Volume 19, No. 1, Art. 5 – January 2018

The Organization of Transitions between Observing and Teaching in the Budo Class

Joonas Råman

Abstract: This article is an illustration of the multimodal way in which judo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu teachers manage activity transitions from observing the students to teaching them. The data is collected from three beginner-level judo classes, filmed in Finland in autumn 2013, and two intermediary level Brazilian jiu-jitsu classes, filmed in Finland in autumn 2015. Different communicative moves employed by the teachers are examined through multimodal conversation analysis, and the sequential organization of these moves is presented in the analysis. The way participation changes, and is changed, during these transition sequences is also discussed. The findings indicate that these transition sequences are deeply multimodal and collaborative by nature. The teacher may be pedagogically responsible for the class, but the in-situ management of the transitions is largely dependent on the students and their embodied conduct.

Key words: activity transitions; participation; multimodality; embodied interaction; budo sports; mobility; multimodal conversation analysis; interaction studies

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Data and Approach

3. Transitions Between Activity Phases and Participatory Roles

4. Basic Structure of the Transition

5. Projection of Future Activity Phases and Transitions

6. Conclusions

Appendix: Symbols Used in the Transcripts






1. Introduction

Doing budo sports is essentially embodied interaction. The art of judo, for instance, is entirely based on following and yielding to the movements of the opponent, and at the opportune moment producing sudden changes of direction, ideally with minimal effort. A judoka, who relies solely on strength to overpower the opponent, will likely be exhausted and lying on the mat before long. There is something analogous with this and the way practice sessions are conducted, and indeed, with the very ideas of recipient design (SACKS, SCHEGLOFF & JEFFERSON, 1974) and intersubjective understanding (SCHEGLOFF, 1992). In face-to-face interactions participants progress in a way that displays their orientation and sensitivity towards their co-participants, as both parties make efforts to understand each other. To a large extent, budo sports are also based on such intersubjective understanding. By going along with the movement of the opponent, by stepping backwards when being pushed for instance, a judoka will initially submit to a joint trajectory, a shared understanding of movement. By twisting and turning one's body unexpectedly, but still in parallel to the direction of the push, even a stronger opponent can be overcome. Such feints are common in many combat sports and would not work if the initial understanding and expectation of movements had not first been established. While the end goal of a judo match differs from that of everyday interaction, similar mechanisms of expected reactions are at play. Even if the actual application of budo skills is antagonistic by nature, the learning of these skills is not. To transition with minimal effort from one phase of the practice to the next, the teacher does not simply force his or her will on the students, but rather responds to their movements and chooses the opportune time to act, proving that interaction, similar to judo, is emergent, responsive, and collaborative by nature. Thus, although a budo sport teaches a set of antagonistic skills to the practitioners, these skills are acquired in a fundamentally collaborative manner. [1]

In this article I describe, through conversation analytic methods, the way in which judo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu (commonly referred to as BJJ) teachers accomplish transitions between the activities of observing the students and teaching them. More specifically, I focus on the semiotic resources (GOODWIN, 2000), both verbal and non-verbal, the teacher and the students have at their disposal, and how these resources are utilized in communicative moves (ENFIELD, 2009) to bring about the transition sequence. I identify and describe a relatively fixed pattern in the way these moves are temporally and sequentially ordered and organized. An examination is also provided of the way existing participation frameworks (GOODWIN, 2007) are de-constructed and modified collaboratively by the teacher and the students, and how entirely new ones are created in order to accomplish these transitions. [2]

Central to any sport is embodied interaction, a phenomenon that can be approached from a multitude of methodological angles. Anthropological approaches can be used not only to describe the role of sports in relation to surrounding society (e.g., BLANCHARD, 1995), but, as contemporary linguistic anthropology has shown, also to expose the importance of embodied interaction in very specific cultural spaces, events, and practices (e.g., DURANTI, 1992; OCHS, JACOBY & GONZALES, 1994). In contrast to broad social approaches, the focus can also be on the individual. Biomechanical approaches are utilized to examine the embodied interaction of body parts and motor control in athletic performances, as exemplified by dynamical systems theory (GLAZIER, DAVIDS & BARTLETT, 2003). Enactive cognitive science sees the body as an agent of cognition and highlights the importance of the situated, acting, and living body in the sense-making process (e.g., CLARK, 2008; SHAPIRO, 2010). Sports psychologists examine the connection between embodied conduct and concepts such as emotion (e.g., HANIN, 2003; LOCKE, 2003) and motivation (e.g., SCHUNK, 1995; SELFRIZ, DUDA & CHI, 1992). [3]

All the approaches mentioned above can be applied in the field of sports sciences, which, as STELTER, SPARKES and HUNGER (2003, §1) point out is a deeply multidisciplinary field of research. They describe the advantages of examining sports through qualitative means, which enables the examination of meanings, contexts, processes, and causes of action (ibid.). For the purpose of examining the sequentiality of embodied interaction, one qualitative approach, conversation analysis, provides a further set of advantages. It can be used to investigate the conduct of both a micro-community, the budo class, and of the individual participants acting therein. This is done, not with the specialized methodological tools employed in anthropology, biomechanics, or cognitive science, but by producing an analysis of the interaction event itself, and the social actions encountered within it. [4]

During a judo or a BJJ class, henceforth jointly referred to as budo for the purposes of this article, the teacher is typically engaged in one of two activities: observing the practicing students or teaching them. BROTH and KEEVALLIK (2014) have made a similar observation regarding Lindy Hop dance classes. Both in martial arts and dance classes, interaction is mainly organized with a clear pedagogical goal in mind. Additionally, in both classes, the students are often organized into pairs. In the case of budo practice, the pair comprises of the tori, the executer of the technique (a throw for instance), and the uke, the receiver of the technique. The tori and uke form a participation framework (GOODWIN, 1997), and when several pairs are practicing a technique at the same time, the teacher observes and treats each pair as a separate participation framework. However, when the aim is to teach all the students a new technique, the teacher, both for the sake of interaction and teaching, breaks down these separate participation frameworks and constructs a new, larger framework, consisting of all the students as well as the teacher. By gathering around the teacher, the participants create joint visual attention (ibid.), which allows for a more effective use of embodied resources of teaching. [5]

BROTH and KEEVALLIK (2014) have analyzed how a large, relatively immobile group of students in a dance class is transformed into several mobile groups, or participation frameworks. By contrast, in this article I explore in detail how separate mobile participants are brought together to a single, immobile group. In both cases, the teacher is essentially managing participation. However, it is worth stressing that transitions involve collaborative effort, both from the teacher and the students. Consequently, as shown in this article, students not only make transition possible by displaying their understanding of the teacher's actions through movement and other embodied means, but their embodied conduct also functions as the trigger for these transitions. [6]

