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DaveS 09-01-2006 03:56 PM

Randori No Kata - history etc
 
Does anyone know of a good account of Tomiki's development of the randori no kata (and his system of classification of techniques in general) and an explanation of why it is how it is? either on the interweb, in a book, or (if you've got time) via the oral tradition. I've picked up various bits of information from Scott Albright's book (Aikido and Randori), from stuff people have told me, and from Nariyama Shihan's account at his last london seminar (which probably had everything I want to know, but it being a seminar, I wasn't taking notes...)

In particular, did he produce a complete classification of which the randori no kata is the subset of techniques that are judged 'safe' for competitive training? And to what extent is the randori no kata (or the ur-kata of which it is a subset) an exhaustive list of ways of manipulating the body 'in an aikido way'? And in particular, why are there precisely those three uki waza? Are they the only posible ones?

Thanks! I actually got to go through (badly) the whole randori no kata in succession in training the other day, and actually starting to see how cool it is has made me curious...

xuzen 09-01-2006 10:01 PM

Re: Randori No Kata - history etc
 
Dave,

Have you tried sourcing the information from this website?
It contains a lot of useful information.

Boon.

L. Camejo 09-01-2006 10:41 PM

Re: Randori No Kata - history etc
 
If you can get your hands on it, I believe the book "Judo and Aikido" by Tomiki gives some insight into the developmental logic of the randori no kata. If I can find my own copy I can point out some more detailed info.

The site boon gave is also a good place to start.

LC:ai::ki:

DaveS 09-03-2006 09:07 AM

Re: Randori No Kata - history etc
 
Cool, thanks!

Boon - I'd actually looked at the website already, but hadn't noticed that bit of it. *feels silly* Thanks, that looks like the sort of thing I was after.

Larry - thanks! I'll keep an eye out for it. Although from a quick look on the web, it's not easy to come by...

L. Camejo 09-03-2006 05:43 PM

Re: Randori No Kata - history etc
 
Hi David,

I haven't found my copy of "Aikido and Judo" yet (aka "Judo Appendix: Aikido") but I did attack some of your questions using another book - Aikido:Tradition and the Competitive Edge by Shihans F. Shishida and T. Nariyama.

Quote:

David Sim wrote:
Does anyone know of a good account of Tomiki's development of the randori no kata (and his system of classification of techniques in general) and an explanation of why it is how it is?

From my understanding Tomiki approached the concept of Aikido waza from the position of traditional Jujutsu (much like Kano did with Judo). I believe he looked at the whole mass of traditional Jujutsu waza (atemi-striking, kansetsu-joint, katame-restraining and nage-throwing) and created subdivisions based on the critical effective element of each waza. Prior to his work with Aikido he already had Kano's body of work as well which had already focused on the katame, nage and some of the kansetsu waza, so it is very likely that the initial classification of waza I gave above may have been somewhat set by Kano's initial work when developing traditional Jujutsu into Judo.

The reason it is the way it is may also have something to do with Kano's research. As seen on the JAA website Boon gave, Tomiki saw the difference between Judo and Aikido waza as being primarily determined by the distance or ma ai being used. When at arm's length, Aiki waza was more suitable, when at a closer, body to body, grappling range, the Judo waza appeared to be more suitable.

With this in mind if we look at the Randori no Kata we see a progressive movement from striking range (Atemi Waza) to Kansetsu waza (grasping range) which is broken up into Hiji Waza- (elbow techniques-mainly deployed using the forearm as a lever to manipulate the natural bend in the elbow joint) and Tekubi waza (wrist techniques-mainly deployed using the hand as a lever to manipulate the natural bend in the wrist joint).

At the end of the kata we have Uki Waza ("floating" techniques-utilizing precise timing combined with focused and coordinated body movement to throw via kuzushi) . I can see why the Uki waza is at the end because although it involves the joint manipulation found in Kansetsu Waza, it is critically dependent upon timing and coordinated power (toitsu ryoku and kokyu ryoku) to be effective.

If you have seen some of the basic Judo kata it is actually very similar in concept to how Tomiki has the Randori no Kata laid out, except that the Judo practitioners start from within grappling range (holding onto each other), take 3 steps together and execute on the 3rd step instead of walking up to each other in 3 steps and then executing as Aikido ma ai is reached on the 3rd step. Again here ma ai is a deciding factor on how things operate.

