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    Need some help on a research project

    Hi everyone, my name is Steve. I'm a student at DePaul U in Chicago, and I need some assistance on a project I'm doing for this year and possibly my life.

    In order for me to graduate, I have to conduct yearlong research on a specific topic for my psychology degree. My particular topic is "Martial Arts as a Method for Behavioral Medicine."

    I've already spent 3 months (thanks to A. Yiannikis of UConn) reading articles on this particular topic. I've read several journal articles on the efficacy (or lack thereof) on how martial arts improves mood, reduces aggression, etc. However, I need to take it to the next level of understanding by being able to distinguish between different martial arts, training techniques, and their salient aspects. That way, I will be able to operationally define what a therapeutic martial art is composed of. For example, an Israeli judo expert took 8 children with blindness, severe mental retardation, and a grab bag of other conditions (cerebral palsy, MS, fibromyalgia, etc), gave them a modified form of traditional judo, and they all drastically improved in cognitive and physical ability, even a year after they stopped training!

    I am somewhat knowledgeable about martial arts in general, but I'm not familiar with methodologies of other arts: Length of classes, proportion of time devoted to specific activities (meditation, sparring, physical conditioning, technique work, etc). I don't know how much more or less therapeutic a MMA/modern system of martial arts is compared to traditional systems.

    I'll likely end up specializing in eating disorders if I get into graduate school. However, martial arts will always be part of my life, and as a side interest, I'd like to try to promote martial arts as a method of psychological treatment. It may come as some surprise to you all that despite its long lifespan and mass interest, martial arts has little grounding in the serious psychological journals (sponsored by the APA), and I'm aiming to change that.

    If anyone can point me towards authoritative websites or books of classrooom methods for different martial arts, plus a description of the major arts, I would appreciate it very much.

    Sorry for the long post. And thanks!

    - Steve

    #2
    I think most of that relies on the types of people involved.

    Personally, my jiu jitsu class is more or less my family; the first 'family' I've ever had, if you will. (No, no special history, just that my dad and me have never related.) I'm driven to train because I thoroughly enjoy jiu jitsu and the positive, no-ego-no-bullshit, serious but warm atmosphere created by my instructor and training mates. I'll do anything for them, and I never miss a class. Training automatically puts me in a positive, open state of mind, and temporarily puts on hold any illness(es) I might have.

    To add another perspective on this: jiu jitsu has never let me down.


    BUT, since you weren't even asking for testimonials...

    Descriptions of the meat of various major arts can be found all over the internet with a couple smart searches. (I had to do this once for a school speech.) Some of those resources will also share with you some classroom methods... but what you're going to find is that every teacher just runs his/her class differently, with different attitudes, shaped by different types of people training, etc. Martial arts are taught in all kinds of different ways within the same art. So you won't be able to use a uniform classroom formula anywhere. It's heavily dependent on instructor, school/location, and even financial aspects sometimes. (To portray that last one: My dojo isn't hardcore training aside from my anomolous weekly jiu jitsu class; their method of teaching karate is sort of limited, because of time and money restraints for students and senseis alike.)

    As far as books go...hang out at Barnes & Noble for a few days, and read their martial arts section. You'll find some of the material you're looking for there. Example: the introduction in the first Gracie BJJ book, which details some philosophy, roots, benefits, 'typical' classes, and more. Just make sure you're able to weed through all the propaganda you'll find.
    Last edited by Twip; 9/27/2004 11:23am, .

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      #3
      I am giggling uncontrollably.
      MY NAME IS ANTAGONY I SUCK AT COMBAT SPORTS KTHX

      "blahblahblah, but I don't think I'm going to train tonight."
      "Fag."
      "Well if that were true, then I'd really REALLY want to come train!"

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Antagony
        I am giggling uncontrollably.
        I didn't tell any jokes?

        Do you have any advice to offer?

        Comment


          #5
          You'll find many clients here, my friend.

