Martial Arts Journey • What is Value for your training dollar? • Fast, Slow or Half Fast • Randori • Aikido and the Street, Part 1 • Difference In Training • My Quest for TenShin Aikido • What is Tenshin Aikido? • Why Don't Aikido Schools
In 1996 I returned to
and was totally mystified to learn how the Dojo did their randori.
Not only had it become almost
non-existent but all the black belts were not much better at
randori then their white and colored belts.
Randori is the simplest and probably most
misunderstood part of Aikido today. “Randori”
simply translated means, “full speed, anything goes!”
There are no restrictions on speed or type of attacks
(anything goes). It is the culmination of all that we train
for and truly demonstrates how well you have developed the
unification of mind, body, and spirit. There is
no other practice in Aikido that can do this.
knew that in the final analysis only an Aikidoka, who has
unified his/her mind, body, and spirit through
rigorous Aikido training, would be able to defeat multiple
attackers if logical reasoning and diplomacy fail.
reason I found randori to be so difficult is really quite
simple. The Ukes made no real attempt to
hit you or attack you in any manner, but rather they made some kind of slow useless gesture
that did not resemble any form of real attack.
remember this. In randori “the Ukes attacks must be
real!” The Ukes, and the Instructors, are not
helping the Nage by making half hearted, slow moving attacks
that are just plain worthless. The only way you can truly find
out how much you have been able to unify mind, body, spirit, and
how strong your KI has developed is through real randori.
It takes a calm spirit, relaxed mind in control of it self
, and a reasonably healthy body to do well in randori, as well
as life in general.
been several times during our Saturday night randori that I used
a pair of Karate sparring gloves when it is my turn to be one of
the Ukes. In the beginning I had no trouble hitting
everyone there, but the more we practiced randori the better
everyone got. The main reason they improved so
dramatically is that I was really trying to hit them and break
through their defenses. This gave them a taste of the real
thing and a chance for us to analyze apparent suki (weaknesses)
in their defense/offense. I found that for the most part
they rarely made the same mistake a third time. They also
realized that even if they were unable to execute a technique,
that getting out of the way of the attack was very important,
especially when we were doing randori with various weapons.
Aikidoka first starts participating in randori, his/her
Ashi Sabaki (footwork) and Te Sabaki (hand movement) during the execution of
their Aikido techniques are usually very
awkward, sloppy, clumsy, poorly timed, and for the most
part unsuccessful. When this occurs the first thing
usually out of the instructor’s mouth is,
“OK everyone slow down.”
“WRONG!” Everyone should do more randori.
However, there are intermediate practices you can
do. Such as;
“Jiju Waza”: This is a form of free style practice
that invokes the use of only a specific set of attacks and/or
defenses that can be done at various speeds but still employs
the use of multiple attackers.
Waza”: This is free style attack and defense that is
done one on one.
and Jiyu Waza will definitely help you develop and improve your
skills for randori. However, nothing can help your ability to
do well in randori except, DOING LOTS OF RANDORI!
agree that randori can be extremely difficult, very frustrating,
and some times even painful. But it is always better to take
your lumps in the safety of your dojo rather than learning the
hard way out on the street. In today’s world there are NO
second chances on the street