Effectiveness of Interventions Specifically in Martial Arts
Based on research conducted in collaboration with Weinberg using martial artists, Seabourne (1998) concludes that:
- Relaxation and imagery together are more effective for martial artists than either alone
- Martial artists practicing relaxation and imagery ten minutes a day performed better than those who do it immediately before competition
- Individualized techniques, even when taught in a group format, are better than standardized group techniques
- There is no difference between instructor guided imagery and self-guided imagery
- Individualized cognitive techniques improve performance.
He recommends the use of diaphragmatic or focused breathing, muscle relaxation and body awareness, meditation, and internal imagery rather than external imagery. Internal imagery is visualization from the perspective of the athlete whereas external imagery is from the perspective of watching the athlete perform. Overall, the martial artist research suggests that techniques found useful for athletes in general are effective for enhancing performance in the martial arts, both in katas as well as sparring.