The martial arts and mental health: the challenge of managing energy.


Seitz FC; Olson GD; Locke B; Quam R


WAMI Medical School Program, Montana State University.


Percept Mot Skills, 70(2):459-64 1990 Apr


The effective management of energy is an important dimension in the martial arts as well as the mental health professions. The Oriental concept of Ki is described, noting its Indian, Chinese, and Japanese development. Ki and the transfer of energy is studied through the martial encounter, using concepts borrowed from Japanese swordsmanship. Ki is also discussed from a developmental context as youngsters progress in Tae Kwon Do training. In examining the disciplines of Aikido, Tae Kwon Do, and Karate, it becomes clear that more is involved than kicking, punching, and throwing bodies on the floor. These martial arts have some important statements to make in the area of mental health, particularly in terms of energy--within our bodies, psyches, interpersonal relationships, and the universe.