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BPS106 Sports Psychology

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BPS106 Sports Psychology

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BPS106 Sports Psychology

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Course Code: BPS106
University: ACS Distance Education is not sponsored or endorsed by this college or university

Country: Australia


Essay Question – How does martial arts training affect self-esteem, self-efficacy and aggression?
Your essay should contain the following information:
An introduction to the specific topic you have chosen, including a definition of relevant terms and concepts (e.g., what is a martial art? what are principles of sport psychology?
A critical evaluation of psychological literature relating to your topic
A review of sport psychology research that addresses your argument.
Essay Question – How does martial arts training affect self-esteem, self-efficacy and aggression?


Martial arts comprise of a number of sporting activities primarily practised as self-defence (Iermakov et al., 2016). The origin of martial arts has its root buried in the Japanese tradition and custom. These Sporting activities are basically mechanism of combat and finds application in mechanism of self-defence, professional sport as well as training requisites to enter into military or law enforcement applications (Toros et al., 2013). In some cases, the use of martial art has also been reported for the purpose of entertainment and to instil spiritual and mental wellness. The term ‘Martial-Art’ has originated from the Latin Language. The word has been inspired from the Roman God of MARS (Podrigalo et al., 2016). Although, the application of martial art has now been restricted to East Asia, initially it was first used by the Europeans roughly around the 15th century as fighting mechanisms. Typically martial art requires a lot of passion, energy and aggression to be practiced in the right manner. The categorization of martial arts have been divided into a number of styles based on traditional and contemporary practices. According to evidences furnished by the scientific literatures, it has been stated that regular practice of martial arts promote a number of benefits in terms of physical, mental and spiritual wellness. The sports psychology operating behind the practice of martial arts is widely dependent on a number of elements such as emotional determinants, principles of biomechanics, body physiology and kinesiology. This essay would critically talk about the martial art sports psychology and the manner in which it affects the emotional elements of aggression, self-esteem and self-efficiency in the sportsperson practicing it.
Critical Evaluation:
Research articles have substantially revealed seven unique mental perspectives that have been associated in professionals who are trained in martial arts (Chen & Cheesman, 2013). These seven key elements form the basis of the sports psychology that has been found linked to martial arts. The first psychology forms the basis of adapting a winner like attitude. This involves believing in self and self-assuring an approach to win. This means that the athletes are supposed to paint an image of victory in their mind against the rival prior to the match and feel the effect of victory prior to match. This ensures putting in thorough effort in the game and development of a positive environment that helps in designing better combat strategies against the rival (Massey et al., 2013).  This attitude also helps in developing an optimistic approach prior to the match and accordingly boosts up the morale of the performance to a great level. The second term defines the ability of coping with defeat. This clearly makes the sports person aware that there is a possibility of defeat or losing at any point of time and losing does not mean the end of the world. It rather means that the sportsperson should be able to develop an attitude that like victory, defeat too is just another aspect of the game and it should be taken in the right spirit, in order to ensure that the athlete can come back again the next day and perform his best to win. The defeat is rather supposed to be taken as an encouragement and not as demotivation. The third theory that is implied in the training method includes instilling a feeling of trustworthiness among the athletes that the efforts they have put in their training session would speak for them and reflect in their performance (Vertonghen et al., 2014). The central idea is to make the athletes believe that the efforts that they have given for intensive training is a crucial investment whose value should not go unacknowledged under any circumstance. This helps in developing a sincere attitude towards the trainer as well as the effort put in during training. The fourth and the most important aspect of the martial art training psychology involves in being able to live and perform in the moment (Iermakov et al., 2016). The key to live the moment is to ensure that sportsperson are able to trust their training and instincts such that they are not conscious or affected by any distraction and are able to make the best use of their training and perform in the arena. The fourth psychological theory that governs the martial art sporting activities is the ability of the sports persons to be able to develop control over themselves and not get carried away by the distractions from the outside world (Smith & Sparkes, 2013). At the same time, it should be noted that the central theme of this aspect of the psychological theory is to be able to control impulsive behaviour and the other distractions that might go around in the outside world. Martial arts require intensive self-control and focus which makes it essential for the sportsperson to be able to segregate the outside world from the world of the ports and accordingly focus solely on their performance. Another key aspect of the martial arts sports psychology is that the individuals performing it must be able to retain their consciousness in every session (Schinke & McGannon, 2014). This comes by learning to never lose hope or confidence no matter what the scenario is. Hence, to summarize the key principles of the theories it can be said that the psychology principles revolve around the central theme of ensuring mental toughness in every form so that it becomes easier for the athletes to adhere to the aggressive nature of the sport. All the theories form the part of the guidelines of the Mental Game of Mixed Martial Arts which is abbreviated as MMA and is incorporated to impart successful training to the individuals undertaking martial arts training (Sanchez-Lopez et al., 2014).
