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Psychosocial Benefits of the Martial Arts: Myth or Reality? A Literature Review

Psychosocial Benefits of the Martial Arts: Myth or Reality?
A Literature Review
by Brad Binder, Ph.D.
© 1999, 2007
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There is often controversy about whether or not the practice of martial arts leads to positive or
negative psychological changes in the participants. There are many who claim that practicing the
martial arts develops beneficial psychological changes and encourages good moral and ethical
development. Some martial arts, such as judo, were developed with this goal in mind. In contrast,
some claim that participating in socially sanctioned, combative
activities facilitates violence and
aggression. Most images of the martial arts in popular movies and television shows probably
help spread this second claim. Certainly the popularity of pay
view, no
barred, martial
arts tournaments gives the gen
eral public a one
sided view of the martial arts and a cause to rally
around for legislative regulation related to these arts. The changes in Asian martial arts through
history could support either view. While the Asian martial arts grew out of an environm
where one killed or was killed, in more recent, peaceful times the goals of many martial arts have
changed to address more diverse goals such as personal growth and self
If martial artists are concerned with becoming better people and reduc
ing violence in themselves
and in society, it is important to know which of these claims is true. They should also be
prepared to defend their ability to practice the martial arts against social pressures and legislative
bans or limitations. While there is
substantial anecdotal evidence to support the positive and
negative aspects of practicing the martial arts, it is important to assess whether scientific research
substantiates one claim or the other. A primary goal of this paper is to summarize the empiri
evidence in this area of research. Several other important questions that will be addressed
include: a) Are the psychosocial changes gained from participation in the martial arts different
from those gained from other activities? b) What specific aspec
ts of martial arts training affect
psychosocial changes? c) If martial arts practice is psychologically beneficial, is it an effective
means for psychological treatment?
Are the Martial Arts Beneficial for Us?
It is likely that
there are both short
term an
d long
term psychosocial changes from practicing
a martial art
. There are only a few studies assessing the short
term effects of martial arts
practice. In one study, a single session of jogging or weight lifting led to reduced tension,
anxiety, depression,
and anger
hostility in subjects immediately after exercise. However, a single
session of karate led to no changes in these measurements. It was noted that the activity level of
the karate students in the study was less than that of the other groups (McGow
et al.
, 1991).
This suggests a minimum level of activity is necessary for these changes to occur. In contrast, a
single session of taijiquan helped reduce stress levels immediately after a stressful experience
(Jin, 1989; 1992). Much more research in th
is area is required before any conclusions can be
drawn about the short
term effects of martial arts training.
In contrast to the lack of research on the short
term effects of martial arts training, there is a
growing body of literature about the longer
rm effects of martial arts practice. The findings of
most of these studies show that the
practice of martial arts leads to positive psychosocial
changes in the participants
. Many studies on this subject are cross
sectional in design
at martial artists with different belt rank or time of participation. These studies used a variety of
methodologies to examine students of jujitsu (Nosanchuk and MacNeil, 1989; Dan
iels and
Thornton, 1990; 1992), karate (Kroll and Carlson, 1967; Reiter, 1975; Duthie
et al.,
Nosanchuk, 1981; Konzak and Bourdeau, 1984; Richman and Rehberg, 1986; Layton, 1988,
1990; Nosanchuk and MacNeil, 1989; Daniels and Thornton, 1990; 1992; Fo
ster, 1997; Guthrie,
1995; 1997) and tae kwon do (Duthie
et al.,
1978; Rothpearl, 1980; Nosanchuk, 1981;
Nosanchuk and MacNeil, 1989; Skelton
et al.
, 1991; Kurian
et al.,
1993; 1994). In general, there
is an inverse relationship between belt rank or length
of time practicing a martial art and anxiety
(Reiter, 1975; Layton, 1990; Kurian
et al.
, 1993), aggression, hostility (Rothpearl, 1980;
Nosanchuk, 1981; Nosanchuk and MacNeil, 1989; Skelton
et al.,
1991; Daniels and Thornton,
1990; 1992), and neuroticism
(Layton, 1988). There is a positive correlation between length of
time practicing or belt rank and self
confidence (Duthie
et al
., 1978; Konzak and Bourdeau,
1984), independence, self
reliance (Konzak and Bourdeau, 1984; Kurian
et al.,
1994), and self
em (Richman and Rehberg, 1986).
While these results are encouraging to those who practice the martial arts, most of these cross
sectional studies do not control for self
selection and attrition over time. The positive traits seen
in higher ranked and more
experienced groups could be due to the students who had negative
traits dropping out of the activity. Also, there were no control groups in these studies making it
difficult to infer causality. One cross
sectional study by Nosanchuk and MacNeil (1989)
rolled for self
selection and attrition by studying both current and former students of karate,
tae kwon do or jujitsu. They found an inverse relationship between rank and aggression in
students studying in "traditional" settings. Former students also had
these lower measures of
aggression. This suggests
a decrease in aggression can be attributed to training
, not attrition.
