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kocakb 06-18-2004 04:25 AM

Randori
 
hi to everyone,

I asked a few days ago my sensei if we will ever practise randori. We have never trained this in our dojo. I am a 4th Kyu aikidoka (will be 3 next week hopefully :D ), but I have not seen higher ranked aikidokas training randori. He did not give me a satisfying answer...

What I want to know, do you practise it in your dojos? and after which Kyu (Dan) are people starting to practise it?
and lastly, at any Kyu or Dan test, does an aikidoka have to perform randori. is it a need?

wish you a lovely day from Istanbul...

PaulieWalnuts 06-18-2004 04:48 AM

Re: Randori
 
there is either juwaza or randori. The more traditonal aiki do juwaza, where the more sport styled aiki like tomiki have randori.
I got sent this article from a friend in the US. I think its a superb explanation of the difference between Aiki and randori. hope you like it.


Aikido and Competition
A general perception of Aikido is that there are no competitions. This is generally true, although there as some styles which have limited competitions. Tomiki style, for example, has matches using tanken (short swords) with dull blades, and specific rules for scoring points.

Also, some trainees like to test each other to see if they can make their techniques work against other trainees who are resisting with full power, and vice-versa. This is constructive in moderation since any weaknesses and defects in technique become immediately clear, as long as the primary goals of perfecting technique and developing cordial relationships with other trainees is maintained in the forefront.

However, these diversions are not comparable to the type of competitions found in karate and other martial arts in which a contestant is free to use a variety of techniques in a relatively spontaneous manner for the express purpose of winning a victory over another contestant.

An official explanation for the lack of competition in Aikido is that this particular martial art is based on harmony, and competition is the antithesis of its primary objective. Although this is certainly valid, a brief review of the derivation of Aikido from older martial art forms will show that there is also a very practical reason for discouraging Aikido trainees from going at each other flat out.

An interesting little book entitled "Judo, Appendix Aikido", by Kenji Tomiki (the founder of the above referenced Tomiki style of Aikido), which was published in 1956, includes a chart showing classes of "Judo" technique. These are classified into two main categories, "Aiki techniques" and "Randori techniques".

The Aiki techniques are described as a "system of techniques in the applying of which it is considered most ideal not to be seized by the opponent", and include "Kansetsu techniques" (bending or twisting joints) and "Atemi techniques" (attacking vital points).

The Randori techniques are described as a "system of techniques to be applied by seizing hold of each other", and include grappling techniques and throwing techniques.

Although Tomiki considers Judo to include both classes of techniques, he writes that "practice in these techniques of attacking the vital points and bending or twisting the joints is not to be carried on by means of contests as in the case of the randori techniques, for from the nature of those techniques it is attended with danger".

Different martial arts focus on different aspects of applying and controlling force (karate emphasizes atemi, judo emphasizes grappling and throwing, etc.). In general, however, if a martial art is to provide a forum for competition which minimizes the possibility of death and serious injury, the forum must necessarily include rules which prohibit the more dangerous techniques. This was implemented in the case of judo by allowing only randori techniques in contests.

Aikido went in the opposite direction from Judo. To quote from "Traditional Aikido", by Morihiro Saito, Vol. V, "It is a well-known fact that matches are prohibited in Aikido. This is because Aikido has inherited a number of lethal techniques from its Founder, which render matches too dangerous an exercise, and also because the art purports to place no restrictions on every conceivable movement.

If the rules are set and dangerous techniques are excluded from the matches, Aikido undoubtedly will lose its raison d'etre. If matches are to be held, all the techniques will have to be scaled down to those consisting mainly of Atemi or the contestants will have to either stake their lives or wear protective gear. A question also arises whether the form of the competition should be limited to empty-handed techniques or should also include the use of weaponry.

Even if only empty-handed techniques are allowed, the techniques inherent with Aikido are too terrific to make Ukemi (rolls and somersaults in defense) possible. True, such Ukemi against throwing is made possible deliberately in training sessions. However, execution of techniques becomes uninhibited in matches and the dangers involved are obvious. The answer to the question of why Aikido is not identified with a sport or a contest is simple".

No single martial art can provide everything, and Aikido sacrifices competition in favor of including potentially dangerous techniques which were originally developed for lethal combat and handed down from our predecessors. Fortunately, there are many excellent martial art styles which offer competition and are available for persons who are so oriented.

All people are different, and those who are interested in martial arts should seek out a style which best suits their personality and goals. If one martial art does not provide everything they are looking for, they may consider training in several.

A good strategy is to select the most apparently suitable martial art as primary, and train long enough to develop a high level of proficiency. Then, seek out other martial arts and incorporate their teachings into the primary system. This is, in fact, an excellent way to become a true and well rounded martial artist.

