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Re: Randori
Kutaki Postmaster
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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.

Posted on: 2004/10/22 14:23
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Re: Randori
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Masahiko said:-
Quote:
Instead you recommend playing computer games on the internet and playing paintball. If this is your attitude I hope you live in a nice cosy part of the world where you will never have to face the possibiliy of combat, because if you do you are gonna panic and get wasted.


Just to clarify, my intention here wasn't to say that you can prepare for combat by playing Quake Arena on the internet or some such nonsense. But there are many ways to gain experience of "opposing wills" - even joining in the discussions here on Kutaki is a form of randori as has already been pointed out. Perhaps as time goes on and you gain more training experience, you'll come to see this.

As for where I live, it is indeed a pretty nice part of the world thank you. I live in a pretty mountainous area, there's fields with horses running around and woods and stuff but with towns and cities close enough to be convenient. I'm pretty lucky in that respect. But saying that, those nearby towns and cities have reputations for being very violent places. Wrexham is a border town between England and Wales and has always been a focal point for violence of many kinds over the centuries. I remember one instructor travelling down to train with us a few years back. After the seminar, I reminded people to be careful because it was Saturday and there was a football match on in town. Locals knew what I meant but this instructor thought it was an exaggeration. Ten minutes later, he walked straight into a football riot. A while back, there were some disturbances between some local Iraqi families and the local thugs who were looking for an excuse for a fight. The situation deteriorated and became a full-on riot through the local estates. The violence got so bad that it made the news all over the world! One of my students was net-chatting to a guy in South America who said "Wrexham? That's the violent place on the news, right?".

Try this link .http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/north_east/3512696.stm

Specifically just look at this quote from the story:-

Quote:
"I've never seen anything like that. It was World War III. Iraqi Kurds were trying to get in, they'd got knives, they'd got swords, they'd got posts and pieces of wood wrapped in barbed wire," he said.


Now tell me I live in a nice cosy part of the world! (Please don't take this quote out of context either as it was a very complex situation involving a series of escalating events of which this was just one).

So no, I don't live in a bubble of unreality where I think you can train for the real world by playing Quake Arena, any more than you can train for real life social situations by playing The Sims Online. But don't discount the potentials of such activities without some real research.

Hachigoro said:-
Quote:
Remember Kano said "After you learn judo you should learn jujutsu" meaning that once you have gone through your "judo phase" you should then refine your technique through the study of real Budo. This means you can continue until your old age.


Duncan beat me to it with this one but he's spot on

ADDITIONAL - I remember Charles Daniel publishing an article in Ninja Magazine in the late 1980s/early 1990s on paintball and how playing it can benefit our practice of taijutsu in a multitude of ways. I'll dig out the issue number when I get home and add it here in case people would like to do the research themselves. There was also a book published on using paintball as a form of complementary training for any martial art. I'll see if I can find the details.

Posted on: 2004/10/22 18:20
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Andrew K Jones

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Re: Randori
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"....As for where I live, it is indeed a pretty nice part of the world thank you. I live in a pretty mountainous area, there's fields with horses running around and woods and stuff but with towns and cities close enough to be convenient. I'm pretty lucky in that respect....."

yep and those nice young paratroopers and royal marine comando's love running up and down penny fan(sp.), and then going for a nice peaceful beer, and a jolly good bonding session with the local lads who are always pleased to see them. perfect! just like a nice 50's musical.

while i agree there is a place for up tempo stress training, i fail to see how wrestling about the ground on a regular basis, largely without any skill. and without being able to smash someones nose, throat or knee. not even a good old knee to the familly jewels, which is what i would be quite prepared to do, and would change the senario extreemly quickly. is going to benifit me one bit in a real encounter? it always looks to me like all you are learning to do is tensed up wrestle using purely muscle, and tire each other out in a clinch, but ofcourse this is only my opinion.

i was a resonably good at sparring when i was into karate, always did ok in the comps.(which did get quite ruff at times) when i got jumped by as couple of r soles, it did me no good what so ever, i froze on the spot. head butted to the deck, i was into giving it to the first one then, but as a grabbed his legs to take him down, the other one came running in and kicked into my ribs.
broken ribs are not pleasant

will i fair any better the next time? who knows. hopefully i won't have to find out.

