Exploring embodiment through martial arts and combat sports: a review of empirical research

Alex Channon, George Jennings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Since the late 1970s, social scientists have turned considerable attention to investigating martial arts and combat sports (MACS). In particular, this broad range of fighting disciplines has been shown to offer numerous avenues for scholarly enquiry into social change and personal transformation via processes of embodiment. Adopting a thematic structure, we assess the empirical literature in this area via four interconnecting categories pertaining to MACS and embodiment: (1) body cultures; (2) body pedagogies; (3) the embodiment of gender; and (4) bodily harm. Following this review, we identify several gaps in the existing literature, suggesting potential new topics and strategies for research connecting to the social world of physical culture more generally.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)773-789
Number of pages17
JournalSport in Society: Cultures, Commerce, Media, Politics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 6 Feb 2014

Bibliographical note

This is an Authors’ Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Sport in Society, online first February 2014, copyright Taylor & Francis, available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17430437.2014.882906


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