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Thread: Randori Competition!

  1. #61
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    Arrow Same old discussion, again and again...

    Gassho,

    I am bringing this thread back to life for the third time because there have been rumors that it might be considered to include randori competition into embukais here in Spain.

    I know the origin of this debate is lost in the mists of time, and probably there will always be two irreconcilable postures about it.

    I'd like to know how are things going nowadays in different countries, and what do people think about it today.

    For me, although I'd like to exhibit maximal respect for everyone's opinion, I am radically against randori competition.

    In fact, I don't even like embu competition or any other kind of event involving numbers on the back, referees taking notes, medals and -specially- some people winning because other people has lost.

    Having read all posts in this thread, I feel 100% identified and would subscribe each and every word of what senseis George Hyde and Gary Dolce wrote here.

    I'd love to read the actual opinions of other kenshis.

    Best regards,
    Kesshu.
    Fernando Fernández de Bobadilla
    WSKO Almería Branch - SPAIN

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    It's about TV sports rights and $$$$.
    The spirit of SK died some years ago.

    Dirk

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    Quote Originally Posted by dirk.bruere View Post
    The spirit of SK died some years ago.
    Dirk
    For you, maybe.
    Not for all.
    Kari Maki-Kuutti

    www.shorinjikempo.fi

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  5. #64
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    Thumbs up No randori competition in Finland, Am I right?

    Gassho, sensei Kari.

    I took a look at FSKF website and I was glad to find this under the FAQ section:

    Q: Are there competitions in Shorinji Kempo?
    A: No. Sparring is used very much as a training method during practice, but competing when doing sparring is not a part of philosophy or ideology of Shorinji Kempo.
    So you don't have randori competitions in Finland, do you?

    May I question if you think that the concept of competition is opposed to the spirit of Kumite Shutai?

    Thank you in advance.
    Best regards,
    Kesshu
    Fernando Fernández de Bobadilla
    WSKO Almería Branch - SPAIN

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    I do not feel the type of (randori) competition where the goal is to defeat your opponent to be in the spirit of Shorinji Kempo.
    Kari Maki-Kuutti

    www.shorinjikempo.fi

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    How do you feel about Embu televised as sporting entertainment on (say) Sky?

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    Quote Originally Posted by dirk.bruere View Post
    How do you feel about Embu televised as sporting entertainment on (say) Sky?
    Gassho,

    I know this question was not for me, but anyway I'll throw my two-cents to keep the thread active.

    I think competition -of any kind-, and the sporting conception of victory/defeat have nothing to do with Shorinji Kempo philosophy.
    • Randori competition is (for me) the worst kind, because not only you aim to win, but the means for winning consists in beating your opponent. "Randori competition=wrong goal, wrong means"
    • Embu competition would still pursue victory (so I don't like it), but at least the means are correct (only involves good work with a partner) "Embu competition=wrong goal, right means"


    So, I don't like anything that downgrades our "gyo" (of which I am proud) to the mere logic of sports and I wouldn't justify such devaluation in order to attract more people.

    However, I'd have no objection about good embu demonstrations on TV (without competition) and I think it would help attracting people without loosing essence.

    Kesshu.
    Fernando Fernández de Bobadilla
    WSKO Almería Branch - SPAIN

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fernando View Post
    In fact, I don't even like embu competition or any other kind of event involving numbers on the back, referees taking notes, medals and -specially- some people winning because other people has lost.
    Hi Fernando, I'll bite. Things are a little quiet around here and this is an interesting thread. Here are my two cents on competition:

    I'm actually beginning to think that competition could be the ultimate expression of kumite shutai and "half for oneself, half for others." By entering into a consenting competition, not only do I test my own abilities, but I also commit to wholly and earnestly providing my partner with an arena in which to develop and practise his own. It is a stressful and sometimes painful experience, but I bear the nerves and the bruises so that the pair of us can, for a few moments, reach a pinnacle of mutual respect and connection through our art. The outside world dissolves away, and only the two of us remain. In this way, I also believe that competition and combat are a form of meditation, but that's for another thread.

