in our beginners class students are introduced step by step to complex techniques right from the start instead doing ikkyo for weeks because our trainer emphasises on teaching principles of movement instead of rigid exercises. Randori is introduced at a very early stage to allow students to find out basic techniques themselves. For this purpose we do "blind" randori where nage closes his/her eyes and is attacked with grabs by two uke. All nage has to do is keep moving until he/she finds a position to throw/roll or pin uke. Being unable to see uke helps to stop planning techniques. People are more focused on developing movements in reaction to the way of the attack and the flow of energy.
Of course this is done slowly and softly in the beginners class but it has a great effect. Students discover techniques like ikkyo, sankyo and even shihonage by themselves. This keeps the training interesting and does a great deal for self confidence.
In the advanced class, randori is great fun and a good way to free your mind after a lesson of complicated techniques. It's done blind with grabs only or open-eyed with all kind of attacks and a minimum of two uke per nage to keep nage sweating...
[Edited by Anne on July 6, 2000 at 03:17am]