Dr Viki Lloyd and Dr Carol Fuller 2016

Martial Arts: Motivation and Impact on Health and Well-Being

Dr Viki Lloyd and Dr Carol Fuller


Drawing on survey data from 508 people, both in the UK and across the world, engaged in martial arts, this paper explores the multiple ways that Martial Arts contributes to health and well-being. From the beginner to the expert martial art teacher, the myriad motivations that lead people to martial arts; from the instrumental to the very personal, are considered. Drawing on sociological theory of symbolic interactionalism and ritual theory in reality construction, this paper provides an important lens through which to explore perceptions of the impact of martial arts on health and well-being – across an age range spanning 18 – 85. In so doing this paper will offer a significant contribution to the study of martial arts and health and well -being as well as to the field of martial arts studies more broadly.


Dr Viki Llloyd – has trained for over 30 years in the traditional Japanese martial art of Wado-Ryu Karate. She is a 4th Dan black belt, all her grading examinations have been conducted by Japanese instructors and her qualifications are recognised and registered in Japan. She is a member of the Wado International Karate-Do Federation and the English Karate Federation. Viki has travelled to Japan for advanced karate training, spent time training in some of the leading Japanese karate dojos and is a former British and European Karate champion. Viki has also been training and learning Taijiquan for over 15 years and has travelled overseas to attend professional development seminars. She is a registered instructor with Chenjiagou Taijiquan GB, the official branch of the China Chenjiagou School in the UK, a member of the Chinese Internal Arts Association and the Tai Chi Union for Great Britain


Dr Carol Fuller – is Associate Professor of Education and sociologist at the University of Reading with research interests and publications in identity, gender and social justice. On a more personal level, Carol began learning Taijiquan in late 2014.