Kickboxing Club talks about tackling ‘Lad Culture’

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In our last issue dated 20th October 2014, bathimpact used a picture of the Bath University Sanda Kickboxing Club to illustrate an article on Lad Culture. The choice of picture was wrong and insinuated that the Kickboxing Club were involved in the activities or that they endorse ‘Lad Culture’.

Here, Elsa Reeves, Captain of the Women’s Kickboxing team, explains how the club actively tackles ‘Lad Culture’:

Lad Culture is the term describing a culture allowing bullying to be passed off as ‘banter’, whereby a pack mentality causes sexism, misogyny and homophobia to be considered acceptable. This sort of behavior can be especially prevalent in sports clubs due to their competitive atmosphere and the need that people have to fit in. However, these issues occur only in a small handful of clubs and it is important to celebrate that there are many which are actively seeking to discourage it.

Bath University Sanda Kickboxing Club is a club which is fighting to ensure that all members, regardless of gender or sexuality, feel safe to train and socialise with the club. Most sessions and all socials are mixed encouraging an atmosphere of mutual respect. As everyone trains and socialises with each other it makes it harder for it to appear acceptable for any member to become objectified. Nonetheless, some females feel more comfortable training in girls’ only kickboxing sessions which are run weekly so that they can train in what is seen as a less competitive environment.

“Lad Culture” tends to be associated with clubs which are excessively competitive and so teams that allow members to train without pressuring members into competitions tend to have less problems. Although many members of Bath University Sanda Kickboxing Club regularly compete, it is possible to be a core member of the club without ever attending a competition. The main aim of the club is for everyone to enjoy training regardless of what they wish to get out of it.

It is important to ensure that everyone understands the difference between banter and challenges designed for everyone to have fun versus bullying. The kickboxing committee works to ensure that any jokes which could be taken as offensive are meant in good faith and that people are made aware if they take anything too far. Furthermore, it is essential that if anyone on the team –male or female- is made to feel uncomfortable due to their gender or sexuality that they are able to come to a member of committee and their concerns will be taken seriously.

Kickboxing offers training sessions which are fun & friendly; you are free to push yourself as much as you want to achieve your goals, but our coaches will make sure you get a total body workout and learn how to handle yourself both in and out of the ring. Click here for more details.

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About Author

Michael Powell is the former Sport Editor at bathimpact (2014/15). He covers a variety of University of Bath and TeamBath events, as well as local Bath politics.

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