Self-esteem changes among adult women who had been practicing seido karate for at least six months and had acquired the perceived ability to physically self-defend were examined in this study. The research site was a feminist martial arts dojo for women in a midwestern state. Thirty women, aged 26-62, participated in strucured interviews. All of the women perceived improvements in self-esteem after participating in martial arts training for at least six months. These self-esteem changes were perceived to be related to improvement in physical self-perception. Recovery from psychosexual abuse, eating disorders, substance abuse, and growing up in dysfunctional families was another commonly perceived consequence of martial arts training, and most of the participants who had experienced such problems believed their martial arts practice was a valuable adjunct to traditional therapeutic approaches. Significantly, however, they viewed certain aspects of the feminist environment, particularly its gynocentricity, as essential to the self change process. A relationship between the martial arts experience, particularly gaining the ability to defend oneself physically, and other attitudes and behaviors related to self-perception is suggested.
Sharon R. Guthrie
Andreas M. Kasper, Ben Crighton, Carl Langan-Evans, Philip Riley, Asheesh Sharma, Graeme L. Close and James P. Morton
Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a full contact combat sport often referred to as cage fighting or ultimate fighting . When compared with other combat sports ( Alderman et al., 2004 ; Davis et al., 2001 ; Kiningham & Gorenflo, 2001 ; Kordi et al., 2011 ; Morton et al., 2010 ; Oppliger et
Alex Channon and George Jennings
Within the sociology of sport and its related disciplines, martial arts have become increasingly popular sites for research on embodiment, gender and society. While much previous work in this area has focused upon the embodied experiences of either male or female practitioners, relatively few studies have directly addressed the social significance of mixed-sex practice. In this empirically-focused paper, we draw on qualitative, semistructured interviews with both male and female long-term exponents of various different martial arts disciplines in England, exploring experiences of intersex touch within training. Within a social-constructionist, feminist framework, we suggest that heteronormative, patriarchal and paternalistic gender structures can potentially be challenged through sustained mixed-sex practice. As such, this article contributes to work on transformative sporting bodies, martial arts and gender subversion.
Kelly Cornett, Katherine Bray-Simons, Heather M. Devlin, Sunil Iyengar, Patricia Moore Shaffer and Janet E. Fulton
concurrently aligning their work with similar goals to improve quality of life in communities. 5 The arts sector is a substantial part of the nation’s economy, accounting for 4.3% of the gross domestic product and representing a large array of industries, organizations, and workers. 6 Thus, the purpose of
Carla A. Santos, Scott Tainsky, K. Alexander Schmidt and Changsup Shim
To date, scholarly attention to mixed martial arts (MMA) and the Ultimate Fighting Championship organization has been limited. This study sought to address this gap in literature by focusing on the news media’s framing of public officials’ discourse concerning MMA. In so doing, the study addressed the entanglement of news media, sport, and contemporary political maneuvering. Overall, findings suggest two dominant media frames: leveraging of sociopolitical capital to protect societal values and leveraging of sociopolitical capital to advocate for legislation. Specifically, the authors propose that news media have framed and reframed MMA as a succession of moral threats and reassurances that are given voice by public officials in the name of protecting the citizenry.
Terry Eddy, Lamar Reams and Stephen Dittmore
As online business models have evolved, learning what drives users’ consumptive behaviors has gained increasing interest to sport researchers and sport properties. An increasing number of sport properties are expanding, and deriving revenues from, their presence on digital-media platforms (e.g., MLB, NBA, NFL, UFC, WWE, etc.). Of the sport properties mentioned, none are more reliant on digital-media activity than the Ultimate Fighting Championship. As such, the purpose of this study was to examine the motivations and related consumption habits of users of non-subscription-based (i.e., free-to-use) online message boards. Findings suggest that message-board users find value in the opportunities for interactivity and that heavy online mixed-martial-arts users watch more events and purchase more merchandise than those who spend less time online.
Mark Mierzwinski, Philippa Velija and Dominic Malcolm
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), like the majority of relatively violent sports, has mainly been organized around the capabilities of the male body. However various indices suggest that women’s engagement with MMA is growing. The purpose of this paper is to offer an analysis of women’s involvement in MMA using a figurational sociological approach. In doing so, we draw on interview data with “elite” female mixed martial artists to explore the extent to which females within MMA experience a specifically gendered “quest for excitement.” The paper further illustrates how the notion of “civilized bodies” can be used to interpret the distinctly gendered experiences of shame in relation to fighting in combat sports, the physical markings incurred as a consequence, and perceptions of sexual intimacy in the close physical contact of bodies. In so doing this paper provides the first figurationally-informed study of female sport involvement to focus explicitly on the role of violence in mediating social relations, while refining aspects of the figurational sociological approach to provide a more adequate framework for the analysis of gender relations.
