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Old 11-30-2009, 08:42 PM   #27
Dojo: Aikikai de l'Université Laval
Location: Sainte-Catherine-de-la-J.-C., Québec
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 292
Re: Full Speed Randori and Self Defense

Wow, talk about reviving an ancient thread. Before today, the last post dates back to when this shodan was a 5th kyu.

I have often thought, and continue to think that a lot of the criticisms of aikido training can be mostly addressed by increasing the intensity and decreasing the pre-planned nature of ukemi, at least some of the time. Interestingly, my last two classes were n this direction. One was a free practice on Friday where I spent half an hour with a partner with each of us refusing to give away our centers. Not many clean techniques, and not working towards speed or ultra intensity, but I was drained by the end and it may me focus a lot about maintaining my own posture, keeping myself in a safe position and in the importance as nage of not getting sucked into a game of tussling (aka, bad judo). This is aikido, don't fight; enter! cut!

Tonight we did multiple attacker randori where our instructor asked the attackers to actually gang up on uke and try to drag him down. Again, this wasn't at ultra high, we're out to kill you, intensity. But in this case, the speed was greater than usual for our training. A good lesson in humility for all of us, and again, a lot to think about.

I would never have all or even most training be of this type. But I don't think it is possible to maintain aikido as a martial art without exploring in these types of directions on a regular basis.

Everybody, at all levels, find partners you trust and mix it up once in a while!

Jonathan Olson
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