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Presented by BetterHelp.

Personality disorders can be problematic in many areas of a person’s life, and unfortunately, they’re something that’s not realized by those who have one of the many possible conditions out there. This article will discuss some of the issues that can directly clash with the values that people learn in martial arts, but also ways people can find relief by practicing it.

1. Lack of Empathy

Empathy, or the ability to understand other people’s feelings, is a common topic that comes up when discussing personality disorders because a common symptom of many of them includes a lack of empathy. Learning how to respect others and their boundaries and how to act appropriately are crucial skills that are emphasized in all martial arts, and if one struggles with these, they will most likely run into problems.

2. Impulsivity

Martial arts also teach individuals how to exercise self-control and make good decisions, and unfortunately, these abilities can be hampered by personality disorders. However, that doesn’t mean that people can’t learn to improve and become more calculated in their decision-making so they can feel physically and emotionally healthier.

3. Sensitivity to Criticism

In order to improve at any martial art, people generally need to be receptive to the input that their instructors and training partners give them. Even constructive criticism can be taken personally by those with a personality disorder; however, this is something that can also be worked on, and people can become better listeners and apply the feedback that they receive.

4. Avoidance Habits

While people with personality disorders are often portrayed as being destructive, there are also many who will do what they can to avoid social interaction with others, and this is also correlated with not being able to handle criticism. Nonetheless, martial arts requires some collaboration with other people, which is something people with conditions like avoidant personality disorder might have difficulty coping with.

5. Violating Others’ Personal Space

Lastly, people with antisocial personality disorder, which is sometimes called psychopathy, directly go against most social norms. People who have this might find themselves being violent as well as lying, stealing, and trying to break the rules. Typically, those with this issue don’t last very long at martial arts schools because it disrupts the environment and can make other students feel unsafe and uncomfortable.

Learn More About Personality Disorders

Personality disorders are a subject in psychology that people are often highly-interested in because of their correlation with notorious criminals, and luckily, there is a lot to learn about this broad group of mental health concerns.

If you want to find excellent resources on personality disorders, BetterHelp has articles that you can read for free simply by visiting the link below:


Personality disorders and martial arts don’t mix well, but that doesn’t mean that those who have one can’t benefit from practicing one. As long as there is a conscious decision and willingness to listen and improve and collaborate with other people, they can make a positive change in their lives.

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