A number of longitudinal studies looking at students of hapkido (Spear, 1989), judo (Pyecha,
1970), jujitsu (Daniels and Thornton, 1992
), karate (Daniels and Thornton, 1992; Foster, 1997),
tae kwon do (Finkenberg, 1990), and taijiquan (Brown
et al
., 1995) support the findings of the
sectional studies summarized above.
Martial arts practice cultivates decreases in hostility
and Thornton, 1992),
et al
., 1995),
and feeling vulnerable to attack
(Madden, 1990; 1995). They also lead to more easygoing and warmhearted individuals (Pyecha,
1970) and
increases in self
(Spear, 1989),
(Finkenberg, 199
0; Brown
., 1995),
and self
et al
., 1995). The style of martial art may be relevant. In a
study by Foster (1997), karate students, but not aikido students, showed a decrease in trait
anxiety. This study will have to be replicated becaus
e subjects were not randomly assigned.
Nevertheless, it suggests that certain martial arts might lead to changes more quickly than others.
If this is true, one hypothesis is that the more complex movements and foreign concepts involved
in some martial arts
produce changes more slowly.
It should be pointed out that some studies find no effects of martial arts training. In a cross
sectional study, Kroll and Carlson (1967) found no correlation between length of time studying
karate and personality traits. This
is in contrast to the large number of cross
sectional studies
carried out subsequently. In a longitudinal study, children who trained in aikido for 2 ½ weeks
showed no changes in self
control as reported by their teachers (Delva
Tauilili, 1995). It will b
interesting to see this study repeated over a longer period of time and with better controls to see
if aikido training yields measurable changes.
Are the Benefits from Martial Arts Practice Different From Other Activities?
Asian martial arts have much in
common with other physical activities (such as exercise and
Western sports) including: physical activity, physical fitness, skills acquisition, and social
activity. However, there are also points where they differ. Many Western sports tend to
emphasize co
mpetition and winning while Asian martial arts have traditionally emphasized self
knowledge, self
improvement, and self
control. Unlike Western sports, Asian martial arts
usually: teach self
defense, involve philosophical and ethical teachings to be applie
d to life, have
a high degree of ceremony and ritual, emphasize the integration of mind and body, and have a
meditative component. While exercise and physical fitness has a role in producing psychological
benefits (Husman, 1955; Nouri and Beer, 1989; Leith
and Taylor, 1990; McGowan
et al
., 1991),
it is likely that the non
physical aspects of the martial arts have a unique influence on the
term, psychosocial changes seen in participants
A number of longitudinal studies support the hypothesis that the b
enefits from martial arts
training are different from other activities. Judo training led to more easygoing, warmhearted,
and participating individuals than did a variety of Western sports (Pyecha, 1970). Judo also led
to lower rates of violence in youths
than did two sports programs (Paul, 1979). Taijiquan
training, but not control activities,
led to positive changes in overall life
., 1997),
reduced the incidence of nightmares
(Slater and Hunt, 1997), and
led to greater
in anger and mood distrubances
et al
., 1995). Hapkido training for military
trainees was more effective at improving individual self
confidence and group morale than other
forms of
training including fitness training, resistance training, and obstacle course training
(Spear, 1989). When assessed one year after they finished a one semester class,
martial arts
students showed an increase in their scores for feelings of self
control and
lower scores for
feelings of vulnerability and likelihood of attack
. Physical fitness students showed no changes
in these measures (Madden, 1995). One semester of tae kwon do
increased self
was not observed in the control subjects (Finkenberg
, 1990). A limitation of the last two studies
is that the subjects were not randomly assigned. In a cross
sectional study, Daniels and Thornton
(1992) found that
martial artists had a larger decrease in hostility
with time than participants
in badminton or
While these studies show differences between martial arts and other activities, not all
psychosocial changes seem to be unique to the martial arts. Taijiquan practice, as well as a
number of other physical activities, led to expanded social interac
tions by subjects with physical
disabilities (Blinde and McClung, 1997). Both taijiquan and moderate intensity walking led to
increases in self
esteem (Brown
et al
., 1995). Taijiquan, as well as a number of other activities,
decreased levels of stress afte
r a stressful experience (Jin,1992) and both martial arts training and
weight training led to increases in general mental health (Egan, 1993).