It is important to note that the way that the participants organize the transitions in these examples is in no way representative of all budo practice. For instance, it can be argued that in many judo and BJJ clubs, and between different teachers, the progress of the practice session is more institutionally regulated. Specialist lingo, such as different Japanese commands, are often employed to regulate the students' conduct. For instance, the shouted command "YAME" is often used to signify the end of a specific phase of practice. In these examples, instead of the "YAME" command, the teachers use the Finnish words hyvä [good] and okei [okay] in the judo sessions, and the English words "okay" and "alright" in the BJJ sessions. However, their position in the transition is still the same, and they accomplish similar things. Furthermore, more advanced practitioners will have developed specialist knowledge on the structure of the practice session, which may influence their conduct during these transitions. [7]

The examples discussed in this article show how transitions are accomplished in two Finnish budo clubs, by one group of beginner judokas and two groups of intermediary BJJ practitioners and their four teachers. Undoubtedly, a myriad of variables, such as interpersonal relations, sport-specific traditions, personalities, and different didactic approaches, to name just a few, influence the way budo teachers organize their teaching. To be able to examine their effect in the teaching of budo sports in a satisfactory manner would require a much larger dataset. However, while such variables are important when considering the pedagogical aspects of budo practice, in this article the data is approached primarily from the perspective of interaction. The transitions examined in this study reveal a pattern between the cases. This may not be conclusive from the point of view of pedagogics or budo didactics. However, the pattern reveals how teaching and learning a budo sport, something quite often thought to be teacher-focused and even ritualized, can actually be conducted in a collaborative and adaptive way. [8]

The next section is an introduction to conversation analysis and the chosen methods of data collection and sampling. In Section 3 I discuss the concepts of activity phase, transition, and participation, as generally understood in the field of interaction studies. The basic structure of the transition, encountered in the majority of instances in the data, is discussed in Section 4. In Section 5 I demonstrate how the teacher can plan ahead and project future transition phases based on the embodied conduct of the students, showing the collaborative nature of these transition moments. The effect of unplanned, emergent activity phases on the transitions will also be discussed in Section 5. Concluding thoughts on the embodied and collaborative nature of practicing budo sports are presented in the final section. [9]

2. Data and Approach

The data for this research was collected in Finland, and consists of video footage from three beginner-level judo classes that took place in autumn 2013, and two intermediary-level BJJ practice sessions that took place in autumn 2015. The data collection was conducted as a part of a larger research project with an aim to acquire footage from different budo sports and participant skill levels. To achieve this, purposive sampling methods were employed (PALINKAS et al., 2015). Several budo clubs from across Finland were contacted and asked for their willingness to participate in the study. Video footage was collected from six different clubs, representing four different sports. The two sports examined here, judo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, were selected for the current study, as they present a roughly similar-sized set of data, and also include participants from differing skill levels. In addition, judo and BJJ can be considered closely related disciplines, both originating from the Japanese martial art of jujutsu, and sharing several techniques and practices. As is often the case with purposive sampling, making wider generalizations of budo sports is impractical in the scope of this data set. Instead, the data allows for close analytic scrutiny of a number of identified critical cases. The data selected for this study is approximately eight hours of video footage. From this set of data, 31 instances of activity phase transitions from practicing to teaching were identified. [10]

All the participants in the judo classes were native speakers of Finnish. The judo club in question is part of a sports organization for students and staff members of the local university. Once a year, the club organizes a course for beginners, after which the students receive their first color belt and are allowed to participate in practice sessions with more experienced judokas. Three practice sessions that occurred early on in the course were videotaped with three cameras (see Illustration 1 for the location of the cameras and the shape of the tatami [practice area]), constituting a five-hour corpus of naturally occurring judo training sessions.

Illustration 1: Sketch of the tatami in the judo club [11]

With the exception of two students, the participants in the BJJ practice sessions were native Finnish speakers. One of the teachers was a native speaker of Portuguese. English is used as a lingua franca in the class. The participants were not beginners, but rather had differing skill levels, a majority of them having practiced BJJ for more than a year. Each practice session focused on a specific technique or a theme, such as arm bars, choke holds, and take-downs. Two practice sessions were recorded with three cameras (see Illustration 2 for the location of the cameras and the shape of the tatami), totaling three hours of video footage from BJJ training sessions.

Illustration 2: Sketch of the tatami in the BJJ club [12]

The participants in both clubs were contacted in advance. They were informed about the research and given consent forms, which further elaborated on the use of the data data for research purposes. All participants gave their consent to be filmed under the condition that they would be anonymized in any resulting publications. All the captions taken from the actual video footage have been manipulated to this end. [13]

The primary method chosen for this research is conversation analysis, because it provides an extensive selection of tools for close analysis of sequentially unfolding interactions. Conversation analysis is an analytical method used for examining naturally-occurring interactions; events that are not experimental or scripted. The method was first developed by SACKS et al. (1974), with a specific focus on the co-operative nature of human communication. SACKS et al. argue that everyday interaction is patterned and sequentially organized. With the conversation analytic method regularities in the accomplishment of everyday social actions (such as requests, complaints, greetings, to name just a few) become distinguishable and the focus of analysis. Through repeated viewings of the data and detailed transcriptions, micro-level inspection of interaction and uncovering of these patterns is also possible. Conversation analysis also provides tools for examining the intersubjective nature of interaction: how participants in interaction collaboratively build meanings and display their understanding of social actions. It is important to remember that while budo practitioners learn ways to defeat each other in the tatami and form an antagonistic dyad when competing or sparring, the addition of the teacher creates a fundamentally "protagonistic," collaborative triad that can be examined in terms of joint meaning-making and intersubjective understanding. In the field of sport psychology, FINLAY and FAULKNER (2003) have already demonstrated how conversation analysis can be used to re-examine a well-established psychological concept such as attribution theory, and anchor it firmly to the interactional context. They also suggest that increasing coaches' and sport psychologists' responsiveness to interactional nuances and strategies might become a critical undertaking (§3), one in which conversation analysis may be of great assistance. [14]

The advantages of using video material to examine activity phase transitions are evident. According to MONDADA (2008, §88), using video data for sequential analysis is the only way to reliably examine "… the temporally fine-grained coordination between the mobilization of multimodal resources (talk, facial expressions, gestures, glances, bodily postures, objects manipulations, etc.), the timed use of artifacts and technologies, the constant rearrangements of participation frameworks, and the changing foci of attention." At the same time, however, it can be argued that introducing video cameras to a scene of naturally-occurring interactions can modify the participants' conduct. However, as TUNCER (2016) has shown, the participants' orientation to the cameras does not "contaminate" the research material (§51). On the contrary, her findings suggest that the recording can even serve as another interactional resource for the participants, as the inclusion of cameras negotiated through naturally-occurring interaction (§2). [15]

Conversation analytic principles of approaching the data and selecting the examples were followed in this research1). First, the data was subjected to repeated unmotivated viewings (SCHEGLOFF, 1996a, p.172). In other words, the data was not approached with any pre-formulated theories or hypotheses in mind. These viewings led to initial "noticings" regarding the essentially embodied way of conducting activity phase transitions. The five excerpts presented in this article represent the observations and findings gleaned from a larger collection and illustrate the transition sequence between observing and teaching, and the embodied and collaborative nature of its interactional organization. In keeping with the conversation-analytic method, detailed transcriptions of the interactions between the students and the teacher have been prepared, alongside screen captures and translations. A glossary of the symbols used in the transcriptions can be found in the Appendix. [16]

