Psychotherapeutic aspects of the Martial Arts

M. Weiser, I. Kutz, S. J. Kutz, D. Weiser

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Formerly understood by Western thought as only a set of fighting skills, the Martial Arts (MAs) have come to be seen, in the psychological literature about the MAs, as a comprehensive approach to both physical and mental health. The MAs enhance self-esteem through the provision of physical activity and group experience, and the teaching of relaxation, concentration, assertiveness, and directness and honesty in communication. Thus, they are understood to be a legitimate form of therapy, for both 'neurotic' and some chronically mentally ill patients. It is proposed in this paper, that the MAs can also be a useful supplement to verbal psychotherapy, as they foster and expose feelings through a physical modality, which can then be observed and analyzed in the modality of verbal psychotherapy. A case report illustrates how the MAs produce feelings and reveal problems, which are brought into the psychotherapy arena and analyzed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-127
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychotherapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes


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