I wish to present a recent research project that examined the perception of mental toughness attributes from the perspective of teachers of Japanese karate. A qualitative, inductive approach was used with the resultant data coded via thematic analysis as per Braun and Clarke (2006).
One overarching theme, and nine subthemes were identified. A unique finding of this study was the importance placed on the quality of self-control by participants. It is hoped that discussion will focus on the moral and ethical ethos inherent in the practice of Japanese karate, and how this Okinawan folk art has been influenced by the Japanese concept of Bushido. On a related note, the ability to tolerate physical pain although not unique, also emerged as a consistent and defining characteristic of mental toughness in relation to what was perceived by the participants to be traditional karate practice. The influence of a single Japanese teacher, in effect the group patriarch will also be highlighted.
Lyn Jehu Biography
I currently work as a lecturer in Community Football Development at the University of South Wales. My experience of Japanese karate began in the early 1980s. In 2006 I relocated to Japan with the express desire to continue my study of budo. I lived in Japan for five years, traveling extensively in order to study with a variety of teachers. I also practised Niten Ichi Ryu kenjutsu in Kitakyushu City. My research interests include mental toughness in martial arts, the influence of Japanese martial arts on modern sport and martial arts pedagogy.