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Fox
04-06-2009, 02:23 PM
I always enjoy watching videos of multiples and I ran into a video of my sensei (Sensei Tan, 6th dan/shihan) doing randori with a few of his senior students. I thought I'd toss it up for anybody else who enjoys watching Aikidoka in action.

Daito Ryu Aiki-JuJutsu with Sensei Tan 7 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PaKgGUreGQ)

p.s. forgive me if i misspelled or incorrectly named something, i'm very new to this and still trying to catch on to all the different terms.

Marc Abrams
04-06-2009, 05:18 PM
Gary:

From your teacher's site:

Sensei Tan, 5th Dan Aikido, teaches the Daito-Ryu Aikijujutsu form of Aikido.

This statement makes absolutely no sense at all. There is Daito-Ryu and there is Aikido. One is not the form of the other. I would be curious to know what Aikido organization he trains in and what Aikido organization gave him his rank. This is not to say that what he is doing does not work, but that what he states on his website contradicts reality.

Train Safe.

Marc Abrams

sorokod
04-06-2009, 06:02 PM
There is also this ( http://www.tanaikidojo.com/html/History_Of_Aikido.html )

Shortly after Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba's death, his son, Moriteru Ueshiba was named the Sandai (third) Doshu. Under his leadership, the number of students of Aikido is expected to grow.

Working with him is his son, Aikido Shihan Fumio Toyoda. Toyoda Shihan is a professional instructor at Aikido World Headquarters. He is actively engaged in training the next generation of shihan-level instructors and promoting Aikido instruction on the national level.

Fox
04-06-2009, 08:51 PM
sorry about that i'm still new and trying to figure everything out but what i heard from one of his senior students is that he shows us both, it seems like the senior students are working on a lot of breaks and strikes while the lower ranking students, such as I, are working on aikido. Again i'm still trying to figure everything out here so bear with me if i get somethings mixed up

Marc Abrams
04-06-2009, 09:04 PM
Gary:

You do not have to apologize for anything. The website of your instructor is misleading. The association between Toyoda sensei and Aikikai world headquarters is also misleading.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fumio_Toyoda

This link will give you a more accurate history. I have to tell you that I hope that your teacher is not aware of the "mistakes" on his website. Otherwise, red flags are beginning to emerge.

Marc Abrams

Michael Varin
04-06-2009, 11:26 PM
Gary,

I realize that you are new to aikido, but if I may lend you some discernment, this video shows a fairly common problem with aikido randori. The uke make their attacks sequentially 95% of the time. They are providing opportunities to complete techniques that probably shouldn't be there. It basicly amounts to a series of one-on-ones that has nothing to do with controlling multiple attackers.

On the other hand, when uke attack simultaneously they will put a great deal more pressure on nage and create much more interesting situations. Techniques will have to adapt accordingly.

There are numerous instances in this short video, but 0:08 and 0:21 are the most illustrative. If the uke were acting together nage would likely have been smashed both times. At 0:31 uke do attack simultaneously, noticeably changing the "effectiveness" of nage's response, but they lack the intention to bring nage down.

Also, while I doubt that punching at a moving target is great idea, I know kicking at a moving target is a bad idea!

Out of curiosity, I searched YouTube after I wrote this post. Here were the first three videos that came up and a related video. They feature a 2nd kyu, presumably some dan-ranked practioner, and a 7th dan all showing the same problems.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpujsGWRkn4 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpujsGWRkn4)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtm0HOGFK9w

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoziYiw7W1U
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFz_LvTiE0Q&feature=related (What was the significance of adding a fourth uke? Did it change anything other than giving more rest to the uke between attacks?)

Aikibu
04-07-2009, 04:43 PM
Gary in my opinion that vid on Randori was pretty darn good Thanks for sharing it...Hopefully the Webmaster of your site will do some fact checking with Sensei Tran and clean up the site...Since you guys are in So-Cali perhaps I will pop in someday. :)

Welcome to Aiki-Web.

William Hazen

NagaBaba
04-08-2009, 12:05 PM
Gary in my opinion that vid on Randori was pretty darn good

William Hazen
I disagree. Tori was always going back, never did any irimi, even once! This way he submitted himself to attackers' will, - they decided when and how to attack him. Tori didn't take control of space around him. Normally, against multiple attacks, tori must always go forward and choose next attacker, it will not only impose the correct rhythm, but will assure that simultaneous attack will not be possible.
While at 1st dan it can be OK, for 7th dan it is not acceptable.

