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Old 07-03-2002, 09:50 PM   #1
PhiGammaDawg
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Grr! Realism In RANDORI

Are there any ideas on how to make randori more realistic?

Should uke commit to his strikes and really try to strike nage? Can uke strike in any way or fashion...a kick here or there? Can uke use some knives (rubber maybe)for randori?

One problem Seagal Sensei realized is that fighting on the mat is very different from the street. He likened it to swimming in the ocean versus swimming in the mat.

Ideas? anyone??
thanks

"Saki yakitachi o nukeba, masu masu masurao no kokoro wo togu bekari keri."
--"Before you draw the tempered blade, first temper and purify your own soul."--
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Old 07-03-2002, 10:10 PM   #2
shihonage
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From what I observe, it appears that its hard enough to get a "regular" randori session to be honest.

How can you start adding toys and variations when you still have uke's who are waiting for nage to notice them before launching an attack during regular randori ?
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Old 07-03-2002, 10:27 PM   #3
PeterR
 
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Re: Realism In RANDORI

Quote:
Originally posted by PhiGammaDawg
Are there any ideas on how to make randori more realistic?

Should uke commit to his strikes and really try to strike nage? Can uke strike in any way or fashion...a kick here or there? Can uke use some knives (rubber maybe)for randori?

One problem Seagal Sensei realized is that fighting on the mat is very different from the street. He likened it to swimming in the ocean versus swimming in the mat.
I didn't reallize that Steven Seagal had done any street fighting. I do know that two of the Japanese Shihan (one then, the other now) that he was dissing after they were helping him at Juso were/are famous for taking it to the street. They at least know what they are talking about.

The older Shihan (now dead) used to have the other Shihan (still alive and kicking) teach a particular variation of randori where the idea of nage/uke dissapears to his students to address that very issue.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 07-03-2002, 10:29 PM   #4
PhiGammaDawg
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I'd like

to know more...
what are these people's names?

"Saki yakitachi o nukeba, masu masu masurao no kokoro wo togu bekari keri."
--"Before you draw the tempered blade, first temper and purify your own soul."--
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Old 07-03-2002, 11:05 PM   #5
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IMHO, most of the randori I see lacks a sense of realism. My first suggestion would be to teach striking and kicking since I often see that skill lacking in most Aikido training. Next would be to start the randori slow and easy, with any attack and any defense. Work up from there. Toys can be added.

Until again,

Lynn

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 07-03-2002, 11:21 PM   #6
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Re: I'd like

Quote:
Originally posted by PhiGammaDawg
to know more...
what are these people's names?
I'll think about it - the point of the abreviated story was to question the idea of Seagal's Aikido being truely street effective or that somehow he has insights beyond the obvious. It was not about getting into whose Aikido is better.

A number of people on this forum could guess who I'm talking about but like I said - I'll think about it.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 07-04-2002, 02:23 PM   #7
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Realism In RANDORI

Quote:
Originally posted by PhiGammaDawg
Are there any ideas on how to make randori more realistic?

Should uke commit to his strikes and really try to strike nage? Can uke strike in any way or fashion...a kick here or there? Can uke use some knives (rubber maybe)for randori?

One problem Seagal Sensei realized is that fighting on the mat is very different from the street. He likened it to swimming in the ocean versus swimming in the mat.

Ideas? anyone??
thanks
I do not think that you actually want to make randori more realistic. Like the rest of Aikido practice there is quite a bit of formalization that is there for two reasons: Fisrt is safety. The second is that Randori is really a form of moving meditation rather than training for a fight although the skills involved are transferrable in many ways. If you attempt to make it real street training you will lose some of its most interesting and rewarding aspects.

Real attackers will hesitate, use tricky energy, will not attack all at the same time, will break off connection when they don't like what is happening.

Randori practice involves putting yourself in a practice situaion with several skilled ukes. The communication that takes place between you and the ukes, the communication between the ukes themselves, the infinite and subtle ways in which your own movement can shape the dynamic between all of you would be lost if the goal is "realism".