          Comment


            #6
            Moving this to General population. Not really history oriented. Good luck in your research.
            Jeremy M. Talbott

            Originally posted by Phrost
            "Bullshido isn't just a place to hang out when you're browsing the net. We really are trying to accomplish something fucking extraordinary here that nobody's ever had the balls to do before."
            Originally posted by D.Murray
            "Which is better, to learn the truth, or to enjoy the illusion of being right when you are not?"
            Originally posted by hangooknamja88
            My definition of Ki is our energy. it's rather hard to explain it in words. It's not some mystical type of energy like white people...


            SUPPORT BULLSHIDO!

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              #7
              Re: Need some help on a research project

              Originally posted by samurai_steve
              In order for me to graduate, I have to conduct yearlong research on a specific topic for my psychology degree. My particular topic is "Martial Arts as a Method for Behavioral Medicine."

              I've already spent 3 months (thanks to A. Yiannikis of UConn) reading articles on this particular topic. I've read several journal articles on the efficacy (or lack thereof) on how martial arts improves mood, reduces aggression, etc. However, I need to take it to the next level of understanding by being able to distinguish between different martial arts, training techniques, and their salient aspects. That way, I will be able to operationally define what a therapeutic martial art is composed of. For example, an Israeli judo expert took 8 children with blindness, severe mental retardation, and a grab bag of other conditions (cerebral palsy, MS, fibromyalgia, etc), gave them a modified form of traditional judo, and they all drastically improved in cognitive and physical ability, even a year after they stopped training!

              I am somewhat knowledgeable about martial arts in general, but I'm not familiar with methodologies of other arts: Length of classes, proportion of time devoted to specific activities (meditation, sparring, physical conditioning, technique work, etc). I don't know how much more or less therapeutic a MMA/modern system of martial arts is compared to traditional systems.

              If anyone can point me towards authoritative websites or books of classrooom methods for different martial arts, plus a description of the major arts, I would appreciate it very much.

              - Steve
              I suspect the reason that Antagony was giggling is that whenever we hear the claim martial arts reduces aggression we think of some of the buffoons we've known or the snake oil salesmen who run TKD-daycare telling parents their programs will help Jr with his ADHD.

              You are going to be flooded with questionable testimonals about how wonderful the martial arts are. To get to the bottom of this issue you would basically have to use your own control group because the teachers making such claims often have a very vested interest in selling their services and are therefore not neutral observers.

              As for breakdowns of what is done in various martial arts classes you could make up a questionare and mail it via pm to various instructors on this site. Additionally while there are hundreds of martial arts out there, less then a dozen umbrella styles (which are badly splintered and subdivided) make up the majority of the arts taught to people in the United States, and especially children. I would limit your study to TKD, Japanese Karate, Judo, Brazilian Jujistsu, Akido, and Kempo. You should also contact Jerry Beasley, Ph.D at Radford University in Radford Virginia since he is a Phys-ed teacher and one of the few full time martial arts scholars out there.

              As JKD Chick likes to say however, there is nothing spiritual about really learning how to fight.

              Comment


                #8
                Thanks for the Beasley reference. The Yiannakis guy I mentioned is also a martial arts scholar, and was fundamentally helpful in assisting me with literature review.

                http://playlab.uconn.edu/budenkan.html

                Dr. Yiannakis started the UConn Judo Club in 1976 but the name was changed to UConn Judo and Jujutsu Club in 1995, and then finally to UConn Jujutsu Club in 1999. The official Japanese name for the club is BUDENKAN, the school of traditional martial arts. The club is the home of Wa Shin Ryu Jujutsu, a holistic, comprehensive system of unarmed combat founded by Prof. Yiannakis in 1983. The system has a basis, in form and philosophy, in Koryu Bujutsu (classical martial arts) but as an evolved system it may be best described as a modern martial art with classical moorings. Unlike most classical, or classically based systems, however, the art stresses the development of effective combative skills by training students in live sparring situations in distance, close quarter and ground fighting contexts. Such forms of training develop sustained focused concentration, hand-leg-eye coordination, and create for students a high degree of realism that set routines and repetition training alone cannot provide.