3. Transitions Between Activity Phases and Participatory Roles

Institutional settings such as doctor-patient encounters (MODAFF, 2003), official meetings (DEPPERMANN, SCHMITT & MONDADA, 2010), music master classes (REED, 2015), and budo classes have clearly defined phases of interaction. These macro-level phase structures adhere to a pre-determined and task-oriented order. For instance, in the context of physician-patient encounters, the opening phase is followed by history-taking and anamnesis, which then leads to the physical examination (ROBINSON & STIVERS, 2001). Similarly, a judo class consists of different phases. The bow begins the class, and this is followed by the warm-up, which in turn typically leads to practicing the ukemi (the correct way to fall down). After this, teachers shape the practice session according to their own personal preferences, typically, however, ending the session with randori (free, competition-style practice) and the formal bow, where the students and the teacher thank each other for the practice. Different clubs and teachers organize practice sessions in different ways. [17]

Within the macro-level phase structure, budo classes are comprised of two activity frameworks (BROTH & MONDADA, 2013; REED, 2015): teaching and practicing. While there are many forms of practice in budo sports and a multitude of didactic approaches available to the teachers, these are the two activities in which the participants are primarily engaged. The teacher either teaches or observes, while the students either observe or practice. The focus of this article is on the transitions between these two activities. [18]

A transition between practicing and teaching is a built-in element of a budo class, and it is also highly contextual and emerges from interaction. Even though the pedagogical purposes and goals of specific budo classes may be written down and distributed to the participants well in advance, the transitions that occur in the class still need to be accomplished during and "within the evolving structures of talk" (GOODWIN & GOODWIN, 2004, p.222), utilizing a range of semiotic resources, such as the environment and embodied actions. It is important to note that despite the organic and contextual nature of the transition phases, the participants still visibly orient to their understanding of the macro-level phase structure, as ROBINSON and STIVERS (2001, p.264) argue. A practitioner who has attended more classes can estimate which phase tends to succeed another. [19]

A selection of semiotic resources allows for a range of communicative "moves" (ENFIELD, 2009, p.11). ENFIELD describes the move as a "recognizable unit contribution of communicative behavior constituting a single, complete pushing forward of an interactional sequence by means of making some relevant social action recognizable" (ibid.). As regards transitions, research has focused on individual communicative moves, such as gaze and proxemic shifts, employed to initiate transitions between activity phases (see e.g., BEACH, 1995; ERICKSON, 1975; HEATH, 1986). More recent studies have examined the multimodal nature of activity transitions (MODAFF, 2003; ROBINSON & STIVERS, 2001). Similarly, the transitions between activity phases in a budo class are multimodal achievements. [20]

The pedagogical responsibility to manage and make "public" the relevance for a teaching phase falls on the teacher. However, the transition itself is a collaborative effort. The students do not simply passively await instructions. Rather, through their embodied conduct, they display their states of readiness and thus actively construct the relevance for the transition. They may, for instance, physically re-orient themselves during a practice session in a way that facilitates easier observation of the ensuing teaching. In this way, both the teacher and students actively progress the lesson through embodied conduct patterns (see e.g., BROTH & KEEVALLIK, 2014; EVANS, 2013; KÄÄNTÄ, 2012; LINDWALL & EKSTRÖM, 2012; REED, 2015; SZYMANSKI, 1999). [21]

As the teacher and students transition between teaching and practicing, the manner of their participation naturally also changes. The idea of different levels of participating in interaction was introduced through the concept of participation framework first by GOFFMAN (1981), and later developed by GOODWIN (e.g., 1984, 1986, 2003a, 2003b, 2007). Examining a budo practice session involves multiple, moving participants who disengage and engage from different interactions, and it calls for a dynamic understanding of participation. For Goodwin, participation requires constant maintenance from all participants. The participation framework is the product of this maintenance. It is the sum of all the participants, their roles and the semiotic fields (GOODWIN, 2000) they employ to ensure continued participation and interaction. In the context of budo practice, the tatami (the practice area) provides a wealth of semiotic resources. As illustrated in this article, simply moving in the tatami provides great many affordances for interaction. Gaze, body posture, movement, gestures, and speech can all be employed to ensure that the participation framework remains intact and intersubjective understanding is achieved. In other words, the budo practitioners engage in participatory sense-making (e.g., DE JAEGHER, PIEPER, CLÉNIN & FUCHS, 2017; FUCHS & DE JAEGHER; 2009; TORRANCE & FROESE, 2011) through the use of their bodies. [22]

While conversation analysis cannot make statements regarding the cognitive changes and processes of the participants, their embodied conduct nonetheless gives clues as to how they engage in participatory sense-making. As DE JAEGHER and DI PAOLO (2007) argue, sense-making is an embodied action and is made by social agents through coordination in social engagements. They also call for a close examination of the interaction sequence itself (pp.487-488):

"For the enactive approach, cognition is embodied action. ... But in order for this message not to dilute, it is important to do much more than just say that cognition is embodied (Sheets-Johnstone, 1999). The debate must be moved to the concrete realm of seeing exactly how the animate body in its world is a mind." [23]

A micro-level, sequential examination of a moment of interaction, such as an activity phase transition, can provide some further proof that intersubjectivity is an embodied phenomenon, and move the focus from individuals and their cognitive processes to bodies engaged in coordinated meaning making. Transitioning from practicing to teaching in budo involves the construction of new participation frameworks, providing a window through which such coordination may be examined. [24]

As MONDADA (2009) has shown, engaging new participants in interaction involves a great deal of preliminary work. Namely, a common "interactional space" has to be established between the participants. Prior to learning a new technique, all participants in the budo class need to have joint visual access to each other, a configuration that KENDON (1990) calls the F-formation. Similarly to MONDADA's findings, once the F-formation is achieved, the interactional space is stabilized and the actual teaching can begin. This stabilization is preceded by the opening phase, where the would-be-participants orient their bodily movements, postures and gazes to each other to allow for the interaction. EVANS (2013, p.226) has made comparable findings regarding correction sequences in basketball coaching where the coach physically relocates to a place where joint visual attention is maximized:

"... this coaching practice of re-positioning oneself within the play-space at the outset of the correction sequence is a method of dealing with the problem of making corrections visibly available because it affords the coach greater capacity to employ relevant material structure in the environment in producing intelligible talk and action." [25]

The opening phase can also have a projecting function in the budo context, as will be illustrated in Section 5 of this article. During this opening phase, the teacher and the students can, through embodied and spatio-temporal means, display their orientation to future activity phases beyond the immediate ensuing interaction, and thus display a more far-reaching, intersubjective understanding than previously described. By halting movement in a specific part of the tatami, for instance, the participants can display their shared understanding of both the teaching phase to ensue and the practice phase succeeding it. [26]