Quote:

David Sim wrote:
In particular, did he produce a complete classification of which the randori no kata is the subset of techniques that are judged 'safe' for competitive training? And to what extent is the randori no kata (or the ur-kata of which it is a subset) an exhaustive list of ways of manipulating the body 'in an aikido way'?

In Shodokan the Randori no Kata is fundamental as it teaches the core basic techniques which can be used to extrapolate and develop the vast majority of Aikido waza. In this way one does not need to experience and practice every single Aikido technique to learn it, but one masters the core movement principles of all Aiki waza and is able to utilize these principles in the infinite scenarios based on type of attack, omote or ura, grab, punch or kick etc.

From my own experience training with Aikikai instructors I can vouch for the above, having practiced waza that I had never experienced, but with the basis of the randori no kata it was no challenge to adapt to the particular waza being taught. I can even go as far as to say this has also assisted me in learning Jujutsu technique as well.

The Randori no Kata however still is a basic template of the waza allowed in Shodokan Randori and Shiai. This is the case with any system that has a competitive aspect. If there are rules there must be something that indicates what is and is not allowed. This applies to Karate, Judo and Kendo also. However, since the Randori no Kata is not the only Shodokan technical library available (we have the Koryu no kata etc.) there are ways to experience a great variety of all the Aikido waza through the practice of other kata as well as developing oyou waza (application techniques) etc. whether they be allowed in shai or not.

Quote:

David Sim wrote:
And in particular, why are there precisely those three uki waza? Are they the only posible ones?

Like the rest of the Randori no Kata, the 3 Uki waza are merely fundamentals of how one uses total body coordination and timing as a primary element in applying Aiki waza. From those 3 waza there are many permutations. Here are some examples:

Mae Otoshi: This uses a powerful hip/stance change while stepping, channeling one's power through the upper arm or shoulder into the back of Uke's elbow. The same identical movement (footwork alone with focus of power through the shoulder/upper arm) can be used to throw an attacker from a two handed bear-hug type grab from behind. This does not look like mae otoshi (called kokyu nage by other schools), but directly uses the principle of mae otoshi.

Sumi Otoshi - This principle can be applied against a hook punch by entering strongly into the bent elbow and utilizing one's own chin as the focal point to channel the downward force of one's entire unified body into the Uke's inner elbow and weak line, causing Uke to fall backward like traditional sumi otoshi. Again this uses pure footwork and body alignment without the use of hands and "looks" nothing like sumi otoshi from the Randori no Kata, but works in precisely the same manner.

Have fun playing the the kata. I hope this has helped.

LC:ai::ki:

xuzen 09-04-2006 04:16 AM

Re: Randori No Kata - history etc
 
Oh schucks Larry, you are a walking Shodokan encyclopedia.

Boon.

davidafindlay 09-04-2006 06:33 AM

Re: Randori No Kata - history etc
 
Quote:

David Sim wrote:
Does anyone know of a good account of Tomiki's development of the randori no kata (and his system of classification of techniques in general) and an explanation of why it is how it is? either on the interweb, in a book, or (if you've got time) via the oral tradition.

Hi David,

Larry makes lots of good points.

If you're after more on the history side, AFAIK, the randori no kata in its current 17-hon incarntion went through a number of changes prior to shape today. I can't find Tomiki Sensei's book at the moment either, but I do have a copy of Yamada's (Senta) "The Principles and Practice of Aikido", Reading Standard Printing Co, 1966 (prefaced by Tomiki Sensei). In this book, Yamada sensei refers to 15-hon:

1) Shomen ate
2) Gyaku (gamae) ate
3) Aigamae ate

4) Oshi taoshi
5) Hiki taoshi
6) Ude gaeshi
7) Ude hineri

8) Kote hineri, junte dori (like current #11)
9) Kote hineri, junte dori (like current #13)
10) Kote hineri, gyakute dori (like an "aikikai" aigamae nikkyo)
11) Kote hineri, gyakute dori (like hiki taoshi with gyaku gamae gyakute dori kote hineri)

12) Kote gaeshi, junte dori (like current #12, focus is on gyaku gamae grip)
13) Kote gaeshi, junte dori (like current #12, focus is on aigamae grip
14) (Tenkai) Kote gaeshi (like-ish current #14, but one-handed aigamae)
15) (Tenkai) Kote gaeshi (like-ish current #15)

... as you can see, no gedan ate, ushiro ate, waki gatame or uki-waza... The layout of waza also seem to offer a slightly different flavour, eg kote gaeshi is not offered as a "counter" to a failed kote hineri, nor ude-gaeshi / oshi-taoshi.

