Martial arts and aggression

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by kempodisciple, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Hey everyone,
    So I've been having to plan an experiment for my psychology class, and its about martial arts effect on aggression (whether it causes an increase or decrease in aggression or has no effect on aggression). Chose it because some people in my class had a discussion about how martial arts and fighting are only done by aggressive people, and it just makes them more aggressive, which i completely disagree with. Just curious, what does everyone on here think the relationship is between aggression and martial arts?
     
  2. Kaygee

    Kaygee Blue Belt

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    If anything, it hasn't really changed me a bit, as far as aggression goes. It has only built self confidence in me, nothing else. I was never aggressive and would always walk away from a confrontation rather that actually deal with it, even before I started training in Martial Arts.

    Like I stated, I do have more self confidence though because, not only do I go places now without worrying about being beat up, but I know that if a confrontation does arise, I am saving THEM from ME and not the other way around when I walk away.

    It has "quieted my mind" a bit though and I tend to think about things before I act. Like, for instance, I always had a bit, not much, but a bit, of road rage sometimes. Now I have zero! I actually find it humorous now when people yell at me from behind a glass window and I cannot understand a word they are saying. Why expend the energy to get angry? Just move on with life.
     
  3. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    I would say I am far less aggressive now, after about five years of training. Perhaps because I know what I am not capable of and don't want to start something I can't finish. My reality has overtaken my imagination with regard to my capabilities.
     
  4. oftheherd1

    oftheherd1 Senior Master

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    Back when I studied TKD I was taught that we should always seek to walk away from a confrontation if at all possible. When I began studying HKD, I found a slightly different attitude. There seemed to be a slightly less inclination to retreat. I think that is because Hapkido is very defensive in nature. We would be prepared to react to an offensive move. That may sound a little strange, and may by wrong on my part, due to my misinterpretation. See if you get more Hapkido students that agree or disagree. And I don't mean to say we were taught to be agressive by any means, other than as the art dictates. And it does tend to be quite damaging when it is necessary to employ it. But we are taught to try and avoid confrontation.

    EDIT: I should add that I was not an agressive person before I started either MA, and remain so.
     
  5. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

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    My girl Dr. Laura says, things like smoking, or gambling are acts of aggression, and I think given the fact that Martial arts will improve your confidence, it can be mistaken for aggression. For the most part, discipline, and self discipline will naturally decrease aggression and simply make you a more direct person, but I wouldn't call that aggression. :)
     
  6. WC_lun

    WC_lun Senior Master

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    I think this is one of those questions that the answer will vary greatly. In my opinion, it depends upon the school and training. I see schools in the area that I can virtually guarantee that students with more than six months training will be aggressive. Those schools train in a very militaristic manner and also teach that aggression equates to skill.


    Other schools in the area train hard, but aggression is not emphasized. Students from those schools will only be aggressive if it is in thier personality. I notice that many of these schools do seem to concentrate more on counter fighting rather than focusing on offense.


    Through years of training and teaching I have also noticed what we called the "green sash attitude." It seems that at around three years training many guys tend to get a little aggressive and arrogant...especially if they are young guys. It is easily cured by having them work with senior students more than junior students. It is interesting that it happens enough that we have noticed it.
     
  7. Aiki Lee

    Aiki Lee Master of Arts

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    Not aggressive but probably more assertive. I think people confuse the two. With martial arts training comes confidence (whether deserved or not) and with that confidence comes an elimination of fear to act or speak your mind. It varies from person to person but overall u think it helps one be more assertive.

    A year or so ago I wrote a research paper and found some fairly conclusive data that traditional martial arts classes ( more specifically arts of Japanese origin) have similar effects on people that are sought through certain forms of therapy.
     
  8. decepticon

    decepticon Green Belt

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    In my experience, I feel that martial arts training has made me less aggressive in general - I know I can defend myself effectively so I don't feel the need to leap into the fray for every minor offense. We also receive quite a bit of situational awareness training so I think it is much less likely than before that I would be faced with a situation that would call for aggression.

    However, I also believe that my training has given me the ability to be much more effectively aggressive should a confrontation reach the level of physical action. Assuming that I would react in a real life situation in a similar manner that I do during testing and intense sparring sessions, there will be a lot less aimless flailing around, connecting with minimal force in somewhat random locations, and a lot more precise strikes intentionally delivered to specific locations for the purpose of disabling my attacker. Depending on the intensity/danger of the attack, the purpose could range from merely a significant warning blow that would create enough discomfort to keep my friend's drunk cousin from getting overly familiar with me all the way up to the death of an attacker who was threatening to kill me and armed with the intent to do so.

    One other issue to consider is that I now have a better grasp of the vocabulary of aggression, regardless of whether my aggression level has changed, which might cause outsiders to think that I am actually more aggressive. Before training I might have described my response to an attack as something like, "I would hit and kick and fight my way free!". Now, I can barely even verbalize my true intentions because of premeditation legalities, and if I do try to explain what I would do in the case of an attack, what I plan and how I describe it does sound very grim and scary to anyone not familiar with martial arts.
     
  9. chinto

    chinto Senior Master

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    I think if anything it will tend to lessen the level of aggression as they began to understand how vulnerable the body is. I am not that aggressive, but then I have also not been one to back down either.

    I think it depends on the definition of aggression. I had a psychology professor years ago that thought that any, and I mean any kind of aggression was bad. ( his definition was anything as violent as saying NO in a strong voice! that was excessive aggression, let alone resisting some one attacking you!!)

    I think a lot of people misunderstand confidence and assertiveness with aggression. some also consider being willing to defend yourself as aggression. improper definitions to be sure. so first please establish your definition of aggression then go from there!
     
  10. Makalakumu

    Makalakumu Gonzo Karate Apocalypse

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    I think it depends on the art, it depends on the goals and it depends on the teacher. Certain martial arts are going to help you relax and center yourself. Other arts will prepare you to kick someone's *** in the ring. Others will teach you how to release aggression in a controlled manner so you can defend yourself and not carry it too far. This is why the goals of training are so important. What objectives are being served by the training? The teacher can also make a huge difference. You can have a competitive dojo with a Cobra Kai instructor or you can have a dojo that competes and is more sportsmanlike, for example. In the end, I don't know if you are going to get a clear answer to your question. Without parceling out the differences in objectives and instruction, I predict the data will by mixed.
     
  11. Balrog

    Balrog Master of Arts

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    You might find this interesting. Emphasis mine.

    http://www.sportstudies.org/content/vol_3_2012/001-023_vol_3_2012_kavoura_ryba_kokkonen.pdf
     
  12. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Why reinvent the wheel?

    Journal of Sport Science and Medicine

    International Journal of Pediatrics

    PubMed

    The list of already completed studies is long....

    Consensus: Doesn't really change things significantly. Agressive people are agressive. Angry people are angry. Mellow people are mellow. Passive people are passive.

    Training may help people focus or contol their agression or anger, but it doesn't change it.
     
  13. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    Old CMA saying said, "Act like a tiger in the ring (or on the mat). Act like a sheep otherwise." If we act like sheep in our daily life, it should be far from "aggression".123
     

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