4. Basic Structure of the Transition

The basic structure of the transition phase is illustrated by the first two examples, taken from the beginner judo class and the intermediary BJJ class. In the first example, two separate uke-tori pairs—one consists of two students (S1 and S2 in the transcripts) and the other involves a student and the assistant teacher (S3 and AC in the transcripts)—practice a judo throw called morote-seio nage through the uchikomi form of practice. In uchikomi practice, the tori grips the uke and repeatedly executes the throwing motion, up to the point of pulling the uke off-balance, without actually throwing them to the ground. The purpose of this form of practice is to teach the tori, through repetition, the correct way to turn with the throw and shift his/her balance, so that when the throw is actually executed, it is safe for both the uke and tori. A typical mistake made by novice judokas when performing the seio nage throw is not squatting low enough, making it very difficult to lift the opponent up. The tori can achieve a lower squat by placing their feet side by side and pulling the opponent slightly upwards. For this reason, the teacher typically closely observes, comments, and corrects the tori's grip and footwork. In the beginning of this excerpt, the teacher (referred to as CO in the examples) does just this (see Example 1, fig1). He observes and comments on the way the tori (S1) shifts his balance lower in order to execute the throw more fluently with a single motion. Eventually, the teacher instructs the students on how they can improve the technique they have been practicing by including a twisting motion to the throw once the opponent has been lifted.

Example 1: The basic structure of the transition in the judo class. Click here to download the PDF file [27]

While observing the first uke-tori pair (Example 1, lines 01-09), the teacher stands to the side of the pair, leaning forward, his hands against his knees, and his back towards the center of the tatami and the second uke-tori pair. The teacher, the uke, and the tori form a single participation framework (see Example 1, fig.1). This configuration is favored by the teacher when commenting on and observing the performance of a single pair. Through lines 01-09, the teacher displays through his body posture that he is engaged in the action of observing. While he is the only verbal participant, his speech turns are constructed primarily as responses to the embodied actions of the uke-tori pair. The teacher's speech turns in lines 04 and 06 suggest that the students struggled with the technique during a previous uchikomi throw but that they improved on the next one. Instead of stopping the uchikomi practice to address the less successful performance, he continues to observe the situation and, after a more successful uchikomi, commends the tori for his form in lines 04 and 06. [28]

It is at this time that the teacher begins to prepare for the transition to teaching. The first communicative move the teacher employs is spatio-temporal monitoring of the participants. By assessing the availability of the students to be addressed, the teacher facilitates a smoother transition. First, he observes the first uke-tori pair completing one more uchikomi practice throw (line 8). Just as they are finished with the throw, he changes his body posture by raising from the leaning pose (see Example 1, fig.2), and turns to face the center of the tatami and the other practicing uke-tori pair. This way, he has detached himself from the first participation framework of S1 and S2. The tori of the second pair (AC) has just completed an uchikomi throw and both participants (AC and S3) are preparing for another one. Neither of the practicing pairs engage in a throw, meaning that they direct their attention immediately to the teacher. Furthermore, by assessing the location of the second uke-tori pair, the teacher can determine the optimal physical location for the ensuing teaching phase. Calling this brief redirection of gaze a communicative move may at first seem difficult to verify, but is nonetheless justified. By monitoring the embodied conduct of the participants, the teacher in effect actively engages in embodied communication with AC and S3, who wittingly or not, display their readiness to be addressed. Effectively then, it could be said that while the initiation of the transition is the pedagogical responsibility of the teacher, it is facilitated by the students through their embodied conduct. [29]

Having established the time and place for the transition, the teacher begins to walk towards the center of the tatami (see Example 1, fig.3). The teacher's movement to a jointly-witnessable location is the second move of the transition phase. This movement ensures unhindered visual accessibility to the teaching sequence. For the purposes of visibility, the center of the tatami is optimal. In 28 of the 31 cases of transitions examined, the teacher is either already positioned in the center of the tatami, or begins to move towards it, prior to addressing the students verbally. Had the teacher stayed at his initial location, the second uke-tori's line of sight would have been broken by one of the two pillars located in the tatami (see Illustration 1). The teacher has designed the transition with the recipients specifically in mind. [30]

The teacher is already half way to his final position in the middle of the tatami when he produces the first speech turn directed to all the students (see Example 1, fig.3). When the teacher produces the initial, higher-volume speech unit HYVÄ [GOOD] in line 10; he is not a member of either of the two participation frameworks, but rather, he engages in constructing a single framework that will include all the students. In other words, he manages participation by merging two existing participation frameworks. The verbal element HYVÄ in line 10 is the third communicative move of the transition phase and has a dual purpose. It draws the attention of the students and at the same time, it also stops the uchikomi practice. It is important to note that these two functions are achieved mainly through intonation, rather than the lexical content of the speech turn. In line 01, the word Hyvä is produced with a lower volume and lengthened intonation, marking it as an assessment of the two students' performance. In contrast, in line 10 the word HYVÄ is delivered with a noticeably higher volume and with a faster intonation, marking it as being addressed to every participant in the tatami. In 28 of the 31 transition cases examined, the attention-getting verbal element is a single word speech turn, produced with a louder volume than the following speech turns. [31]

The next speech turn, in line 11, is the fourth communicative move of the transition and closely related to what BROTH and KEEVALLIK (2014, p.112) call a "practice projector." Practice projectors allow for coordinated and collective action, the movement of bodies. Practice projectors provide the students with clear instructions on what is about to happen. Whereas in the case of the Lindy Hop-practice, where practice projectors serve as initial clues for the students to start forming pairs for the practice, here the speech turn gathers the participants to a single, large group in preparation for the teaching activity framework. This verbal move might, therefore, be called a teaching projector. This idea of everyone being brought together is reinforced by the use of an indefinitive -taan passive construction, which in Finnish has largely replaced the first person plural imperative and carries a sense of including all present participants (SHORE,1988, p.163): KATOTAAPAS [LET'S LOOK]. In addition, the teacher begins this verbal move with a higher volume, which would further suggest that it is intended for all the participants. In 30 of the 31 cases of transitions examined, the teacher produces a teaching projector prior to teaching the new technique. [32]

Finally, the transition phase is brought to an end with elikkä [so], a vocal "pre-beginning element" (SCHEGLOFF, 1996b, pp.92-93) in line 13. SCHEGLOFF (p.92) describes the function of pre-beginning elements as projecting the onset of talk, produced prior to the actual, recognizable beginning. Such elements can be, for instance, audible in-breaths, gaze switches, facial expressions, and verbal units. Pre-beginning elements are the fifth and final communicative move of the transition phase and are used to show that the speaker is "gearing up" to speak, and thus they have an opening function. Here, they also seem to have a closing function. They mark both the end of the transition sequence and the beginning of the teaching sequence. It is important to note that they are produced only after the teacher has ensured that all the students are in a position from which they can observe the teaching. In this excerpt, the teacher waits for the first uke-tori pair to turn towards the center of the tatami before producing the pre-beginning turn in line 13. All 31 of the activity phase transitions examined include a verbal pre-beginning element at the end of the transition. In the context of the judo class, this verbal element is always some variant of the Finnish word eli [so], such as elikkä in Example 1. [33]

