Swen Körner & Mario Staller

Deutschen Sporthochschule Köln

System or pedagogy? Towards a non-linear pedagogy of self-defense

Questions of national and private security are key issues of modern societies. Along with the role of the state, and especially the police, the prevention of violent attacks is increasingly moving into the awareness and action of civil society. In the last few years, the market for self-protection and self-defense has been marked by strong growth and differentiation. Within public and academic spheres, the question of how civilians and police officers can effectively deal with violent assaults is discussed above all as a question of the “right self-defense system”.

In the current paper, we advocate for a change from questions of system to questions of pedagogy. Therefore, we first lay out the paradigm of nonlinear pedagogy and the underlying theories of complex dynamic systems. Based on these assumptions we then present a model of representative learning design, whose analytical and practical use is presented exemplarily. The paper concludes with a discussion of the role of nonlinear pedagogy for the professionalization of self-defense training in the civilian and law enforcement domain. Based on these insights, we propose further avenues of research that can contribute to the professionalization of conflict management.

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