The multimodal and collaborative aspects of demonstrations in the teaching of budo sports

Thesis event information

Date and time of the thesis defence

Place of the thesis defence

University of Oulu, Linnanmaa, auditorium L6

Topic of the dissertation

The multimodal and collaborative aspects of demonstrations in the teaching of budo sports

Doctoral candidate

Master of Arts Joonas Råman

Faculty and unit

University of Oulu Graduate School, Faculty of Humanities, COACT - Complexity of (inter)action and multimodal participation

Subject of study

English philology


Professor Leelo Keevallik, Linköping university


Professor Pentti Haddington, University of Oulu

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The teaching of martial arts is based on interaction

This dissertation examines the interactional nature of demonstrations utilized in the teaching of combat sports. In the examined demonstrations, the teacher, together with a partner, illustrate a variety of martial arts techniques, such as judo throws, to a group of observing students. The dissertation focuses on the way a variety of interactional modalities, such as talk and embodiment, are utilized together in the teaching of physical skills. Another focal point of the dissertation is the collaborative nature of the teaching. The dissertations seeks to uncover how, and by whom the demonstration is accomplished in the teaching of physical skills. Multimodal conversation analysis is utilized as the main research method. The dissertation is based on examining 22 hours of video recorded practice sessions from three different martial arts contexts: judo, aikido and Brazilian jiu-jitsu. The dissertation shows that the demonstrations are constructed by the teacher interactionally, relying heavily on the embodied conduct of both the partner and the students. This is reflected on the timing of the demonstrations, their structure and on the way the teachers guide their partners through the demonstration. Therefore, the stereotype of a martial arts sensei relying on their authority to conduct the class is challenged. Correspondingly, the dissertation defines demonstrations as embodied depictions upon, and around which an instructional context is build in collaboration with all of the participants.
Last updated: 1.3.2023