    Sure, scores may be kept, and the referee may signal a victor at the match's end, but both participants emerge as winners. As long as those involved are respectful and egos are checked at the door, I can think of no higher form of partnered practice than competition. Of course, we're only human and sometimes we fall far from this ideal, but striving to get there is worth it IMO. And, if we're worried about egos, is competition not also a great lesson in keeping them under control? Sometimes, the lessons learned from "losing" are also worthwhile, and can go a long way in this regard. On a personal level, my ego has shrunk considerably since starting this type of practice as I've been trounced so many times that I have nothing left to prove, freeing me to focus on learning and mutual growth during randori.

    A quote from the Swedish Shorinji Kempo Federation's website that nicely encapsulates this idea (sorry if I'm taking the quote too far out of context—I couldn't resist )

    Through this kind of practice conditions, we recognize that the self exists, but we also reaffirm the existens of so many others different from ourselves – a truth of human society, which we all seem to know but forget with such ease.

    This is kumite shutai.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Omicron View Post
    Hi Fernando, I'll bite. Things are a little quiet around here and this is an interesting thread. Here are my two cents on competition:
    Hi, Brady! I'm very glad to have you in this thread. Yes, it is sadly quiet and if you've kind enough to bite, I'll try to pull the fishing rod

    Before entering into detail, I'd like to remark that this is a thread about randori competition in Shorinji Kempo. So, it doesn't discuss the practice of randori, or the concept of competition per se. Instead, it goes about the possible fit of randori competitions into the spirit, philosphy and practice of Shorinji Kempo.

    Anyway, to be clear, I will state that I am personally against the concept of competition itself (in whatever activity of life) and more specifically when it emerges as a direct confrontation/measurement of two individuals trying to demonstrate which one is better than the other, but as I said, this is not the object of this debate and I'll try not to drift in this direction.

    Quote Originally Posted by Omicron View Post
    I'm actually beginning to think that competition could be the ultimate expression of kumite shutai and "half for oneself, half for others." By entering into a consenting competition, not only do I test my own abilities, but I also commit to wholly and earnestly providing my partner with an arena in which to develop and practise his own. It is a stressful and sometimes painful experience, but I bear the nerves and the bruises so that the pair of us can, for a few moments, reach a pinnacle of mutual respect and connection through our art. The outside world dissolves away, and only the two of us remain. In this way, I also believe that competition and combat are a form of meditation, but that's for another thread.

    (...) but both participants emerge as winners (...)

    I would subscribe, word by word, most of what you said here if you had written "randori" when you put "competition"...


    Quote Originally Posted by Omicron View Post
    Sure, scores may be kept, and the referee may signal a victor at the match's end, but both participants emerge as winners. As long as those involved are respectful and egos are checked at the door, I can think of no higher form of partnered practice than competition. Of course, we're only human and sometimes we fall far from this ideal, but striving to get there is worth it IMO. And, if we're worried about egos, is competition not also a great lesson in keeping them under control? Sometimes, the lessons learned from "losing" are also worthwhile, and can go a long way in this regard. On a personal level, my ego has shrunk considerably since starting this type of practice as I've been trounced so many times that I have nothing left to prove, freeing me to focus on learning and mutual growth during randori.


    ...but not this part!

