything that gets you up and stimulated is an activity, you shouldn’t stop doing them, regardless of your age” he said.
Crandall also stresses that a person does not need to become an expert at any activities but should simply do them for the enjoyment. “It’s not about being good at something, it’s about having fun, and I feel lucky to be able to highlight some great activities for the community”
Contributing to the community is at the core of Crandall’s beliefs. As a lifelong practitioner and instructor of martial arts, he has hosted the “Martial Arts Today” and “The Safety and Awareness Today” television programs as well as numerous “Secure Living” video segments for women and children. He credits his early martial arts training for instilling a sense of giving. “I was taught in the martial arts that once you become proficiently skilled as a black belt, you should share your skills and inspire others.” Crandall emphasizes that the “Still Alive and Kicking” videos are not necessarily promoting martial arts but any activity that people can find enjoyable.
Crandall believes activity is essential to quality of life. In addition to martial arts, he has made 947 skydiving jumps from airplanes, helicopters, and even a hot air balloon. In 1998, at age 51, he became the first person recognized by Guinness World Records to break a board with his hand in a freefall at 8,300 feet. Additionally, Crandall has flown power parachutes, jumped off high cliffs, taken part in dance competitions and even competed in body-building competitions, placing third at age 47. “How can you have quality of life if you don’t have any fun?” he said.
“Still Alive and Kicking” is currently on view at the American Martial Arts Institute website, AMAI-EagleStyle.Com and on Facebook at Facebook.com/AmericanMartialArtsInstitute/. Groups may also contact the AMAI for flashdrives containing the series at 315-278-7157 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grandmaster Clifford C. Crandall, Jr. is the head and founder of the American Martial Arts Institute and the American Eagle Style of martial arts with more than 55 years of martial arts training.
Prior to becoming a full-time, professional martial artist, Grandmaster Crandall was a superintendent of schools, high school principal, elementary school principal, and classroom teacher in New York State. He left the public education profession in 1984 to dedicate himself to the martial arts full-time, allowing him to travel to 22 different countries and train with martial artists around the world. Grandmaster Crandall has made numerous contributions to the field of martial arts, including authoring 14 books on the subject.