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Old 07-04-2002, 03:48 AM   #1
DavidM
Dojo: Aikido of Tucson
Location: Arizona
Join Date: May 2002
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Randori

Just outta curiousty, after reading a forum about addin' more to Randori to make it more real. My question is , how real is it? What all goes on at Randori. I know it's multiple attackers, but that's about all I know.

Though I'm only gonna be taking my Sixth Kyu test in Sept, I'd still like to know. Even though just the sound and thought of Randori scares the hell outta me.

Thanks,
David
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Old 07-04-2002, 09:13 AM   #2
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Randori

Quote:
Originally posted by DavidM
Just outta curiousty, after reading a forum about addin' more to Randori to make it more real. My question is , how real is it? What all goes on at Randori. I know it's multiple attackers, but that's about all I know.

Though I'm only gonna be taking my Sixth Kyu test in Sept, I'd still like to know. Even though just the sound and thought of Randori scares the hell outta me.

Thanks,
David
The following is a portion of the randori manual we use at our dojo:

Randori Practice in Aikido
Randori is the term used in our style of Aikido for defense against multiple attackers. While randori contains elements that would be applicable in real self-defense it is much more than that in Aikido practice.

Aikido is often referred to as "moving Zen" and nowhere is the comparison more apt than in randori practice. Randori practice requires the practitioner to become one with the stream of time moving continuously in body and mind, never allowing his mind to stop his focus on any detail nor allowing his body to over commit to any technical element. Instead Nage must be completely in the present while being conscious of how every past action led to the present instant and how the present movement shapes future possibilities.

In one sense randori is simply bout executing a string of individual techniques together. In fact the old Aikido adage has been that "when facing multiple attackers act as if there is only a single attacker (at a time) and when facing a single attacker act as if there were multiple attackers." But this is a bit simplistic. A technique or movement that might be completely effective and appropriate against a single attacker might be the wrong move if it meant having your back to a second attacker in a randori.

So the Mind must simultaneously maintain focus in the instant on clean and powerful physical technique and yet see the interaction with the Ukes as a whole that flows in time and space. Every action produces an effect that shapes future possibilities. So the Nage must not only focus on the present instant which is the only time in which physical action can take place but he must also allow his mind to see the flow of past events which set up this instant in time and how the action he takes in this very moment serves to shape the possibilities of the next instant and all those that follow.

Nage not only has to focus in the present on the particular technique he is executing but he should know in that instant what his next move will be, the following move probably will be and the third move in the future could be. Of course the further out in the future he looks, the less certain the exact circumstances will be (because he can't control the various responses of the Ukes). But the closer to the current instant we are the more certainty exists in how this instant can precisely set up the next.

So how does the Aikidoka practice these skills? How does he develop that sense of what to do and when to do it that needs to be so automatic that it seems to happen on a non-conscious level? Repetition or practice is clearly important but mere repetition without the influence of a clear understanding of the principles that govern randori will not result in the highest level of performance. So the primary goal of Randori practice is to isolate and clarify the various principles that govern the multiple attacker interaction.

---------------------------------------
Randori is Controlling Time
The first requirement of a successful Randori is effective technique. The best understanding of movement theory and strategy will be useless if the physical techniques being strung together are weak. Also, not all techniques are equally suited for use in Randori. If you think of technique in a temporal sense every one has a certain rhythm or "beat". The most useful techniques for use in Randori are the ones that can be done in one beat. Occasionally circumstances will allow for the execution of a technique which is two or three beats but generally there isn't enough time available for that.

At the heart of things Randori is about controlling Time. What makes Randori difficult is that with several attackers one has very little time in between one attack and another. Assuming that ones technique is sufficient to handle one attacker at a time then randori is really all about how to create Time. Any action in a randori that doesn't create time for the Nage is essentially a wasted action.

For instance approx. 60% of the techniques one performs in a randori should result in an attacker taking a fall. An attacker with very good intention will be on you again in about two seconds if you simply evade his incoming attack. If however, you throw him and move in the opposite direction you will have 4 seconds before he gets back to the attack.

Normally, every attacker you touch should interfere with the movement of another attacker. In other words, treat each attacker as a weapon to be used against the other attackers. If you have slowed down the movement of an attacker by throwing one of the other attackers at him you have thereby "created Time" for yourself. If you choose not to throw an attacker at another attacker an alternative is to throw him as far as possible from yourself and the other attackers as possible. Time and distance are interchangeable: more distance equals more time.