I'm sure I was also introduced to another set at hombu, maybe an 18 or 19... I suspect this was Nariyama shihan just giving us a glimpse of old school. In fact, I'm pretty sure the number of waza grew to greater than 17 at one point because of the addition of the uki-waza to a set like that 15 above.

Oh, and at one point seoi-nage was also allowed. I personally think this would be real useful today as it would help people maintain "better" aikido maii, rather than ending up real close and looking to lever arms about.

Maybe you could also mail Peter R on this forum. He has a pretty good background with this sort of thing.

If you're really interested I'll try to remember to ask Loi Lee. She is around our neck of the woods these days and has been in the game longer than many - probably has some interesting recollections.

Cheers,
Dave.

Yann Golanski 09-04-2006 08:02 AM

Re: Randori No Kata - history etc
 
The way it was taught to me was that each technique corresponds to a response to an attach. All 17 cover all the basics.

For example:
1 Shomen ate: Strike, same posture as attacker, inside.
2 Aigamae ate: Strike, same posture as attacker, outside.
3 Gyaku gamae ate: Strike, opposite posure, outside.
4 Gedan ate: Strike, opposite posure, inside.
5 Ushiro ate: read strike.
gives you all the different strikes from different positions that one can do. They are __BASIC__ strikes and not an exhaustive list. Same things can apply to all the other techniques in the 17 kata. After that, randori teaches you to apply those into a more realistic situation. Each of the 17 techniques can be applied in dozens of different ways.

DaveS 09-04-2006 12:29 PM

Re: Randori No Kata - history etc
 
Wow! That's amazing! Thanks everyone. *rei*

Quote:

Yann Golanski wrote:
They are __BASIC__ strikes and not an exhaustive list. Same things can apply to all the other techniques in the 17 kata. After that, randori teaches you to apply those into a more realistic situation. Each of the 17 techniques can be applied in dozens of different ways.

Yeah. By "an exhaustive list of ways of manipulating the body" I meant something like "an exhaustive list of directions in which bits of the body can be bent or pushed." So kote gaeshi is a basic way of manipulating the body - turning the wrist outwards - and I can then apply that while standing and moving away from you, while standing, entering and prodding you in the inside of the elbow, while pinning you, while standing and lifting your arm above your head, probably using a stick in some way, while twisting your other wrist inwards and so on, but it's still kote gaeshi. It's what Larry called "the critical effective element."

Thanks again!

deepsoup 09-04-2006 02:29 PM

Re: Randori No Kata - history etc
 
Hi Dave. :)
Quote:

Dave Findlay wrote:
I'm sure I was also introduced to another set at hombu, maybe an 18 or 19... I suspect this was Nariyama shihan just giving us a glimpse of old school. In fact, I'm pretty sure the number of waza grew to greater than 17 at one point because of the addition of the uki-waza to a set like that 15 above.

Nariyama Shihan was talking about this at his recent London seminar. I hadn't heard of the 15 version before, but I have come across the 19. It didn't include any uki waza - it was the same 15 that you list, plus the remaining 2 atemi waza and 2 waki gatame.

The hiji waza from that version are still in the 4th kyu grading syllabus - oshi taoshi, udegaeshi, wakigatame (3 "pushing" hiji waza), then hiki taoshi, udehineri, wakigatame (3 "pulling" hiji waza).

Quote:

Maybe you could also mail Peter R on this forum. He has a pretty good background with this sort of thing.
Good idea, though I guess Peter must be busy, because there's no way he'd be able to resist posting in this thread if he'd seen it. :)

Sean
x

DaveS 09-04-2006 08:57 PM

Re: Randori No Kata - history etc
 
Quote:

Dave Findlay wrote:
Oh, and at one point seoi-nage was also allowed. I personally think this would be real useful today as it would help people maintain "better" aikido maii, rather than ending up real close and looking to lever arms about.

Out of interest, how would that work? IANAJudoka, but I thought it was another fairly close range technique, and would be just another incentive to get in there. Unless you mean allowing it to tanto along with the atemi waza... *mind wanders* hmmm, you could start giving tsukiari if tanto can successfully tread on toshu's feet or something...