Bareket Falk and Guy Mor
The purpose of the present study was to determine the effect of a 12-week training program on the motor performance of 6- to 8-year-old prepubertal boys (n = 14). Each subject participated in a 40-min session twice a week, which included three sets of upper body strength exercises (1 to 15 repetitions/set), unregimented lower body strength exercises, coordination, balance, and martial arts skills. The control group included 15 prepubertal boys in the same age range. All subjects were pre- and posttested on 20-s sit-ups, seated ball put, standing broad jump, sit-and-reach flexibility, 6 × 4-m shuttle run, and a coordination task. The experimental group improved significantly (p < .05) more than the control group in the sit-ups and in the long jump. Both groups improved (p < .05) in the coordination task. No significant changes were observed in body weight, seated ball put, flexibility, and shuttle run. A twice-weekly training program seems to improve performance in selected motor tasks in 6- to 8-year-old boys.
Lachlan P. James, Emma M. Beckman, Vincent G. Kelly and G. Gregory Haff
To determine whether the maximal strength, impulse, and power characteristics of competitive mixed-martial-arts (MMA) athletes differ according to competition level.
Twenty-nine male semiprofessional and amateur MMA competitors were stratified into either higher-level (HL) or lower-level (LL) performers on the basis of competition grade and success. The 1-repetition-maximum (1RM) squat was used to assess lower-body dynamic strength, and a spectrum of impulse, power, force, and velocity variables were evaluated during an incremental-load jump squat. In addition, participants performed an isometric midthigh pull (IMTP) and 1RM bench press to determine whole-body isometric force and upper-body dynamic strength capabilities, respectively. All force and power variables were expressed relative to body mass (BM).
The HL competitors produced significantly superior values across a multitude of measures. These included 1RM squat strength (1.84 ± 0.23 vs 1.56 ± 0.24 kg BM; P = .003), in addition to performance in the incremental-load jump squat that revealed greater peak power (P = .005–.002), force (P = .002–.004), and velocity (P = .002–.03) at each load. Higher measures of impulse (P = .01–.04) were noted in a number of conditions. Average power (P = .002–.02) and velocity (P = .01–.04) at all loads in addition to a series of rate-dependent measures were also superior in the HL group (P = .005–.02). The HL competitors’ 1RM bench-press values approached significantly greater levels (P = .056) than the LL group’s, but IMTP performance did not differ between groups.
Maximal lower-body neuromuscular capabilities are key attributes distinguishing HL from LL MMA competitors. This information can be used to inform evidenced-based training and performance-monitoring practices.
Victor Silveira Coswig, David Hideyoshi Fukuda and Fabrício Boscolo Del Vecchio
The purpose of this study was to compare biochemical and hormonal responses between mixed martial arts (MMA) competitors with minimal prefight weight loss and those undergoing rapid weight loss (RWL). Blood samples were taken from 17 MMA athletes (Mean± SD; age: 27.4 ±5.3yr; body mass: 76.2 ± 12.4kg; height: 1.71 ± 0.05m and training experience: 39.4 ± 25 months) before and after each match, according to the official events rules. The no rapid weight loss (NWL, n = 12) group weighed in on the day of the event (~30 min prior fight) and athletes declared not having used RWL strategies, while the RWL group (n = 5) weighed in 24 hr before the event and the athletes claimed to have lost 7.4 ± 1.1kg, approximately 10% of their body mass in the week preceding the event. Results showed significant (p < .05) increases following fights, regardless of group, in lactate, glucose, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), creatinine, and cortisol for all athletes. With regard to group differences, NWL had significantly (p < .05) greater creatinine levels (Mean± SD; pre to post) (NWL= 101.6 ± 15–142.3 ± 22.9μmol/L and RWL= 68.9 ± 10.6–79.5 ± 15.9μmol/L), while RWL had higher LDH (median [interquartile range]; pre to post) (NWL= 211.5[183–236] to 231[203–258]U/L and RWL= 390[370.5–443.5] to 488[463.5–540.5]U/L) and AST (NWL= 30[22–37] to 32[22–41]U/L and 39[32.5–76.5] to 72[38.5–112.5] U/L) values (NWL versus RWL, p < .05). Post hoc analysis showed that AST significantly increased in only the RWL group, while creatinine increased in only the NWL group. The practice of rapid weight loss showed a negative impact on energy availability and increased both muscle damage markers and catabolic expression in MMA fighters.