Aikibu
04-08-2009, 01:52 PM
I disagree. Tori was always going back, never did any irimi, even once! This way he submitted himself to attackers' will, - they decided when and how to attack him. Tori didn't take control of space around him. Normally, against multiple attacks, tori must always go forward and choose next attacker, it will not only impose the correct rhythm, but will assure that simultaneous attack will not be possible.
While at 1st dan it can be OK, for 7th dan it is not acceptable.

I think you should watch again and then just to help me understand your point of view Post your own You Tube Randori Vid...

Let us know when we can view it. :)

William Hazen

NagaBaba
04-09-2009, 09:21 PM
I think you should watch again and then just to help me understand your point of view Post your own You Tube Randori Vid...

Let us know when we can view it. :)

William Hazen
no kidding, these are your all arguments in our disscussion? :confused: :eek:

Aikibu
04-10-2009, 10:40 AM
no kidding, these are your all arguments in our disscussion? :confused: :eek:

Why yes... no kidding....Is there something wrong with asking you to give examples of your proper Randori?

It does not have to be you personally but an example would be nice....

William Hazen

George S. Ledyard
04-10-2009, 11:05 AM
I disagree. Tori was always going back, never did any irimi, even once! This way he submitted himself to attackers' will, - they decided when and how to attack him. Tori didn't take control of space around him. Normally, against multiple attacks, tori must always go forward and choose next attacker, it will not only impose the correct rhythm, but will assure that simultaneous attack will not be possible.
While at 1st dan it can be OK, for 7th dan it is not acceptable.

Hi Szczepan,
I agree that forward is the core of the randori movement patterns. What I teach is a bit more complex....We have identified three essential movement patterns for randori: working the centers, working the spaces, and working the edges. What you are describing here is what we call working the centers.

Working the centers is the most assertive movement pattern. It's what you describe above. Each movement nage makes is directly at the center of an attacker. It has the flavor of one person attacking three rather than the opposite. It is very energy intensive however.

We also train to "work the spaces". In this movement pattern nage's movement is away from or at least off the line of attack from a given uke. When there is enough space, this can result in the ukes chasing nage. This is the most energy efficient movement pattern as the ukes do most of the work of setting up the throw. We teach our students to mix up the movement patterns because no one pattern works well for very long. The ukes begin to coordinate better as they get the rhythm of the nage. Switching between movement patterns, every three throws or so helps keep the ukes from getting your rhythm.

Working the edges is used when the ukes get bunched together. Attempting to throw one of them will probably result in one or both of the others "glomming" onto to you. So you move to the outside edge of the group and bash the uke you are touching into the others. You do this continuously, pushing them together until one of them breaks out of the pack. Once one of the ukes is one step closer to you than the others, you cab break open the group by throwing them in opposite directions and go back to working the centers and working the spaces.

Randori is really about creating time. If you make an uke take a fall, he takes an extra 2 seconds or so to get back at you. If you throw an uke at another uke, he slows down and you have created more time. We teach that at least 75 or 80 % of your contacts need to result in a fall. Also, unless you are in the process of breaking up a contracted pack of ukes, each person you throw should get in the way of another attacker. In other words, the person you are currently touching is a weapon against another attacker. None of the video clips showed this aspect well. Peter Bernath's had him throwing each partner into a space. We would throw each one at one of the others. This was probably due to safety concerns. You have to train the ukes to do randori like this. If they are not REALLY aware, they can get clobbered. So most folks choose not to train that way. I choose to train the ukes to see what throw is developing and move to safety accordingly.

To sum up:
1) change movement patterns every three or four throws
2) your throws must result in a fall most of the time and the techniques you use should throw on the first beat of the contact.
3) each person you throw or drop should impede the attack of another uke.

There some other principles we throw in but these are the core.

- George

George S. Ledyard
04-10-2009, 12:09 PM
Here are some clips illustrating the movement principles we teach in randori.

Explanation of Working the Centers (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SUgDJ0soes)

Working the Centers - medium speed example (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZV7nKJOc6w)

Working the Spaces - Explanation (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JY0E9l6DiEU)

Working the Edges - explanation (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Se_EvfWiZJ4)

I hope this is useful. If anyone finds this helpful. I do have a CD-R which is a PowerPoint outline of these principles available (the clips are from that CD-R). It has to be viewed on a PC and is designed to take a lap top to the edge of the mat and work off it.

Randori Video Manual (http://www.aikieast.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=AES&Product_Code=104CDR&Category_Code=VIDMANM8)

Don_Modesto
04-10-2009, 12:36 PM
Beyond the cogency and clarity of his writing, you will see Ledyard Sensei demonstrate these concepts in discrete increments at his seminars. The most amazing demonstrations and teaching I've seen. He takes the RAN out of RANDORI.

