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Towards the "undoing" of gender in mixed-sex martial arts and combat sports

Towards the "undoing" of gender in mixed-sex martial arts and combat sports

Channon, Alex (2014) Towards the "undoing" of gender in mixed-sex martial arts and combat sports. Societies, 4 (4). pp. 587-605. ISSN 2075-4698 (Print), 2075-4698 (Online) (doi:

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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.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: [1] Citation: Channon, A. Towards the “Undoing” of Gender in Mixed-Sex Martial Arts and Combat Sports. Societies 2014, 4, 587-605. doi:10.3390/soc4040587 [2] Copyright: © 2014 by the author; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. [3] Published in a Special Issue Martial Arts and Society: Developing Co-Constituting Perspectives. [4] Societies (ISSN 2075-4698) is an international, peer-reviewed, open access journal of sociology published quarterly online by MDPI.
Uncontrolled Keywords: co-ed, combat sports, gender, integrated, martial arts, sex
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
L Education > L Education (General)
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Education & Health
Faculty of Education & Health > Department of Secondary, LLTE & PE & Sport
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 04 Jan 2017 13:58
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None

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