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Old 07-09-2010, 08:38 PM   #24
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?

Hi Amir,

Sorry for the delay.
Amir Krause wrote: View Post
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.
I think this is great. It's good to know we are not the only ones who remove this demarcation in randori.
Amir Krause wrote: View Post
... 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.
You raise a very valid point here. I think it is very very important for one to understand the difference in the methods of execution for any waza and realize where and when the different version are most applicable. This reminds me of my old Judo sparring days. In the beginning I used lots of wrist locks in newaza that worked but my partner would say "that is illegal in Judo competition". I understood his point but also reminded him that we were sparring and not competing, therefore it being against the rules would not protect his wrist from being broken in a non-competitive situation. I've trained with many sport martial artists over the years and found that the fixation on rules can easily narrow ones focus and tactical approach when one is taken out of the sporting context.
Amir Krause wrote: View Post
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.
Part of my initial point was that for us, randori and competition are 2 very different things. One can engage in the outmanouevering and countering without checking points and work at varying levels of resistance and include different combinations of attacks allowed etc. This happens more often than any specific shiai practice unless there is a tournament coming close. Most of our randori training is to develop core skills that we can use in competition. It is not solely competition training however, far from it. Shiai is a venue to test acquired skills under some sort of pressure, not the be all and end all of our training method.

Amir Krause wrote: View Post
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.
The core of our practice is kihon waza, and our kihon waza happens to be a group of 17 techniques that represent the core elements of all Aikido waza. These are also the randori techniques allowed in shiai. The techniques executed in competition are designed to be highly effective against a resistant opponent while offering a modicum of safety from severe injury, as a result kuzushi is key. Given your shi ho nage example, I have quite a few versions depending on the person I plan to use it on. They all come from the kihon and change as needed for the situation. In my experience however the version we use that is safer for the shoulder joint is actually more effective in causing kuzushi (as it stretches the spine muscles along its length and compresses the upper spine towards the ground, planting you to the floor, off balance) as against the version that moves the arm to the side but may snap a shoulder joint but in the heat of combat will not off balance and throw the opponent. So like I've said - I can effectively use the kihon version but if i want to modify, then the option is always there. Depending on how we define a particular randori session one can decide whether or not to stick to kihon or use other variants. I've realized however that this type of more varied randori training tends to be more common in the Americas where the self defence aspect of training is very important.
Amir Krause wrote: View Post
If you ever come to Israel - come and visit, I think you will enjoy a refreshing Randori with us.
Sounds good, I go to great lengths to be contorted and tossed around in new ways. Keeps the creative juices flowing.

Amir Krause wrote: View Post
...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.
I totally agree with you and it is something I hate to see. If you check Shodokan shiai on youtube you will find lots of this muscling happening (followed by self-inflicted kuzushi as a result), which to me is very sad because that nonsense only works in competition sometimes at best. To be honest I see it as an act of desperation in attempting to salvage bad waza. Funny how this is not what we are trained to do but many resort to it when under the pressure of shiai. I think one of the most difficult challenges is to maintain the integrity of ones technique under extreme pressure, so it is good if used in the right way. As for me, I love those who muscle technique because it gives me more than the amount of handles and levers I need to end the bout with relaxed power. It also gives my partner somethin g to think about with regarding to trying to muscle technique in the future.

Fun stuff.


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