Yann Golanski 06-18-2004 04:50 AM

Re: Randori
 
We do randori at the first lesson, then in each lesson following that one. We do it all the time. Randori is done in each and every test we do. Generally both at the start and the end of the grading. Most of the time, expect to do about 4 or 5 rounds both as uke and tori.

Check out my posts on randori as I have made several. Kakari geiko -> hikitate geiko -> softo randori -> randori -> shiai is the general progression we use.

George S. Ledyard 06-18-2004 06:18 AM

Re: Randori
 
Quote:

Bülent Koçak wrote:
hi to everyone,

I asked a few days ago my sensei if we will ever practise randori. We have never trained this in our dojo. I am a 4th Kyu aikidoka (will be 3 next week hopefully :D ), but I have not seen higher ranked aikidokas training randori. He did not give me a satisfying answer...

What I want to know, do you practise it in your dojos? and after which Kyu (Dan) are people starting to practise it?
and lastly, at any Kyu or Dan test, does an aikidoka have to perform randori. is it a need?

wish you a lovely day from Istanbul...

Hi!
By Randori, do you mean "freestyle" training or "multiple attacker" practice? Some people use this term differently than others.

Also, who is your teacher there? I know someone who teaches in Istanbul.

PeterR 06-18-2004 06:24 AM

Re: Randori
 
Steph: There are a few errors in that text and specifically Tomiki was writing about Judo. He spent quite a bit of thought on how to better train the Aiki techniques without injury and I believe did a pretty good job. Randori, as with Judo, does not use all techniques, but those missing techniques are practiced as intensively as those that are allowed. In fact that is the main difference with Judo training in that Shodokan Aikido is very heavy kata orientated with the addition of randori whereas Judo is heavily randori orientated with the eventual addition of kata. In my opinion Shodokan Aikido training is closer to what Kano had in mind for Judo.

Randori allows us to get as close to spontaneously expressing techniques in a chaotic situation and in combination with kata does not require us to compromise the inclusion of lethal techniques.

If you like diagrams I suggest this one and this one. Both are from Tomiki's own work at the culmination of his life's endeavor. In fact I would read the entire site rather than quote someone who was less informed than he thought.

PaulieWalnuts 06-18-2004 06:33 AM

Re: Randori
 
I dont know if its wrong. my friend says its what his teacher was told to him by the japanese while living in japan in the 70s?

kocakb 06-18-2004 06:39 AM

Re: Randori
 
Quote:

George S. Ledyard wrote:
Hi!
By Randori, do you mean "freestyle" training or "multiple attacker" practice? Some people use this term differently than others.

Also, who is your teacher there? I know someone who teaches in Istanbul.


Hi, I am not so sure (I know randori just from videos-I said we never did it)...I mean, multiple attacker (for example 3) tryes to lock one guy, and the style is free...can we say free styled multiple attack!!! :sorry:
Mr. Miller wrote "there is either juwaza or randori and juwaza is the traditonal one"...we do (I mean the 1.st and 2. Kyu's do) Juwaza...therefore I think our sensei does not let us do randori...
My teacher is Besim Aslan, but I know (or at least have heard) most of the trainers in Istanbul. who do you know?

PeterR 06-18-2004 06:46 AM

Re: Randori
 
Steph:

I'm not Japanese but I train here and teach Tomiki Aikido to Japanese and others. A lot of effort was made to translate Tomiki's writings into English and these are available at the web page of Shodokan Honbu (Tomiki's own dojo). The explanations are extensive.

It is clear from the text you quoted that the person has only passing familiarity with Tomiki Aikido. All I am advising is that you go as close to the source as possible rather than a friend of a friend of a friend.

PeterR 06-18-2004 06:54 AM

Re: Randori
 
Dear Bulent;

We are not being fair to you.

Basically you would not be doing the Aikido version of Judo randori. This is a pretty specialized thing and in the Aikido world what people mean by randori is usually multiple person jyuwaza. This is quite fun and challenging in it's own right.

If you have done jyuwaza before then randori (in the non-Judo sense) is just the next level up in experience. Eventually speed and numbers will increase but at its core you will be doing what you've done before. No worries and enjoy.

PaulieWalnuts 06-18-2004 07:06 AM

Re: Randori
 
Sorry Peter but there is also a little mistake in your last post. In some style like Iwama its always juwaza. Randori is not the nest level up in our style, dont know about others. but everything you can do in randori can be applied in juwaza. I know the consept of juwaza is very different in tomiki and other styles. But i would never see randori as an advanced juwaza. what makes it more advanced or next level up?