An examination of a transition sequence from the BJJ classes demonstrates a very similar structure to the one shown in Example 1. In this example, the BJJ teacher shows a group of 21 students how to pass an opponent's half-guard. The half-guard is a position in ground-grappling in which the combatant lying on their back has a hold of one leg of the combatant on top. To pass the half-guard and obtain a dominant position, the combatant on the top must try to untangle their leg from the opponent's hold. [34]

The focus of the BJJ practice session examined here has been on the phases of passing the half-guard. Throughout the practice session, the teacher presents the technique phase by phase, and after each phase, the students practice that particular phase as well as defend against it. Prior to this segment, the students had practiced the preceding phase, which included the student on top trying to move to their opponent's side, with the bottom student trying to defend against this maneuver. In the phase examined here, the student on top will have to try to get into a position where they can both apply pressure on the opponent's chest from the side, and thus limit their opponent's mobility, and free their leg from the opponent's hold. Ultimately, the student on top tries to achieve a dominant position called side control, where they have both of their legs free and keep the bottom student pinned beneath them. [35]

In this excerpt, the teacher stands slightly on the right side of the tatami, holding his infant daughter, whom he has brought along to this practice session, and observes the practice of two students to his right (see Example 2, fig.1).

Example 2: The basic structure of the transition in the BJJ class. Click here to download the PDF file [36]

Similarly to the transition in Example 1, the transition sequence here begins with visual monitoring. Fig.1 in Example 2 shows the teacher examining the performance of one of the practicing pairs (Pair 4 in Example 2, directly to the left of the teacher on fig.1). Prior to this segment, he switched his gaze from one pair to another. Altogether, there are four practicing pairs in his immediate vicinity. As the teacher begins to move, all four pairs in the vicinity are in the phase of their practice where the student on the top has either achieved the position designated in the prior phase of the practice (pairs 2, 3, and 4 in Example 2), or are about to change roles as uke and tori (pair 1 in Example 2) and begin the exercise again. None of the students in the teacher's vicinity are in the process of performing the technique, meaning that they can be easily addressed and brought together for the teaching phase. [37]

The teacher begins to walk towards the center of the tatami (see Example 2, fig.2), and, just before stopping, he produces the attention-getting verbal element "OKAY" (in line 02). After this, the practicing pairs around the tatami start to disengage from their practice and turn towards the center of the tatami. While the students are doing this, the teacher hands his daughter to S1 and thanks her (see Example 2, fig.3). Prior to the start of the practice session, the teacher and S1 had agreed that she would hold the teacher's daughter when he taught a technique. Accordingly, S1 holds the teacher's daughter throughout the teaching phase. Meanwhile, S2, who has been serving as an assistant teacher throughout the practice session, approaches the teacher (lines 05-09). [38]

Next, the teacher produces the teaching projector in lines 10 and 14 ("Okay so uhh let's continue the with the next side"). At the same time, he begins to walk towards the side of the tatami, where he deposits his glasses for the duration of the teaching phase (see Example 2, fig.4). While the teacher does this, S2 lies down on the mat in preparation for the upcoming teaching phase. As the teacher returns to the center of the tatami, he gets down on his knees and finishes the teaching projector. [39]

Prior to closing the transition, the teacher briefly negotiates with S2 to maneuver him to the correct position with a quick pointing gesture (see Example 2, fig.5). S2 complies and turns to his side, allowing the teacher to begin the teaching phase from the position where the students were when the prior practice phase ended (see Example 2, fig.6). In this way, the teacher creates a sense of continuation to the teaching, allowing the students to see the phase-by-phase construction of the technique being taught. The verbal pre-beginning element used to close the transition in this, and indeed all the cases of transitions found in the BJJ classes, is the word "so" (found here in the beginning of line 20). After the verbal pre-beginning element, the actual teaching phase begins. [40]

The transition sequence in Example 2 shows clear similarities with the one examined in Example 1. Both in judo and BJJ, the teacher first establishes the timing of the transition in relation to the embodied behavior of the students. In both cases, the teachers time the transition so that the students’ participation frameworks are easily disbanded and the actual practice of a technique is not disturbed. Prior to engaging the students verbally, the teachers move to jointly-witnessable locations in the center of the tatami. The attention-getting verbal elements in both cases are produced in a higher volume. The teaching-projectors also share similarities in the two examples. In both cases, the teaching-projector carries a sense of all participants being brought together for a single purpose. This is achieved with the indefinite passive construction KATOTAAPAS [LET'S LOOK] in Example 1 and the first person plural imperative "let's continue" in Example 2. [41]

In Example 1, the students begin to orient towards the teacher after the verbal attention-getter HYVÄ. By the end of the teaching projector (in line 11) every participant is oriented towards the teacher. Example 2 shows that the teacher too may use this time to prepare for the teaching phase. After producing the louder "OKAY" attention-getter, and before actually beginning the teaching, he has time to hand his daughter to one of the students and deposit his glasses at the side of the tatami. By the end of the teaching projector (in line 14), the students are oriented towards the teacher, who has returned to S2 and can begin the teaching phase. However, the verbal pre-beginning element ‘so' is not produced until the teacher has instructed S2 to turn to his side. To achieve a sense of continuation, S2 needs to be in the position the students had achieved by the end of the prior practice phase. It is only after S2 complies that the teacher produces the transition phase closing pre-beginning element "so" (see Example 2, fig.6). This again marks the role of the verbal pre-beginning element as the final communicative move of the transition, which is only produced after all the managerial work related to the pedagogical strategy and the witnessability of the teaching is concluded. [42]

In summary then, the transition phase is sequentially organized through the following communicative moves:

Communicative move

Location in the transcript

Visual monitoring

Lines 01-09 of Example 1 / Line 01 of Example 2

Movement to a jointly-witnessable location

Lines 09-12 of Example 1 / Lines 01-04 of Example 2

Practice closing and attention-getting verbal element

Line 10 of Example 1 / Line 02 of Example 2

Teaching projector

Line 11 of Example 1 / Lines 10 & 14 of Example 2

Verbal pre-beginning element

Line 13 of Example 1 / Line 20 of Example 2

Table 1: Communicative moves of the transitions in Examples 1 and 2 [43]

This is the standard sequence of communicative moves in the majority of practice-to-teaching transitions encountered in the data (25 cases out of 31 transitions). However, as mentioned earlier, transition phases are context-sensitive. In certain situations, the order of the communicative moves can be modified and certain moves omitted. The teacher may plan ahead and project future practice or teaching sequences during the transition phase, or emergent activity phases may arise. These modified transition phases still share much in common with the standard communicative move sequence described above. [44]