It is likely that some of the psychosocial benefits from martial arts practice originate from the
physical activi
ty since exercise in many forms can promote psychological well
being (Leith and
Taylor, 1990; Simono, 1991; Weiser
et al
., 1995). Nonetheless, research directly comparing the
practice of martial arts with other physical activities suggests that
martial art
s training
produces positive psychosocial changes that are greater in magnitude and diversity than
those produced by many other physical activities
. These changes may have different etiology
and it is likely that other, non
related, aspects of mar
tial arts training are important.
How do the Martial Arts Lead to these Changes?
In order to apply these results to one's own practice, it is important to understand how martial
arts training might lead to these positive changes. It is also important to kn
ow if these changes
occur with all styles of martial arts and all styles of instruction. It can be argued that what we get
out of the martial arts is what we bring into the practice. Nonetheless, there is also the possibility
that martial arts training mak
es us grow beyond what we bring. Some studies have tried to
demonstrate the importance of class content on the changes observed in subjects.
Nosanchuk and MacNeil (1989) examined the aggressive tendencies of participants at 7 schools
offering karate, tae k
won do, or jujitsu. At each school, they evaluated the relative importance of
meditation in the class, the amount of respect the students showed towards the
, the
and each other, the level of contact allowed to vital areas of the body, and the
relative importance
Based on this evaluation, they classified 4 of the schools as "traditional" (more
meditation, respect and
, less contact to vital areas) and 3 of them as "modern". To control
for self
selection and attrition skewing the res
ults, the authors also evaluated students who had
quit these schools and students who had moved from one school to another. Beginning students
in both traditional and modern schools had similar scores. More advanced students in the
traditional schools show
ed lower scores for aggression than beginning students. There was no
change in the scores of the students at the schools with the "modern" emphasis. Both Trulson
(1986) and Regets (1990) obtained similar results. In contrast, Egan (1993) found that both
aditional and modern styles of training led to improvements in general mental health. However,
the traditional martial arts students showed significant increases in scores for self
which were not reported for the students with a modern emphasis
in training. Most research
supports the hypothesis that it is the training environment and style of instruction influencing
these differences.
One study, however, showed that college boxers, who probably had none of these attributes in
their training, beca
me less aggressive with training (Husman, 1955). This suggests other factor(s)
may also influence reductions in aggression. One possibility is that the
or coach acts as a
model and "leads by example". Regets (1990) reported a positive correlati
on between an
instructor's aggressiveness and his/her student's aggressiveness. Conversely, a negative
correlation between an instructor's traditional characteristics and his/her student's aggressiveness
was observed. One interpretation of this is that the
instructor influences the student's behavior
through modeling. This is similar to the sentiments expressed by Musashi: "the teacher is as a
needle, the disciple is as thread".
At this time, it would be premature to rule out the other components of traditional training
environments since it is likely that more traditional instructors would self
select into traditional
environments and less traditional instructors into l
ess traditional environments. These findings
suggest that martial arts should be much more than just kicks, punches, and throws. The training
environment or the instructor or both influences whether or not positive psychosocial changes
occur in martial art
ists. Therefore, it is impossible to assume that martial arts training will foster
positive psychosocial changes because there are many differences between martial arts classes
and instructors with respect to their emphasis on physical, mental, and spiritu
al components
found within the Asian martial arts.
Are the Martial Arts Effective as a Means of Psychological Treatment?
Recreational and fitness activities have been shown to be helpful for various
special needs
populations (Van Andel and Austin, 1984; Maisto and Stephens, 1991). Since martial arts
practice can have beneficial outcomes, a number of people are looking to the martial arts as a
means to treat psychological problems. For instance, Guthri
e (1997) found that women
recovering from psycho
sexual abuse, eating disorders, substance abuse and growing up in
dysfunctional families reported that karate training was helpful in their recovery. In a case study,
et al.
(1995) claim that Shotokan
Karate helped a client achieve quicker results in verbal
One of the most cited studies in this area was conducted by Trulson (1986). Adolescents
identified as juvenile delinquents were assigned to one of three groups. The first group received
ditional tae kwon do training (involving meditation, warm
up exercises, brief lecture about tae
kwon do, and the physical techniques of tae kwon do); the second group received modern tae
kwon do training (only the physical techniques were taught); and the
third received a program of
increased physical activity not involving the martial arts. All groups were taught by the same
instructor for the same amount of time and in the same room. At the end of six months, the
students in the traditional tae kwon do gr
oup showed a decrease in aggressiveness and anxiety
and an increase in self
esteem. In contrast, the modern tae kwon do group showed an increased
tendency towards delinquency and an increase in aggressiveness. Students in the exercise group
showed an incre
ase in self
esteem, but no other significant changes.