PeterR 06-18-2004 07:25 AM

Re: Randori
 
I said in the Aikido world what people mean by randori is usually multiple person jyuwaza. So just clarify for me - do you mean that in Iwama style it's called jyuwaza no matter how many uke attack (this would be in line with Tomiki Aikido) or is randori something else entirely. For us what defines randori is the loss of the uke/tori distinction. I never got the impression in my travels that Iwama randori was any different from mainstream Aikikai but that of course doesn't mean much.

Quote:

steff miller wrote:
Sorry Peter but there is also a little mistake in your last post. In some style like Iwama its always juwaza. Randori is not the nest level up in our style, dont know about others. but everything you can do in randori can be applied in juwaza. I know the consept of juwaza is very different in tomiki and other styles. But i would never see randori as an advanced juwaza. what makes it more advanced or next level up?


PaulieWalnuts 06-18-2004 07:36 AM

Re: Randori
 
i would say anything in our style that requires free play/practice is juwaza.

George S. Ledyard 06-18-2004 10:31 AM

Re: Randori
 
Quote:

Bülent Koçak wrote:
My teacher is Besim Aslan, but I know (or at least have heard) most of the trainers in Istanbul. who do you know?

My friend is Teddy Wilson Sensei. He's an American who lives there.

In the ASU, people are not generally asked to do jiyuwaza with a single partner until some level of black belt testing and not usually shodan. However, at all levels of black belt testing students ar reuired to do defense against multiple attackers.

If it's multiple attackers we are talking about, I will say that I don't encourage my students to paryticipate until they start to get their ukemi very solid. This can be fourth kyu or even third kyu. Certinaly when I do seminars on Randori, we usually bill them as being for third kyu and up. The reason for this is two fold. First, until your technique starts to get solid enough that it is generally effective, it doesn't really make sense to try to string a series of ineffective techniques together in rapid succession.

But the main factor is the ukemi in randori is dangerous. The nage is moving in unexpected ways and is doing so rapidly. He often isn't paying a lot of attention to the ukes safety because he has other ukes to worry about. An uke needs to be trained in how to operate in a close quarters environment in which feet are flying around at high speed right at head level and bodies will be purposely thrown directly at you by the nage.

TRhe ukemi issue is also true for single person jiyu waza but not quite to the same extreme.

This is perhaps some of the reluctance to jiyuwaza shown by your instructor.

holmesking 06-18-2004 10:37 AM

Re: Randori
 
I train under Greg Jennings in a dojo with very strong Iwama roots.

We refer to free practice with multiple attackers as randori, FWIW. It is an occasional component of our training for students of all ranks.

Lan Powers 06-18-2004 05:42 PM

Re: Randori
 
Hi Mr. Rehse
Not to hijack the thread, but I wanted to mention how well the above mentioned diagrams lay out a theory that I had only vaguely held. The main differances in the overall concept of the techniques of judo and aikido are PRIMARILY ranged based. At least that is how I had been conceiving this. ..
at distance or proper aikido ma-ai - aikido, when in tight with others, - judo .
Cool to see it layed out. Weapons just add another "layer" to the distance, I think.
Just my thoughts
We don't get to do a lot of multi uke attack randori (small space, with mirrored walls)
but we are getting more and more into the jiyuwaza as ukemi skills have overall risen to an appropriate leval.
(just answering the question of the thread as well....:) )
More fun than just "careful, he's new" ukemi
Lan

PeterR 06-18-2004 07:18 PM

Re: Randori
 
Lan

Tomiki was Professor of Physical Education at Waseda Daigaku (the top private university in Japan) and in fact graduated from there with an Economics degree. He was a leading expert in Budo and a lot of thought went into his theories which he then went on to explain very clearly. One of his top students carries on the intellectual tradition and is Professor of Budo History at the same University where he also continues to teach Aikido.

Great stuff in my opinion - more can be found throughout the web site and in the book Tradition and the Competitive Edge by the afore mentioned Professor of Budo History.

Noel 06-18-2004 07:38 PM

Re: Randori
 
Getting back to topic, somewhat :)

We start newbies training with multiple attackers pretty early (almost as soon as they can roll decently). For beginning nage, the ukes are limited to one or two kinds of strike, nage gets at most two different throws to try, and things are deliberately kept half-speed or less. It's more of a stretching exercise for your mind. It helps make you aware of your surroundings, where your throw is going, and reminds you that other things can happen while you're dealing with something.

My cent-and-a-half,
-Noel

PeterR 06-18-2004 07:44 PM

Re: Randori
 
And (to add to Noel's comments) you don't actually have to do waza initially. Just do it as an avoidance exercise. Lot's of levels to choose from.

L. Camejo 06-18-2004 07:48 PM

Re: Randori
 
Quote:

steff miller wrote:
... i would never see randori as an advanced juwaza. what makes it more advanced or next level up?

