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dc.contributor.advisorFalcous, Mark
dc.contributor.authorKumate, James Masashi
dc.identifier.citationKumate, J. M. (2015). Grappling with The ‘Way of Gentleness’: An Examination of Capital in New Zealand Judo (Thesis, Master of Physical Education). University of Otago. Retrieved from
dc.description.abstractA global diffusion of interest in martial arts and combat sports has increased the profile of combative physical cultures (CPC) in Western society. As a result, Asian physical cultural practices are becoming increasingly significant in the lived experiences of many around the world as practitioners engage with the physical and cultural aspects of these combative subcultures. However, relatively few studies have examined the localization of Asian physical cultural practices in Western contexts. This thesis, through an embodied ethnography, participant observations, and interviews, investigates the way in which judo (a globally popular Japanese CPC) is understood, negotiated, and enacted in New Zealand. It specifically examines the development of ‘judo capital’. The uses of judo were numerous and varied amongst participants, who claimed the capital valued in judo was distinctive to other CPC. They understood their corporeal capital as one of efficiency, reason, and ‘intellect’ whereas an overly instrumental use of the body or a reliance on strength and physical force was not valued. Many also noted how judo has a culturally informed ‘deeper game’, and engagement requires an amount of cultural capital. To these participants, judo was more than a physical activity; it was also a developmental and educational practice with benefits beyond the dōjō, leading them to active involvement in maintaining cultural authenticity. This understanding reflects their particular middle-class and middle-aged lifestyle where the symbolic and social benefits of participation are valued above the physical. There is, however, considerable complexity in the ways judo is used and the types of capital valued, further reinforcing the need for context-specific examinations of combative physical cultures.
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
dc.rightsAll items in OUR Archive are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subjectsport sociology
dc.subjectNew Zealand
dc.subjectphysical cultural studies
dc.subjectembodied ethnography
dc.titleGrappling with The 'Way of Gentleness': An Examination of Capital in New Zealand Judo
dc.language.rfc3066en of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Sciences of Physical Education of Otago
otago.openaccessAbstract Only
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