An Ethnography of Aikido

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    Honors Thesis, 1994

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    Colorado College Anthropology Department, 1994

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Honors Thesis

The Colorado College Department of Anthropology, 1994

THIS THESIS has two seemingly contradictory guiding forces. The first is the attempt to bring the Japanese martial art aikido to some sort of academic, anthropological understanding. The second is to express my own experiences and subsequent views on aikido in the most honest and accurate way possible …

If anthropology has taught me anything, it has taught me that there is usually a very rational way to understand such cultural “contradictions.” There is no reason to consider the two sorts of understandings I seek— personal and academic— to be contradictory …

read pages 1-7 [80 KB PDF file] … please contact me to read more: it’s 133 pages or about 45,000 words!

  1. Keni Lynch says:

    Dear Greg, I’m applying to the Frank Harry Guggenheim Foundation for a grant to study aggression mastery through aikido and would love to read your thesis and, of course, to quote from it, and attribute any notes taken from it to you. Wish me luck!

  2. Trotters says:

    Hi Greg,

    I, too, am currently about to embark on a Masters dissertation concerning Aikido in non-Japanese contexts and was wondering if I could have a read through your thesis?

    All the best,


  3. Teddy Rodrigue says:

    Hi Greg,
    I’m a first year anthropology master’s student studying Japanese culture. I’m specifically interested in aspects of Japanese religion in the United States and Aikido was recently suggested to me as a possible avenue for my thesis. I was wondering if I could have your permission to read your thesis and perhaps use it as one of my sources if that is the path I choose.
    Thank you so much!

  4. Peter says:

    Hi Greg!
    I’m an aikidoka (for 3 years) and an applied anthropologist in Budapest, Hungary. I would like to take a short presentation about the perspective of an anthropological understanding by the body and by the movement in the aikido at the one of the most important hungarian anthropology festival named “Szimbiózis Napok” (“Symbiotical Days”) in May. I would like to reach your full work of ethnograpy of aikido, and of course, feature your name in the reference list.
    Thank you and wish the best!
    Budapest (Hungary)