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Old 12-04-2001, 07:46 AM   #26
L. Camejo
 
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Talking

Quote:
Originally posted by Abasan


I know we are deviating from the post with this question I'm about to ask, but I can't help it. Its now become a shodokan inspired post!

About the randori, in Aikikai, or at least where I'm training, we don't do it very often. Actually its meant for black belts and above. In my previous dojo, 3rd kyu and above are already participating in controlled randoris.

With my significant lack of practice in randori, I totally suck at it. This is despite my extensive practice on the individual wazas.

So, do you get better at randori, because you practice randori. Or is it because you've got all the techniques down to pat and it comes naturally when you practice randori. And the bonus question, does good randori make your techniques more effective in individual waza training as well as in self defence situations.

Again apoligies for ursurping this post!
I have no prob with deviation. In fact, practising in randori is what made me understand how to deal with "deviant" tanto wielding ukes and learn how to effectively apply my techniques to a non-cooperative situation.

Randori becomes even more challenging when you realise that the person with the tanto probably knows every technique that you know, which brings the question of effectiveness to a matter of either sheer luck , better technical coordination or even (dare I say it???) brute force. But un-aiki as some of these may seem, these three elements are all possibilities existent in many self defence situations, not to mention the inner elements (centredness, extension etc. etc. etc.)

In my humble view, randori really forges the instinctive element of one's Aikido and I think it should be utilised wherever possible to bridge the gap between cooperative kata practice and practically effective dynamic Aikido. IMHO techniques learnt in kata are tested in randori, randori makes the application of kata techniques more practical.

Oh and by the way, this is a Shodokan inspired thread . So ask away.

Gambatte
L.C.

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
http://www.tntaikido.org
http://www.mushinkan.ca
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Old 12-04-2001, 07:55 AM   #27
L. Camejo
 
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Just to make myself clearer, having referred to luck and brute force above. These have been experiences in my "okayish and still improving" level of randori, and may not be commonplace at all dojos.

Nervertheless, in randori we should strive to obtain a level where we can apply the techniques with a similar level of effortlessness and coordination that is one of the hallmarks of Aikido.

In other words we should aim to get so d*** good through hard and thoughtful training that it wouldn't matter whether it was kata or randori, our effectiveness and coordination would be the same .

Of course, this may be easier said than done.

L.C.

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
http://www.tntaikido.org
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Old 12-05-2001, 07:33 PM   #28
deepsoup
Dojo: Sheffield Shodokan Dojo
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Quote:
Originally posted by Abasan

About the randori, in Aikikai, or at least where I'm training, we don't do it very often. Actually its meant for black belts and above. In my previous dojo, 3rd kyu and above are already participating in controlled randoris.

With my significant lack of practice in randori, I totally suck at it. This is despite my extensive practice on the individual wazas.

So, do you get better at randori, because you practice randori. Or is it because you've got all the techniques down to pat and it comes naturally when you practice randori. And the bonus question, does good randori make your techniques more effective in individual waza training as well as in self defence situations.
Hi Abasan,

I think you get better at randori mainly by practicing randori. There seem to be different schools of thought between different styles and dojos about when to introduce randori, I guess some prefer you build up a comprehensive vocabulary of individual waza first, and others prefer to expose you to randori much earlier on the learning curve.

In the Shodokan dojo where I train, randori is introduced very early on, before students really have much of a vocabulary of individual techniques at all. In those early stages the emphasis is really much more on avoidance, tai-sabaki and maai than on applying techniques.

I guess you know that Shodokan and Aikikai people generally mean something slightly different by the word 'randori' by the way. (If not, there is a description of tanto-randori, the most common form in the Shodokan system, on the Shodokan Honbu website somewhere.)

As to your bonus question, personally, I believe randori is less about your individual techniques than your ability to apply them to an unpredictable environment. (And your ability to perform aikido techniques under pressure, too.) As such, I'm sure randori does have a role to play in enhancing your abilities in a self-defence context.

If you're interested in practicing more randori than you do, would it be possible for you to do a little before or after the class, or might your sensei disapprove?

