Lessons in Self-defence: combating gendered drivers of violence against women

Mr Rodney Eadie1

1Sydney College Of Divinity, Scone, Australia

Given that society is conscious of certain triggers that cause male perpetrators to effect violence against women, could there be sublimating mechanisms within our social constructs that are severely underutilised? This paper aims to show, those common characteristics associated with abuse, such as; low self-esteem, emasculation, affirmation and identity, and the need to regain control, can be reimaged through positive mimesis and the reciprocal interchange of relationships offered in self-defence training. The theoretical framework postulated in this thesis positions itself as a counteroffensive to the often narrowly repressive ideas about male gender and the assumed roles for men. Interestingly though, within the precepts of martial art disciplines, there presents a process of formation that can alter this landscape. For centuries the martial art traditions have assisted communities, yet these arts have been undervalued as a viable means to modulate violent impulses, and alter the moral behaviours of men. Through the examination of these disciplines we may extract methods that will positively reimage the self and practically engage psychosomatic development. It is hoped that this thesis will act as a conduit to reduce scepticism and illumine the martial arts industry as a leader in conflict resolution and self-efficacy enhancement. That it may also encourage government and the halls of academia to see through this lens a helpful way of reducing rates of abuse, and one that will positively affect the criminal justice system.


Rodney D. Eadie is a PhD candidate with Sydney College of Divinity, a former Police Officer, and holds degrees in Policing and theology. Aside from practising Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Rod’s research interests are religion, violence, ethics, and philosophy of criminal justice. His most recent work ‘Samurai Culture and Christianity: A Girardian Interpretation of the Ethics of Martial Arts’ was published in The Philosophical Journal of Conflict and Violence, (Budapest, Hungary: Trivent Publishing, 2018). And he was also guest speaker at the 2018 annual Australian Wesleyan Centre for Research conference, delivering his latest research on self-defence and the embodied spirit.  rodeadie1@gmail.com


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