Aikibu
04-10-2009, 12:40 PM
Here are some clips illustrating the movement principles we teach in randori.

Explanation of Working the Centers (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SUgDJ0soes)

Working the Centers - medium speed example (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZV7nKJOc6w)

Working the Spaces - Explanation (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JY0E9l6DiEU)

Working the Edges - explanation (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Se_EvfWiZJ4)

I hope this is useful. If anyone finds this helpful. I do have a CD-R which is a PowerPoint outline of these principles available (the clips are from that CD-R). It has to be viewed on a PC and is designed to take a lap top to the edge of the mat and work off it.

Randori Video Manual (http://www.aikieast.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=AES&Product_Code=104CDR&Category_Code=VIDMANM8)

Now that's what I am talking about! :) Thanks Sensei Ledyard.

William Hazen

Kevin Leavitt
04-10-2009, 05:09 PM
Thanks Ledyard Sensei for posting those vids! I agree 110%!

NagaBaba
04-11-2009, 10:38 AM
Hi Szczepan,
I agree that forward is the core of the randori movement patterns. What I teach is a bit more complex....We have identified three essential movement patterns for randori: working the centers, working the spaces, and working the edges. What you are describing here is what we call working the centers.

- George
Hi George,
That is exactly what I expected from William, but looks he has no clue about it. :p

I agree at two of your concepts: working the centers, and working the edges with some restrictions.

However, working the spaces, is only possible when uke are attacking in row and not simultaneously, so in reality it is useless. Also even if they attack in row but fast and from different direction, after few throws tori is kaput, he will miss the space to going back. Also, more important, this is against of Founder teaching (aikido is irimi and atemi) So I think it must be forbiden to practice that way.

Going back to previous two concepts, it is true that tori must establish special rhythm, but on more sophisticated level, this rhythm will be broken sometimes to create some illusion in the mind of attacker. I liked your explanations about special angles that tori must respect when he moves between attackers, but this must come naturally, and should not be learned by heart. The same restriction is to train ukes for pattern working the edges. I think it is absolutely wrong to train uke like a dogs of Pavlov. It seems to me that because of such training, the martial aspect of practice is lost.

My understanding is that from one side, tori have to experience very high intensity, high physical and mental pressure (uke's job is to really put down tori and pin him as fast as possible, not only to barely touch him in friendly way) - and it is only possible when attackers do simultaneous attack. It physically forces tori to find the best angles of movement and this way he can develop a real 'feeling' of space around him and a 'feeling' of the intent of attackers.
As attackers move constantly around nage, the angles can't be defined precisely, it is dynamic interaction. So nage must feel inconciously where to move.

In the other hand, uke has to expect EVERYTHING. He must be ready to save his health/life, by doing ukemi. If you train him, he will develop some automation that is very dangerous, and will react as a robot. He will never feel intent of Nage.

If a student don’t feel the intent, he can’t face even a single attacker. Particularly it is true, while being attacked from behind.
So whole goal of jiu waza is missing.

George S. Ledyard
04-11-2009, 11:23 PM
However, working the spaces, is only possible when uke are attacking in row and not simultaneously, so in reality it is useless. Also even if they attack in row but fast and from different direction, after few throws tori is kaput, he will miss the space to going back. Also, more important, this is against of Founder teaching (aikido is irimi and atemi) So I think it must be forbiden to practice that way.

Szczepan,
I think there is a misconception here about what I mean and how we use it. We use it all the time and it works well. But I'd have to show you what I mean, video won't necessarily do it. You need to see it live when the decisions are spontaneous.

As for the issue of "irimi"... "irimi" is inherent in proper rotation, it is not limited to forward movement only. I can "enter" while stepping back. It has to do with proper neutral pivot points and such. None of which I can explain well in a written forum. I could attempt some diagrams but past experience would indicate that my skills as an artist are less than dubious.

Anyway, I think we are basically on the same page. I will say that, part of the "working the spaces" principles has to do with getting the individual lines of attack from each attacker to intersect so that they either bash into each other or decelerate their attack by avoiding the collisions. In other words I can simply move myself to a spot at which the attackers will meet each other before they get to me. We teach this and practice it and it works quite nicely. Anyway, thanks for the input. If we meet some time I can show you what I meant.

Chris Covington
04-12-2009, 10:12 AM
Dear Mr. Ledyard,

I'm not an aikidoka, but I really enjoyed your heiho for dealing with multiple opponents. It is the most reasonable explaination of what is going on and many aikidoka would benifit from this if they read it. Keep up the good work and thank you for your sharing this gem of budo.

