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Why do People Train Martial Arts? Participation Motives of German and Japanese Karateka

Faculty I, Department of School Education, University of Vechta, Vechta 49377, Germany
Division of Global Affairs, School of International Education, Kanazawa University, Kanazawa-shi 920-1192, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Societies 2018, 8(4), 128;
Received: 22 October 2018 / Revised: 10 December 2018 / Accepted: 11 December 2018 / Published: 17 December 2018
PDF [399 KB, uploaded 28 December 2018]


Meyer’s (2012) qualitative research on motivation of German karateka initiated the coordinated research project Why Martial Arts? (WMA) to analyse motives in various martial arts styles, like jūdō, taiji, krav maga and wing chun. In 2017, the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) supported the transposition of the research question to Japanese karatedō and jūdō practitioners. For the German sub-study, 32 interviews were conducted about entry/participation motives, fascination categories, and reasons for choosing karatedō. The design of the Japanese sub-study was based on the aforementioned German study, but due to the higher number of participants (n = 106), a mixed method questionnaire was used and distributed via paper and online versions. The results demonstrate that many motivation categories of Japanese and German karatedō practitioners share similarities in importance and content, although the characteristics of motives can be very different—partly due to cultural specifics. View Full-Text
Keywords: motivation; martial arts; karatedō; self-defence; strength; fascination motivation; martial arts; karatedō; self-defence; strength; fascination
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Meyer, M.; Bittmann, H. Why do People Train Martial Arts? Participation Motives of German and Japanese Karateka. Societies 2018, 8, 128.

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