This article explores the carnal dimensions of existence through ethnographic research in a mixed martial arts club. Mixed martial arts (MMA) is an emergent sport where competitors in a ring or cage utilize strikes (punches, kicks, elbows and knees) as well as submission techniques to defeat opponents. Through data gathered from in-depth interviews with MMA practitioners and participant observation in an MMA club, I elucidate the social processes that are integral to the production of an MMA fighter habitus. I examine how body techniques are learned and become attached to the identity of mixed martial arts fighters. Using Crossley's concept of reflexive body techniques, I examine how MMA fighters engage in body callusing through use of reflexive body techniques thereby allowing them to withstand the rigors of the sport.

Body techniques, Habitus, Identity, Phenomenology, Sport
Body and Society
Carleton University

Spencer, D. (2009). Habit(us), body techniques and body callusing: An ethnography of mixed martial arts. Body and Society, 15(4), 119–143. doi:10.1177/1357034X09347224