Best regards,

Kevin Leavitt
04-12-2009, 11:38 PM
Here is a quick 30 sec video of me. My randori certainly is not the best in the world and I would like it to be better. But I am a firm believer in always attacking and moving towards uke to take center and not waiting for him to come.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0SfgAOvIDc

salim
04-13-2009, 08:47 AM
I like the aliveness in your approach.

brunotex
04-13-2009, 12:23 PM
Kevin,

I really liked your video.

Here is an old video (from 2004) of me on my sankyu test. I was (and am) just a beginner, but I enjoyed the video at the time. Now I am probably better than this...:)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMc3a1coKkQ

salim
04-13-2009, 03:49 PM
Here a good randori. Probably one of the better ones that I have seen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdykCWZOBLQ&NR=1

Kevin Leavitt
04-13-2009, 04:59 PM
Thanks Salim. I do like to keep it alive. One of my downfalls though is that I tend to start getting tied up with an uke and the begin to fix me as I get tired and I want to grapple and fight. That is something I have to work on.

I think Ledyard Sensei's approach is a good one. I have the attacking the center thing down pretty decently, but need to learn work the edges and spaces a little better.

Michael Varin
04-14-2009, 02:45 AM
This is fantastic. Thanks for posting videos, guys. This kind of openness really helps the discussion.

Bruno,

That was nice. I like the way the uke came at you. That is precisely what was missing in the original video, the ones I added, and so many others. You probably could have treated the group more as one thing, but every one of us has room for improvement.

Salim,

While I love the free-wheeling nature of that dojo, there is TOO much waiting going on for me to say that is one of the better randori I have seen.

Kevin,

The first word that came to mind was “clashing.” Those are cooperative uke and you do not demonstrate an ability to move in a way that is appropriate to the situation. Towards the end, they were hesitant to attack – they looked scared of you. You can be in an active state, i.e. not waiting, without “attacking.” I would venture a guess that had your uke been as aggressive as you and made a coordinated three-man attack your clashing would have cost you.

By the way, that is a beautiful dojo.

Kevin Leavitt
04-14-2009, 07:01 AM
Michael, you are probably right about the coordinated attack thing possibily costing me...it is always a concern.

It is interesting when you have three uke you are not used to working with and you have to go to on a set of assumptions about what will occur in the situation.

My philosophy, and it has served me well for the most part, is to get ahead of their attack and disrupt it before they can launch.

philosophy aside....

I believe uke should be hesitant to attack, (I would not say "afraid" but hesitant.)

My job is to disrupt, get ahead of the attack and to cause them to re-adjust there pattern.

I do agree that I could have been less clashing, especially at the end as I begin to lean forward and to engage...it is something I have to work on.

Kevin Leavitt
04-14-2009, 07:19 AM
oops, let me clarify, the uke, two of them I train with in our dojo all the time (Clark and Larry), I should have said, "I have not done Randori with the three of them at one time".

I simply meant that I had no idea what to expect from the three of them together (hence, Randori!).

Poor choice of words! Sorry.

NagaBaba
04-14-2009, 12:04 PM
Szczepan,
I think there is a misconception here about what I mean and how we use it. We use it all the time and it works well. But I'd have to show you what I mean, video won't necessarily do it. You need to see it live when the decisions are spontaneous.
.
Hi George,
I'm pretty busy now, so only short remark: your ukes are attacking one after another - it is not really simultanous atack at all and irimi is not crucial. They also are not cooperating with each other while attacking.
That's why you don't see going back as a false concept.

Aikibu
04-14-2009, 03:26 PM
Michael, you are probably right about the coordinated attack thing possibily costing me...it is always a concern.

It is interesting when you have three uke you are not used to working with and you have to go to on a set of assumptions about what will occur in the situation.

My philosophy, and it has served me well for the most part, is to get ahead of their attack and disrupt it before they can launch.

philosophy aside....

I believe uke should be hesitant to attack, (I would not say "afraid" but hesitant.)

My job is to disrupt, get ahead of the attack and to cause them to re-adjust there pattern.

I do agree that I could have been less clashing, especially at the end as I begin to lean forward and to engage...it is something I have to work on.

Well I agree Kevin that is one of the primary goals of Randori but more important to me is how well Nage performs under physical duress... The Pace of Randori should be as such that Nage must move and execute. Randori is a test of Nage's Martial Awareness and Focus under Physical and Emotional Duress.

