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East Asian Languages and Societies | Interpersonal and Small Group Communication | Philosophy | Practical Theology


Practitioners of Aikido advance the claim, peculiar to many, that martial training can support moral action. This essay examines the claim by exploring communicative structures implicit in the response to attack made possible by this art's techniques. This exploration reveals three dimensions of intersubjectivity embedded in the practice of Aikido, dimensions that explicate the ethical imperative of the art.


This essay was presented at the Hawaii International Conference on Arts & Humanities, Honolulu, January 2012 and as an invited lecture for the Division of Humanities at Franklin Pierce University in April 2012. Since it was being presented before an audience almost entirely unfamiliar with Aikido, a pause was inserted in which listeners were invited to practice a few very basic forms so that they might gain some embodied understanding of one of the dimensions of intersubjectivity discussed in the essay.