In this paper, I explore the discursive roots of inclusivity in mixed-sex martial arts training in the UK. On the basis of data from two qualitative studies conducted in the East Midlands, I briefly account for the level of integration among several martial arts schools, before focusing on the unique meanings of martial arts that appeared to facilitate the normalization of this integration among participants. Drawing on insights from queer feminist theory, I argue that the discursive framing of martial arts in contemporary Western culture is significant in the generation and normalization of mixed-sex inclusivity in these settings. As such, I suggest that scholars interested in the potential of sex-integrated sports for challenging dominant sexual hierarchies should be attentive to the unique discursive meanings of specific sports cultures, which may be generative of possibilities for radical forms of embodiment and practice.
|Number of pages||16|
|Journal||Sport in Society: Cultures, Commerce, Media, Politics|
|Publication status||Published - 1 May 2013|