There was a vid here a while back of Matsuoka Sensei doing Randori and is close to what I am talking about....Some folks panned it as being a little too coreographed but it gives you a good idea of what Advanced Level Randori looks like

http://www.ikazuchi.com/?page_id=361

AS to SJ and others point about coordinated attacks Well that is another goal of Randori but lets be realistic here... The Uke's live to attack again LOL The trick with that kind of Randori is how to practice taking Ukes "out" in the most realistic manner possible while staying within safe Randori practice

Here is where "Aiki" plays a real part...I have been "hit" by a few of our Senior Level Yudansha and even though it was half or three quarter "speed" I am not sure I would like to experiance it "for real" LOL

That to me is what Kevin is reffering to as Uke "being hesitant to attack." LOL

William Hazen

Michael Varin
04-15-2009, 05:00 AM
William,

I had not seen that video before, but it looks like it must be a few years old.

It was undoubtedly a little choreographed (sometimes maybe a lot choreographed). I think the editing added to that feel (great video, by the way). It's almost too bad, because Matsuoka is excellent when it comes to randori. I have seen him do completely unchoreographed randori that look ten times better than what was shown in that video.

I had the opportunity to train with him. That was several years ago, but at the time he had a profound effect on my approach to randori. He has almost an uncanny feel for the group dynamics. He always deals with the group as a whole, and never independently.

In fact, Seagal's guys were way ahead of the pack when it comes to randori.

When referring to this as advanced level randori, I think it is important to bear in mind that he is dealing with totally cooperative uke. I am in no way knocking this, but, to have an intelligent discussion, we have to establish it as a fact.

There are at least two higher levels: 1) where uke have the intention to bring nage down; 2) where uke can respond to nage's attempts to throw in any way, including using "techniques" of their own.

In my opinion, randori with cooperative uke is much more of a mental exercise than a physical one. The uke aren't resisting the throws, so execution is only a minor part. The key is in opening your awareness, letting go of preconceived notions, and allowing the mind to be fluid.

I believe it is so important for uke to attack simultaneously, because there is no need to develop those abilities when the attacks are a continuous string of separate events.

A note on hesitancy of uke: I absolutely challenge the idea that you want a hesitant uke. A herky-jerky uke is not what you want. You want uke that are coming cleanly for your center and almost being invited in. Uke should not be aware of his demise until it is upon him. This is one of the reasons for a lack of aggressive postures in aikido.

Aikibu
04-15-2009, 04:00 PM
William,

I had not seen that video before, but it looks like it must be a few years old.

It was undoubtedly a little choreographed (sometimes maybe a lot choreographed). I think the editing added to that feel (great video, by the way). It's almost too bad, because Matsuoka is excellent when it comes to randori. I have seen him do completely unchoreographed randori that look ten times better than what was shown in that video.

I had the opportunity to train with him. That was several years ago, but at the time he had a profound effect on my approach to randori. He has almost an uncanny feel for the group dynamics. He always deals with the group as a whole, and never independently.

In fact, Seagal's guys were way ahead of the pack when it comes to randori.

When referring to this as advanced level randori, I think it is important to bear in mind that he is dealing with totally cooperative uke. I am in no way knocking this, but, to have an intelligent discussion, we have to establish it as a fact.

There are at least two higher levels: 1) where uke have the intention to bring nage down; 2) where uke can respond to nage's attempts to throw in any way, including using "techniques" of their own.

In my opinion, randori with cooperative uke is much more of a mental exercise than a physical one. The uke aren't resisting the throws, so execution is only a minor part. The key is in opening your awareness, letting go of preconceived notions, and allowing the mind to be fluid.

I believe it is so important for uke to attack simultaneously, because there is no need to develop those abilities when the attacks are a continuous string of separate events.

A note on hesitancy of uke: I absolutely challenge the idea that you want a hesitant uke. A herky-jerky uke is not what you want. You want uke that are coming cleanly for your center and almost being invited in. Uke should not be aware of his demise until it is upon him. This is one of the reasons for a lack of aggressive postures in aikido.

Excellent points to consider Michael. I too have experianced Matsuoka's Randori and completely understand your last point about the Uke not being aware of his/her demise...We call it Yurusu Budo "The Budo of Acceptance." I stand corrected on that point and completely agree with your opinion. :)

William Hazen

George S. Ledyard
04-15-2009, 04:47 PM
Well I agree Kevin that is one of the primary goals of Randori but more important to me is how well Nage performs under physical duress... The Pace of Randori should be as such that Nage must move and execute. Randori is a test of Nage's Martial Awareness and Focus under Physical and Emotional Duress.

