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Old 05-31-2006, 05:15 AM   #1
Amir Krause
Dojo: Shirokan Dojo / Tel Aviv Israel
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 688
Randori, Sempai and experiences

I am quite confused with my thoughts on this matter. This is the reason I wish to share it. But my own confusion, and probably a multitude of assumption that seem obvious to me, but not to others, might make this post difficult to understand. If this is the case, I apologize.

In short - I had a bad Randori session yesterday. And Sensei had a multitude of comments about it. But my problem is, that even after hearing him, I am not so sure how I should have behaved given the dilemma I was in:

I had practiced Randori (free play, all attacks types allowed from both sides) with another student of my sensei from a different dojo. The other student is not very experienced (about a year I think) and seems at least to be much older then me. During Randori, I had felt he was using a lot of force unnecessarily, and more importantly, acted in bursts - very strong and fast, then stop, then again. He also had often tried to resist my techniques with force, but rarely succeeded. I should also comment the Dojo was full, and one had to be careful throwing to prevent inter-couples accidents.
In this situation, While I found myself throwing him without much difficulty despite the resistance (though not smoothly, and often with some manipulations). I also felt abused by the strength he often used, and to the velocity changes - I am attacking him slowly and he responds very fast, then stops then again. My Uke capabilities have improved over the years, but I did feel slapped a couple of times.
At one point, I was angry enough to start slamming him, working at his fast rate continuously and introducing him to the mat more closely. But, I immediately felt fear I might not be able to this without injuring him, and his being older then me (in his late 40's or early 50's - I don't know), has also calmed me down. So I just kept going on, knowing this is not a good practice but finding no solution.
I did try and ask him to slow down a couple of times, and I have tried to keep my own Ukemi as soft and non-resistive as possible in hope it would help him relax. But to no avail.

After the Randori ended. I got a very cold wash from my sensei. Indicating that as a sempai and yudansha, it was my role to find a better solution to the Randori, and that I must not let a Randori continue at such a level. He more then implied I should have made the other person feel his wrong doing and even reminded the story of the monk who reached enlightenment by a sandal to his head ...
He also mentioned the other way, of letting the other succeed to relax him, then have a more fruitfully Randori.
Sensei said that by letting the other train this way, I am not only disrupting my own Randori and wasting my time (instead of progressing), but as a sempai, I am also becoming a culpit in his not learning well, giving him a bad example and letting him continue down a no-exit route.

I am not sure if there is any clear question here. But perhaps you could understand what I am looking for and replay.


Just to clarify, I am practicing for more then 15 yrs. I trust my Sensei and listen to him even when I disagree, I asked him after the lesson but he could not give me a clearer answer.
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