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Randori
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Ive been training in Bujinkan for about 4 years now and it has come to my attention that most traditionally sytled dojo's refute randori as either something that is not practical (Because we will kill each other if we do this ect) or not needed. Futher more if they do engage in any form of randori or senario there is usually a certain level of compliance. Apart from Bujin I have taken it apon myself to study the modern arts, in order to try to piece togeather the mess that is the Martial arts. Recently (for the past year) I have studied Judo and a modern form of Jujitsu. Both practice Randori, the only difference is that in Judo it makes up about 90% of the training and in jujitsu about 1% (if that). Through direct comparison (me fighting them) I have notice that the skill of the Judoka is far superior. I think Kano had a good point when he introduced Randori to Judo. He wasn't dumb was he??.
Please share your thought

Buyu Ikkan

Posted on: 2004/10/21 12:09
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Re: Randori
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Randori has a lot of different meanings - from a free response against a single predetermined attack to a completely free exchange between practitioners.
I think randori is just another tool that can be used. I sometimes use a version that Shiraishi-sensei told me about (that was used when soke used to teach at the Tokyo police academy), the various exercises that Nakadai-sensei used in every class and a couple of other exercises from judo and shootfighting.

Even so I only use them very occasionally because what happens is that people just get good at the exercise to the deterament of the actual skills of actual combat. Any exercise must have a set of rules or boundaries or you would just "kill each other". Every exercise must also have a point - an aim - towards what you ultimately want to achieve from it. In judo the exercise itself is often the purpose (to win competitions) so I think it’s a bit different.

I don't think people really need to spar very often at all. Dojo time is much better spent working on skill and then winning just becomes a natural result of years of hard training.

I find that fighters from sporting styles (such as judo) often come across as stronger because they train harder. If everyone in the Bujinkan would apply themselves to training as if they had to fight for the world championship - or a real duel - then I think everyone would grow in ability much faster. That is the current thread I am applying myself to at the moment anyway.

Posted on: 2004/10/21 12:38
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Re: Randori
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This is a good point that you make:
"people just get good at the exercise to the deterament of the actual skills of actual combat"
But one would also argue that the arts have to become adaptable to all situations. By this I mean if Bujinkan really does give us a superior understanding of kuzushi, maia, and other basic fundamental combat principles that are the bases of our style then by all fairness your average Judoka should be a easy target, even under his own rules. You made the point that Judoka seem harder because they are training towards something, like a compition. I would have to say that they seem harder because Randori instills a fighting spirit into martial artists.
Bruce Lee(who's martial philosophy I admire very much) once said that if a runner is to demonstate what he does he would run, a cyclist would ride a bike, a weightlifter would lift some weights, what would a classical martial artist do?: Kata
I think Randori is not just another tool, but rather a crucial part of any martial artists training. I think Kano would agree with me, so would Bruce Lee, and im fairly certain the Gracie family wouldnt argue.
To me our art hasnt really been tested against todays modern arts. I am definitly not doubting that it has been tested, Takamatsu is a great example of this, also various police and security personal would probably test it every day. But still I am left woundering about what could be.

Posted on: 2004/10/21 13:25
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Re: Randori
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Randori was always my favorite part of Judo. You get instant feedback because you're training against another person that's resisting full force, and trying to apply a technique to you at the same time.

I've toyed with the idea of starting judo again, mostly for randori, but need to find a dojo that doesn't focus on competitions. I think many of the concepts compliment budo taijutsu well.

Posted on: 2004/10/21 14:43
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Re: Randori
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Quote:

Masahiko wrote:
This is a good point that you make:
"people just get good at the exercise to the deterament of the actual skills of actual combat"
But one would also argue that the arts have to become adaptable to all situations. By this I mean if Bujinkan really does give us a superior understanding of kuzushi, maia, and other basic fundamental combat principles that are the bases of our style then by all fairness your average Judoka should be a easy target, even under his own rules.


But then, by your own argument, the judoka who trains with randori should be able to fight just as easily outside his rules.

Quote:

Masahiko wrote:
Bruce Lee(who's martial philosophy I admire very much) once said that if a runner is to demonstate what he does he would run, a cyclist would ride a bike, a weightlifter would lift some weights, what would a classical martial artist do?: Kata


But runners don't enter into weightlifting competitions and weightlifters don't run. Judoka wrestle - boxers box - kendoka swordfight - Kyudoka (?) shoot arrows at targets. A budoka must be able to intergrate all martial skill - to specialise is Kakutogi not Budo (in my opinion).

Quote:

Masahiko wrote:
I think Randori is not just another tool, but rather a crucial part of any martial artists training. I think Kano would agree with me,


You should read more about Kano's motivations for creating Judo. He was an educator who was looking budo from the point of view of physical education - making jujutsu safer and introducing sporting ideals into it.

Posted on: 2004/10/21 15:15
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Hehehe...
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Depends on what you are training for... We train in Budo', they train in sports. Big difference in focus and motivation.