There was a vid here a while back of Matsuoka Sensei doing Randori and is close to what I am talking about....Some folks panned it as being a little too coreographed but it gives you a good idea of what Advanced Level Randori looks like

http://www.ikazuchi.com/?page_id=361

AS to SJ and others point about coordinated attacks Well that is another goal of Randori but lets be realistic here... The Uke's live to attack again LOL The trick with that kind of Randori is how to practice taking Ukes "out" in the most realistic manner possible while staying within safe Randori practice

Here is where "Aiki" plays a real part...I have been "hit" by a few of our Senior Level Yudansha and even though it was half or three quarter "speed" I am not sure I would like to experiance it "for real" LOL

That to me is what Kevin is reffering to as Uke "being hesitant to attack." LOL

William Hazen

Matsuoka Sensei's randoris during his Aiki Expo demos were by far the most impressive of anyone's, regardless of rank. Non choreographed, ukes with strong intention... really excellent. The other great randori was Kayla Feder Sensei's. She rocked! The higher ranked folks looked like they had either choreographed everything or were simply going through the motions because they were expected to do a randori.

Nathan Wallace
04-18-2009, 01:13 PM
Hi George,
That is exactly what I expected from William, but looks he has no clue about it. :p

I agree at two of your concepts: working the centers, and working the edges with some restrictions.

However, working the spaces, is only possible when uke are attacking in row and not simultaneously, so in reality it is useless. Also even if they attack in row but fast and from different direction, after few throws tori is kaput, he will miss the space to going back. Also, more important, this is against of Founder teaching (aikido is irimi and atemi) So I think it must be forbiden to practice that way.

Going back to previous two concepts, it is true that tori must establish special rhythm, but on more sophisticated level, this rhythm will be broken sometimes to create some illusion in the mind of attacker. I liked your explanations about special angles that tori must respect when he moves between attackers, but this must come naturally, and should not be learned by heart. The same restriction is to train ukes for pattern working the edges. I think it is absolutely wrong to train uke like a dogs of Pavlov. It seems to me that because of such training, the martial aspect of practice is lost.

My understanding is that from one side, tori have to experience very high intensity, high physical and mental pressure (uke's job is to really put down tori and pin him as fast as possible, not only to barely touch him in friendly way) - and it is only possible when attackers do simultaneous attack. It physically forces tori to find the best angles of movement and this way he can develop a real 'feeling' of space around him and a 'feeling' of the intent of attackers.
As attackers move constantly around nage, the angles can't be defined precisely, it is dynamic interaction. So nage must feel inconciously where to move.

In the other hand, uke has to expect EVERYTHING. He must be ready to save his health/life, by doing ukemi. If you train him, he will develop some automation that is very dangerous, and will react as a robot. He will never feel intent of Nage.

If a student don’t feel the intent, he can’t face even a single attacker. Particularly it is true, while being attacked from behind.
So whole goal of jiu waza is missing.

I do believe it was you on this forum who said aikido isn't for self defense. Have you changed your mind or are you one of those people who have come up with a mystifying and paradoxical purpose for all of this?

What is Randori anyway? What is it for? What does it instill in us?

Does it provide us with an opportunity to test our ability to defend ourselves if attacked by multiple assailants?
Does it provide us with a chance to overcome confusion and panic by taking us out of our comfort zone?
Or does it prevent us from having a comfort zone altogether?
Is it training us in endurance?

I'm not putting down. I seriously want to know. Chime in everyone.

Kevin Leavitt
04-18-2009, 03:16 PM
Randori is a wide birth or interpretation actually I think. It could be designed to do all of those things. It all depends on how you define the endstate of what you are expecting out of your randori and the controls/limits you place on the situation for safety and or teaching points.

I am conducting a workshop on teaching ne waza in our dojo. I allowed a few minutes of randori today. It was not about submitting your opponent or winning, My objective was simply to allow those in the class to get a feel for the ground as it is new for many.

We talked about how fast things go and the importance of efficiency of motion, expending energy relaxation and balance.

My purpose of Randori was very simple this morning...other days it could be for other parts of the equation.

One thing is for certain, I will always include a form of it in my training...always....even if only for a few minutes. It is important!

Aikibu
04-18-2009, 06:43 PM
I do believe it was you on this forum who said aikido isn't for self defense. Have you changed your mind or are you one of those people who have come up with a mystifying and paradoxical purpose for all of this? SJ can be confusing at times. LOL:) Let me give your questions a shot

What is Randori anyway? What is it for? What does it instill in us? Randori can teach us many things but in general it is a litmus test for ones Aikido... Good Randori practice illuminates exposes and instills confidence in the Aikidoka.