5. Projection of Future Activity Phases and Transitions

Example 3 shows how future activity phases can be planned ahead by the teacher in the opening phase of the transition. The teacher stops the students' movement at a point ideally suited for continuing with the next practice phase after the now-starting teaching activity phase is concluded. This type of projecting of future activity phases facilitates smoother transitions and is quite often seen in practice situations where the students move along a designated trajectory, such as from one end of the tatami to the other. By stopping the students' movement in a specific space, they can directly continue their movement from that same space without needing to re-locate. [45]

In this example, taken from the judo classes, the students are again formed as two uke-tori pairs, this time moving from one edge of the tatami to the next. In this exercise, the tori grips the uke, walking backwards, and after a few steps performs a throw, the very same morote-seio nage technique practiced in Example 1. The uke then stands up, the tori grips him, starts walking backwards and throws him again. The pairs move in this manner from one side of the tatami to the other, after which the uke and tori switch roles. The purpose of this exercise is to teach the tori the correct moment to turn his body and execute the throw while moving backwards. The technique the teacher will show them is how to perform the turn, known as tai-sabaki, while side-stepping. The technique itself is very similar to the one the students have been practicing, the only difference being that the tori will have to step in to the throw from a different angle. The two uke-tori pairs have been moving from one side of the tatami to the other several times before the teacher initiates the transition sequence. The teacher is positioned closer to the side of the tatami the students are moving to, standing next to a pillar, and facing the approaching uke-tori pairs.

Example 3: Teacher timing the transition in relation to the students' positions. Click here to download the PDF file [46]

The transition sequence begins with the teacher looking around the tatami, examining the positioning of the students (see Example 3, fig.1). It is worth noting that he could have initiated the transition when the students approached him, and thus ensured instant visibility and accessibility to the teaching sequence. By stopping the action in the middle of the tatami, the students would have already been gathered around the teacher. The students pass by him and reach the other side of the tatami. There are a few possible pedagogical and communicative reasons for doing so. First, while moving across the tatami, the tori has time and space to perform two or three throws before reaching the other side. By stopping the movement in the middle of the tatami, the tori would only have time to perform one throw, and thus the exercise would have been left incomplete. Second, after reaching the other side of the tatami, the exercise calls for the students to switch roles, to effectively re-establish their participatory roles; the uke becomes the tori, the participant who initiates the movement. During this brief re-negotiation phase, a miniature transition sequence as it were, the two participants do not have assigned roles. They need to turn around, and are more available to be addressed from the center of the tatami. When the teacher begins to move, in line 04, he does it in a very noticeable manner (see Example 3, fig.3) and at a time when the students' participation frameworks are at their weakest: when the students themselves negotiate their participatory roles. Third, the technique the teacher is about to show the students still includes movement as a pair, and the way this technique will be practiced after the teaching activity is very similar to the current mode. The pairs continue their movement from one side of the tatami to the other, this time using the side-stepping method. By initiating the transition sequence when the students are at one side of the tatami, they are already at an optimal location to start the new form of practice, once the teaching activity has been completed. This shows how the teacher employs spatial resources, even during what MONDADA (2009, p.1980) would call the opening phase, to design future activity phases. [47]

Having established the time and place for the transition, the teacher ensures the witnessability of the teaching sequence through movement. Because the students have moved to the other side of the tatami, the teacher re-positions himself in the center of the tatami so that he is not blocked by the pillar. The teacher moves to the center of the tatami after both uke-tori pairs have completed their last throws and are relatively stationary at the side of the tatami (see Example 3, fig.3). The teacher performs the technique he intends to teach the students at the same time he moves to the more witnessable location, side-stepping and performing the tai-sabaki turn. This performance may serve to remind the teacher himself how the technique is performed prior to teaching it. During this movement phase, the teacher has not yet verbally addressed the students; they are engaged in negotiating their roles as uke and tori. However, at least one of the students (S3) notices the teacher's movement and halts his own (see Example 3, fig.3). Having completed the practice throw, the teacher produces the verbal move, which again functions as a teaching projector kokeillaanpa liikkua sivuttai [Let's try moving sideways] in line 09. Noticeable again is the -aan passive construction, denoting in Finnish the first person plural imperative form, used here to address the students and create a sense of a joint achievement. [48]

It is also important to note that, unlike in Examples 1 and 2, there are no verbal moves preceding the teaching projector. In Example 1, the high volume HYVÄ in line 10 draws the attention of the participants. In Example 3, the students re-establish their participatory roles and thus their participation frameworks are weaker, and they can be more easily addressed by the teacher directly. Furthermore, it would appear that certain sections of the tatami carry different meaning to the participants. The center of the tatami, for instance, is typically reserved for the teacher as a place where techniques can be demonstrated. The ends of the tatami, in contrast, seem to be places where students can expect to be addressed. In many forms of practice, the ends function as places where the teacher can give further instructions without disrupting the students practice in mid-performance. Therefore, when the students reach the end of the tatami, the teacher does not need to produce an explicit vocal turn to draw the students' attention. After providing the teaching projector in line 09, the teacher waits two seconds before continuing, which allows the students to re-orient towards the center of the tatami. The students' embodied conduct indicates that the teacher's speech turn in line 09, accompanied by his location in the center of the tatami, is interpreted as a teaching projector, and not as a directive to begin immediately moving. Again, the end of the transition sequence is marked with a verbal move in line 14, the very same elikkä pre-beginning element used in the first example. These transition-closing pre-beginning elements tend to be, in these Finnish examples, some variation of the word eli (Elikkä in Examples 1 and 3), which roughly translates to "so." [49]

It may be worthwhile here to examine the verbal pre-beginning element ‘eli' closer. In terms of grammar, the Finnish word eli, and its elikkä variant, functions as a coordinating conjunction. It has, therefore, the grammatical function of joining words or clauses together, its literal translations being "or," "a.k.a," and "in other words." Grammatically, eli refers to something said earlier, and in both examples the elikkä conjunction is grammatically used to refer to the teaching projector. In both examples, the actual teaching sequence begins with the teacher physically showing the new technique to the students. It, therefore, makes both grammatical and interactional sense to use the eli conjunction. The teacher has briefly presented the new technique verbally, through the teaching projector and is next about to exemplify the new technique through embodied means, while at the same time verbally explaining it. Elikkä functions both as a conjunction between clauses, as well as between activity phases. In addition, through modifying the production of elikkä, the teacher can also use it as a conjunction between participation configurations. By delaying the production of elikkä in Example 3 by two seconds, the students are oriented to their new participation framework by the time it is finally produced. Grammatically eli is a simple conjunction between clauses. Interactionally, however, it has more complex roles. It both closes and opens activity phases, as well as functions as a transition device between different multimodal resources, these being verbal teaching projectors and embodied examples, as well as between participation frameworks. [50]

In summary, the order of the communicative moves used for the transition phase in Example 3 is as follows:

Communicative move

Location in the transcript

Visual monitoring

Lines 02 - 06

Movement to a jointly-witnessable location

Lines 08-10

Teaching projector

Line 09

Verbal pre-beginning element

Line 14

Table 2: Communicative moves of the transition in Example 3 [51]