In a sports competition or even a grappling match, you comply by certain rules to make it safer and to create a format to tell who wins. These same rules change the focus of the match to winning a contest whereby the stronger will win a strength match, more experienced will win a battle of wits and preparation will win a match of fruition. This is excellent training for teaching what you call "fighting spirit," but what in reality is aggression, the first level of Martial Skill.

In Budo', if you lose, you die, the guy next to you dies, and your family dies... Completely different than just a strike on your won loss record in sports. With this motivation in mind, you do not meet force with force... You do not accept a strength contest against someone stronger than you, you do not accept a grappling match with a grappler, you use lethal blows or weapons, or both (hehe), last time I checked, NHB bouts do not allow either.

Think of Sports Martial Arts as a beginning level to Budo', because it is not the focus and can teach the wrong mindset when in a life or death battle. Think how foolhardy it would be to go to a clinch when your opponent has a knife or to go to the ground when there are ten more of his friends.

You could train in Sports Martial arts and carry a gun for protection, but this limits you to using only a gun in defense. In Taijutsu, even how we handle a gun is tied together by the same thing as our Ju’jutsu… Taijutsu.

I do use Randori in my Do’jo’ but do not use it like Ju’do’ or Brazillian Ju’jutsu.

Posted on: 2004/10/21 15:30
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Re: Hehehe...
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I cannot agree more with James & Duncan

you are training in true budo... where there is no threat you won't see your true skill.

anyhow along that line we use randori at different levels if you will... our ukes change things up a bit on us and attack back occasionally if you leave a major weakness...we also train randori with boken and such occasionally...
THE KEY IS "NO EGO"!! to not make it competitive and to not allow aggression into the formula.

this is not a sport.
mix things up a bit on your own... but make sure you are not teaching yourself the wrong things.... sprots training is not learning combat martial arts.

Posted on: 2004/10/21 15:55
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Re: Randori
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Quote:

Masahiko wrote:
Ive been training in Bujinkan for about 4 years now and it has come to my attention that most traditionally sytled dojo's refute randori as either something that is not practical (Because we will kill each other if we do this ect) or not needed. Futher more if they do engage in any form of randori or senario there is usually a certain level of compliance. Apart from Bujin I have taken it apon myself to study the modern arts, in order to try to piece togeather the mess that is the Martial arts. Recently (for the past year) I have studied Judo and a modern form of Jujitsu. Both practice Randori, the only difference is that in Judo it makes up about 90% of the training and in jujitsu about 1% (if that). Through direct comparison (me fighting them) I have notice that the skill of the Judoka is far superior. I think Kano had a good point when he introduced Randori to Judo. He wasn't dumb was he??.
Please share your thought

Buyu Ikkan


Actually Kano did not technically introduce the concept of randori. Many koryu jujutsu schools had a form of randori that went by many different names. I think from what I have read that he got it from Kito Ryu or Tenjin Shin'yo Ryu which back in the old days did randori as part of rank advancement. Before WWII many koryu jujutsu schools used to have controlled competitions with other ryu and with judo people. I have in my training notes from my teacher a match that took place between one of Kano's students and a Takenouchi Ryu student in which the outcome of the match was decided when the judoka's elbow was dislocated when he attempted to throw the Takenouchi Ryu student. Many schools stopped or slowed down doing this free form fighting when judo became more popular. The thinking was that if koryu jujutsu guys wanted to test out their techniques they could also try judo. This cross training is very common and I think beneficial, which is why I do it as well.

Kashima Shin Ryu, Takenouchi Ryu and others would make the students success or failure in these matches as part of their test for rank. The former Soke of Kashima Shin Ryu was undefeated during these types of matches during the first half of the 20th century. I have seen video tapes and talked to people that trained with him and his was pretty incredible.

Also I notice a lot of people call judo a sport and only a sport. Judo has many parts aside from the sporting side. The traditional kata offer a wide array of goshinjutsu techniques that can be very effective in the streets. It is just not as common to be taught it nowadays as most people are after trophies.


Posted on: 2004/10/21 17:57
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Re: Randori
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Well, it seems like Kutakinomura is where we can do Randori for us, like a discussion in this thread.

Posted on: 2004/10/21 18:46
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Re: Randori
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Quote:
Also I notice a lot of people call judo a sport and only a sport. Judo has many parts aside from the sporting side. The traditional kata offer a wide array of goshinjutsu techniques that can be very effective in the streets.


This is true to a degree. For example, Kodokan Judo does indeed cover many classical kata such as Kime no Kata, Koshiki no Kata, Ju no Kata and so on. However, the majority of non-Kodokan classes either don't teach the subject at all or have such a corrupted, misunderstood understanding of the kata that it is of no value. I did Judo for a few years (until my club began to overemphasise competitions causing a few of us to lose interest and drift away). We practiced kata occasionally and it was, bluntly, junk. The instructors had no understanding of what they were showing us and the techniques therefore were unworkable. This does seem to be the norm for non-Kodokan classes and it has IMO, reduced the practice of Judo to a sterile sport - a good sport which has many fine qualities but a sport nevertheless. There is a movement in the UK at the moment to reinvigorate the practice of Judo kata, bringing teachers across from Japan etc which I think is a good thing for the art of Judo.

Posted on: 2004/10/21 19:01
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