Does it provide us with an opportunity to test our ability to defend ourselves if attacked by multiple assailants?
Yes
Does it provide us with a chance to overcome confusion and panic by taking us out of our comfort zone?
Perhaps more like work with confusion and panic...It's real easy to remain centered in practice and another to learn how to do so under duress...This is the goal of Good Randori Practice

Or does it prevent us from having a comfort zone altogether? Well yes it should remove ones "comfort zone" and then help that nage progressively expand it...
Is it training us in endurance? Yes.

I'm not putting down. I seriously want to know. Chime in everyone.

I understand that. Unlike a few here IMO Aikido MUST BE EFFECTIVE against other Martial Arts as baseline for good practice So all the Mumbo Jumbo aside That is what Budo Practice is all about in any Martial Art. Hopefully Good Aikido builds and (as Shoji Nishio puts it) cultivates a sincere heart.

William Hazen

George S. Ledyard
04-19-2009, 11:44 AM
I'm not putting down. I seriously want to know. Chime in everyone.

As far as I am concerned Aikido Randori (multiple attacker practice) is basically a form of moving meditation. You have to be totally in the present and cannot get attached to any technique or particular outcome.

The present instant is the only time in which action may take place. The past is over and the future hasn't arrived. Randori can teach you how to see the probabilities set up by past events and present actions, allowing you to shape future outcomes. All of this has to occur in one flow, no hesitation, no over commitment to any single technique, no anticipation.

It's as close to moving meditation as you can get, I think. A few of the principles can also translate to applied self defense situations but it is really the mental side which important here not the technical. On the street a multiple attacker situation should end as quickly as possible. In randori practice it's good to let the randori go on through its many cycles so that the practitioner can seek to find his "groove" so to speak.

Michael Varin
04-19-2009, 09:35 PM
It's as close to moving meditation as you can get, I think. A few of the principles can also translate to applied self defense situations but it is really the mental side which important here not the technical.

Well said.

On the street a multiple attacker situation should end as quickly as possible. In randori practice it's good to let the randori go on through its many cycles so that the practitioner can seek to find his "groove" so to speak.

I think this is an incredibly important distinction to make.

This is one of the reasons I favor varying the degree of cooperativeness on the part of uke.

1. Simultaneous attacks pushing toward nage's center is the fundamental level. This is what I consider traditional aikido randori, which is a moving meditation. This can be done at any speed.

2. Simultaneous attacks with the intent to bring nage down and pin him. Here, uke are not counteracting any throws, they have just ratcheted up their aggressiveness.

3. Uke can work in any manner. They can use any amount of strength and resistance, any rhythm, and any techniques to subdue nage. Actually, at this level the nage/uke roles dissolve, and you get a taste (often unwelcome) of what 3-on-1 is really like.

I would argue that strikes should be purposefully de-emphasized, but can be added at your discretion. Giving a weapon (padded is best) to any one of the four or any combination of the four is also very enlightening.

None of these can ever replicate an anything goes, on the street assault. There are simply too many unknowns. The above situations could be harder or easier. In any case, I firmly believe they will make your aikido more effective and give many new insights.

Mark Jakabcsin
04-22-2009, 07:59 PM
I'm pretty busy now, so only short remark: your ukes are attacking one after another - it is not really simultanous atack at all and irimi is not crucial. They also are not cooperating with each other while attacking.


SJ,
Do you have any video of the ukes working together in randori? I do not care so much about tori, I would like to see the ukes working together. While I have seen this in other arts and encourage it in Systema I have never seen this in Aikido and would like to see it in action. Thanks.

Mark J.

NagaBaba
04-22-2009, 09:19 PM
I do believe it was you on this forum who said aikido isn't for self defense. Have you changed your mind or are you one of those people who have come up with a mystifying and paradoxical purpose for all of this?

What is Randori anyway? What is it for? What does it instill in us?

Does it provide us with an opportunity to test our ability to defend ourselves if attacked by multiple assailants?
Does it provide us with a chance to overcome confusion and panic by taking us out of our comfort zone?
Or does it prevent us from having a comfort zone altogether?
Is it training us in endurance?

I'm not putting down. I seriously want to know. Chime in everyone.
Aikido training is in some way as doing a puzzle - there are very many elements that apparently has nothing to do with each other, but all are necessary to fulfill the goal of aikido.
But you have to look much deeper that only surface to understand it really - technical training is only the beginning - kind of preparation of body and mind for more difficult task.

Please don't use the word 'randori' - it is misleading in aikido context where there is no competition.Jiu waza is far better description.