As in Examples 1 and 2, non-verbal moves of gaze switching and movement precede verbal moves. Similarly, after the teaching projector, the teacher does not produce the transition phase closing eli utterance until all the students have shifted their focus to him. [52]

The previous example included only three students. As the number of students grows, it may become more difficult to initiate the transition "on the spot." This is especially true when the students are performing the technique at a different pace and located in different parts of the tatami. Acquiring the attention of several students going through the designated practice activity at their own pace calls for a modified sequence of communicative moves. In such cases, the teacher can produce the teaching projector well in advance in order to manage both the physical location and the timeframe of the ensuing transition phase. [53]

In this example, five students (S1-S5) practice ukemi, which is the correct way to fall down in judo. Similarly to Example 3, the students move back and forth from one side of the tatami to the other, this time performing ukemis on the way by falling forwards and getting back up. This time, however, they move individually rather than in pairs. This means that, unlike in the previous examples, students have not formed their own participation frameworks, except for the assistant coach (AC) and one of the students (S3), who are engaged in a private teaching framework. At the beginning of this excerpt, and all the way to line 20, AC gives more detailed instructions to S3, who seems to be struggling with the technique. While AC explains the principles of the ukemi to S3, the rest of the students perform the practice, with the CO observing them and moving around the tatami, eventually stopping in the location shown in fig.2 of Example 4.

Example 4: Teacher produces a teaching projector in advance. Click here to download the PDF file [54]

The most noticeable difference in the sequence of communicative moves in this example is the teaching projector, introduced already in line 01. In the collection of 31 transitions, there are four instances of the teacher producing an early teaching projector. Prior to the teaching projector, the students moved at their own pace from one side of the tatami to the other. However, even though the students are free to move from one side to the other at their own pace in this form of practice, once they reach the end they tend to pause their practice and wait until everyone has caught up. The camera does not reveal all the students, however fig.1 of Example 4 shows that at least three students are stationary, with S2, S4 and S5 gazing to the right, towards S1, who is not visible in the camera, most likely waiting for him to reach the end of the tatami, before continuing with the next round. As mentioned earlier, different parts of the tatami carry different interactive meaning to the participants. When the practice calls for movement across the tatami, the ends of the tatami function as positions where students can display their embodied readiness to be addressed. While this may be done through gaze-switching and body torque towards the teacher, simply standing still also signifies such readiness. If they are not addressed by the teacher, the practice continues. [55]

The teacher utilizes spatial resources, by addressing the students once they have reached the end of the tatami. Here again, the transition begins with visual monitoring. Unlike in the previous examples, however, visual monitoring is followed by the teaching projector (in line 01) through which the teacher sets up the teaching phase and instructs the students to complete two more laps of ukemis across the tatami. Producing the teaching projector in advance stops the practice at an ideal time and place for the next activity phase to take place. It provides the participants a timeframe in which to complete the exercise. Additionally, due to the teacher producing the teaching projector when the students are already at the end of the tatami, the students also have a physical point of reference to which they will eventually return once they have completed their laps. [56]

The students and the assistant teacher display, through embodied means, their readiness. Upon reaching the end of the tatami after the second lap of ukemis, the students turn and face the center of the tatami and CO (see Example 4, fig.3). Similarly, after S3 has performed her only ukemi (line 10), both she and AC start breaking up their participation framework. They still talk to each other in lines 20-22, but their embodied orientation has changed as they both now stand and face the center of the tatami with the rest of the students. In addition, AC provides an evaluation of S3's performance in lines 09-12, which is a closing action on his part. His intonation is hurried and he keeps shifting his gaze between S3 and the CO. This change in embodied orientation seems to indicate that they, along with the rest of the students, are preparing for the transition projected in line 01. [57]

Once the students have completed the laps, the teacher walks towards AC and S3 (line 24-27). By moving closer to the students (see Example 4, fig.2 and fig.3), the teacher performs the third communicative move of the transition, the movement to a jointly-witnessable location. She then addresses the assistant teacher in line 26 by asking him whether they should now move on to the teaching of a new topic. This interrogative speech turn and the ensuing quick conversation can be called an emergent activity phase. While the other students and the teacher engage in the activity frame of practicing, AC and S3 participate in a teaching activity frame. By addressing AC, the teacher can verify that AC and S3 are available for the teaching activity frame. In addition, the ensuing teaching frame will be conducted in cooperation with the AC and the CO. The teacher will make use of the AC as a pedagogical resource, which requires some prior negotiation, as indicated by the use of the interrogative plural first person construction otetaanko [should we now practice] in line 26. [58]

Having closed the brief negotiation activity phase with the AC in line 29 with an okei [okay], the teacher then performs the fourth communicative move of the transition by repeating the teaching projector, this time providing the students with more detailed instructions in lines 30-32. Noticeable again is the lack of a practice-closing verbal utterance directed to all the participants, as seen in Example 1. The students and the teacher are already physically oriented in a way that removes the need for attention shifting verbal utterances. [59]

Following the repetition of the teaching projector, the students and the AC start moving towards the center of the tatami in line 34. It is at this point that another emergent activity phase occurs. Transition phases are often seen as natural breaks (DEPPERMANN et al., 2010; EVANS, 2013) by the participants. They are often accompanied by emergent activity phases not directly related to practicing or teaching. In the context of beginner-level judo practice, the participants often joke, comment on their own or their partner's performance, adjust their judo attire, or pursue other non-practice relevant topics. These activities are typically pursued in a way that does not influence the transition. However, there is one notable exception. The students may request a collective break from the teacher, or the teacher may assign them one. Three such instances were seen in the data. [60]

Following the teacher's directions, the students move towards the center of the tatami, when one of the students (S4) asks the teacher if it would be possible to have a drink of water (see Example 4, fig.5). The teacher grants the permission and the students leave the tatami (see Example 4, fig.6). During their break, the teacher and the assistant teacher sit down in the middle of the tatami and begin to negotiate the techniques they feel should be covered during the teaching activity phase. [61]

As the two teachers negotiate this issue, the students return to the tatami one by one. They sit down around CO and AC and begin to observe their practice (see Example 4, fig.7). CO closes her private negotiation with AC with an acknowledgment token okei, which, as BEACH (1995) has shown, can be used to close current activity phases and orient the participants to the next. At the same time the okei makes public to the students the fact that the drink break is ending. [62]

In line 33 the teacher produces the familiar elikkä pre-beginning element, marking the end of the transition phase. What follows this transition-closing element is a 2.2-second pause. As figures 8 and 9 of Example 4 show, the teacher halts the beginning of his teaching until one last student has become stationary. Figure 8 of Example 4 shows the moment right after the teacher has produced the elikkä pre-beginning element. Both CO and AC gaze to the edge of the tatami. Once the last remaining student to return (S1) has become stationary (see the left of the screen on fig.9 of Example 4), the teacher continues her turn and moves on to the teaching phase. This again displays the transition-closing function of the elikkä pre-beginning element, and how its production can both be delayed, and followed by a longer silence, to allow participants to direct their focus to the ensuing teaching phase. [63]

