Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Tips for Randori

Judo Throw Students practicing randori, or free practice, are learning the use of letters, words and sentences of Judo to communicate in a meaningful way. The meaning of the Japanese word randori suggests there is generally no controlling form or pre-established method of practice. It is often practiced freely, with each person attacking and defending at will with full power.

In randori, one can never be sure what technique the opponent will employ next, so they must be constantly on guard. Being alert becomes second nature. One acquires poise, the self-confidence that comes from knowing that he can cope with any eventuality. The powers of attention and observation, imagination, of reasoning and judgment are naturally heightened and these are all useful attributes in daily life as well as in the dojo.

– Jigoro Kano, founder of Judo

The following are tips for randori. I believe many of these tips can be applied in Krav Maga practice as well as grappling practice.

  • There is no score or winner in randori, so banish thoughts of victory or defeat.

  • Focus on attacking freely without regard for being thrown.

  • Keep a relaxed and natural posture to retain free movement of your body and mind.

  • Keep your arms loose.

  • Keep your head up and centered over your hips.

  • Do not waste energy.

  • Follow through with each technique; do not get in the habit of going half way.

  • Follow up each technique with another.

  • Never refuse a practice partner.

  • Seek out training partners who are better than you are.

  • Try new moves to overcome problem situations.

  • Rely on skill and timing, not strength.

  • Control your breathing.

  • Keep your elbows close to your body where they are most powerful and least vulnerable.

  • Always face your opponent.

  • Do not cross your feet when moving around.

  • Learn to feel your partner’s intentions and anticipate attacks.

  • Maintain mizu no kokoro (mind like water); stay calm and undisturbed.

  • Focus on kuzushi (breaking balance) to create opportunities for attacks.

  • Employ the principle of maximum efficiency even when you could easily overpower the opponent with size or strength.

  • Help your partner to learn while you perfect your technique.

  • Act now; analyze later.

  • Do not make excuses; do not give up. Tomorrow you will be better.
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