PeterR 09-04-2006 11:36 PM

Re: Randori No Kata - history etc
 
Nah I'm here - I just don't really know how they developed exactly and besides there is some Iwama guy on another thread saying our little thing is fake - I am sure he's right. :p

There were originally 15 and I think Jack Mumpower in the states refuses to change since that's what Tomiki taught him. Understandable even if Tomiki moved on.

The Junanahon are the base of the Tomiki system but are designed with randori in mind. They are what's tested during the kyu grades, at Ikkyu and the tanto variation from Shodan. Related to these are the 19 and I would call these more of a teaching set.

The first 5 atemi are of course there followed by the 6 hijiwaza used at the yonkyu level (one more than than used in the junanahon). There are no ukiwaza but they have four kotegeishi and four kotehineri techniques based on the four standard grips. Aigamae junte dori, aigamae gyakudori, gyakugamae juntedori and gyakugamae gyakudori. These different grips show up throughout the kyu grades in other waza and through those evil nigiri gaeshi jodan and chudan no tsukuri.

If you train at Honbu for even a short period of time Nariyama Shihan will haul out those four grips and make your head hurt - trying to remember the associated waza. He seems to have it perfectly timed for me to forget them as soon as he hauls them out - Omonishi and myself are doing these a lot at Himeji lately just so I can avoid the embarrassment again. Point being - the 19 are something instructor level students should know even if they are not as a whole part of the curriculum.

davidafindlay 09-05-2006 06:24 AM

Re: Randori No Kata - history etc
 
So it looks from inspection the 19 was a half-way house between the 15 and 17...
Quote:

Peter Rehse wrote:
Nariyama Shihan will haul out those four grips and make your head hurt - trying to remember the associated waza.

Hey Peter,

Yeah, from time to time I try to run through these too. I think on the occasions I've rolled them out at class we kinda have to stop after the first four because people end up just looking too confused. But as I think about them, and also looking at Yamada's book mentioned above*, they look like the same waza, almost, anyhow. I don't know how my descriptions look to you, but do they sound about right? IIRC, I think the waza for #11 was more like a kaiten nage.

I think this is a great set for illustrating a robust classification method of grips and twists. Saying that, when asked, I prefer to talk about just the kaisu and hineru directions, and the desired effects on your partner. With all the /gamae and /te combinations I find it gets a bit cerebral and techniquey, rather than principle-based.

I dunno if its the same for hiji waza though... I think in that case there might be reason for looking at the location (ie, what "o'clock") where you grip uke's arm... and the ensuing leverage you have on the elbow. Not sure on this though.

Anyhow, I was thinking a little bit last night about the differences between the 15 & 17, and it seemed to come down to that the 17 appear essentially more randori-focussed. And technically I guess the 17-hon randori no kata does not have a kote mawashi / nikkyo / gyakute dori kote hineri. Seems like a sensible progression, for the randori vehicle its intended for. Seems that Tomiki bloke might have had a few good ideas :)

Regards,
Dave.

* By the way, found the bits of Tomiki's book late last night, and that had the same 15-hon mentioned.

davidafindlay 09-05-2006 06:30 AM

Re: Randori No Kata - history etc
 
Quote:

Sean Orchard wrote:
I hadn't heard of the 15 version before, but I have come across the 19. It didn't include any uki waza - it was the same 15 that you list, plus the remaining 2 atemi waza and 2 waki gatame.

Hey Sean,

Maybe it looks like the 19 were a half-way house between the 15 & 17 then?

Quote:

The hiji waza from that version are still in the 4th kyu grading syllabus - oshi taoshi, udegaeshi, wakigatame (3 "pushing" hiji waza), then hiki taoshi, udehineri, wakigatame (3 "pulling" hiji waza).
these days I find hiji waza kind of difficult to classify further (not that we have to I suppose, but it can help pass the time :) ). I mean, do we just say pull/push, or do we say hineru/kaisu, or look at how tori grips the forearm (this can play a part in the leverage tori can generate I think)... I dunno

Cheers,

Dave

Matthew White 09-30-2006 09:59 PM

Re: Randori No Kata - history etc
 
Here's a way to look at that kata... you start out applying force directly onto Uke's centerline... each waza takes your "connection point" further from the centerline...

as far as the Uki waza goes (and this may apply to some of the other portions of the kata), I've been taught that they are arranged in the order of timing in Uke's cycle of recovery from earliest to latest...

Play with those two ideas, see what you think. May turn out differently in how you've been taught.


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