13 Apr 2021
International journal of environmental research and public health;
In modern society, catharsis is often understood as the relieving of stress, and the psychological and medical effects of catharsis are well known even to ordinary people. There are many studies showing that physical activity is a good tool for managing and promoting mental health. However, there are not many studies on Taekwondo training and catharsis. Therefore, we conducted a study explaining catharsis as mental health promotion in Taekwondo training. This study explores mental health enhancement of Taekwondo training by using a phenomenological methodology. Phenomenology is a theory that seeks to understand an individual's recognition of their own subjectivity rather than explaining objective factors about an individual. We collected data from interviews with 12 students who had been members of a university Taekwondo demonstration team. The phenomenological results were expressed as six themes: (1) vicarious purgation of repressed emotions, (2) emotional catharsis through pity and fear, (3) catharsis from ethics, (4) catharsis through mimesis, (5) catharsis from vicarious satisfaction through teammates, (6) catharsis from being the object of envy. Taekwondo, a traditional Korean martial art, is a physical activity that allows people to experience catharsis, which is a mental health effect of sports.