Hi folks,

Regarding the above -

In my humble understanding, multiple attacker jiyu waza is done in a very cooperative sense, even at its "highest" levels. In (Shodokan) randori, full resistance (deliberate uncooperation) can make 1 person become much more difficult to handle than 3 non resisting ukes. In this case, one's technique, timing, kuzushi, application, maai etc. must not only rise to the level of the occasion (resistance with the full intent to throw Tori if his tech fails), it must also be solid, else Tori/Nage ends up being the one with his back on the mat as a victim of efficiently applied kaeshiwaza (counters).

In the area of counters, even when they are applied in "high level" jiyu waza, from my experience, it only reaches the middle level of randori or what we call hiki tate geiko or what I call "medium resistance flowing practice", where both partners keep countering each other's techniques where there are openings, until one gets off a tech that cannot be countered. This same thing in a randori environment means that the quality of the counter must also be technically solid, as the resistant partner does not intend to allow the Tori any space, position or angle to apply a successful technique from the very beginning.

So imho, randori in some ways does operate at a higher level than jiyu waza as I understand it, the key element being resistance and how it is applied to enhance the technical skill of the practitioners involved.

This is why "multiple attacker randori" in the Shodokan sense can be extremely challenging as we now have more than one attacker who is not just attacking his partner to be thrown, but attacking with intent of making sure the initial strike lands effectively and fully prepared to counter with whatever Aikido technique necessary to end up being the one left standing at the end.

Just my 2 cents.
LC:ai::ki:

PeterR 06-18-2004 08:03 PM

Re: Randori
 
Terminology alert.

Jyuwaza=Kakari geiko in Shodokan parlance.

Two attacker Jyuwaza would be Ni nin dori
Three "" "" "" "" San nin dori
and so on.

Larry I don't think I've ever tried multiple attacker randori in the Shodokan sense. It's a scary though - I can barely hold my own one on one.

I enjoy two person hikitate geiko (more resistance than Kakari geiko).

Anyhow - I'm off to Osaka for training.

L. Camejo 06-18-2004 08:20 PM

Re: Randori
 
Quote:

Peter Rehse wrote:
Larry I don't think I've ever tried multiple attacker randori in the Shodokan sense. It's a scary though - I can barely hold my own one on one.

It is extremely scary Peter, which is why I'm thinking about it. evileyes

Quote:

Peter Rehse wrote:
I enjoy two person hikitate geiko (more resistance than Kakari geiko).

This is the level I like to train with the majority of the class, this way the rank beginners get to do avoidance only or avoidance with kuzushi only and the folks who have a couple techs down start learning how to apply it with light kakari geiko. Those who can hold their own in light kakari geiko move into the hiki tate geiko realm to start understanding how to solidify technical elements with light to medium resistance.

Happy training. Hopefully I'll get to come meet you guys next year in Tokyo for the Internationals. Got some pointers from Shishida Shihan on travel timing and costs.:)

Gambatte
LC:ai::ki:

paw 06-19-2004 02:20 PM

Re: Randori
 
Quote:

Peter Rehse wrote:
I don't think I've ever tried multiple attacker randori in the Shodokan sense. It's a scary though - I can barely hold my own one on one.

Huge appreciation for your honesty!

Warm Regards,

Paul

Berney Fulcher 06-19-2004 02:38 PM

Re: Randori
 
We practice multiple attacker avoidance from day one. Multiple attacker with technique is something we do less often, but is some of the most fun I have ever had. It is amazing how quickly your brain freezes up in those situations.

gilsinnj 06-19-2004 08:54 PM

Re: Randori
 
Aikido Mt. Airy and Kinokawa Ryu practice randori constantly, and it only gets more difficult as you get higher rank. Although we have thrown some first day students into the mix, we don't require students to perform this until their second test (5th kyu).

Our definition of randori is "chaos practice", which is almost always multi-person defense. We also have turn-and-throw randori and technique randori. During tests, we require students to do turn-and-throw practice which is moving, turning your hips, and evading your attackers. Students are required to go for a while. (This is usually joked around by saying, "You keep going until the Sensei or Sempai [who is sitting down giving the test] gets tired watching you." :D ) After they are good and tired, they are required to do one attack and one throw for all for all of the uke's involved. If the Sempai or Sensei giving the test doesn't think the throw was good enough, the uke gets up and attacks again.

PeterR 06-20-2004 01:57 AM

Re: Randori
 
Quote:

Larry Camejo wrote:
Hopefully I'll get to come meet you guys next year in Tokyo for the Internationals. Got some pointers from Shishida Shihan on travel timing and costs.:)

Is it in Tokyo - I didn't know. If it is still fly in and out of Kansai airport and take a week or so afterward to train at Honbu. I'm a bit out of the way but you can crash at my place. The cost of the comute is still less than hotels although Orange House in convenient. A one week rail pass is the cost of a return trip from Osaka to Tokyo.


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