    1. For me, the main question is this: Randori is an essential method of training of Shorinji Kempo. As so, it is imbued with its philosophy and specifically with the principle of kumite shutai. This means that randori is used by both partners in a cooperative way, with the only goal of mutual development. When randori is turned into competition, that goal is replaced (or at least concealed) by the most immediate objective of winning. This objective is purely individual and egocentric for the simple reason that the only way for one to achieve victory is the other one being defeated. So, when this goal is in place I think randori stops being a Shorinji Kempo practice and becomes another thing I dislike.
    2. This I said is usually replied with some kind of argument about controlling ego, paying no attention to trophies, etc. And that is what I find funny and cannot understand: If the pack "ego-medals-podium-victory-defeat" is something you must overcome, What did you put it there for? - We have good old randori: simple, clean, collaborative and straightforward. Must we spoil it with all the competition stuff and then compete until we can free ourselves from competition so we can return to what we already had? (I am talking about active kenshis. I know you left Shorinji Kempo and now practice a martial art oriented to sport and competition. I can understand this quite well, and I have nothing to say if you like combat competition - This is coherent)
    3. It seems there are mainly two positive reasons given by the defenders of randori competition from within Shorinji Kempo: To attract more people and to learn to deal with stressful "reality-like" situations. I however find none of them convincing:
      1. For the first one, I think that the non-competitive nature of Shorinji Kempo practice, its idea of mutual progress instead of progressing on top of the other, is something we must keep clear about. If aiming to attract people to our principles we ended changing those principles, that would be a bad business
      2. For the last one, I think randori practice can be made as stressful, tough and realistic as both partners want to make it and it has nothing to do with the fact that is a collaborative practice. I don't think competition is needed to achieve that goal.

    4. As a side note, you said the lessons learned from "losing" are worthwhile. I can agree with this. I am more concerned about what would be the consequences in case you got used to "win"




    Quote Originally Posted by Omicron View Post
    A quote from the Swedish Shorinji Kempo Federation's website that nicely encapsulates this idea (sorry if I'm taking the quote too far out of context—I couldn't resist )
    Through this kind of practice conditions, we recognize that the self exists, but we also reaffirm the existens of so many others different from ourselves – a truth of human society, which we all seem to know but forget with such ease.

    This is kumite shutai.

    Indeed, you took the quote to your context

    In the same page you can (only if you want, of course ) read this (the bold is mine):

    The second reason is based on the idea of building cooperative relationships through practice. Kaiso used to strongly criticize competing for victory or defeat. He stated his reasons in the following way: “To live in a world of winning and loosing, one must not recognize anyone beyond himself. Worrying about losing one’s position, even juniors are made into enemies. Without pulling down seniors from their positions, one cannot rise oneself. Not a single friend can be made.
    Kaiso warned that win/lose competition escalates into a way of thinking based only on oneself. Not only did he warn about it, but in his words: “Shorinji Kempo aims to fight against that very tendency.” Our method of doing so is in the nature of practices based principally on paired practice. The starting point of the paired practice idea seems to have been at the Northern Shaolin Temple in China, which Kaiso visited. He explains his memory of seeing the wall painting at the temple picturing Chinese and Indian monks smiling while practicing martial art together. Based on this memory, Kaiso made the paired practice idea.
    Fernando Fernández de Bobadilla
    WSKO Almería Branch - SPAIN

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    Gassho!

    I mostly agree with Fernando-san's post, so I'll just add some odds and pieces without a coherent narrative.

    Anyone familiar with the history and founding of Shorinjikempo knows that it's based on a philosophy of mutual cooperation (not the other way round!), therefore anything that stands against this isn't particular helpful, and might actually even be considered to not be SK at all. Competition and cooperation aren't mutually exclusive, but there certainly is a bit of conflict there.

    According to what I've been taught, at the highest level randori and embu are supposed to look the same. This is to say, they're two different ways of reaching the same goal, which is full application of SK techniques. In 2007 during the European Taikai in Norcia there was a bit of supervised, not even really competitive, randori with heavy protective gear. The only way I was able to tell that it was SK and not Karate, Taekwondo etc. was through the badges on the participants' dogi. That might sound harsh but for me there wasn't really much in the way of identifiable hokei, and there certainly wasn't anything that made it specific for SK, like the application of principles like Go ju ittai etc. or even different SK kamae.

    My personal experience with competitions (chess, table tennis etc.; some sparring in other styles) doesn't really point to it being particular helpful on a technical level or for personal development in the way we're looking for in SK, but that's just anecdotal, of course.