Several groups have used other martial arts as a means of psychological treatment. Judo training,
but not the control activities, led to an increase in the social adjustment scores for
developmentally d
isabled subjects (Davis and Byrd, 1975) and modified judo training increased
the psychosocial skills for blind, developmentally disabled children (Gleser
et al.,
1992). Aikido
training for adolescents with behavioral problems led to larger increases in sel
esteem than
traditional treatment (Madenlian, 1979). Both judo (Greene, 1987) and karate (Gorbel, 1990)
have been useful in reducing dysfunctional behaviors in male, behaviorally disordered
adolescents. Judo has also been found to be a useful adjunct to
community programs for the
treatment of pre
delinquent children (Fleisher
et al.,
1995). Aikido has been successfully used as
an intervention strategy for middle and high school students with severe emotional disturbances
(Edelman, 1994) and other research
indicates that martial arts may help reduce behavioral
problems in children (Gonzalez, 1989).
While these reports indicate a wide range of therapeutic applications for the martial arts, not all
problems can be treated with the martial arts; aerobic exerci
se, but not aikido was found to be
effective at reducing Type A patterns characterized by: hyper
alert, aggressive, explosive speech
mannerisms, and hostile emotions (Jasnoski
et al
., 1987).
Perhaps the positive results should not come as a surprise. There
appear to be a number of
parallels between psychotherapy and the martial arts (Suler, 1993) including the concepts of
energy (
), distance, timing, and positioning (Seitz
et al.,
1990). In addition, blending,
centering and pre
empting (Saposnek, 1
980) have a practical usage in mental health therapy. The
concept of giving way (
) to use the strength of your opponent is similar to concepts found in
the writings of Erikson and others regarding methods of therapy (Gleser and Brown, 1988). One
of the c
entral goals of both psychotherapy and many martial arts is knowing oneself and the
world around us. As Master Sun says, "know the enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles
you will never be in peril".
These battles can be waged both inside and outside of ourselves.
Empirical evidence supports anecdotal reports about the positive psychosocial consequences of
martial arts practice.
Numerous investigations int
o this topic over three decades show that the
practice of martial arts promotes positive psychosocial changes
. Only three studies report no
changes promoted by martial arts training. One of these studies links this lack of change to
training that emphasize
s the physical techniques of the arts without the ethical, moral, spiritual,
or meditative components included. Three reports make a similar conclusion about martial arts
students who develop negative traits. It is not entirely clear how the martial arts l
ead to positive
psychosocial changes. The role of exercise and physical fitness from the martial arts on these
changes has not been explored. Only one study reports the physical fitness benefits of martial
arts training compared to other training regimes (
Spear, 1989) and none of the studies measure
activity levels during training. Nonetheless, it is likely that inclusion of the non
physical aspects
of the martial arts during training or the instructor acting as a positive role model or both play a
role in
promoting long
term changes. A goal for future research will be to design experiments to
determine which specific aspects of the martial arts affect these positive changes. Despite the
unanswered questions about how these changes occur, the martial arts ar
e finding a niche in the
treatment of psychological disorders and will likely prove to be a useful complement to verbal
therapy. It is gratifying to know that research is beginning to support the claims of the old
the martial arts can help develop
both better bodies and better minds and may lead to
a better, more peaceful society.
1) Cross Sectional studies examine subjects at one point in time while longitudinal
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more reliable for
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The author thanks
the following martial artists/social workers: B. Bickford, M.S.S.W., D.
Coleman, M.S.S.W. and K. Coleman, M.S.S.W. for their helpful critique of this manuscrip
... Storicamente esse hanno come obiettivo la formazione della persona nella sua interezza, dal punto di vista del carattere e della condotta così come della prestanza fisica: nei dojo (le "palestre" di arti marziali) tradizionali un preciso codice di condotta è parte integrante dell'allenamento e gli allievi, adulti e bambini, sono esplicitamente incoraggiati ad applicarne i principi nella vita quotidiana. Per questo motivo a partire dalla fine degli anni '70, periodo della grande diffusione delle arti marziali nei paesi occidentali ed in particolare negli Stati Uniti, hanno cominciato a fiorire ricerche e studi che mettono in relazione la pratica delle arti marziali con caratteristiche psicologiche, comportamenti e salute fisica (Binder, 2007). Le indagini hanno esplorato numerosi aspetti della persona in contesti sia individuali che sociali. ...
... In ambito meno generale è di grande interesse la rassegna di Binder (2007), che si concentra sui benefici psicologici e sociali derivanti dalla pratica delle arti marziali. Il lavoro presenta una rilettura critica della letteratura, organizzata attorno ad alcuni quesiti riguardo agli effetti specifici delle arti marziali, ai processi attraverso i quali questi effetti si manifestano e ad eventuali applicazioni in ambito terapeutico. ...
