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Open AccessArticle

Towards the “Undoing” of Gender in Mixed-Sex Martial Arts and Combat Sports

Faculty of Education and Health, University of Greenwich, Mansion Site, Bexley Road, Eltham, London SE9 2PQ, UK
Societies 2014, 4(4), 587-605;
Received: 29 August 2014 / Revised: 17 October 2014 / Accepted: 20 October 2014 / Published: 23 October 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Martial Arts and Society: Developing Co-Constituting Perspectives)
This paper addresses sex integration in martial arts and combat sports, discussing the implications of mixed-sex training for challenging orthodox Western constructions of gender. Drawing on qualitative interviews with 37 long-term martial arts practitioners from around the English East Midlands between 2007–2011, the paper argues that restrictive, essentialist and hierarchal conceptions of sex difference can be challenged through integrated training practices. The paper advocates the “undoing” of gender in this regard as helping to build a more progressive, inclusive and liberal form of physical culture, seen as a key potential of sex-integrated training. To that end, the paper makes a number of proposals for instructors and practitioners interested in developing such inclusive environments in their own clubs and training settings. View Full-Text
Keywords: Co-ed; combat sports; gender; integrated; martial arts; sex Co-ed; combat sports; gender; integrated; martial arts; sex
MDPI and ACS Style

Channon, A. Towards the “Undoing” of Gender in Mixed-Sex Martial Arts and Combat Sports. Societies 2014, 4, 587-605.

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