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Old 07-06-2010, 06:52 PM   #22
L. Camejo
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Dojo: Ontario Martial Arts
Location: Mississauga, Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,423
Re: Aikido - Is there Randori? Is Aikido a Workout?

Amir Krause wrote: View Post
Before I write, I would like to clarify my context again (I believed it was clear enough in the previous post). I never trained in Shodokan \ Tomiki, I know about it from discussions with others who did. Particularly the person with whom I played when he came and visited.
Hi Amir,

The person you practiced with is probably one of the Shodokan players who focuses solely on competition and not much else. Imho, just like any other form of martial sport, fixation on the rules and shiai alone will not give one the full experience of the training. So I'm not surprised at your experience.

Competition is only part of the Shodokan method and while there are a particular subset of techniques allowed in shiai for safety reasons it does not mean that resistance randori is not done with some or most of these safeties off`. From my experience I have never needed more than those allowed in shiai to be effective in any other sort of combative encounter.

I have found however that because many from the other Aikido styles (and I've trained in most) do not train with resistance and free will in attack and defence as part of their paradigm that many of the so-called "dangerous" versions of waza cannot be applied under the pressure of a semi-skillful opponent.

It is important to understand that competition and randori are two very different things. Competition is highly specific and is governed by rules and referees but we have many levels of randori ranging from kakari geiko (what most other schools call randori i.e. a tori and uke who gives no resistance in attack or defence) to randori geiko (full resistance free practice where there is no longer a tori and uke). There are also levels in-between these extremes.

Like Judo randori the increased level of dynamic resistance given by a good partner creates a workout that tests cardiovascular fitness, anaerobic fitness, fundamentals such as tai sabaki, shisei and ma ai and the ability to "resist" or "counter" dynamic forces by using a unified mind/body.

You speak about muscling technique and I agree that this is a hallmark of many who focus on competition alone - the same is seen in Judo. However for those who train in the whole method the muscling stage is merely a transitory state to a place where real mind-body coordination occurs as it is forged through regular challenges in randori where ones partner is fully intent on destroying that coordination.

So much fun .

Regarding the shi ho nage you evaded, again I am not surprised - take any waza from any jujutsu or aikijutsu system anywhere and you will find that regardless of "how" it is done, without kuzushi your waza will not work. So this is not a measure of Shodokan waza but of a person's lack of skill in executing kuzushi.

As far as David's clips go - the only one that shows shiai is the final clip - the rest is embu or demonstration which also gives a good aerobic workout but not the sort of dynamic load-bearing one gets in randori.


Last edited by L. Camejo : 07-06-2010 at 06:58 PM.

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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