View Single Post
Old 07-06-2002, 02:13 AM   #13
George S. Ledyard
George S. Ledyard's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,670
Re: Re: Re: Realism In RANDORI

Originally posted by PeterR
Hi George;

I said a wee bit different - meaning not a whole lot. Like many things on this forum it may just boil down to semantics or emphasis. But what the hey, I'm sitting on a mountain top near Himeji in the middle of a typhoon (well actually the edge) watching my data collect.

First let me point out what you already know. My view of Aikido is heavily influenced by Kenji Tomiki whose view of randori was heavily influenced by judo's Kano. Not in the sport sense, although that also is there, but in the relation between kata and randori. I do think my thoughts do apply to randori as practiced in other styles of Aikido.

Kata=prearranged attack/prearranged defence

Randori=disordered training

I've come to look at randori as a crucible for forming your Aikido. Although kata maintains its importance for learning techniques and principles randori has two main functions.

Firstly - it tests your understanding of the kata. Trying to make a techniques work under disordered circumstance reveals weaknesses which when understood can be corrected during the performance of kata. These weaknesses are often in the base principles of kuzushi, ma ai and taisabaki.

Secondly - it applies pressure. Due to safety concerns all out combat is not desirable. It is a trade-off between safety and realism but randori must not be comfortable. If it's easy, its not randori.

So - let's debate your post.

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.

See my second reason for randori. As moving meditation that was the phrase that I most disagree with. Although you are seeking calm in chaos you are not in isolation - you are dealing with one or more uke.

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.

Sounds like the randori I do - although rarely do we deal with more than one at a time. Still we have upped the realism from multiple uke jiyu waza.

Randori practice involves putting yourself in a practice situation 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".

Very poetic - I like the way you said that. I feel that we can approach close to realism without destroying that dynamic. There is of course a point - dependent of the various skill levels - where "realism" overwhelms and the dynamic is lost.

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.

Agree completely. Randori is not fighting - it is a training method.
Thanks so much. I don't disagree with anything you said so we are using different terms to describe much the same thing. Lately I have come to really appreciate the side of randori which is the pure art (as opposed to anything that is striving to me overtly martial). There is something really magical that can be created when you work with three really talented ukes. Different from doing mutiple attacker stuff in my Police Defensive tactics class.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
  Reply With Quote