Table 1 Overview of selected studies on martial arts and personality aits.
Year Author Sample size Target group* Methodology Martial art Measured effect Positive or negative effect among MA
1978 Duthie et al. 152 General Cross-sectional (level of experience) Karate, other martial arts (not specified) Self-confidence, dominance, autonomy, achievement, … Positive among advanced MA
1980 Konzak & Klavora 84 General Cross-sectional (level of experience) Karate General development (personality factors and physical well-being) Positive among advanced MA
1986 Richman & Rehberg 60 General Cross-sectional (level of experience + performance) Karate Self-esteem Positive among advanced and successful MA
1986 Trulson 34 Youth Longitudinal (type of guidance) Taekwondo Anxiety, self-esteem and social adroitness Positive among traditional MA
1989 McGowan & Miller 107 General Cross-sectional (level of performance) Karate Angry Positive among less successful MA
1990 Layton 93 General Cross-sectional (level of experience) Karate Trait and state anxiety Positive among advanced MA
1993 Kurian et al. 30 General Cross-sectional (level of experience) Taekwondo Anxiety and independence Positive among advanced MA
1994 Kurian et al. 72 Youth Cross-sectional (level of experience) Taekwondo Self-reliance and enthusiastic optimism Positive among advanced MA
2003 Najafi 118 General Cross-sectional (type of guidance) Karate Humility and overall levels of hope Positive among traditional MA
2004 Lakes & Hoyt 193 Youth Longitudinal(school-linked program) Taekwondo, control Cognitive and affective self-regulation, prosocial behavior, classroom conduct, performance on a mental math test Positive over time among MA
2007 Kuan & Roy 40 General Cross-sectional (level of performance) Wushu Self-confidence and energy control Positive among successful MA
2007 Wargo et al. 40 General Cross-sectional (level of experience) Taekwondo, karate Self-esteem Neither positive nor negative
2009 Steyn & Roux 72 Youth Cross-sectional (comparison different groups) Taekwondo,hockey,non-sport group Personal growth and self-acceptance Positive among MA
* General (general population) = adults, adolescents and/or children are pooled together into one group. Youth = youngster under the age of 18
† MA = martial artists.
‡ Martial artists were considered as successful when they won, earned a trophy or were in the top 4 of a competition.