    But:
    None of this means that competitions don't or can't serve a purpose in SK. In fact, as far as I know, not even randori competitions are really out of the question, they were just stopped because of accidents during tournaments in Japan. I'm aware of several attempts to bring them back in some fashion or other (like the Norcia event mentioned above).
    And I'll say that it can be very helpful for the understanding of one's own technical ability to get beaten up under controlled circumstances once in a while.

    The real question is, what purpose can randori competitions serve? And within the three main (personal) goals of SK, healthy body and mind + self-defense, they're usually argued as a tool for the latter (training against resisting opponents, no fixed attacks etc.). Few people will argue that randori isn't a sensible tool for that (leaving aside the actual effectiveness and efficiency, as discussed a little while back, as well as several times before that …), but what can competition add to that? If some particular use is identified, the next question would be, can it be replaced by other means?

    Furthermore:
    It should be noticed that competitive sport fighting also has some rather serious drawbacks to this effect: Many things that are very sensible in self-defense are forbidden in sport fights. This ranges from techniques like kinteki geri in pretty much any competition via all kinds of jodan tsuki in Taekwondo and Kyokushinkai (otherwise full contact!) to separated striking and grappling competitions.
    These circumstances naturally, and possibly necessarily, lead to conditioning and reflexes that are not really suited for self-defense!
    Then again, the same can be said for training in pyjamas and barefoot, I suppose.

    In short, I wouldn't necessarily say that competitive fighting can't have merits within the area of individual development according to Shorinjikempo. But I'd certainly say that it has some serious drawbacks and caveats, and that it's actual effectiveness and efficiency are somewhat doubtful.
    Maybe other tools like emotional conditioning for stressful situations (as done in PDR, for example) might be a much more sensible tool here.

    Kesshu,
    ______ Jan.
    Jan Lipsius
    少林寺拳法
    Shorinjikempo
    Humboldt University Berlin Branch

    "An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind." Gandhi

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    Gassho.

    Hi, Jan-San! - Some reflections about the thoughts you exposed:


    Quote Originally Posted by JL. View Post
    (...)According to what I've been taught, at the highest level randori and embu are supposed to look the same.(...)

    (...)The only way I was able to tell that it was SK and not Karate, Taekwondo etc. was through the badges on the participants' dogi. That might sound harsh but for me there wasn't really much in the way of identifiable hokei, and there certainly wasn't anything that made it specific for SK, like the application of principles like Go ju ittai etc. or even different SK kamae(...)

    (...)Many things that are very sensible in self-defense are forbidden in sport fights. This ranges from techniques like kinteki geri in pretty much any competition via all kinds of jodan tsuki in Taekwondo and Kyokushinkai (otherwise full contact!) to separated striking and grappling competitions.
    These circumstances naturally, and possibly necessarily, lead to conditioning and reflexes that are not really suited for self-defense!(...)
    This is another reason, besides the philosophical one, against randori competition in Shorinji Kempo. The competition-oriented martial arts/fighting sports have their own technical structure and their own goals, one of which is precisely that: Winning matches. This, of course, does not mean that these disciplines are worse for self defense than the ones where there is no competition. But, as Brady (Omicron) pointed in another thread, their paradigm includes the intensive training in a limited set of techniques that can be applied in a relative secure manner with full power against a resisting opponent (Think in boxing, with little more than three basic punches, but with great effectiveness). This "simplification" is something inherent to competition and I find it correct in its own context, but for an art like ours, I think the introduction of competition (and the focus in winning tournamets) leads to a technical, aesthetic and methodological impoverishment.


