I went to a jiu jitsu school the other night, strongly influenced by Mochizuki Sensei's "Yoseikan" budo style.
They played an unusual game that I can only describe as "Simon Says Randori" which I'm looking to try out at my next intermediate-level class.
It's a nice way to practice strategies of defending against a random attack, and reminded me of the game Simon Says.
"Simon Says" Randori
The teacher stands out the front. There are two rows of students - one looking at the teacher (call it the "Uke Row") and one row unable to see the teacher ("Nage Row").
The teacher makes an obvious mimic of an attack which the Uke Row undertakes. The Nage Row then does any technique to defend themselves against Uke.
After a while, Uke and Nage Rows swap around.
I thought this game was a cool way to introduce Randori in a fairly controlled fashion. The teacher dictated what the next attack should be, the frequency which attacks were laid onto Nage, and there were no worries for the Nage about where the next attack is coming from.
The game can extend to having more than one uke, weapons etc.
Can anyone suggest other methods to introduce Randori concepts?
Liam - Uni of Western Australia Aikido
in our beginners class students are introduced step by step to complex techniques right from the start instead doing ikkyo for weeks because our trainer emphasises on teaching principles of movement instead of rigid exercises. Randori is introduced at a very early stage to allow students to find out basic techniques themselves. For this purpose we do "blind" randori where nage closes his/her eyes and is attacked with grabs by two uke. All nage has to do is keep moving until he/she finds a position to throw/roll or pin uke. Being unable to see uke helps to stop planning techniques. People are more focused on developing movements in reaction to the way of the attack and the flow of energy.
Of course this is done slowly and softly in the beginners class but it has a great effect. Students discover techniques like ikkyo, sankyo and even shihonage by themselves. This keeps the training interesting and does a great deal for self confidence.
In the advanced class, randori is great fun and a good way to free your mind after a lesson of complicated techniques. It's done blind with grabs only or open-eyed with all kind of attacks and a minimum of two uke per nage to keep nage sweating...
[Edited by Anne on July 6, 2000 at 03:17am]
Be careful when doing randori. In one hand, it will improve your "real life" aikido. In the other hand, beginners tend to forget about doing techniques the right way in order to be fast enough.
I introduced randori from suwari waza, uke was able to do just two kinds of attacks, and nage replied with kokyu or irimi nage. Then we gave more possibilities to uke 'till he was able to do any attack he wanted to do. Kokyu nage is a good start since nage doesn't need to do a lot with her/hands. Just move out of the way :^)
The advantage of doing randori in the floor is that nage generally feels less threatened and reacts more naturally.
In my opinion, the Aikikai-style randori (as opposed to other kinds of randori) that's done in nearly all dojo do not mimic so-called "real life" situations at all. There are a boatload of "rules" that are imposed on both the attacker(s) and the defender.
If someone grabs my shoulders and stands there strongly, I can't break someone's nose? If someone charges at me like a bull, I can't just simply throw them right into the shomen? What about a sharp open-handed backhand to the eyes?
This kind of randori, I think, is basically an exercise (just like almost everything else in aikido) to get people to practice their movement -- tai sabaki. Too many people get caught up in throwing their uke rather than moving, and I feel that randori helps people in working on moving around...
The line between aikido and jujitsu blurs when you start to look at the combat effectiveness of aikido. Randori shows up aiki-flaws pretty quickly! The challenge is to give your uke their body back in the way they originally had it. I think one way to distinguish jujitsu from aikido is the condition of uke after the technique's finished.
At the Uni of West Australia Aikido, as we get more senior there are less rules in our randori but the rules are still there.
For example, as the speed and power of the attacks goes up we limit the type of attacks. And we begin to use gloves for punching and leg pads for kicking - mouthguards are handy too. When we're comfortable we'll open up the number and style of attacks, and increase the number of attackers.
Jun's later comment about the value of randori in certain (but not all!)schools of Aikikai are quite justified. I've seen a heap of "dancing on the mats" with little if any relation to a real situation. But hey if a club's not interested in effectiveness then it's not an issue. It's only an issue if they claim their aikido is effective self-defense.
I find that the more I test the limits of my technique through randori the slower and more sensitive my normal training is - speed and timing are things I've already worked on, so I can look at balance/linking/sticky hands and other such things.
[Edited by liam on July 11, 2000 at 09:34pm]
Just kiddin' :) Brings to mind the "mugging" type randori on the Seagal tape, "Path Beyond Thought." Very neat to watch.
Too often nages are trying to engage so they can do throws, and forget what I call the "Miyagi principle:"
Daniel-san: "What's the best way to handle a punch."
Miyagi: "Not be there when it comes!"
Excuse my memory of the lines :)
[Edited by AikiTom on July 11, 2000 at 09:23pm]
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