Ethnography Of Martial Arts

Katherine McCulley Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
Faculty Sponsor(s): Susan Hyatt Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
The purpose of this research was to ascertain which character traits were most affected or fostered by martial arts practice. The secondary goal of the research was to determine the similarities and differences in character growth, perception changes, and overall emotional well-being and cultural differences between martial arts. I initially sought practitioners with varying years and experience, however, everyone who has participated thus far has earned a black belt within at least one discipline. I found that having participants with such levels of experience may lead to more in-depth, introspective conversation. This research was conducted with six semi-structured interviews which were later compared to each other.
Those who participated were from two main disciplines. One was shotokan karate and the second was taekwondo. Some of the participants had experience in the other, while one student had studied several combat sports. The schools with students who participated are Indy Shotokan, a traditional karate dojo, Korean Taekwondo Academy, and Oriental Martial Arts College, a school that instructs in Taekwondo, Kung Fu, and Tai Chi.
Information from interviews and a literature review may suggest that martial arts practice, meditation or meditative exercise could be useful in nurturing calmness and overall psychological wellness.
Oral Presentation

When & Where

09:15 AM
Jordan Hall 336C