Term of Award

Spring 2014

Degree Name

Master of Science in Kinesiology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)


Department of Health and Kinesiology

Committee Chair

Daniel Czech

Committee Member 1

Brandonn Harris

Committee Member 2

Trey Burdette


Anger has often been suggested to be debilitative to sport performance (Isberg, 2000). Conversely, Harpold et al. (2011) observed that anger may in fact be a facilitative factor in helping Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighters experience optimal performance. Moreover, Woodman et al. (2009) found when angry, extraverts' peak force increased more than introverts. In concordance with these findings, Murphy (2005) mentions a significant need to better understand the effects of anger during sport performance. Thus, the purpose of this study was to use qualitative methods to existentially understand the phenomenological experience of anger as it pertains to competitive mixed martial arts fighters during combat. The research question for this investigation was “What is the lived experience of anger as used by competitive mixed martial artists for competitive fighting matches?” Main themes found included anger being facilitative, anger being debilitative, and a clear and controlled mindset being the ultimate goal. Co-participants responses portrayed a constant interaction between the facilitative and debilitative uses for anger. This interaction was moderated by the calm and controlled mindset as being the ultimate goal.