Within "Why Martial Arts?" I'm currently developing a research project called "A Fighter's Life". „A Fighter’s Life“ in an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural approach aims at understanding why and how people become fighters, dedicate their lives to fighting and (have to) retire from it. Except for boxing there is little knowledge concerning development and transitions in martial arts and combat sports athletes’ lives. Particularly we don’t know why young people decide upon certain types or styles, why they change between them, how they develop into competitive sportsmen/-women, why they switch from olympic types of combat sports into being professionals or choose types/styles in which they can become professionals (such as Muay Thai, Kickboxing or MMA), or why and how—at the same time or instead—become coaches, „teachers“, „sensei“ oder „sifu“. Just as little we know about developments within lives as fighters, or transitions out of it, respectively what specific kinds of lives exist in this field at all. By the research project „A Fighter’s Life“ I’d like to bring some light into this darkness and for that purpose build an international team of colleagues who are ready to deal with this topic.
Why would and should people start and stick to practicing martial arts and combat sports?