Review of Sports Psychology:
Sports psychology is one of the most widely discussed subject in the modern age of globalization. Sports psychology deals with the effective study of the psychological behaviour of the athletes in dealing with the coaches or dealing with an injury and undertaking an all-round training so as to effectively enhance the performance output. The study of sports psychology is a multidisciplinary approach and it involves imparting training to the professionals in order to make them understand with clarity the key factors that would help in enhancing their performance as well as help them in identifying their key strengths and utilise it effectively to improve their performance. It comprises of the emotional aspect of the athletes that need to be kept in mind and polished according to the requirement of the sports. The concept of sports psychology was not included in the martial sector for a long period of time, however scientists dealing with sports education realised the importance of studying the psychological elements that affect the training of athletes receiving training in martial arts so as to ensure complete personality development in alignment with the sport requisite. Martial arts originated in Japan and some of the most common sporting activities included under martial arts comprise of Judo, Dojang and Taekwondo. It must be stated here that all the sporting activities categorised under martial arts require intensive physical as well as mental training (Ball & Martin, 2013). The training process strives to impart the central objective of the sports theme that is aggression and combat strategy. Evidences have revealed that it is important to channelize the inbuilt aggression of the professionals effectively so as to render excellent performance output. Successful martial arts training requires following a strict regimen of training that incorporates imparting the basic principles of trusting the instincts in order to perceive the next move of the opponent and being able to trust the training and entirely utilise the principles to perform the best and outshine the opponent in the match. The scientific articles dealing with the sports psychology in association to martial arts have reported trainees to feel self-sufficient and confident when exposed to emergency situation in life (Spencer, 2013). Literatures have also predicted the proactive and responsible approach of the trainees to be able to tackle difficult situations and emerge out from the emergency in a much easier way compared to untrained individuals who often delve into anxiety and depression (Bliznevsky et al., 2016). Due to the immense self-control that individuals trained individuals possess due to the stringent training imparted to be allow complete control of emotions, it is found that the individuals are able to adjust in adverse situations in a much easier way and are able to mould themselves accordingly as per the demand of the situation. Thus, from the evidences furnished by the literatures it can be stated that, effective training in martial arts sporting activities not only mould the physical well-being and fitness but at the same time also shape the mental behaviour of the individuals in such a way that they are able to uphold the ethical considerations of the game and implement it practically in their life (Muinos & Ballestros, 2014). It should be mentioned here that, martial arts also shape the mental perception of the individuals in such a manner that they are able to predict the next move of the opponent on the basis of prolong experience and adequately plan their next move. This means that the trained individuals are excellent observers and pay attention to the minute criticalities before taking up a decision even in practical life.
Numerous studies have been conducted in order to understand the effectiveness of martial art training in individuals and the degree to which it has created a positive impact in the psychological well-being of the individuals. Interesting, evidences have revealed that individuals trained in martial arts are alert, confident and extremely pro-active in carrying out day to day activities (Garcia & Spencer, 2013). Evidences also reveal that trained individuals tend to feel more confident and filled with positive enthusiasm that helps in effectively improving their decision making ability at times of critical situations (Ballague et al., 2013). It has also been reported in this context that female professionals who are trained in martial arts have high self-esteem and are self-motivated that makes them adjust to crucial situations easily (Follo, 2013). Global databases have also revealed that training in martial arts helps in massive reduction of anxiety and symptoms of depression. The findings of an interesting research that was conducted in a Brazilian gym revealed that individuals who were involved in regular martial art sessions were more confident, positive and proactive when compared to the control group that included a group of individuals who did not possess training in martial arts or any other form of intensive physical fitness exercise programs. Individuals trained in martial arts training are found to be extremely proactive and responsible for their own course of actions. Evidences predict that trained individuals often possess an attitude to fight for what they feel is right and shun away things they feel are wrong, this can be held accountable for the requisite of their training that requires a lot of aggression and power. Therefore it can be appropriately said that formal training in martial art helps individuals develop a self-reliant attitude that makes them independent, proactive, alert, responsible and strong which have been regarded as the key contributors of promoting and developing a positive personality in people.
