Music and Performance
Fergusan, et.al (1994) studied the effects of music on performance of katas by karate students with one to eighteen years of experience. Experienced observers evaluated performance during each condition of positive music, negative music, and white noise provided on headsets for each performer. Overall,both negative music and positive music increased performance ratings over white noise; in addition, the subjects reported greater relaxation and comfort with the music.
Audience Effects Upon Performance
A review of the audience effects on performance literature by Bell and Yee (1989) indicated that consistent with social facilitation theory it is generally believed that an audience enhances the performance of a well-learned task whereas performance is impaired for a poorly learned task. Bell and Yee (1989) examined karate students on a kicking drill. The subjects performed a roundhouse kick without setting the foot down as many times as possible in fifteen seconds with and without an audience. As expected, results indicated that skilled subjects generally kicked more accurately and with greater frequency. An audience impaired the performance of the unskilled subjects but did not affect performance by the skilled subjects. It may not have been possible for the audience to enhance the performance of the skilled subjects due to a ceiling effect given that they were already performing at a high level.
To determine the effects of other participants on performance, Layton and Moran (1999) karate black belts while they performed a kata as a group. They found that even though the participants had refined the kata over years of practice with their own timing, the timing became more consistent when the kata was performed as a group.