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Re: Randori

Subject: Re: Randori
by Fnord325 on 2004/10/22 14:23:06

HOW you do randori is more important than whether you do it or not. Randori for randori's sake is useless.

I have done randori/jissen kumite in TKD, Kyokushin, and Judo with top level competitors in each one, US National champions, All-Japan top 10 people, an ex-olympic judoka, and a very skilled master of games in Sambo. I got beat, a lot...

What is striking about all of them is that they did randori, but they did it the least of all their training.

"Mixing it up" is fun, but largely useless. It promotes habits, injury due to fatigue, etc. As has been pointed out by Mr. Garcia, I think, the focus of your randori is very important. Each bout should have an end goal beyond who won and who lost. In boxing, there are sparring partners, people who get paid to be a dummy so the fighter can work on things in a live atmosphere. Most of the time, just like in kata work, the partner is an uke, he receives and then some. He also tends to get less from the encounter, otherwise he WOULD be the prizefighter.

Short intense engagement scenarios are much more productive than long, drawn out slugfests. Beyond the technical learning stage, we tend to learn best in short snapshots, this is learning the feeling, imo. Make one person the "attacker" and one the defender. Everyone has a role, part of your job is to come to fully understand each role. This is no different than uke and tori, just not as scripted or controlled. Set simple goals, use the most simple "techniques" at first, then work towards more randomness after learning the feeling of the new intensity. A "coach" should be there to yell "stop" when a major point is missed or the rules of the drill are severely violated. Stay on task, if you need to work on a new thing, change the task.

The fact is most athletes DO NOT spend the majority of their time doing their event (Bruce Lee was wrong, but he didn't spar that much either). They DO spend the majority of their time doing drills that teach components of their event. Then they practice simulations of their event at varying degrees of intensity, reaching 100% a few times in training. Training at 100% more than 10-15% of the time is stupid and very risky for an athlete, as the real event can and eventually will break you (at least in high intensity sports).

It is a learning methodology. People focus on the competition of sport and poopoo the learning methodology. This is where sport will almost always excel over many traditional MA. We as Budoka sometimes throw out the baby with the bathwater on this one. I feel very strongly that the best Budoka are so because, at some time, they had an exposure to the training of sport, then went way beyond it. It is true even with Hatsumi sensei.

However, only a small fraction of coaches has truly excellent coaching capabilities, same as Budoka sensei, only a few catch the true essence, I think. We should all do our very best to be one of those who has this essence.
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