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Seeking Zanshin: Blood, Sweat, Tears & Aikikai Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 02-24-2005 11:53 PM
One small gal + a dojo full of big guys = tons o' fun
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 270 (Private: 12)
Comments: 195
Views: 817,270

In General Free-for-all Randori (aka Techniqueless Tuesday) Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #79 New 12-16-2003 11:59 PM
That's right --- Aikido class without a single Aikido technique. Not a one. Boy that was fun. I'm glad I had an especially big lunch and kept well hydrated all day today, too.

Tonight, we essentially had our ukes attack freely with the objective of bringing nage down to the mat, and nage having to (obviously) avoid this by any (reasonable) means other than Aikido technique. Each round was 20 seconds long, and felt like an eternity.

I lasted 10 seconds on my second round and apparently it was quite the acheivement considering I don't exactly have much natural weight or strength at my disposal; and (unfortunately? ) I wasn't allowed to kick anyone in the balls like I might in real life when all else fails.

Afterwards, we did drills back and forth; working in pairs to either bring nage down or grab his shoulders, while nage either had to avoid this, control/atemi uke's head, or avoid/trap one of uke's hands and move circularly to avoid getting grabbed on the other shoulder. By the end of the night, Kohai Ken seemed exhausted, Sempais Tim and Jeremy were nicely beat up, and I was pretty banged up in the knee and leg, but we were all happy. You could feel the love in the room. I'm glad we do stuff like this, even to remotely simulate actual combat.

Sensei assumed that I would be frustrated about tonight, but really, there's nothing to be frustrated about. Why be frustrated in a situation in which you know you're not able to give 100%? A thing is only frustrating if you know that you're doing everything you can possibly do and are still coming up short. As a considerably smaller and lighter person I know that I simply cannot realistically defend (sans Aikido techniques) against attacks, such as being tackled, in the same safe and benign ways that the bigger guys in the dojo can.

Most of them could get away with using their strength once they're grabbed and body-checked by their ukes, but my only saving grace really is to rely on whatever natural speed and agility I have to avoid getting grabbed or held in the first place. Failing that, I would have to fall back on simply fighting dirty (ie. seriously kicking and punching at my attackers vitals, their groin, their eyes, and even biting if necessary) but of course that's not allowed on the mats (darn!).

So yeah, holding back is no fun. But it's safe, and that's the important part --- at least to me. Remember, overly-sensitive nage here. Still afraid of hurting people. Gotta work on that.
Views: 830 | Comments: 2

RSS Feed 2 Responses to "Free-for-all Randori (aka Techniqueless Tuesday)"
#2 12-17-2003 03:44 PM
jducusin Says:
Yup, it certainly was difficult for that very reason --- but fun too. And on the other side of it, as uke, I had to resort to things like jumping onto nage to try to tackle him down. Of course, unless they were brought down somewhat already, this only resulted in my being flung about. In any case, the whole exercise really put things into perspective, by contrasting the chaos of a realistic attack with the contrived order and simplicity of the ones we are accustomed to responding to in class.
#1 12-17-2003 08:45 AM
Kelly Allen Says:
Although I haven't tried it I think it would be a difficult thing for me to defend against an attack without useing at least some of what I have been training to do for the past 2 years. I'd probably resort to my old Judo techniques. Does that count? Especially if their parent art was the same. If that wasn't allowed I would just use my size and do the Incredibal Hulk thing. I'll even turn green.

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