... La conclusione tratta è che la ricerca supporti l'opinione comune riguardo le conseguenze psico-sociali positive della pratica delle arti marziali, sebbene non sia ancora possibile affermare con certezza come le arti marziali portino a questi cambiamenti positivi. (Binder, 2007). Binder (2007) ha dipinto un quadro essenziale e chiaro del campo di ricerca sui cambiamenti di ordine psico-sociale attribuibili alla pratica di arti marziali, individuando i quesiti fondamentali ai quali si cerca di dare risposta: la pratica delle arti marziali apporta dei benefici di tipo psico-sociale? ...
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Martial arts have long since attracted researchers’ attention for the potential benefits on the psycho-social functioning of practitioners (Binder, 2007). The present work is grounded in the assumption that the inherent characteristics of Aikido might make it effective in promoting the development of cooperativity. Specifically, this preliminary research intends to verify the effect of Aikido practice on cooperative attitudes and behaviours. The pilot study on a group of 72 middle school students allowed us to develop and validate the instruments used in the main study. The main study involved a sample of 29 Aikido students aged 10 – 14 years and it adopted four tasks to measure explicit and implicit cooperative and competitive attitudes, as well as cooperative and competitive behaviours: a cooperation-competition questionnaire, a semantic differential, an IAT and a computerized version of the prisoner's dilemma (PD). Results highlighted significant correlations between Aikido experience, explicit cooperative attitudes and cooperative behaviours. No significant correlation was found between Aikido experience and measures of competition. Practical implications and limits of the study will be discussed to highlight future directions. Keywords: Martial arts, Aikido, Cooperation, Competition, Development, IAT, Prisoner's Dilemma, Questionnaire, Semantic Differential
... kata, poomsae), specific rules of behavior with the opponent, or short speeches on MA&CS ethics in their regular training. Binder (2007) states that Asian martial arts emphasize the integration of mind and body and have a meditative component through the teaching of self-defense, relating them to philosophical and ethical teachings to be applied to everyday life. The harmonious integration of mind and body through breathing, holistic body movement and mind concentration are the main characteristics of mind-body martial arts such as tai chi (Lan et al., 2013). ...
... These people may be drawn to potentially dangerous techniques, depending on the MA&CS style, context and characteristics (Green & Svinth, 2010). The image projected in the entertainment industry and some media contributes to this negative vision of MA&CS (Binder, 2007;Smith & Furlong, 1998). Furthermore, the use of MA&CS by radical movements (e.g., right-wing extremists, religious extremists, see Ekman, 2014;Ismail, 2013;Perry & Scrivens, 2016) as forms of domination also contributes to this "discourse of violence" which undoubtedly exists in popular consciousness. ...
Martial Arts and combat sports (MA&CS) are the subject of a dispute. On the one hand, they have been considered an ideal means to acquire emotional self-control. On the other hand, they have been considered aggressive practices which may promote violent behaviors. The current systematic review aims to analyze the evidence of the effects of MA&CS participation in anger and aggression, and the quality of this evidence. The review was conducted according to the PRISMA-P protocol. The studied variables were study type and aims, sample, interventions and procedures, measurements and outcomes. Nine studies (three cohort studies and six randomized controlled trials) were selected for inclusion. The following results should be viewed with much caution, as the volume of studies and the methodological quality of most of them is not optimal. Training in traditional martial arts seems to be an effective means to lower levels of anger and aggression. Regarding the age of subjects, there is a predisposition to reduce anger in the adult population. In addition, young subjects with violent or behavioral problems show a positive response to working with martial arts. However, the available evidence, overall, shows no relationship between MA&CS practice and anger and aggression levels.
... Las pautas de interacción que facilita la funcionalidad en el manejo de los aspectos negativos promueve el desarrollo del valor para enfrentar desafíos de la vida; el arte marcial enseña lecciones de vida que se aplican en otros ámbitos (Lantz, 2002). Otra fortaleza que correlaciona con esta área de la dinámica familiar es el autocontrol, la cual se ve fuertemente desarrollada desde la práctica marcial (Binder, 2007), y se relaciona con la obtención de resultados positivos . ...
... Las pautas que tienen que ver con el malestar están fuertemente influenciadas por la práctica del arte marcial. La actividad deportiva ha mostrado los beneficios que tiene en el manejo emocional, tanto en los afectos de bienestar como de malestar (Guillén, Castro y Guillén, 2003); por su parte, la práctica marcial reporta disminución de actitudes agresivas y disfuncionales en sus practicantes (Binder, 2007) favoreciendo también, a través de su filosofía, respuestas emocionales equilibradas; así mismo, otros estudios de arte marcial como el judo revelan que emociones como la ira encuentran espacios de manifestación adecuada (Oliva, Calleja y Hernández-Pozo, 2011). ...
