Aikido som social praksis

Emil Elias

Student thesis: Project on Graduate Program


This paper explores how the Japanese martial art of aikido can be understood as a social practice. To this end, it revolves around analyzing a Danish aikido club, Copenhagen Aikido Club, as a community of practice as well as learning through participation in it. Three passive participant observations of aikido classes are used as a way of approaching the field, while three qualitative semi-structured interviews with three aikido practitioners are applied to co-create knowledge about participation and learning in aikido. The analysis consists of hermeneutic interpretations of meaning by means of Lave & Wenger’s (2003) theory of situated learning and legitimate peripheral participation, as well as Wenger’s (2004) theory of communities of practice. The results point to legitimate peripheral participation and mutual engagement in a social form of practice with learning as an integral component of the community of practice, where learning revolves about becoming more adept at aikido. Learning and mastery are shown to be social phenomena in the community’s structuring of learning resources. The practice is learned through changing social relations, which allow learning through centripetal participation in the community of practice’s situated curriculum. The paper points to aikido clubs across the world that share historical roots, practices and enterprises as being connected in constellations of practice, with a level of continuity across it, which allows for legitimate peripheral participation in these clubs.

EducationsEducational Studies, (Bachelor/Graduate Programme) Graduate
Publication date11 Jan 2017
Number of pages66
SupervisorsNiels Warring