Abstract - Identifying contributing factors to progress in Karate-Do using the Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping approach
Aim. The protection and preservation of Budo heritage imposes certain requirements for both traditional karate-do instructors and practitioners. This paper aims at exploring and analysing the critical factors affecting the progress of a traditional karateka in the context of Budo.
Method. The Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping (FCM) approach is implemented, which combines the capability of fuzzy logic with dynamic modelling simulations. More specifically, six karate instructors were interviewed in order to construct, first, the individual FCMs and, then, the collective FCM.
Results. According to the overall outcomes “Sensei’s knowledge and teaching ability”, “Training”, “Psychology”, ”Positive elements of karateka’s character”, “Sensei’s character”, and “Dojo climate” are the most mentioned and important factors affecting positively the progress of a traditional karateka.
Conclusion. Although the results provide soft evidence, FCM proves to be a useful tool for understanding complex phenomena, by eliciting and analysing individual and collective knowledge, preferences and beliefs. To this end, this research wishes to help both traditional karate-do instructors and practitioners to identify the most important factors that should pay attention to, in order to maximise the efficiency of Budo practice. Finally, this paper wishes to stimulate further discussions and research on the use of causal knowledge in the context of sport training, in general.