Analysing the Psychosocial Impact of Martial Art Training: A Life Study of Four Generations of Karate-Do Practitioners
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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This paper attempts to address questions posed a long time ago by Back and Kim (1979) who conclude with the overarching question "what are the ends for which martial arts may be studied?" There are conflicting results in existing research on the psychological and sociological effects of martial art training; particularly regarding moral implication of a "violent" sport. Primarily using Bourdieu’s (1977) concept of habitus, life histories from four generations of karate practitioners were examined, including how one generation may affect the other. The study made use of semi-structured interviews, and the researcher’s auto-ethnography, which were coded and clustered into themes. Aligned with an interpretive paradigm the data is represented through impressionist tales. Through the views and life experiences of the practitioners the study concluded that martial art training, and the doxa of the fields, has been pivotal in shaping the psychosocial practices of the participants; building confidence, assisting with everyday life (work/careers, self defence, developing positive attitudes) and reducing violent tendencies. For future research it is suggested a larger sample be utilised, possibly incorporating other martial arts to compare to the findings of this study.
DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF SCIENCE (HONOURS) SPORT COACHING
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