Irina Sirotkina 1
  • 1 Institute for the History of Science and Technology, of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Baltiyskaya str., 14, Moscow, Russian Federation 125315

National Models of Physical Education and the Sokol Gymnastics in Russia

2017, vol. 16, No. 2, pp. 320–339 [issue contents]
The article examines the issue of national models in physical education, which stands in an apparent opposition to the globalizing tendency in sport. It also describes the place of pre-Revolutionary Russia on the world map of physical education. The emergence of nation-states in Europe in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was marked by the creation of national models of paramilitary and/or physical training, including the German Turnen, the Swedish Gymnastics, and the Sokol Gymnastics. The last was invented in Prague in 1860’s with the beginning of the Czech national revival against Austrian rule. The movement united Slavic peoples across Central and Eastern Europe; at the beginning of the twentieth century, Russia joined in. The nationalists developed a special system of exercises named “Sokol”, (after the bird, “falcon”), destined to train Slavic youth. The Sokol gymnastics system quickly replaced the German system in the Russian Army and military schools. In the first decade of the twentieth century, the Russian Sokol Union, a voluntary organization promoting paramilitary physical education, was founded. After the Revolution, the Sokols suffered repression on the basis of their monarchism and nationalism. Yet some elements of physical training survived as part of artistic gymnastics. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, there were attempts to revive the Sokol physical training as “truly Russian”. The case demonstrates that the issue of nationalism in physical education has not entirely vanished amidst the globalization of sport.
Citation: Sirotkina I. (2017) Natsional'nye modeli fizicheskogo vospitaniya i sokol'skaya gimnastika v Rossii [National Models of Physical Education and the Sokol Gymnastics in Russia]. The Russian Sociological Review, vol. 16, no 2, pp. 320-339 (in Russian)
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