Exploring how a sense of energy and interaction is developed in aikido training
The martial art of aikido is practiced in a setting which draws on the Japanese traditions of apprenticeship learning. Accordingly, practitioners develop their embodied competences by imitating the master (Sensei) and by moving in and from the direct physical contact with a more experienced body. The case of training aikido thereby brings to the fore how the training of movement-qualities, specifically training a sense of movements’ energy, is both about developing competences of how to participate in aikido as a discursive practice and training the subjective experiences of movement through the embodied aikido interaction. Based in the recognition of this complexity of socialization and perceptional process, the aim of this paper is to explore how an embodied sense of energy is developed in the interactional settings of aikido. Drawing on resent phenomenological explorations on interaction and social perception, the intention is further more to discuss and exemplify how the meaningful connection between perception and movement cannot be reduced to an affair of singularized bodies. Rather the practitioners’ sense of movement extends beyond the physical limitations of the body. The analysis of the aikido practice is grounded on auto-ethnographical descriptions, which includes that I, from an ethnographical point of view, frame my experiences of more than eight years of aikido practice in relation to my embodied experiences and competences of different somatic and contemporary dance techniques.
Main Research Area:
Attending to Movement: Somatic perspectives on living in this world, 2013