Now I am not saying that you might not occasionally try an applied type, scenario based type training with multiple attackers as a way to develop your self defense skills. But then you should really do it with three attackers who don't know any ukemi, who will "cheat" whenever possible, who will access hidden weapons, etc. Don't even think of trying any fancy technique because at that level of realism technique is almost entirely striking oriented. You are going to knock these guys out, dislocate limbs etc. A bit difficult to practice if you want it to be real! You end up having to go practice with someone like Peyton Quinn and have several guys with the Bullet Man armor attack you. That's abou the closest you can get withoput really doing it. Of course you can always follow the model of Paul Vunak (Jeet Kun Do) who rigged a van with hidden cameras and then went to biker bars nad got in fights out in fron so he could film and analyse the effectiveness of his training.

As you know from my posts I am a big one for better quality trainnig but it is also important to recognize that too much striving for reality simply leads ultimately to fighting as the only way to be sure your stuff works.

George S. Ledyard
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Bellevue, WA
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Old 07-05-2002, 12:13 AM   #8
PhiGammaDawg
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i definitely agree

that randori is very different from realism but isn't that the whole point of randori.
Randori meaning freestyle. Why shouldn't it be called randori then? perhaps it should be called play fight then?

"Saki yakitachi o nukeba, masu masu masurao no kokoro wo togu bekari keri."
--"Before you draw the tempered blade, first temper and purify your own soul."--
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Old 07-05-2002, 12:50 AM   #9
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Re: i definitely agree

My view of randori is a wee bit different than George's but ...

how do you equate freestyle with fight?



Quote:
Originally posted by PhiGammaDawg
that randori is very different from realism but isn't that the whole point of randori.
Randori meaning freestyle. Why shouldn't it be called randori then? perhaps it should be called play fight then?

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 07-05-2002, 12:59 PM   #10
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Re: Re: i definitely agree

Quote:
Originally posted by PeterR
My view of randori is a wee bit different than George's but ...

how do you equate freestyle with fight?

Peter,
What are your thoughts? I'd be interested in hearing your take.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
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AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 07-05-2002, 07:37 PM   #11
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Ki Symbol

I saw one of Take-sensei's (Steven Seagal) Dan (black belt) grading in a video, and saw the randori. Through observation, Take-sensei saw that it's not only if one could take-down or throw or do any techniques on the ukes (in this case there was like 3 or 4 of them), but it is the spirit of the nage that he is testing.

He made it as real as possible, like he said, the uke can punch, kick, or bite but at the same time the nage is allowed to do the same thing. I saw how the nage is banged up against the wall by the uke, then taken down to the ground and piled up on, while Take-sensei kept saying "ashi, ashi" (legs, legs) - which he means by "the legs are free, use them".

Keeping it as realistic as one wants, but the main important thing of randori, is make it have meaning. If one have a "realistic" randori, but then lost one's center and go into panic or rage, then it has no meaning. On the other hand, if one have let's say a randori that is basically a nagare-type technique applications, but kept the center and extending ki, and feel the opponents ki while practicing it, it will have more meaning.
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Old 07-06-2002, 12:34 AM   #12
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Re: Re: Realism In RANDORI

Hi George;

I said a wee bit different - meaning not a whole lot. Like many things on this forum it may just boil down to semantics or emphasis. But what the hey, I'm sitting on a mountain top near Himeji in the middle of a typhoon (well actually the edge) watching my data collect.

First let me point out what you already know. My view of Aikido is heavily influenced by Kenji Tomiki whose view of randori was heavily influenced by judo's Kano. Not in the sport sense, although that also is there, but in the relation between kata and randori. I do think my thoughts do apply to randori as practiced in other styles of Aikido.

Kata=prearranged attack/prearranged defence

Randori=disordered training

I've come to look at randori as a crucible for forming your Aikido. Although kata maintains its importance for learning techniques and principles randori has two main functions.

Firstly - it tests your understanding of the kata. Trying to make a techniques work under disordered circumstance reveals weaknesses which when understood can be corrected during the performance of kata. These weaknesses are often in the base principles of kuzushi, ma ai and taisabaki.

Secondly - it applies pressure. Due to safety concerns all out combat is not desirable. It is a trade-off between safety and realism but randori must not be comfortable. If it's easy, its not randori.

