Martial arts exponents mask fear to show confidence

Last Updated: Tue, Jan 03, 2012 10:40 hrs

Washington, Jan 3 (IANS) Competitors of mixed martial arts have unique ways of masking fear that actually allow them to project a confident face, says a US study.

'Successful management of fear by men in contact sports may create an emotional orientation that primes men to subordinate and harm others,' says sociologist Christian A. Vaccaro of the Indiana University Pennsylvania, who led the study with colleagues.

'By suppressing fear, empathy, pain, and shame and evoking confidence and pride, males signify their alleged possession of masculine selves. By signifying masculine selves through evoking fear and shame in others, such men are likely to more easily secure others' deference and accrue rewards and status,' Vaccaro said.

'Managing emotional manhood, whether it occurs in a locker room or boardroom, at home or the Oval Office, likely plays a key role in maintaining unequal social arrangements,' added Vaccaro.

Vaccaro's research included two years of fieldwork and interviews with more than 100 mixed martial arts fighters, analyzing how they managed fear and adopted intimidating personas to evoke fear in opponents.

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