"IT'S NOT A KNITTING CLASS...IT'S KARATE!" EXPLORATORY RESEARCH INTO WOMEN KARATE PRACTITIONERS PERCEPTION OF SELF.
(2017) "IT'S NOT A KNITTING CLASS...IT'S KARATE!" EXPLORATORY RESEARCH INTO WOMEN KARATE PRACTITIONERS PERCEPTION OF SELF., no. 54.
This study investigates the self-perception of women Karate practitioners in Scotland. The aim of the research is to explore participants' self-perception in order to develop a greater understanding of the multifaceted and dynamic issue of gender within sport. Sociological literature on gender in martial arts is extensive, however, there is a relative lack of research on women's self-perception in this particular 'gender-integrated' sports context. Qualitative methodology and semi-structured interviews were deployed to gather data from five participants, all of whom practice karate at remarkably high levels. Findings suggest that whilst gender-integrated martial arts can serve to subvert normative standards of gender, issues of inequality and friction continue. Similarly, this work assesses participants' perception of the recently emerging 'Sport Karate' compared with 'Traditional Karate' and the gender - and generation dynamics of an art/sport dichotomy. Primary conclusions include how the emergence of Sport Karate encourages accessibility and reduces normative sexism within the martial art.