Perceived effects of martial arts training on mood

Date of Completion

January 2008


Health Sciences, Mental Health|Health Sciences, Recreation




The relationship between physical activity and mood has been well documented in the literature. However, the complexity of this relationships and the presence of confounding variables make the usefulness of this line of research somewhat limited. Further research is needed to identify the impact of these confounding variables on the physical activity-mood relationship. Therefore, this investigation is designed to answer three questions (1) How does participation in different martial arts affect mood by gender? (2) How does perceived evaluation of performance affect mood? (3) How does martial arts training affect mood for novice and experienced participants? Intact groups of Jujutsu students (n=28), Jukido students (n=23), and Karate students (n=32) were pre- and post-activity tested using the Physical Activity Mood Scale (PAMS) by employing a single bout of activity in their respective martial art. Multiple analyses of variance procedures were used to investigate possible changes in pre/post test scores with respect to gender, performance evaluation and level of experience. The results indicate that participation in Jujutsu, Jukido and Karate alters some aspects of mood differently in males and females. Males participating in Karate appear to be responding to dimensions of mood that are more physical in nature. Women participating in Jujutsu feel more Attractive, Controlled, and Coordinated than their male counterparts. Male Jukido practitioners responded highly to feelings in the physical domain; they also felt less Calm and Peaceful. Karate practitioners who evaluated their performance as being low experienced four significant changes in mood while those who rated their performance as being high reported fifteen positive changes. Karate participants with high levels of experience reported feeling more Outgoing, Comfortable and Stronger as compared with their less experienced counterparts. In essence, black belt holders in Karate experienced enhanced feelings of physical strength and personal confidence as a result of one bout of Karate. In comparing the pre and post within-group changes among the three experimental groups the findings indicate that Jujutsu participants experienced 20 significant changes, Karate participants indicated 12 changes and Jukido participants evidenced seven changes. ^