So - let's debate your post.

I do not think that you actually want to make randori more realistic. Like the rest of Aikido practice there is quite a bit of formalization that is there for two reasons: Fisrt is safety. The second is that Randori is really a form of moving meditation rather than training for a fight although the skills involved are transferrable in many ways. If you attempt to make it real street training you will lose some of its most interesting and rewarding aspects.

See my second reason for randori. As moving meditation that was the phrase that I most disagree with. Although you are seeking calm in chaos you are not in isolation - you are dealing with one or more uke.


Real attackers will hesitate, use tricky energy, will not attack all at the same time, will break off connection when they don't like what is happening.

Sounds like the randori I do - although rarely do we deal with more than one at a time. Still we have upped the realism from multiple uke jiyu waza.

Randori practice involves putting yourself in a practice situation with several skilled ukes. The communication that takes place between you and the ukes, the communication between the ukes themselves, the infinite and subtle ways in which your own movement can shape the dynamic between all of you would be lost if the goal is "realism".

Very poetic - I like the way you said that. I feel that we can approach close to realism without destroying that dynamic. There is of course a point - dependent of the various skill levels - where "realism" overwhelms and the dynamic is lost.


As you know from my posts I am a big one for better quality trainnig but it is also important to recognize that too much striving for reality simply leads ultimately to fighting as the only way to be sure your stuff works.


Agree completely. Randori is not fighting - it is a training method.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 07-06-2002, 03:13 AM   #13
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Re: Re: Realism In RANDORI

Quote:
Originally posted by PeterR
Hi George;

I said a wee bit different - meaning not a whole lot. Like many things on this forum it may just boil down to semantics or emphasis. But what the hey, I'm sitting on a mountain top near Himeji in the middle of a typhoon (well actually the edge) watching my data collect.

First let me point out what you already know. My view of Aikido is heavily influenced by Kenji Tomiki whose view of randori was heavily influenced by judo's Kano. Not in the sport sense, although that also is there, but in the relation between kata and randori. I do think my thoughts do apply to randori as practiced in other styles of Aikido.

Kata=prearranged attack/prearranged defence

Randori=disordered training

I've come to look at randori as a crucible for forming your Aikido. Although kata maintains its importance for learning techniques and principles randori has two main functions.

Firstly - it tests your understanding of the kata. Trying to make a techniques work under disordered circumstance reveals weaknesses which when understood can be corrected during the performance of kata. These weaknesses are often in the base principles of kuzushi, ma ai and taisabaki.

Secondly - it applies pressure. Due to safety concerns all out combat is not desirable. It is a trade-off between safety and realism but randori must not be comfortable. If it's easy, its not randori.

So - let's debate your post.

I do not think that you actually want to make randori more realistic. Like the rest of Aikido practice there is quite a bit of formalization that is there for two reasons: Fisrt is safety. The second is that Randori is really a form of moving meditation rather than training for a fight although the skills involved are transferrable in many ways. If you attempt to make it real street training you will lose some of its most interesting and rewarding aspects.

See my second reason for randori. As moving meditation that was the phrase that I most disagree with. Although you are seeking calm in chaos you are not in isolation - you are dealing with one or more uke.


Real attackers will hesitate, use tricky energy, will not attack all at the same time, will break off connection when they don't like what is happening.

Sounds like the randori I do - although rarely do we deal with more than one at a time. Still we have upped the realism from multiple uke jiyu waza.

Randori practice involves putting yourself in a practice situation with several skilled ukes. The communication that takes place between you and the ukes, the communication between the ukes themselves, the infinite and subtle ways in which your own movement can shape the dynamic between all of you would be lost if the goal is "realism".

Very poetic - I like the way you said that. I feel that we can approach close to realism without destroying that dynamic. There is of course a point - dependent of the various skill levels - where "realism" overwhelms and the dynamic is lost.


As you know from my posts I am a big one for better quality trainnig but it is also important to recognize that too much striving for reality simply leads ultimately to fighting as the only way to be sure your stuff works.