On the contrary, arguments in opposition to the effectiveness of imparting martial arts training can also be stated which would primarily include the ability to respond spontaneously to mistakes or use of power to win an argument. However evidences such as the above have been rarely recorded to be present in the sportspersons or professionals. However, incidences such as venting out aggression and quick responsiveness have been found in younger professionals or children who are new to the concept and training of martial arts. It takes patience and a large amount of time to come to terms and adjust with the intensive training and the moral ethics that are associated with the sports and accordingly build an effective and a positive character.
Hence, to conclude it can be said that martial art is an extremely aggressive form of sport that involves intensive training and passion. It has been seen in the previous sections of the essay that professionals practicing martial art need a lot of focus and concentration to efficiently practice the sport. The use of martial art has been evidently seen to rise the self-esteem in professionals and other common individuals practicing it. This accounts for the reason why majority of the Middle East Asian schools have included one or more form of martial art as the school curriculum on a mandatory basis. This is primarily because scientific studies have revealed that children trained in martial arts possess high self-esteem and self-confidence. Additionally, it must also be stated that the inclusion of martial training in most of the workplaces of the countries from the United Kingdom for the female workers help in imparting life-saving tactics so as to combat any life-threatening situations. This is extremely important in light of the contemporary world scenario where the safety of women is the biggest global concern. It has been evidently seen that the formal training of martial arts imparts an essence of self-dependency and confidence so as to emergence out victorious from any serious condition where the safety of the individual is under question. Therefore, it must be acknowledged that receiving formal training in martial arts serves as a positive life-sustaining tool in association to the modern scenario of cut throat competition in the world and emerge out as an upright and active performer.
Balague, N., Torrents, C., Hristovski, R., Davids, K., & Araújo, D. (2013). Overview of complex systems in sport. Journal of Systems Science and Complexity, 26(1), 4-13.
Ball, K., & Martin, J. (2013). Self-defense training and traditional martial arts: Influences on self-efficacy and fear related to sexual victimization. Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology, 1(2), 135.
Bliznevsky, A. A., Kudryavtsev, M. D., Iermakov, S. S., & Jagie??o, W. (2016). Formation of active-effective attitude of 12-13 years’ judo athletes to sports functioning in competition period,pp 111-115
Chen, M. A., & Cheesman, D. J. (2013). Mental toughness of mixed martial arts athletes at different levels of competition. Perceptual and motor skills, 116(3), 905-917.
Follo, G. (2013). A literature review of women and the martial arts: where are we right now?. Sociology Compass, 6(9), 707-717.
García, R. S., & Spencer, D. C. (Eds.). (2013). Fighting scholars: Habitus and ethnographies of martial arts and combat sports. Anthem Press.
Iermakov, S., Podrigalo, L. V., & Jagie??o, W. (2016). Hand-grip strength as an indicator for predicting the success in martial arts athletes,pp 175
Iermakov, S., Podrigalo, L., Romanenko, V., Tropin, Y., Boychenko, N., Rovnaya, O., & Kamaev, O. (2016). Psycho-physiological features of sportsmen in impact and throwing martial arts. Journal of physical education and sport, 16(2), 433.
Massey, W. V., Meyer, B. B., & Naylor, A. H. (2013). Toward a grounded theory of self-regulation in mixed martial arts. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 14(1), 12-20.
Muiños, M., & Ballesteros, S. (2014). Peripheral vision and perceptual asymmetries in young and older martial arts athletes and nonathletes. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 76(8), 2465-2476.
Podrigalo, L. V., Iermakov, S. S., Alekseev, A. F., & Rovnaya, O. A. (2016). Studying of interconnectios of morphological functional indicators of students, who practice martial arts. Physical education of students, (1), 64-70.
Sanchez-Lopez, J., Fernandez, T., Silva-Pereyra, J., Mesa, J. A. M., & Di Russo, F. (2014). Differences in visuo-motor control in skilled vs. novice martial arts athletes during sustained and transient attention tasks: a motor-related cortical potential study. PloS one, 9(3), e91112.
Schinke, R. J., & McGannon, K. R. (Eds.). (2014). The psychology of sub-culture in sport and physical activity: Critical perspectives. Routledge,pp 190
Smith, B., & Sparkes, A. C. (2013). Qualitative research methods in sport, exercise and health: From process to product. Routledge,pp 110-111
Spencer, D. C. (2013). Narratives of despair and loss: Pain, injury and masculinity in the sport of mixed martial arts. Qualitative research in sport, exercise and health, 4(1), 117-137.
Toros, T., Salman, M., & Sar?, ?. (2013). The comparison of sports coaches’ pre-season, in-season and post-season leadership behaviours in terms of sport psychology. Journal of Human Sciences, 10(1), 237-245.
Vertonghen, J., & Theeboom, M. (2013). Martial arts and youth: an analysis of contextual factors. International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, 17(4), 237-241.
Vertonghen, J., Theeboom, M., & Pieter, W. (2014). Mediating factors in martial arts and combat sports: an analysis of the type of martial art, characteristics, and social background of young participants. Perceptual and motor skills, 118(1), 41-61.

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