Kick start–martial arts as a non-traditional school sport: an Australian case study of Taekwondo for Years 7–12 students

Ewelina Akehurst, Jane Southcott, Karen Lambert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Opportunities exist for Australian schools to benefit from the inclusion of martial arts in the Australian Curriculum Health and Physical Education and the pending inclusion of Taekwondo in the national Sporting Schools program. The greatest challenge for introducing martial arts into schools lies with instruction. This qualitative case study explores Taekwondo as part of a co-curricular sports program for Years 7–12 students at an elite private boys’ school in Melbourne, gauging the benefits for learning, health, and wellbeing of students. Themes emerging from thematic data analysis: confidence, discipline, respect, and fitness resonate with prior literature. New phenomena are benefits of leadership irrespective of age and Taekwondo’s positioning as a non-traditional indoor sport, inclusive of students unfamiliar with or disengaged from traditional team sports. The study suggests traditional Taekwondo can promote self-regulation in education and may usefully expand school-based offerings and repertoires in line with curriculum policy reform.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-98
Number of pages16
JournalCurriculum Studies in Health and Physical Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • health and physical education
  • Martial arts
  • self-regulation
  • Taekwondo
  • valuing movement

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