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Old 07-07-2010, 01:55 AM   #23
Amir Krause
Dojo: Shirokan Dojo / Tel Aviv Israel
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 688
Re: Aikido - Is there Randori? Is Aikido a Workout?

Hi Larry

I just wanted you to know Shodokan is not the only Aikido style\art that utilizes free tori\Uki role changes and "free play" in Randori.

As for the particulars - we can continue discussion though mostly, I agree with you.

Larry Camejo wrote: View Post
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.
Perhaps it was not clear enough, but my friend did know the variation we were practicing, and did train a very similar one in his Shodokan dojo. The difference was in conception: for him it was the variation I know but is illigal in Shiai, and for me it was the main route of performing that technique.
To the best of my knowledge, he is not that much of a competitive player. But, his responses might have been related to a focus of his training a few weeks before his visit, or his trying to emphasize the differences. Without him to comment...

Larry Camejo wrote: View Post
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`.
I normally dislike competition, it takes away from my fun. I do like to try and out-maneuver my friends and his trying to out me, but I enjoy the fact that we continue afterwards without even stopping to acknowledge a point. This, of-course, is a matter of personal likes and dislikes, and not an objective observation.

Larry Camejo wrote: View Post
From my experience I have never needed more than those allowed in shiai to be effective in any other sort of combative encounter.
If that is the situation, do you not focus or just train more on the techniques'\variations allowed in competition? This was the impression I had from my friend, he knew and trained the other options too, but the focus was on those specific technical variations.

Larry Camejo wrote: View Post
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.
My experience has been the same, when inviting Aikido practitioners from most other styles to "free play Randori" many (The exception is more of those who did other M.A.) got lost even at very low intensity (maintained intentionally to keep things safe), I recall multiple occurrences of one such being amazed his slight imbalance or some other opening has been used to invert the technique, and then not knowing how to continue and being thrown, while the Korindo practitioner (and I guess Shodokan too) would just keep moving and trying something else.

If you ever come to Israel - come and visit, I think you will enjoy a refreshing Randori with us.

Larry Camejo wrote: View Post
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.
Agreed, this is the reason I wrote our Randori training is aimed at learning the Aikido between the techniques (IMO - the more important part).
One of Korindo Shihans wrote a scholary article about it:

Larry Camejo wrote: View Post
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.
Agree about the principle.
I must admit even without a real competition, people tend to get into such a phase.

Larry Camejo wrote: View Post
So much fun .

Larry Camejo wrote: View Post
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.
It was just a particular instance, but could give some perception. Of course, another person or the same at a different time could have acted differently.
At that instance, he lacked Kuzushi, but could have trapped me still if he used the other variation, which is more of a lock then a push and which we practiced a lot that day. Instead, he did the thing he was used to, which required better Kuzushi than he had, and after it failed the first time, he tried to muscle it, while I was wondering why did he not try to change the technique (I was at a disadvantage and actually told him to try something else - being not competitive - I feel free to help during Randori ).
The latter issue - trying to force a technique by muscling and speed instead of finding the soft solution to resistance through of timing and consistent change had a lasting impression on me ( I do believe it was only a phase in his development too, and in the years since he learnt the better way). It was of particular impact since I was not much more advanced then him (years / training time), we both did "free play" Randori yet my focus at the time was rather different than his.

Keep having fun
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