The aim of the research was to indicate the main factors of development declared by the practitioners of the different disciplines of martial arts and combat sports in selected countries of Central Europe. In particular, such variables as training location and type of martial arts/combat sports have been taken into consideration. Five research questions have been established which should be answered in order to find the solution to the posed problem.The theoretical perspective for analyses presented here consists of sociology of sport and humanist theory of martial arts. This approach results in the need for quantitative and qualitative analysis of the answers to questions about the barriers of development according to the variables of the practiced variety (a martial art, a combat sport) and the place of training.The method of diagnostic survey has been used. The research was conducted on a group of 500 subjects from south-eastern Poland, Slovakia, Germany and additionally (for comparison) from England, of which 489 were accepted for the study. This number includes 137 representatives of kyokushin karate from Poland, 143 Polish karatekas of non-contact varieties, 18 representatives of jujitsu and karate from Germany, 37 aikidokas from Poland (a martial art without sportive rivalry), 107 judokas from Poland and 24 judokas from Slovakia, with an additional 23 British rugby players. The selection of the group was deliberate and complete, taking into account the representatives of various martial arts and combat sports, with rugby used for comparative purposes.Practicing martial arts oriented to self-realization, determines the motivation for their practice, which differs from the motivation in sport (combat sports). It influences the dominating choices of values-goals and popularity, thus the development of given varieties. Both martial arts and combat sports of Asian origin (aikido, judo, jujitsu, karate) attract practitioners, mainly due to their usefulness in self-defense. The values connected with training and sportive rivalry (combat sports, rugby) are also noticed. The variable of place (country) is connected with the dominating forms in promoting a given martial art or combat sport.