segunda-feira, 11 de março de 2013


Martial arts is a sport that is often criticized; it is by some called a barbaric sport and frequently connected to criminal circuits. The general public opinion is that there is a need for a ban, which is supported by some administrators. On the other hand, remarkably, there are also administrators who believe in the pedagogic value of martial arts and who see martial arts as an instrument in the upbringing of (problematic) youngsters. These ambiguous meanings and values make it difficult to organize and regulate martial arts in a clear-cut manner. Regulation of martial arts can be described as a wicked social problem because government, the martial arts sector itself and the related commercial organizations (promoters) are not able to solve this issue. Especially the martial arts sector, hopelessly fragmentized due to long-lasting conflicts, is incapable to regulate the sport. Therefore, they will have to work together with the government and promoters to tackle this issue (Koppenjan & Klijn, 2004). Particularly in the field of martial arts, which is characterized as a field with a complex hierarchy of values, it is difficult to tackle problems like safety and creating a good pedagogical atmosphere.  The organization and regulation of martial arts seem to be an issue to be solved at the national level only. However, this issue is less and less bound to geographical places or limited to specific countries, and therefore the options governments have to influence it are diminished nowadays (Koppenjan & Klijn, 2004). This deterritorialization and globalization of martial arts asks for research at the local, national, continental and global level. Although the regulation of martial arts is a complex and persistent issue, just few studies have been carried out on this topic, mostly in the United States (see Smith & Drake, 2009; Kim, 2010; Maher, 2010; Daum 2011 and Berg & Chalip, 2012). So, little is known about the nature of the problems experienced in organizing, managing and regulating martial arts. Further research and exchange of the results of research could be helpful to gain further insights to solve the problems related to governance, regulation and management of martial arts especially within the European context. 
The aim of the workshop is to invite all who are interested and involved in the field of martial arts to open up a dialogue and debate about the various problems experienced in organizing, managing and regulating this sport at the local, national, continental and global level. Further intentions are to initiate and stimulate research cooperation, exchange of information and to start to develop a European/global network of researchers and policy makers involved in organizing, managing and regulating martial arts.
The workshop will be held in the form of oral presentations of abstracts/papers. It will start with an introduction of the sub-theme and a summary of recent research by the workshop convenors. Each session contains a maximum of four presentations and will allow appropriate time for discussion with and between presenters. At the end of the workshop we plan to run a panel discussion where the contributions of the workshop to the field of research will be summarised and the academic as well as managerial consequences for its further development will be discussed.
Drs. Marianne Dortants, Utrecht University, Netherlands (
Prof. Dr. Marc Theeboom, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium (
Prof. Dr. Maarten van Bottenburg, Utrecht University, Netherlands (

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