Posted on: 2004/10/22 19:21
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Re: Randori
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Quote:

Masahiko wrote:
Lets get serious for a minute. A fight is not a plesant experiance. there is nothing comfortable about fighting. First of all there is the risk of great bodily harm. secondly there is the complete and utter exhustuion that you feel once the adrenaline dump goes. Thirdly there is the phycological insecurty that follows (wondering where the next attacker is?, how do i get out of here?, what should i do?)


Speaking about the adrenaline dump and controlling emotion, you may find this link helpful. Our type of training would be called a response method rather than a reflex method of training. See this article on how our type of training controls the release of adrenaline into the system...

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/sonnon12.htm

As for the psychological aspect of it. I think that some forms of paintball (there are many different game types) such as scenario games will simulate the psychological aspects that you described. Of course if you have a massive adrenaline dump, things get very confusing and chaotic due to the reduction in awareness (tunnel vision) and the reduction of fine muscle control. The article explains it well and I would have to disagree with you concerning paintball. Computer games, well I think I would agree with you because of the fact that games such as video games are games of the mind. Paintball on the other hand has the physical aspect to it, such as exhaustion, running, the suspense or fear of being attacked from anywhere. These things add to the realism just as much as a judo match.

To use your argument about fear of bodily harm, what is the worst you have to fear in a judo competition? A broken arm? or Death? Heck, superman reeves was paralyzed in a horse riding competion... that wasn't combat? So yes, BAD things can happen in virtually safe environments. But they are rare.

Anyway, that is my .2 cents worth.



Posted on: 2004/10/23 1:37
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Re: Randori
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Quote:

Fnord325 wrote:
"Mixing it up" is fun, but largely useless. It promotes habits, injury due to fatigue, etc.

Short intense engagement scenarios are much more productive than long, drawn out slugfests.


That is why our instructor limits it to at the most 2% of our training time for those very same reasons. It can undermine training if done too much.


Posted on: 2004/10/23 1:43
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David Russ
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Re: Randori
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I can see this "computer games" business is causing some issues for a few people. Let me try and clarify a little.

I'm not talking about playing a game where there is a scenario to follow. Playing the first time around may have some benefit because everything is new and unexpected but on subsequent trips through the scenario you know what happens next and then you might just as well be reading a book (what Gray, in my earlier post, refers to as a "canned" exercise). I'm talking about playing a game where your opponent is an actual human being with a thinking, creative mind who can act in unpredictable ways. It doesn't matter whether you are playing Quake Arena on the internet or a game of chess in a quiet room, or paintball in two teams or even a judo match. The whole point is that you are taking the opportunity to get inside the mind of an actual person, reading their actions and hopefully finding a way to win - real minds can create new tactics and sneaky tricks that MENTALLY you will have to spontaneously adapt to. If such an approach is nonsensical, why do the British Army recommend that all officers and enlisted men get involved in activities such as tabletop wargaming, even sponsoring the occasional tournament? Why do the US Army spend millions developing computer combat simulations which eventually find their way onto the civilian market (I believe the new Full Spectrum Warrior game began as a squad-level urban combat simulator in the US Army although I could be mistaken on which game I'm thinking of).

Perhaps I can offer the following book forward as an example.

"Samurai Chess"
Michael J Gelb and Raymond Keene
Walker ISBN 0-8027-7549-7

You can indeed use games to learn the basics of strategy and to practice interacting with other opposing minds. I am NOT IN ANY WAY advocating that we can dispense with real training and replace it with computer or board simulations. I am saying that the very act of two opposing wills coming together has benefit. As a further example, joining the local debating group is equally valid as it is mental training to think on your feet, to counter your opposite number's arguments on the spur of the moment and so on.