IMO jiu waza is a very good tool to develop spontaneous execution of techniques. Nage must be pushed to his limits(on physical and psychical level) to create special state of mind that will let the techniques happen(appear). If Nage can prepare the future techniques in his mind, the goal of jiu waza is missed.

Once you enter in this desired state, the techniques will 'appear' - like O sensei described with his religious vocabulary - Kami will tell you what to do :D You, from your side, you have nothing to do, no intellectual effort at all.
Such spontaneous execution of techniques will be a sure sign that you are aligned with the Nature :cool:

NagaBaba
04-22-2009, 09:31 PM
SJ,
Do you have any video of the ukes working together in randori? I do not care so much about tori, I would like to see the ukes working together. While I have seen this in other arts and encourage it in Systema I have never seen this in Aikido and would like to see it in action. Thanks.

Mark J.
Hi Mark,
Yeah, I'm doing it quite frequently in my dojo(it became a routine for the students), but will not do video. It is not very aesthetic ;) , but the real reason is that my instructor would kill me only by laughing at me :eek: (I'm not sure if such expression exist in English :confused: )

Mark Jakabcsin
04-23-2009, 06:35 AM
Hi Mark,
Yeah, I'm doing it quite frequently in my dojo(it became a routine for the students), but will not do video. It is not very aesthetic ;) , but the real reason is that my instructor would kill me only by laughing at me :eek: (I'm not sure if such expression exist in English :confused: )

SJ,
I am not asking for a video of you specifically just a video of where ukes are attacking as you describe in an Aikido context. I have not seen this in Aikido and would like too. Perhaps there is a video out there already that you know of that you approve of the uke. Thanks.

MJ

thisisnotreal
04-24-2009, 12:55 PM
Aikido training is in some way as doing a puzzle - ...

But you have to look much deeper that only surface to understand it really - technical training is only the beginning - kind of preparation of body and mind for more difficult task.



Hi Sz,
Could you please say a bit more about this....

Best,
Josh

Ron Tisdale
04-24-2009, 01:23 PM
Hi Mark, long time no hear, speak, see or write! Been busy...but life is good.

Would you consider what you, Phil and Jeff did in the partner attack in that garage some time ago as "uke working together"? If so, would the evasions that I attempted qualify as "aikido"? How sucsessful do you think it was (at least until I got tired and was backed up against the wall :eek:)?

Best,
Ron

Mark Jakabcsin
04-24-2009, 01:50 PM
Hi Mark, long time no hear, speak, see or write! Been busy...but life is good.

Would you consider what you, Phil and Jeff did in the partner attack in that garage some time ago as "uke working together"? If so, would the evasions that I attempted qualify as "aikido"? How sucsessful do you think it was (at least until I got tired and was backed up against the wall :eek:)?



Ron,
Good to hear from you. I have been a traveling fool lately but I have not been up your direction in awhile. Maybe in a couple months.

Sorry I do not recall the specific instance you mention above nor I am qualified to judge what is or is not Aikido. I was hoping to see an example from SJ with anyone as tori showing multiple ukes working together. I have never seen training done in Aikido that teaches people how to work as a team, hence I am interested to see.

There is more to coordinating attacks than simply attacking at the same time. Understanding coordinated movement, distance, body positioning and having a general strategy for everyone on the attacking team are all issues to be trained. I am not aware of many arts that actually teach and practice how to work together. Frankly this type of training is far more valuable for LEO's than the standard joint locking, blocking and fear building training they normally receive.

Take care,

Mark J.

Ron Tisdale
04-24-2009, 01:58 PM
Hey, yah, busy busy in this economy is a good thing.

This was when we were in that dojo in the garage in North Wales...where it got cold as heck in the winter. We had on boxing gloves and were doing multiple attackers on one defender. But it was quite some time ago...

B,
R (I swear I'm getting alzheimers these days)

Mark Jakabcsin
04-24-2009, 04:28 PM
Ron,
I remember the night you mentioned. That was good training and lots of fun. As I recall it was 3 on 1 and the 3 tended to work together to keep the 1 from cutting the angles. This could be due to the attacks not being traditional Aikido attacks but more of a brawling type attack. While that training is good it does have limitations or flaws like every method. Personally I am not a big fan of the gloves as they tend to adsorb the important lessons and both uke and tori tend to lose respect for a strike when they know they are hit by a big pillow. This is not to say the training does not have value, it most definitely does but bare hands ramp up the fear factor, which allows you to train slower but with greater intensity.

A fun night that I hope we get to do again.

Take care and I hope you have a great weekend,

Mark J.