View Full Version : randori

Tal S
29th December 2001, 17:45
I am a yellow belt with approx. 1 and 1/2 years in judo. During randori, what should I be focusing on? Simply looking for throwing opportunities to occur based on partner movement or actually creating throwing opportunities with kuzushi?


Tal Stanfield

29th December 2001, 19:09
Interesting question!!

I think you'll go the furthest if you restrict yourself to *creating* the openings... But this is just the way I *look* at it... another could equally say, "restrict yourself to exploiting uke's movements", but it's really the same thing! Look at what uke is doing, then help him do it further and faster.

For example (and I use this one in class quite often), you've certainly ran across partners that preferred to look at your feet. Sometimes, so much so, that they bend over. Well, I figure, they must really want a close look at my feet, (reminds me of my old Marine Corps marching chants, "Ain't no use in looking down, ain't no beer cans on the ground...") so I help my partner by taking a high collar grip... pulling it forward and down, then moving that collar grip over to a high back grip, then a "over the back" belt grip, and so on. Then you can take your pick, Tawara Gaeshi, Hikikomi Gaeshi, or whatever your inventive mind can come up with... the point is, you must help your partner. If he pushes you, get out of the way! (Of course, sometimes you forget and leave a leg there... hmmm, where did that Tai Otoshi come from?)

Also, contrary to popular opinion, try to spend most of your time on Judoka who are *not* as good as you. Many Judoka express the opinion that you learn best from higher ranks, I say, you learn excellent ukemi from higher ranks. Go for the lower ranks and *practice your skills*.

As for intensity... (you forgot to ask, but this is important) I think you get more out of a 'give and take' easy flowing randori... don't 'give' ukemi to a sloppy throw, but if the throw is coming along nicely, go with it. Do this form of randori most often, but then, at least once each practice, go full out against someone equally or higher skilled. If you can go to shiai at least once a month, that will be the alternative... but most Judoka don't have that sort of regularity to shiai. You learn from 'full-intensity' randori too, it's just a different sort of lesson.

You'll also find plenty to think about at: http://www.osu.edu/students/osjc/randori_tips.html

Hope this helps.

30th December 2001, 21:50
IOW, randori can be what you need or want. Give and take, using proper kuzushi IS the best practice, but to see if your technique is sound, then a resisting, all out session is called for.

Help is there for those who help themselves.


PS: Don't leave out uchi komi. This a great teacher for your kuzushi. You can do three times the throws as no one needs to climb off the floor to continue. It can be done alone at home as well (using a wall or post to stop the movement at kuzushi). Little brother and sisters make great practice dummies.:smash:

31st December 2001, 07:45
Randori is a great chance to try all your techniques...

the thing that still bothers me most is that I still haven't lost the feeling of not wanting to be thrown..

Randori is not a contest but a chance to learn so it doesn't matter if you are thrown. Try to do a lot of throws cause well that's what the most difficult thing is in judo, finding the right timing to make a throw.

I have been doing Jiu jitsu and karate for quite some time now and have picked up judo about 1,5 year ago...

And i have to say, if find judo very difficult......

Charlie Kondek
7th January 2002, 15:41
I'm glad you asked, Tal, because I am in a similar position. I find that if I look for movements in my opponent to react to, whoosh, they're gone. Some of the more skilled folks that I have played with can pull this off (one called it "counter-playing") but I can't. So usually I'm trying to create openings*. Besides, I figure I really need to learn how to move and break kuzushi.

Like Tal, I'd be glad to hear more comments on randori and shiai.

*Except when I'm playing with the black belts. Then I'm just trying to stay upright - and learn something!

8th January 2002, 01:03
When I do randori with skilled people, I usually fall a LOT, and I mean so... no tachiwaza is not my forte :)... but I enjoy it! I like doing good and sound breakfalls. And with this attitude, "ok I'll fall if there's good kuzushi and technique", I find I can concentrate better on attacking myself. It has always been so for me, and with time it pays off. I'd suggest to work a lot on your breakfalls so that you lose the fear of falling, and you'll see that openings will just pop out in front of you, if you're not all tense in the mind --not thinking "how can I resist to his attacks" or "where the hell should I pull this black belt to get the slightest kuzushi"...
Once in ten thousand randoris you'll get a clear ippon, and then once in a thousand, and so on... and at that point, you won't be interested in pulling a bad wazaari with bare strenght or with some "tricks".
This applies for non competitive judo, I guess for athletes it could be different, but this approach works for me.

8th January 2002, 08:10
I had a bad habit of looking down, so you all have some great advice from Ben. I fixed that by centering and finding that spot which allowed me to see nearly everything with peripheral vision. The last time I worked with a much younger judo player, I had forgotten that, as he lowered my upper body gently, than planted me on my back with a well-timed tomoe nage. At my age ukemi becomes less, uh, fun?

Create your openings and with enough space you will find even more. Get to the dojo early to see if you can find someone to practice randori. This is also a good time to be uke in osaekomiwaza and to practice your escapes.

Also, practice throws you would never do in shiai. And practice their variants and different throwing directions. One can off balance one's partner to his side and still enter for a front throw.


10th January 2002, 06:44
I have an orange belt, and because doing techniques is quite difficult because I have relatively little skill, I've been doing, along traditional randori, defensive randori and offensive randori.

Defensive as in your partner attacks full force, you defend full force, but do not attack. This lets your parter calmly look for openings without fear of attack. Offensive randori is the same, but vice versa.

This, I think is a good way to learn how to spot situations for lower kyus.

Thoughts, anyone?


Tuomas Peltomäki

10th January 2002, 09:26
The only firm rule in randori is that it is limited to nage waza and katame waza. How one is instructed to do randori and what to practice is from the teacher. However, if it is simply randori, it can be done at any pace those invovled wish to do.

"Going all out" is a rule from the Kodokan, but "give and take" style allows practice of more techniques or those one wouldn't ordinarily do in contest. Further, one can get in more attempts that way. No "tanking," though.


PS: This is also a good time to practice katame waza and its escapes, makikomi throws can be used to get down on the floor.

17th January 2002, 15:11
Hi, All.

A nice addition to randori is a blindfold. After a while, my students are begging to be the sightless one. It's a great tool for feeling the action. (For safety, only one blindfold per pair, and use a "referee." )


18th January 2002, 06:55
Hey, Ed,
It was a blind student who showed me the value of it. This is really good practice for "feeling" technique, and feeling what it is like not to know exactly where you are when doing ukemi. While it may read that it is easy, it isn't, so go slowly when you first practice blindfolded.