These divergent breaks seemingly change the way transitions play out, but the semiotic resources deployed by the participants, to achieve the transitions, remain the same. This shows that the structure of the transition is relatively rigid. The students take positions around CO and AC without further instructions from them, and the transition is brought to a close in very much the same way as in the previous examples. While the transition phase is projected in advance, and temporarily halted by emergent activity phases, neither the overall structure of the transition nor the ordering of communicative moves change in a substantial way. In Example 4, the order of communicative moves is the following:

Communicative move

Location in the transcript

Visual monitoring

Line 01 and prior to the start of the transcribed segment

Teaching projector

Line 01

Movement to a jointly witnessable location

Lines 24-27

(Inserted activity phase)

Lines 25-29

Repetition of the teaching projector

Lines 30-32

(Inserted activity phase)

Lines 35-50

Verbal pre-beginning element

Line 51

Table 3: Communicative moves of the transition in Example 4 [64]

6. Conclusions

As the above examples show, transition phases are jointly produced by the participants. The teacher primarily organizes and times the transition, and the students' embodied conduct creates the necessary affordances for the transitions. Constant, ongoing embodied negotiation and monitoring between the students and the teacher largely determines the way these transition phases eventually play out. By stopping the practice phase at a time and place that allows the students to bring their individual practice activities to a logical end, the teacher ensures that the students gain the maximum benefit of the practice phase, and the embodied negotiation required for the opening phase of the teaching interaction is minimized. [65]

Certain parts of the tatami carry institutional meaning to the participants, and timing one's movement from, and to, these different parts is a sign of recipient design (SACKS et al., 1974). This is evident during transition phases, when the teacher moves to locations where potential for joint visual attention is maximized. It can be said that the "when" of the transition is largely determined by the embodied conduct of the students. In Examples 1, 2, and 3 the teacher can be seen moving to the center of the tatami, an area that seems to be associated with teaching and showing techniques, during times when the students are perceived to be most susceptible to be addressed (i.e., at times when they are not actively engaged in a technique and participation frameworks can be dismantled with the least effort). [66]

Example 4 shows how the teacher can foreshadow the transition phase in advance by providing the teaching projector during the practice phase. This gives the students a time frame and stops their movement at a desired moment. Noticeable again is how the teaching projector is produced at a time when all the students are in a location where they can be easily addressed. Here again, the teacher monitors the movement of the students and adapts his or her own conduct to match theirs. [67]

If timing the beginning of the transition is dependent on the embodied conduct of the students, the same can be said of the closing. The examples have shown how a verbal pre-beginning element—some variant of the Finnish word eli, and the word "so"—is used to mark the end of the transition phase. The timing of the eli and "so" is again related to the location and movement of the students. Examples 1, 2, and 3 show that the pre-beginning element is produced after the students have turned their attention to the teacher, at a time when a new participation framework is completed, a framework that includes every participant on the tatami. In the final example the teacher produces the elikkä prematurely, which becomes instantly observable as further speech is halted until the very last student is included in the new participation framework. [68]

As seen in Example 4, transition phases between practicing and teaching are susceptible to being interrupted by emergent activity phases. Indeed, in all the data observed for this study, no instances of emergent activity phases, which includes all the participants, occur during transitions from teaching to practicing. When an emergent activity phase, such as a drink break, occurs, the overall structure of the transition phase does not change in a substantial way as the transition is still brought to a close with the pre-beginning eli element. No further re-organization is required from the teacher. The students, by themselves, orient towards the center of the tatami and become part of the overall teaching framework. [69]

This article is a contribution to the growing body of research focusing on activity transitions (e.g., BROTH & KEEVALLIK, 2014; BROTH & MONDADA, 2013; MODAFF, 2003; ROBINSON & STIVERS, 2001). As GOODWIN (1979) has shown, the sequential organization of activities and actions is a collaborative and flexible effort, requiring constant embodied monitoring from all engaged participants. The findings presented here further demonstrate that even in a setting typically considered to be rigidly institutional by nature, budo practice, the participants still orient to the embodied conduct of each other and modify their own conduct accordingly to achieve activity transitions. At least in the budo clubs examined here, conducting a practice session relies more on interaction than on the teacher's authority. [70]

This article also examines the way in which participation changes, and is changed, throughout activity transitions. As BROTH and KEEVALLIK (2014) have shown, different activities require different forms of participation. In a budo class, the teacher can be seen to modify, break apart, and build anew the participation frameworks of the students in accordance with the phase of the practice. A lot of consideration goes to the time and place of these participation modifying moments. [71]

In a highly physical setting, such as a budo class, it is no surprise that embodied interaction plays an important role, not only in the actual teaching, but also in the organizational moments of activity phase transitions. Indeed, conducting a budo class through speech alone is undoubtedly impossible. As shown in this article, embodied interaction is much more than another tool used in organizing the transition phases. The teachers visibly orient to the embodied conduct of the students to progress the class, who in turn rely on their understanding of the phase structure and the different meanings assigned to different parts of the tatami to facilitate the transition phases. The animate bodies of the participants are engaged in constant interaction and negotiation with each other and, in collaboration, they assign meaning to not only locations, but also to movements and directions. Being in the right place at the right time is at the core of the organizational moments encountered in the budo class. [72]

Appendix: Symbols Used in the Transcripts

The first line of the transcript indicates the original spoken Finnish turn. The second line is the English translation of the original speech turn. Participants' embodied conduct is marked in small caps under the English translation.


English translation of the Finnish speech turn


Embodied conduct


Speaker tag in uppercase denotes speech


Speaker tag in lowercase denotes embodied conduct


The beginning of embodied conduct in relation to speech


Continuation of embodied conduct



The end of embodied conduct


Embodied conduct began prior to the transcribed segment


Embodied conduct continues beyond the transcribed segment

(( ))

Transcriber's comments


Prolonged pronunciation


Indicates the location of the accompanied illustration in the transcript


Short pause (under 0.3 seconds)


Longer pause (length in brackets)

[ ]

Overlapping speech

( )

Transcriber uncertain of hearing

> <

Faster tempo of speech


Louder volume of speech


“Smiling” voice quality


A laugh pulse within a word


Audible outbreath


1) For specific methods used in analyzing video for qualitative research purposes see HEATH, HINDMARSH and LUFF (2010). <back>


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Joonas RÅMAN is a doctoral student of English philology at the University of Oulu. His research interests include the role of embodied interaction in teaching physical skills, the changes of participation in group interactions, and the use of embodied conduct in learning situations.


Joonas Råman

English Philology, Faculty of Humanities
University of Oulu
Oulu, Finland

Tel: +358505723979

E-Mail: joonas.raman@oulu.fi


Råman, Joonas (2018). The Organization of Transitions between Observing and Teaching in the Budo Class [72 paragraphs]. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 19(1), Art. 5, http://dx.doi.org/10.17169/fqs-19.1.2657.

Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research (FQS)

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