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drDalek
10-15-2003, 04:00 AM
Sometimes before a class, I engage in some informal play with a class-mate.

No-one takes it seriously, no-one gets hurt, we dont even call it 'sparring' its more like "wrasslin'"

We dont define the uke / nage roles very clearly and we dont announce specific attacks or specific locks / throws, in general someone starts swinging slow but commited attacks at the other one who tries to counter and the attacker tries to block / resist / counter as well.

We up the speed of the attacks as we go along.

Sometimes, I fail to defend against his attack and my lip has been blooded against my teeth a few times, at other times, his attack is so unexpected that I have no time to plan a defence but what I come up with happens to work pretty well anyway.

Anyone ever do this kind of thing on a regular basis? If so, what do you feel you get out of it? Personally, I believe that the relaxing stuff everyone is always telling you about is the same kind of relaxation/openness/creativity you see when a cat plays with a ball of yarn, I find that this informal play before class is a great way to practice that.

Yann Golanski
10-15-2003, 04:10 AM
Yes, we do it all the time. It's called Toshu randori and is practiced along side tanto randori in Shodokan Aikido.

It's great fun and teaches you _so much_ about your Aikido. But it has to be done with the right frame of mind: No ego and relaxed.

I know that some Yoshinkan clubs do something similar as well -- well, someone who does Yoshikan on this board said so. Must be true (tm).

villrg0a
10-15-2003, 06:47 AM
we used to do it before aikido sessions but have stopped doing it for months now. we were scolded by sensei and said stop horseplaying.....

mj
10-15-2003, 07:05 AM
For aikido students who have no other martial arts experience I would actually recommend that this sort of random practice should be mandatory, now and then.

drDalek
10-15-2003, 08:03 AM
For aikido students who have no other martial arts experience I would actually recommend that this sort of random practice should be mandatory, now and then.
What kinds of martial arts experience would you say makes this kind of random practice no longer necessary?

bob_stra
10-15-2003, 11:35 AM
What kinds of martial arts experience would you say makes this kind of random practice no longer necessary?

I wouldn't say unecessary, but experience in boxing, judo, FMA, MMA, JKD, etc etc would give one a definate advantage in such situations. So much that they might be...locked into a sparring mentality, which might not be the best idea for this kind of exploratiory work. Uneven information content for each partner. The less experienced would gain a lot, but the more experienced might fall back on old habits.

Then again, depends on the person. And the ego's involved.

Don_Modesto
10-15-2003, 12:13 PM
For aikido students who have no other martial arts experience I would actually recommend that this sort of random practice should be mandatory, now and then.
I remember in one or two interviews of old-timers, mention was made of sumo being played after class. This would seem a pretty neat way to get in touch with whole body principals of motion.

Systema has slow motion practice seemingly premised on what we'd call KAESHI and cooperation.

These both seem very intelligent adaptations to me.

Sparring is fun, too, and--contra the strict teacher spoken of above--useful.

ian
10-15-2003, 12:20 PM
Yep, I'd foloow Yann here - it's OK if the frame of mind is right.

I generally discourage it if it is wrestling orientated because so many times people get onto the floor which is a very bad situation in a multiple attack scenario (a kick to the temple or choke from behind would end it quickly). When I've seen grappling situations in the dojo they are nothing like real fights (would you grab their testicles and pull them off in the dojo or deliver a hard strike to the neck or eyeballs?) I think grappling can develop 'fighting spirit' but I wonder if a better method is to get someone in a rubber suit and then kick the s**t out of them.

I think more important is to keep a very open mind about self-defence and use anything and everything to your disposal. Sometimes training in martial patterns can stop you using the obvious chair or even just slipping in to the crowd.

Ian

P.S. also I think aikido is not designed for sparring, it is designed for instantaneous reaction to a sudden attack. The best training method is just to have lots of single 'sudden attacks'.

Lan Powers
10-16-2003, 10:41 PM
<P.S. also I think aikido is not designed for sparring, it is designed for instantaneous reaction to a sudden attack. The best training method is just to have lots of single 'sudden attacks'. >

I rather like that. :p

Lan

PeterR
10-16-2003, 11:27 PM
<P.S. also I think aikido is not designed for sparring, it is designed for instantaneous reaction to a sudden attack. The best training method is just to have lots of single 'sudden attacks'. >

I rather like that. :p

Lan
Except that is sparring.

Michael Neal
10-17-2003, 02:13 PM
When I was taking Aikido I think the sparring before class was the absolutely best and most important part of it. I completely agree with earlier statement that it should be required as well as practiced more often.

TheFallGuy
10-17-2003, 02:36 PM
I get this all the time. In fact, I'm sometimes the instigator. Our Sensei tolerates it, I think, as long as we are careful and not out to really hurt each other. Most of the time you'll hear us laughing and giggling as we're out to knock the other down and put them into submission. (It's more wrassling than anything.) But we also have a great close-knit dojo.

For me I think it's great because then I can let off some of that mischievous energy. (One of my sensei's gets a little irqued at me when I do this in class -- I see her point, but sometimes I just can't resist the urge to tease my neighbors.)

For us, it is horseplay. A good vent, and a good way to readjust our thinking and try somehow get aikido in there while we have these random attacks. It's fun, and that is what it is meant to be (if we get anything else out of it, yeah!)

giriasis
10-17-2003, 03:13 PM
would you grab their testicles and pull them off in the dojo or deliver a hard strike to the neck or eyeballs?
Yeah, if someone was trying to rape me. ;) I would also scratch, claw, bite in addition to thinking about how I could take control of his center.

(P.S. I'm sure this isn't exactly what you were trying to get at, but that made me think of tactics I would employ to defend myself.)

...ooops.. I wouldn't do this in the dojo though :blush:

Ari Bolden
10-17-2003, 03:33 PM
Wynand,

It's been my experience that many instructors will use 'games' in class to develop center and improvisation. I remember playing 'sumo' in class years ago. We would sit sieza, grab each other around the obi (belts) and twist and turn, trying to unbalance each other.

At other times, when practicing Kaeshi-waza (escaping from techniques), practice would turn into a free flowing randori (sparring match). It was fantastic to feel the 'areas one could escape' from a nage.

Years later, I started Daito Ryu and BJJ because I wanted to really get a sense for ground work (or 'wrasslin' as you called it). Today, I take the best from all and my classes are divided into both standing and ground work.

Perhaps asking your sensei to do some kaeshi waza, or better yet, HANMI HANDACHI WAZA (standing vs sitting) would help you feel how to apply the techniques?

Just a thought or two..

Cheers

Ari Bolden

Kevin Leavitt
10-18-2003, 04:18 AM
I think it really depends on the situation, climate, egos, and tone of the dojo if it is good or not.

I personally think it can be good to do ocasssionally. It builds espirit de corps and commarade between dojo members. It also can allow you to explore techniques and principles in a more freestyle environment. Finally, I believe it builds and tempers your mental toughness, which I think is sometimes overlooked in many dojos.

That said, you must not do it a tremendous amount or allow that to overtake correct/controlled practice. The one thing it does is amplify and re-inforce bad habits.

(Ask me how I know!! I am still trying to rid myself of these habits developed over years of focusing on this type of play!)