Movement Principles
Randori strategy varies depending on the type of randori one is doing. It is best to begin with randori in which the attackers are attempting to grab the Nage but aren't executing striking attacks. This forces the Nage to balance his balance his fluid movement with strong throwing technique, allows the Ukes to get a handle on randori ukemi (which is potentially dangerous), and keeps the interaction simpler and therefore more comprehensible so that the movement principles are more evident.
Once strikes are introduced the randori becomes technically more complex. There are many more possibilities and the Nage has less time to work with because the strike occur in an instant as opposed to grabs which have temporal duration.

The Nage at this point begins to incorporate striking techniques of his own in order to shorten the duration of a given technique. For example, executing an entry and striking the Uke's head forcing him to take a fall in order to avoid being hit takes less time than doing a kotegaeshi.

Randori Ukemi
It is very important that the Ukes respect the Nage's movement. If Nage strikes the space directly in front of the Uke's face, it is incumbent on the Uke to recognize that this is a strike that the Nage is choosing not to do and is not a throw. He should respect the fact that the Nage was kind enough not to hit him by taking the fall. When the Uke fails to acknowledge these techniques it forces the Nage to either actualize his atemi and smash the Uke or to back off in which case the Ukes will prevail because the Nage can not effectively "create time" as he needs.

There is more in our actual manual but it gets into the details of the actual movement principles we have identified that can be used in randori practice.

Last edited by George S. Ledyard : 07-04-2002 at 09:17 AM.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 07-05-2002, 11:34 AM   #3
Abasan
Dojo: Aiki Shoshinkan, Aiki Kenkyukai
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Quote:
There is more in our actual manual but it gets into the details of the actual movement principles we have identified that can be used in randori practice
Is a copy of that manual available for download or is it strictly for your dojo?

Thanks.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 07-05-2002, 11:40 AM   #4
George S. Ledyard
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Abasan


Is a copy of that manual available for download or is it strictly for your dojo?

Thanks.
We are in the process of putting the manual into Powerpoint with graphics and video illustration . At some point by the end of the year it should be available for purchase at a reasonable price.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 07-07-2002, 12:45 AM   #5
Bronson
 
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Quote:
At some point by the end of the year it should be available for purchase at a reasonable price.
Could you keep us posted?

Thanks,
Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 07-07-2002, 07:35 PM   #6
Chocolateuke
Dojo: Muhu Dojo
Location: Middle of nowhere in California 14 miles from Buellton
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Exclamation

With davids permmision ( sounds like school) I would like to ask a question! It might change the topic if randori a bit but this is a randori thread! When you do randori correctly what do you feel ( i mean as Tori, Nage, Shite whatever your dojo calls it)? also as uke how do you keep up with fast pacing nages??

In my expirence when my sensei says my throwing was good in randori I dont feel a dang thing. I feel kinda empty just at the moment even though I'm moving around the mat. This doens't mean I just let uke fly I controll him. this mearly means that when I do throw correctly I feel balenced and focused enough that my body doesn't need attention to worry. When I do "bad" nage im off balance, dont pivot enough and have to focuse on my body to stay up. My technqe isnt powerful and my focuse is all over!

As uke I tend to think myself as a rag doll. A rag doll is flexible and can be waged around hard and not have anything broken. I still have to have balence to stay up till nage says fall ( by throwing me!). But, when Nage is fast I am much more focused on my extention to nage, I try not to predict what nage is going to do but feel nage intentions and wait till he says fall. predictions are deadly because nage might have a technque with a similar start but differn't ending. Oone variation of Kokyo ho is like this ( at the dojo I go to) you extend ukes arm and put your arm at the elbow and use your body to make him roll. But Shionages start is similar, but, you raise ukes arm ( rather you go under his arm) and lock the elbow. So, I try to keep my extention open to all options nage might have. When Nage goes fast, This must happen fast which is why I must be focues and in the moment so I dont doddle and land on my head!

Dallas Adolphsen
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Old 07-08-2002, 08:56 AM   #7
SeiserL
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chocolateuke When you do randori correctly what do you feel ( i mean as Tori, Nage, Shite whatever your dojo calls it)? also as uke how do you keep up with fast pacing nages??

In my expirence when my sensei says my throwing was good in randori I dont feel a dang thing.

As uke I tend to think myself as a rag doll.
Agreed. One of the hardest thing for me to get my head around was that when I did the technique right, I didn't feel it. I am a big man and tend to feel the force of what I am doing. Aikido was the opposite. It was almost a "not" feel.

As uke, I just get up and go at them again until Sensei says stop. That's all I tend to think about it.

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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