Sean
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Old 12-05-2001, 11:55 PM   #29
Abasan
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Thanks for bearing with me ya all.

Actually Deepsoup, I think my sensei wouldn't approve of it too much for randori to be practiced. I guess its because he probably thinks we are not ready for it yet. Its just my impatience at sinking my teeth into it you know.

Even so, free practice is allright after class, and I've been doing that more often lately. Instead of multiple attackers, we just have one partner and they attack as they please. Sad to say... I'm pathetic at this also!

So that just goes to show, I think too much of my techniques and need to go with the flow more often.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 12-06-2001, 03:42 AM   #30
Creature_of_the_id
 
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Hi Abasan,

about your randori,
we tend to do quite a bit of randori in our assosiation (well, depending on the instructor of course). I have found that randori against one attacker is very much a different Ball game compared to randori against multiple attackers. During one attacker randori you get a bit more time between throws.
Alot of people tend to use this time to back off from the opponent which means that they will end up on top of you because when you start backing off you continue to back off.
I found that after a throw if you move your body behind your uke, into a blind spot then he has to look for you.
in this way you can also limit his options for attack, for instance if you are just outside his range of attack and he is turning to see you chances are he will strike with yokomen uchi rather than a straight strike.
So you can take control from the very beggining with position.

but saying this, I myself find 2 ukes easier to deal with. as you dont have to think about your moveemnt as you dont have time. It is easier to let yourself not think and just trust your aikido, the positioning becomes natural.
I do find that in randori it is not technique that lets people down, but lack of proper distance.
when doing normal practice we always tend to train with the correct mai as we know the attack that is comming. but tell someone that the attack will be random and they like to back off so they can see what is comming and plan a reaction.

my advice for randori is step in and act

but I am babbling as I have far too much spare time :P lol

I do have a question for the shodokan aikidoka out there though...

in our assosiation we have one unarmed kata, we do it on our first dan grading and it is very precise.. as you would expect from kata.

it is all 5 of the basic pins from shomen uchi (apart from gokyo which is from yokomen). is this anything like any kata that you do? or is this a kata that is only really done by us in the D.A.N?

oh.. and if anyone knows of any shodokan aikido schools in the north east of england I would be very happy to hear about them, as I would love to go along and watch some time.. just to get some idea of how you guys train and what your kata looks like

Kev
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Old 12-06-2001, 07:33 AM   #31
deepsoup
Dojo: Sheffield Shodokan Dojo
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Quote:
Originally posted by Creature_of_the_id

I do have a question for the shodokan aikidoka out there though...

in our assosiation we have one unarmed kata, we do it on our first dan grading and it is very precise.. as you would expect from kata.

it is all 5 of the basic pins from shomen uchi (apart from gokyo which is from yokomen). is this anything like any kata that you do? or is this a kata that is only really done by us in the D.A.N?

oh.. and if anyone knows of any shodokan aikido schools in the north east of england I would be very happy to hear about them, as I would love to go along and watch some time.. just to get some idea of how you guys train and what your kata looks like

Kev
Hi Kev,
(Or should I call you 'creature' )

The kata you mention doesn't sound like any of the specific katas in the Shodokan system that I know of, but it does seem to me that its practiced in the same spirit that we do it.

There's a bit of a gap between Shodokan dojos in the North East, I'm afraid. The nearest ones to you are miles away, Edinburgh (Herriott-Watt University) in one direction, and York (Barbican Centre) in the other.

If ever you find yourself way down in Sheffield, needless to say you'd be very welcome to come and train with us at the Kyogikan.

Sean
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Old 12-06-2001, 09:55 AM   #32
Creature_of_the_id
 
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thanks for the invite Sean...

I was wrong actually when I said we only have one unarmed kata (silly me). The other one that I know of is on the second dan grading. It is just like the first one but instead it is all done in suwari waza.

I do enjoy the principles of kata and what you are able to achieve mentally through the experience of it.... I think te quote you posted earlier summed it up nicely so I will post it again:

" The whole point of kata, or form, is to be able to ultimately transcend it--shu, ha, ri (keep the form, break the form, and leave the form). Vigorous training within the form is but the first step. When we practice kata in any martial art or way we are partaking of a legacy left us by our masters--the clues that point the way to breaking free of the form are embedded in the forms themselves."

