Originally posted by PhiGammaDawg
Are there any ideas on how to make randori more realistic?
Should uke commit to his strikes and really try to strike nage? Can uke strike in any way or fashion...a kick here or there? Can uke use some knives (rubber maybe)for randori?
One problem Seagal Sensei realized is that fighting on the mat is very different from the street. He likened it to swimming in the ocean versus swimming in the mat.
I do not think that you actually want to make randori more realistic. Like the rest of Aikido practice there is quite a bit of formalization that is there for two reasons: Fisrt is safety. The second is that Randori is really a form of moving meditation rather than training for a fight although the skills involved are transferrable in many ways. If you attempt to make it real street training you will lose some of its most interesting and rewarding aspects.
Real attackers will hesitate, use tricky energy, will not attack all at the same time, will break off connection when they don't like what is happening.
Randori practice involves putting yourself in a practice situaion with several skilled ukes. The communication that takes place between you and the ukes, the communication between the ukes themselves, the infinite and subtle ways in which your own movement can shape the dynamic between all of you would be lost if the goal is "realism".
Now I am not saying that you might not occasionally try an applied type, scenario based type training with multiple attackers as a way to develop your self defense skills. But then you should really do it with three attackers who don't know any ukemi, who will "cheat" whenever possible, who will access hidden weapons, etc. Don't even think of trying any fancy technique because at that level of realism technique is almost entirely striking oriented. You are going to knock these guys out, dislocate limbs etc. A bit difficult to practice if you want it to be real! You end up having to go practice with someone like Peyton Quinn and have several guys with the Bullet Man armor attack you. That's abou the closest you can get withoput really doing it. Of course you can always follow the model of Paul Vunak (Jeet Kun Do) who rigged a van with hidden cameras and then went to biker bars nad got in fights out in fron so he could film and analyse the effectiveness of his training.
As you know from my posts I am a big one for better quality trainnig but it is also important to recognize that too much striving for reality simply leads ultimately to fighting as the only way to be sure your stuff works.