Agree completely. Randori is not fighting - it is a training method.
Thanks so much. I don't disagree with anything you said so we are using different terms to describe much the same thing. Lately I have come to really appreciate the side of randori which is the pure art (as opposed to anything that is striving to me overtly martial). There is something really magical that can be created when you work with three really talented ukes. Different from doing mutiple attacker stuff in my Police Defensive tactics class.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
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Old 07-06-2002, 03:34 AM   #14
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Realism In RANDORI

Quote:
Originally posted by George S. Ledyard
Thanks so much. I don't disagree with anything you said so we are using different terms to describe much the same thing. Lately I have come to really appreciate the side of randori which is the pure art (as opposed to anything that is striving to me overtly martial). There is something really magical that can be created when you work with three really talented ukes. Different from doing mutiple attacker stuff in my Police Defensive tactics class.
Strangely enough I tend to view my randori as the ultimate expression of my Aikido - not as preparation for a fight.

At the moment I have decided to explore Judo - they basically took me and tossed me in with the wolves (yudansha). Unlike Aikido where there was a lot of kata before full blown randori was allowed here they do randori from the get go and introduce kata latter. Strange how much you don't know yet do know. Last night (my 11th time) the Rokkudan instructor walks up to me and says I will do my Shodan exam in two months. Shocked me - but the reason I mention it is that this, your post, and the thread on form and formless, got me to thinking a lot about the role of kata and randori. Most interesting is that both Judo senseis and one of my Aikido sensei's talked about me having good power. For those that know me I am not muscle bound by any means. The essential sameness of the two arts really is starting to come home to me.

PS. I've got less than two months to learn the required waza for the Shodan exam.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 07-06-2002, 09:28 AM   #15
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I personally enjoy randori. I like the spontaniety. It is what it is. I thinks its different for each person. I never mistake it to be anything other than what it is, somewhat artifical. IMHO, never mistake training for sparring/randori, randori for fighting, or fighting for combat. While we can make randori approach closer to the realism outside the dojo, it can never be the realism that is outside the dojo. I appreciate the santcuary of a place to train in the way of peace.

Until again,

Lynn

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Old 07-26-2002, 12:32 AM   #16
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Another FNG Opinion =

I can not claim to have been there, but as to the realism of Seagal sensei's Aikido he reportedly had a very rough time with the Yakuza. Sounds pretty romanticized at one end, but consider that at that time (and maybe still I'm not sure) he was the only gaijin American to have opened a dojo of his own over there. Supposedly those little "incidents" got a bit harry at times. I can not as I said, prove it or bear witness to it, that's just what I'm given to understand. BTW, I'm not a Seagal sensei fan as far as that knee jerk reaction can be headed off.

Nature abhors a vaccum and will try to fill it. This scientific law means if we seek with sincerity we will find.
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Old 07-26-2002, 01:05 AM   #17
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See my previous post - the second in the thread.

He became head of the dojo after his father in law died - he had been a member of the dojo before that. He got quite a bit of support from the Shihan of the Osaka Aikikai until he started getting over confident and cocky. He was not the first Gaijin run a dojo in Japan.

Juso as a centre of Yakuza activity - not.

Occaisional run in with Japanese with an attitude - probably but he is a big boy.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 07-26-2002, 12:55 PM   #18
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My apologies Peter. As I said, I wasn't there I just heard that on one of his videos I believe. I think though that you've cleared that issue up for me. Furthermore all I can say for that shihan who is still alive and kicking, I offer my apology for my ignorance, and my body as a piece of iron to be banged into a sword.

Sorry Peter, I just had to throw that last part in. In fact my first sensei was fond of saying that and he had been a bouncer for over ten years when I met him. He was very open to new ways of training randori to make more realistic so long as we didn't lose respect for tradition.

One of the things he tried with us was he made a bunch of 1'x 1' flash cards. The trick was that the size of the letter or number drawn on the cards varied considerably. Supposedly it was to help us focus faster when changing range between uke's.

(If that's someone else's trick I like to know if it originated with my old sensei or not thanx.)
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Old 07-26-2002, 03:35 PM   #19
Bruce Baker
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Real attackers get hurt.

Randori practice pays attention to safety.

No. Don't make it too real.

Too real practice will cause some very serious injury, especially for using real responses for more real attacks.
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