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Resumen La psicología positiva es el estudio científico del funcionamiento óptimo, propone que las instituciones deberían posibilitar el desarrollo derelaciones positivas y de las fortalezas de las personas. Actualmente se cuenta con instrumentos para medir tanto las fortalezas (Peterson y Seligman,2004) como el funcionamiento familiar (Atri y Zetune, 2006), por lo que el interés de esta investigación va en esa dirección. En el presente trabajo se reporta el estudio realizado con 14 atletas de alto rendimiento deportivo, mayores de 18 años y seleccionados nacionales del mismo arte marcial. Losresultados señalan que las familias evaluadas tienden a la funcionalidad y presentan relaciones positivas entre las áreas de solución de problemas, involucramiento afectivo funcional y disfuncional del funcionamiento familiar, así como 7 fortalezas: perseverancia, amor por el conocimiento,optimismo/esperanza, valor, creatividad, autorregulación y mentalidad abierta. Se concluye que el funcionamiento familiar posibilita el surgimientode ciertas fortalezas en deportistas de alto rendimiento que practican un arte marcial y que en las áreas de dificultad se posibilitan opciones de crecimiento. © 2017 Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Asociación Mexicana de Comportamiento y Salud. Este es un artículo Open Access bajo lalicencia CC BY-NC-ND (
... As a result many studies have been conducted to examine the role of martial arts training on the well-being of adolescents. Most of such studies showed the positive role of the martial arts [Binder 2007;Vertonghen, Theeboom 2010]. There is also some strong anecdotal evidence testifying that the training of martial arts has positive impact on adolescents. ...
... The psychosocial benefits of martial arts are also studied by researchers. A review of studies by Binder [2007] underlined two major points regarding the role of martial arts on practitioners' psychosocial well-being. On the one hand, there is a positive relation between practicing martial arts and practitioners' independence, self-confidence, self-reliance, self-control, self-esteem, and easy-going and warm-hearted personality. ...
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Problem. The main purpose of this paper is to explain, using theories, how practicing martial arts could help enhance the well-being of adolescents. Method. The paper reviews and discusses literature regarding the nature of martial arts and the nature of adolescents and their well-being. In addition, study findings regarding the effects of martial arts and theories of well-being are discussed. The paper synthesizes these discussions into theoretical and conceptual frameworks. To do so, the paper emphasizes taekwondo (TKD) and the need-based theories of well-being. Results. The paper showed that (1) the well-being of adolescents has different dimensions or adolescents have various fundamental needs; (2) the training of TKD has different components; and (3) the different components of the training help adolescents meet their fundamental needs, thereby improving adolescents’ well-being. Conclusion. Need-based theories of well-being could be used by researchers and others to understand and explain why martial arts training improve the well-being of adolescents.
... Fighting, martial arts, and combat modalities are traditionally practiced to minimize stress. There is a growing body of evidence on the long-term effects of martial arts practice, with most of these studies pointing to positive psychosocial outcomes (Binder, 2007). Based on these results, it is possible to infer that practitioners of these modalities recognize and appreciate the results and benefits of the modalities in a more positive and meaningful way, either by an extrinsically motivated behavior of valuing the activity (identified extrinsic motivation) or by satisfaction and pleasure which physical exercise itself provides (intrinsic motivation). ...
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The identification of the practitioner’s profile regarding their motivation level for physical exercise engagement could be a behavioral strategy to increase exercise adherence. The present study investigates the associations between motivation levels, modalities practiced, and goals concerning the practice of physical exercise among physical exercise practitioners. A total of 100 physical exercise practitioners, of which 67 were women, took part in this study. The participants were engaged in extreme fitness program, strength training, fight training, Pilates, and functional training. Motivation level (BREQ-3) and expectations regarding regular physical exercise (IMPRAF-54) were assessed. A multiple correspondence analysis demonstrates preferential relationships between descriptive and non-inferential variables. Strength training and fight training practitioners seek these modalities with the goals of “Health” and “Aesthetics,” demonstrating low autonomy in relation to the behavior for the practice of physical exercise. Extreme conditioning program and functional training practitioners have as goal “Pleasure,” demonstrating medium and high levels of autonomy for such practice and Pilates practitioners have the goal of “Stress Control.” To promote and encourage the regular practice of physical exercise, this strategy could be used to take actions that increase the public’s intention to start or continue in a physical exercise program.
