Engaging “Randori (乱取り)” by Peter Westlund
In Judo, Randori involves two people who exercise Judo freely under combat-like conditions.
The Importance of Randori In Judo
Randori, as translated means something like “catching chaos” or “seizing freedom”, is found in several different Japanese martial arts. The meaning of Randori differs somewhat between the martial arts but in common is the liberation from the predetermined in kata. In Judo, therefore, the meaning of Randori is described as “free practice” where two people use spontaneous techniques under combat-like conditions. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randori)
Randori as a form of practice in Judo is considered one of the most effective ways to practice and improve in the battle moment. For many judo judges, Randori is the very meaning of Judo, for others one of many ways to practice Judo. Some do not make a difference between randori and competition, shiai, while others think randori is more “practice-try” where no victor or loser is found. Some minimize the proportion of randori in favor of other forms of practice within Judo, eg. catalyst.
Educational gains and pitfalls
- An extremely defensive attitude in randori limits the opportunities to create, find and get the chance to practice offensive solutions. Randori should therefore be kept “loose and free” and upright.
- A win-losing spirit in randori exposes practitioners to an unnecessarily increased injury risk. Keep in mind that injury can prevent anyone from continuing training, and it becomes a training partner less to practice with for some time.
- Major differences in knowledge levels should be used constructively where the experienced can allow themselves to practice less-favored techniques, while the less experienced practitioner gets the opportunity to attack frequently and receive feedback.
- The focus should be to act and react constantly, analysis may come later.
Randori challenges and exposes
Without a doubt, you expose your own person, physically and psychologically, to a challenge when you exercise free struggle with someone else. Over the years I have seen students who never shine up as much as it is time for randori, while I see how the exposure of oneself can be properly anguished for others. Personally, I commute myself between the two extremes from time to time.
The link between basic techiques and randori
From time to time I have met practitioners as saying they feel “missing one or more steps” between basic technology training and randori. The question also sometimes appears about “how to train his randori”.
Different ways to approach Randori
Sometimes it may be valuable to isolate and practice certain individual moments under more controlled forms that may be included in Randori. For example, you can make certain restrictions on how the match can be accomplished.
- Tachi wasa randori: The fight is performed only standing
- Ne wasa randori: The fight is done only on the knees
- Kumi Kata Randori: The goal is to first get a given grip
- Situation Rationale: Based on given roles such as Tori and Uki, one should solve a task, eg. Week will try to stay on all four, while Tori will turn.
- Yakusoku geiko: Throw each other in motion
To match the fashion in Randori
In addition to the fact that the degree, age and weight can group together appropriate pairs in randori, so also the day-form weighs in for a certain workout. I would also like to say that the ambition level with its edge of the day bridges all of the aforementioned factors (except possibly if arm and neck collar should be allowed).
Examples of systems to ambition level of fighting:
If you get a technique, you have to move further in one direction of the room while the other moves in the other direction. There is a greater chance of eventually meeting others at the same ambition level.
If you get into a technique you stand up and raise two hands while the other lifts one hand. Then you look up someone else who has the same number of hands up and running with it.
Watch out with the above so that randori does not slip into shiai.
To not choose Randori – but keep the fight
Some dismiss Randori completely, or at least the completely free part of the exercise. Must the battle moment completely waste there? Absolutely not. The fight can of course be added and practiced on so many different levels, for example
- The one who first puts a pat on the other’s back gets points. You must defend yourself with kumi kata.
- Katame-no-kata – why not let the uke get loose? Both left and right.
- Play with judo belts like clubs and “full contact” judo allowed during play.