Some people believe that training in the martial arts will cause or acerbate violent or aggressive behavior. Most people have been exposed to the martial arts though martial art movies. Other than a few exceptions, such as Karate Kid and the Kung-fu television show, these depictions of the martial arts are always associated with violence. Recently, the popularity of televised unrestrained fighting tournaments has perpetuated this theme. While the martial art are based upon warlike, violent behavior, they also use ritualistic behaviors that seek to avoid or control violence and they train to make these behaviors a part of one’s life.
Martial art masters claim that their arts reduce stress and violence in their practitioners, and thus, in the communities in which they live. These are lofty claims, but are they true? Are these claimed benefits any different from those that gained from other sports activities? What specific aspects of martial arts training bring about these changes? If these claims are true, then is martial art training an effective means to treat people with violent tendencies?
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