Does martial arts training make people more aggressive? It’s a question many people – and certainly many parents – ask and while many martial artists might object to the question and spout the usual stuff about martial arts being about character development and the skills purely for self defence, it is a question that deserves to be taken seriously.
Taught properly, martial arts make people less aggressive, not more so. Here is how:
Martial arts teach humility because learning one can be a humbling process. This works in several ways. When a young, strong, angry and aggressive person walks into a dojo they are entering an environment where that kind of attitude doesn’t intimidate or impress anyone because that just doesn’t threaten experienced martial artists. So such people soon learn the limits of aggression as a social tool so stop using it as one.
Learning a martial art also makes you aware of your own vulnerability. You learn quickly how easily you can be hurt and that can be humbling and that reduces aggression too.
For some people, the physical training itself acts a release of aggression.
The key is proper instruction. I have no doubt that martial arts could increase aggression if taught in a way where students gained status from beating others as opposed to gaining status from developing themselves. At Singapore Ninjutsu we are committed to self improvement and this can be seen from the many testimonials on this site.