Publication details [#60922]

Lefebvre, Augustin. 2016. The coordination of moves in Aikido interaction. Gesture 15 (2) : 123–155.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
John Benjamins
Journal DOI


Relying on the analysis of naturally occurring interaction recordings, this article proposes the moment-by-moment description of a specific type of focused interaction, the interaction of the martial art Aikido. In Aikido encounters, participants exchange moves of attack, defense, avoidance also using a “weapon”. These “Aikido movements”, as they are called here, are articulated by the whole body and serve as projectable interactional units. Aikido movements appear as highly ordered minimal units of the practitioners’ activity which are coordinated between them in space and time. Central in this account is the description of the interactional space elaborated through the moving transactional segments of the practitioners. It is suggested that the description of the visible bodily actions of Aikido opens a range of questions concerning the social and interactional construction of human perception in any activity involving whole body movements. As visible actions, Aikido movement and gesture share the property of becoming units of the social activity they organize.