View Full Version : Randori
09-20-2000, 08:17 AM
I was doing randori last night with one of my sensei. It was great. I was called to the front of the class and next thing I knew, I was flying! :) Do many of you out there practice Randori in your dojo's? I think it is great not only for practicing technique, but also for practicing one's ukemi. All the best!
There are a number of levels to free-practice which we have in Tomiki Aikido. The first step is kakarigeiko, which is a set attack, with no resistance.. The second is hikitategeiko, which introduces light resistance (in the form of shifting stances - the top half of the body should stay relaxed) - this means you have to shift from technique to technique until you properly take uke's balance. It can be done lightly, or not. The latter requires uke's ukemi to be very good, since he never knows what technique will materialise..! After this comes randori, which is where you start introducing reversals etc...
There's a final level, which is seldom (to my understanding) practiced these days - which I don't recall the name of. It's basically 'live' fighting in the sense that the multiple ukes are trying to put you down, properly (i.e. punches, kicks etc) and so you have to make sure your responses are sharp and accurate. Obviously this is only practiced at the very highest of levels..
I don't *think* I'm missing anything out (at least in the number of types, as opposed to the descriptions).
09-20-2000, 03:30 PM
At my dojo we practice Jiyu waza which is defending against any grasping attack. This practice usually involves one nage and one uke (occasionally two uke). We also practice Jiju waza which is defending against any attack. Again, this practice involves only one nage and uke. We refer to randori as defense against multiple attackers. As such there is one nage and three or four uke whose job it is to attack the nage with whatever technique they so desire (punches, wrist grabs, lapel grabs, bear hugs). The purpose of the randori is not to have the most technically correct technique but to learn how to deal with more than one attacker at a time. Consequently, many of the techniques are abbreviated slightly. I've found that randori is an excellent way to build your stamina and as you mentioned, your ukemi (you never know what defense the nage is going to use).
"shuchu roku" - Focus all your energy to one point
06-19-2001, 08:27 AM
I vaguely recall my previous dojo consciously avoiding randori practice. It was something about us being here to train, or maybe preserving the spontaneous respond-as-it-comes nature of it, i.e, it's not randori if you're scripting your way through it.
Anyone know the reasons why one might want to NOT have randori in non-testing situations?
Mebbe my memory is just flawed, 'cuz my dojo over here do it on a weekly basis (that's all of out training sessions; we're a small bunch) to avoid anyone hurting themselves when it comes down to it.
We try to do randori whenever we can, but there are so many things you think -yeh, we should do this every session, that you can't always squeeze them all in.
I think it's great practise for timing, body movement and awareness. It's much harder to do than staged techniques (especially if there is more than one attack type), but for this reason I think people should get a reasonable amount of practise.
I think that sometimes randori can be scrappy and unrealistic if the reasons behind the practise are not understood. Also, it is important to have good uke or else injuries may occur.
We do randori at the end of a lesson to relax again . After training people's minds are busy with all the stuff they did in the past two hours so it's time to listen to the body's center again. To do that, we have at least two attackers,who can do any attack, to keep nage busy and from thinking and planning. For advanced people nage has to keep his/her eyes closed to rely totally on his/her feelings of where the energy and the flow goes.
Randori is very helpful to learn to trust your body feelings and to become more sensitive to energy flows and how to use them. At our dojo it's introduced at a very early stage (veeery slow at first) and it's amazing to see that beginners come up with all kinds of techniques they were never taught before just by discovering basic energetic and biomechanic principles during randori.
We practice something close to what Anne and Louis describes, except we usually practice with one 'defender' and 4 to 6 'attackers' We try to keep the pace down by only walking to prevent if from turning into uncontrolled fighting and the 'attackers' attack by grapping the wrists of the 'defender'. The purpose is to constantly move and position oneself in the best possible way in order to train the awareness of the suroundings. If one of the 'attackers' mannage to get behind the 'defender' and lightly pat his or her shoulder it is an indication of a very dangerous situation. The funny thing is that one can get so stressed in spite of the low pace that a pat on the shoulder stings like a strike or a sword cut.
We found that more attackers don't necessarily mean more challenge (or danger in a real situation) because attackers start blocking themselves when they are three or more. More than two could never come near nage at the same time and since nage is the one to choose with which attacker to deal with we had too many people just standing on the mat or running into other groups. So,"only" two uke are the most challenging for nage, at least at our dojo...
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