Going back to my earlier post, I promised I'd supply the details of the article on Taijutsu and Paintball by Charles Daniel. Here they are:-

"The Splat Factor - How Survival Games Can Supplement Your Martial Arts Training"
Author - Charles Daniel
Ninja Magazine #55, published June/July 1992

If people are interested, you may be able to find copies on eBay or similar sites?

Posted on: 2004/10/23 4:20
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Re: Randori
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Andrew,

Thanks! It didn't catch on that you were talking about games such as Quake and Everquest. With that, I would definitely agree. Along those same lines I would think that is why Go was/is so popular, although I haven't tried it yet.

Thanks for the clarification, I can see what you meant, now.

I am going to have to check out that article!

Posted on: 2004/10/23 4:30
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David Russ
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Re: Randori
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Quote:
while i agree there is a place for up tempo stress training, i fail to see how wrestling about the ground on a regular basis, largely without any skill. and without being able to smash someones nose, throat or knee. not even a good old knee to the familly jewels, which is what i would be quite prepared to do, and would change the senario extreemly quickly. is going to benifit me one bit in a real encounter? it always looks to me like all you are learning to do is tensed up wrestle using purely muscle, and tire each other out in a clinch, but ofcourse this is only my opinion.


Ever been on the mat with a Gracie? There is no muscle to what they do, trust me. I had the pleasure of having Renzo Gracie demonstrate a neck crank on me. I can say for a fact that his technique was as soft and as suddenly changing as anything I have ever seen done or felt in Bujinkan training, more so in a great majority of situations.

If you think knees and elbows aren't used in grappling, you need to do more grappling. Think more non obviously, (just like you would with good taijutsu?)

If he put this on your buddy, I can guarantee that your buddy's screaming and crying would have stopped you dead in your tracks from attacking. My head was about 2 inches away from being very expertly removed like I was a simple chicken, all with spinal work only. Let's not even count planting legs and hip torque.

Of course, he is a total professional and expert at what he does, sort of like talking about Nagato sensei or some other highly skilled budoka. Still, if you are going to talk about the art, better talk about the experts.

Sport techniques kill and demolish just fine, it is the other emotional stress elements that are largely missing from the combative sports arena. Lack of external weapons can be another factor, of course. Your viewpoint seems a little black and white.

Thrashing around on the mat is useless if it lacks direction and purpose. Good randori goes way beyond that.

Posted on: 2004/10/23 8:37
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Re: Randori
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Dazza
I have to agree with glen BJJ and Judo Newaza takes alot of skill and is NOT something that is musled on. Royce is only 80kg and lanky, Royler is only 64kg, and Renzo around 70kg(sorry i dont know how many pounds).The Gracie family are not big guys yet through their skill in groundfighting they can bet guys much bigger. Helio is an even better example he was betting guys twice his weight back in the days when Vale tudo was very much a NO rules contest.I think you must do some research before you say "Largely without any skill"
Better yet go have a little play down at your local Judo or BJJ dojo, they are usually really good guys and very friendly, It can be a humbling experiance but you will definitly see the postive side of it and I doubt you will leave thinking ground fighting takes little skill.

Michael Thomas

Posted on: 2004/10/23 10:22
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Re: Randori
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ill just throw in my $0.02

the first time i got punched really hard in the face it more or less stopped me flat up. it wasnt the pain, it was just kinda shocking ... it was unlike anything i had experienced before. im glad it happened in the dojo. ive gotten more used to it now, and my blocking skills have improved tenfold

i had previously trained for about 2 years in bbt, and now i would never train at a dojo that didnt do some form of realistic fighting. or if it was bbt id make sure i picked up something else that wiould fill the gaps. the argument that youll kill people or break their joints or whatnot strikes me a little as bs. sure that can happen, but part of what we do is about having control.

Posted on: 2004/10/23 11:50
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