... Andererseits wird die Möglichkeit der Entwicklung von Selbstverteidigungsfähigkeit einem Expertenurteil gegenübergestellt. Binder (2007), der die Ergebnisse von 54 Studien zu physischen und psychosozialen Wirkungen von Kampfsportarten und Kampfkünsten -davon 39 Quer-und 15 Längsschnittstudienzusammenfasst, kommt zu folgendem vorsichtigen Fazit: ...
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Der Beitrag referiert Ergebnisse offener schriftlicher Befragungen von Eltern nach ihren Gründen dafür, dass sie die Kampfsportaktivitäten ihrer Kinder unterstützen. Es zeigt sich, dass Erwartungen an die psychische und soziale Entwicklung des Kindes im Vordergrund stehen-gefolgt von Aussagen zu Bewegung, Spiel und Sport und der damit verbundenen physischen Entwicklung. Geäußert wird auch die Hoffnung auf Entwicklung von Selbstverteidigungsfähigkeit sowie auf ästhetische und ganzheitliche Entwicklung. Nicht zuletzt wird von den Eltern Kampfsport als sinnvoller Beitrag zur Freizeitgestaltung betrachtet.
... Nous voyons aussi que les principales différences observées chez les membres les plus anciens concernent le bien-être psychologique, ce qui est en accord avec les observations issues d'autres études. (26) Ensuite, les sujets qui s'entraînaient plus de dix heures par semaine en moyenne avaient également des meilleures valeurs de santé mentale, vie et relations avec les autres, et score résumé psychique. Les effets d'une pratique assidue sont donc proches des effets d'une pratique durable : les effets bénéfiques seraient donc plutôt liés à l'investissement personnel. ...
Contexte et Objectifs : Les bienfaits d'une activité physique régulière en terme de prévention sont prouvés depuis des années. Le but de ce travail était d’évaluer si les pratiquants d'un art martial traditionnel japonais avaient des valeurs de qualité de vie supérieures à celles de la population générale. Méthode : Nous avons interrogé les membres licenciés du Bujinkan entre novembre 2014 et mars 2015. Une version française et une version anglaise du questionnaire standardisé MOSSF36 ont été diffusées sur les réseaux sociaux, ainsi que des questions nous permettant de mieux caractériser les sujets. L'analyse statistique a été réalisée par les biostatisticiens du Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Nancy. Résultats : Nous avons reçu 513 réponses issues de 48 nationalités. Nous avons étudié les valeurs françaises (125 sujets) et Allemandes (46). L'âge moyen était de 36 ans (±9,5), de 18 à 78, avec 88,9% d'hommes. L'IMC moyen pour tous les sujets était de 25,9 (±4), et la proportion de fumeurs était de 19,5%. La durée moyenne de pratique était de 11,3 (±8,9) années. Les valeurs de santé psychique, vitalité et score résumé psychique étaient supérieures aux normes pour les Français de 45 à 64 ans. Les valeurs de santé psychique pour les Allemands de 40 à 49 ans étaient également meilleures. Nous avons également observé queles sujets qui pratiquaient depuis plus de 10 ans avaient de meilleurs scores de vie et relations avec les autres, vitalité, santé psychique et score résumé psychique ; les sujets qui s'entraînaient plus de 10 heures par semaine avaient des résultats similaires. En revanche, en dessous de 2 heures par semaine, la santé perçue, la vitalité, la relation avec les autres et le fonctionnement physique étaient inférieurs à la moyenne. Conclusion : Nous n'avons pas mis en évidence de bénéfice franc sur le plan physique, mais le bien-être psychologique des sujets est supérieur à celui de la population générale, et cette tendance est corrélée à la durée de pratique. D'autres études avec des mesures plus précises sont nécessaires pour évaluer cette activité comme méthode de prévention primaire.
... Traditional martial arts practice is not limited to teaching self-defense but involves philosophical and ethical teachings to be applied to life [7]. Likewise, a high degree of ceremony and ritual, emphasis on integration of mind and body, and a meditative component are elements included in their practices [8]. Karate, in particular, which is widely practiced in the Western world, has been proposed as a way to achieve a sense of self-mastery and self-regulation, motor and mental coordination, and inner harmony. ...
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Purpose: Karate is a martial arts discipline which is widely practiced in the Western world as a form of self-defense, as well as a discipline to achieve physical and mental balance. However, little is known with respect to its specific psychobiological effects, particularly in relation to the influence that it may exert on the endocrine system. Thus, in the present study, we examined the effects of karate on several hormonal parameters of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal and Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Thyroid axes in long-time practitioners. Methods: Twenty-two healthy volunteer subjects (12 experimental and 10 controls) participated in the study. Experimental subjects were karate players with a minimum of 3 years of practice in this discipline. Blood samples for the quantification of hormonal parameters were taken in both groups. The Mann-Whitney U test was performed for each variable in order to analyze the differences between groups. Results: Statistically significant differences were found in cortisol and thyroid hormones, with the karate group showing lower levels of these hormones as compared to control. Conclusions: These findings, therefore, reveal that long-term karate practice is associated with a significant endocrine modulation, which suggests interesting psychobiological and clinical implications. Further research is needed to verify these preliminary results, as well as properly assessing its possible use as a psychosomatic intervention tool.