---

I must say I am tempted to pop over to York to watch some shodokan at some point. Other styles of aikido intrest me very much.. not so much that I want to practice them rather than my own style.. but just from the point of view that different people have interpreted aikido in different ways and made it their own, but it is all still aikido
I think it is one of the few martial arts that can become 'yours' in which everyones technique differs to different degrees depending on who they are and how they think

but i will stop typing now lol...

Kev
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Old 12-06-2001, 10:31 AM   #33
davem
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Back to randori

Just wanted to add to the bit about randori. I have not yet actually recieved a kyu ranking being so new in my aikido dojo... however tuesday I participated in my first randori against two attackers. In a nutshell, it is fun... but on a more technical level... it was so useful in my training... helped me learn some basic concepts in a 'in your face' react or fail fashion.... (failure is only measured by letting my attacker succeed with an attack... no grading to randoris..) I was having a problem with watching my feet, and maintaining a solid stance. In my randori after the first attack my head came up to watch my other attacker as opposed to my feet, now my head stays up. I'm also keeping my center of balance better when I'm moving.
Add to that reinforcement on being relaxed, and during my randori I learned how to execute a shihonage style throw, which is not something I have learned, only watched.

In all I think it is a valuable tool once someone is confident with their own ability to move. Really helps in solidifying these seemingly odd techniques and concepts.

Dave

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Old 12-06-2001, 09:30 PM   #34
Abasan
Dojo: Aiki Shoshinkan, Aiki Kenkyukai
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Kev ... hmmm Creature of ID just makes me imagine of Doom somehow...

Anyway, your idea of randori is quite interesting. I think you hit the nail there for me. Because during one man free practice I do tend to wait for my uke to get up and because I wait for him to attack, I give myself too much space for him to come at me. Trouble is he doesn't immediately come with an attack, he usually closes the distance first and then attack. By then, it'll be too close/fast for me to counter effective. you know what I mean? Now, I make a conscious effort to continue 'hounding' my uke. Heh heh. And what you say about limiting the uke's attacks by your positioning, I think I heard about senior shihans who do just that. Their maai, position and probably, stance would be just so.. that you can only come with a single type of feasible attack at any one time. Which would probably make it a lot easier to counter.

But interestingly enough, this doesn't happen in multiple attacker randori. I just get my distance in and around them nicely. The only trouble I have then would be choice of techniques. If I do anything more elaborate then iriminage, kotegaishi or kokyunage, it'll take too long and i get hit. The trouble with kokyunage is such that mine's not very effective. But I guess, its practice practice and practice time!

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 12-07-2001, 05:36 AM   #35
Creature_of_the_id
 
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hehehe alot of people comment on my 'creature of the id' nickname. I cant believe there are so many people out there that have not seen forbidden planet lol

hounding your uke is fun isnt it? it took me a long time to learn to stop backing off and instead now i think enter enter enter. if you enter you can provoke the attack in the way that you want.. so the difference between who is attacking who actually becomes unclear
you take control even before the physical assault by uke.

but I am still not at that level myself...

as for multiple opponents... I also find that placement and distance become automatic.
but you can give yourself more time by using one uke as an obstacle for the other.
once you have control of one uke then you know where he is the outcome is going to be that he ends up on the floor.
so you can pretty much forget about him and become aware of where the other attackers are, meaning that you can throw one into the other as he or she approaches giving you more time.
I find that uchi movements can be very useful in putting the uke you have control of between you and the next attacker.
also something that I am learning is dont let them come to you, you have to have confidence and go to them. you choose who is going to 'attack' you and how they are going to do it via movement. if they all get to you at once because you are standing still then you have had it.
hound your multiple ukes.. and doing kokyo nage over and over again isnt really a bad thing as long as it is effective.
I often get stuck in a mode where I can only react and doone technique... I get laughed at, but as long as it is effective then I am not bothered.

thanks for the dialog (sorry guys for going off topic)

Kev
aka doom bringing creature of the id lol :P
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