A 1998 study by Hodge and Deakin, Deliberate practice and expertise in the martial arts: The role of context in motor recall, found that that martial artists tend to enjoy activities most relevant to improving their performance and that mental work and physical work are both considered important in the martial arts. The more relevant the task, the greater emphasis they placed on concentration.
In a 1999, Peak Moments in Sport Karate Tournament Competition: Black Belt Fighters in the Zone, Frederick identified themes common to achieving peak performance in karate competition:
- Unique person/situation experiences
- Mental skills training
- Importance of confidence as a positive expectancy
- Development of physical skills.
During the competition phase:
- Transitions into and out of peak moments
- Experience of altered states
- Applying mental skills
- Experiencing confidence as power.
During post-competition phase:
- Reflections on experience
- Assessing and improving mental skills
- Growth in confidence.