Das Ziel des Beitrags besteht darin, einen Einblick in die Gestalt und Bedeutung des Handlungsfelds Kampfsport und Kampfkunst zu vermitteln. Nach der Darstellung von Heuristiken zur Strukturierung des Feldes wird dessen gesellschaftliche Relevanz erörtert. Aus der Perspektive von neun wissenschaftlichen Disziplinen werden dann exemplarische Fragestellungen und Erkenntnisse referiert. Den Abschluss bildet eine Einschätzung künftiger Entwicklungen und Trends. Dieser Beitrag ist Teil der Sektion Sportarten und Bewegungsfelder, herausgegeben von Arne Güllich, innerhalb des Handbuchs Sport und Sportwissenschaft, herausgegeben von Arne Güllich und Michael Krüger.
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This book explores the convergence of psychoanalysis and Asian thought. It explores key theoretical issues. What role does paradox play in psychological transformations? How can the oriental emphasis on attaining "no-self" be reconciled with the western emphasis on achieving an integrated self? The book also inquires into pragmatic questions concerning the nature of psychological change and the practice of psychotherapy. The Taoist I Ching is explored as a framework for understanding the therapeutic process. Principles from martial arts philosophy and strategy are applied to clinical work. Combining theoretical analyses, case studies, empirical data, literary references, and anecdotes, this book is intended for researchers as well as clinicians, and beginning students as well as scholars.
Self-esteem changes among adult women who had been practicing seido karate for at least six months and had acquired the perceived ability to physically self-defend were examined in this study. The research site was a feminist martial arts dojo for women in a midwestern state. Thirty women, aged 26-62, participated in strucured interviews. All of the women perceived improvements in self-esteem after participating in martial arts training for at least six months. These self-esteem changes were perceived to be related to improvement in physical self-perception. Recovery from psychosexual abuse, eating disorders, substance abuse, and growing up in dysfunctional families was another commonly perceived consequence of martial arts training, and most of the participants who had experienced such problems believed their martial arts practice was a valuable adjunct to traditional therapeutic approaches. Significantly, however, they viewed certain aspects of the feminist environment, particularly its gynocentricity, as essential to the self change process. A relationship between the martial arts experience, particularly gaining the ability to defend oneself physically, and other attitudes and behaviors related to self-perception is suggested.
Empirical evidence has shown a positive relationship between physical training and selected mental health variables. In nonclinical studies the most significant effects of physical exercise have been on self-concept and body image. Two affective variables, depression and anxiety, also seem to be influenced by physical activity but to a lesser degree in this population than with clinical populations. Certain clinical populations appear to benefit cognitively and socially from exercise even though the activity may not be aerobically stressful. Theories that attempt to explain the relationship between fitness and mental health are discussed.
In this study, the Rosenzweig P-F Study, selected TAT pictures, and a Sentence Completion Test were administered at intervals throughout the season to the following college groups: 9 boxers, 8 wrestlers, 9 cross country runners, and 17 control subjects. The tests were analyzed for number, severity, and direction of aggressive responses. Significant differences indicated that the boxers were least aggressive of the groups, and that they tended to direct their aggressive feelings inwardly (intra-punitive) rather than outwardly upon persons or things in their environment (extra-punitive). Indications were that the intensity and direction of aggression of these various athlete and non-athlete groups were quite different. The Thematic Apperception Test was judged the best instrument for assessing aggression.
72 boys attending ATA Taekwondo schools were administered the Children's Personality Questionnaire. Primary factors D(+), F(+), I(–), and N(+) were significantly correlated with belt rank in Taekwondo. Canonical analysis indicted that Factors F(+) and I(–) were predictively associated with increases in belt rank.
The purpose of this study was to determine whether selected personality traits varied between two subgroups of martial artists. A total of 52 people composed the superior martial artist sample and 100 people composed the average martial artist sample. Based on multiple discriminant analysis, superior martial artists differed from average martial artists on the Adjective Checklist scales of Defensiveness, Self-confidence, Achievement, Dominance, Endurance, Affiliation, Heterosexuality, Exhibition, Autonomy, Favorable Adjectives Checked, Succorance, Abasement, and Counseling Readiness.