                http://playlab.uconn.edu/yian.htm

                Comment


                  #9
                  Or so he claims, I wouldn't agree or disagree about the combat skills he imparts without watching him teach in person.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    wow, you have undertaken quite a task. Good luck at taking the ritalin pill from Mr. Po's hand. I suggest that you look at psychological and performance journals.
                    SEANBABY:
                    "The seventh law of thermodynamics is that every time a fat person gets near a trapdoor, they fall in. Itís the closest thing we have to scientific proof of God."

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I see the most troubling thing in this study being the classification of styles/insructors.

                      You probably need some way to measure:
                      Emphasis on physical conditioning.
                      Solo practice (forms, bagwork, shadow boxing)
                      Partnered practice (little-no resistance)
                      Sparring
                      Mental/spiritual aspects
                      Instructor attitude

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by citrus538
                        I see the most troubling thing in this study being the classification of styles/insructors.

                        You probably need some way to measure:
                        Emphasis on physical conditioning.
                        Solo practice (forms, bagwork, shadow boxing)
                        Partnered practice (little-no resistance)
                        Sparring
                        Mental/spiritual aspects
                        Instructor attitude
                        You're absolutely right that operationally defining (the technical term for "classification") martial arts will be a difficult task. One likely portion of my research will be distinguishing between traditional and modern styles and addressing potential issues of each. For example, the school I currently train at incorporates bowing in and out of the training floor, but no meditation or serious uniform beyond a school tshirt and pants, etc.

                        Almost all research on martial arts focuses exclusively on traditional styles such as Judo, ATF TKD, and Shotokan Karate. I have seen no studies addressing MMA in this context.

                        Thanks for the perspective/advice. :)

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Beware of the Hawthorne effect Grasshopper!

                          Seriously, Payton Quinn discussed its application to martial arts in his book "A Bouncer's Guide to Barroom Brawling" (Paladin Press, Boulder Co, 1990) p. 35-37. He also had a good chapter comparing various martial arts to each other p. 209-253. Peyton is disliked by some on this forum for his involvement in "Reality Based" training, but he does have some good insights in his book.

                          Even through its grossly out of date John Corcoran and Emil Farkas' "The Original Martial Art's Encyclopedia: Traditions-History-Pioneers" (Pro-Action Publishing, Los Angeles Ca, 1993) is invaluable for its discussion of Shotokan and Judo techniques. The text however really dates from the early 1980s and doesn't even mention BJJ or any JKD people more recent then Dan Inosanto. There is also either a "dummy's guide to martial arts" or an "idiots guide to martial arts" out there. You can probably find them in the martial arts section of Barnes and Nobel or Borders Books though they may not be worth the paper they are printed on.

                          Last suggestion, include BJJ in your study, which is fairly uniform and don't try to bite off the MMA subject because there is more variation between schools then in BJJ.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Well, the Hawthorne effect basically said that "Observation of a sample group was the factor in improvement", rather than manipulations of the independent variable. All psychological studies require a control group, and I'm planning on doing a between-subjects design rather than within-subjects.

                            There's a small possibility that I'll have to do a meta-analysis of prior research in the field, and use prior results as my data to work with.

                            I have Corcoran's book called something like "The Q&A of Martial Arts" which helped me learn a lot about different arts and the facts/fallacies of martial arts.

                            Thanks again for your help. :)_

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I would definitely think that one of the harder things to do as a researcher would be to maintain consistient classifications of various MAs.


                              I agree that it would be better to look primarily at what is practiced in each place before anything else, and classify based on that.
                              Lone Wolf McQuade Final Fight: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmrDe_mYUXg

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