    Quote Originally Posted by JL. View Post
    (...) And I'll say that it can be very helpful for the understanding of one's own technical ability to get beaten up under controlled circumstances once in a while. (...)
    The real question is, what purpose can randori competitions serve? And within the three main (personal) goals of SK, healthy body and mind + self-defense, they're usually argued as a tool for the latter (training against resisting opponents, no fixed attacks etc.). Few people will argue that randori isn't a sensible tool for that (leaving aside the actual effectiveness and efficiency, as discussed a little while back, as well as several times before that …), but what can competition add to that? If some particular use is identified, the next question would be, can it be replaced by other means?(...)
    Here, you hit a key point. Many times, I find that defenders of randori competition give arguments defending randori practice as if we, the detractors of competition, needed be convinced of its value. One thing is the practice of randori and another different thing is the competition. The practice of randori is not only one of our four training method, but maybe the most important once you've got some technical level that allows you to put into practice the technical bases (not mine, yet). One good theme for debate is how could we improve our randori practice, to make it more valuable, or more "realistic". The absence of a mindset of winning/losing does not mean that a serious randori session cannot be a demanding and stressful situation where you could end up beaten to a pulp. This depends on the level and willing of the kenshis involved. The only "extra" that competition might add to noncompetitive randori practice is related to "the stress generated on the ego by the pressure for winning". But, paradoxically, when a kenshi has the proper level of maturity to enter a competition leaving the ego outside (when it could be really "good competition"), this extra effect is automatically lost.


    Quote Originally Posted by JL. View Post
    (...)Anyone familiar with the history and founding of Shorinjikempo knows that it's based on a philosophy of mutual cooperation (not the other way round!), therefore anything that stands against this isn't particular helpful, and might actually even be considered to not be SK at all. Competition and cooperation aren't mutually exclusive, but there certainly is a bit of conflict there.(...)

    (...)not even randori competitions are really out of the question, they were just stopped because of accidents during tournaments in Japan. I'm aware of several attempts to bring them back in some fashion or other(...)
    I am very intrigued by this. The Shorinji Kempo philosophy I have been taught and the quotes of Kaiso I have read always stress cooperation and criticizes competition. I find specially interesting the document "Randori as a means of practicing hokei" created by the "Committee for the re-evaluation of randori" in 1982. In this document one can read asserts like:
    Randori (...) refers to a method of restricted or free cooperative practice (...). It is not to be conducted as a tournament or competition(...)
    ...or...
    In other words, the reason for using protectors in Randori is for safety, not so that it may be practiced as a type of tournament or competition
    However, the fact seems to be that there is/has been randori competition in Japan, sanctioned by WSKO or the Japan Federation, and moreover, that same text on randori of 1982, includes a list of items left for further study that includes
    Rules for judging Randori and Randori competition


    Sometimes I think It's simply that I'm not well informed about what is the official position of Hombu/WSKO about randori competition.
    Other times, I also think there might be cultural factors that could explain what for me seems to be a contradiction. In this sense, I wonder whether it could be that the mix of cultural/philosophical background with the competitiveness of the modern Japanese society makes competition so natural for their university students that it does not involve any problems related with ego that westerners may have.
    I'd like to have more information on this.


    Kesshu,
    Fernando Fernández de Bobadilla
    WSKO Almería Branch - SPAIN

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    Gassho!

    Again, I agree with most of that. :-)

    But:
    Quote Originally Posted by Fernando View Post
    The absence of a mindset of winning/losing does not mean that a serious randori session cannot be a demanding and stressful situation where you could end up beaten to a pulp. This depends on the level and willing of the kenshis involved. The only "extra" that competition might add to noncompetitive randori practice is related to "the stress generated on the ego by the pressure for winning".
    Here, I think, You're mistaken. At least, no randori I've ever been involved in had the same intensity level of an at least half-contact competitive fight. Also I'm not aware of anyone ever training randori full contact (i. e. trying for a knockout). It's hard to estimate what kind of stress this actually means without having done it, I suppose.

    Regarding the historic development in the Eighties, maybe someone who was around then (or closer to it) can shed some more light on it …

    Kesshu,
    ______ Jan.
    Jan Lipsius
    少林寺拳法
    Shorinjikempo
    Humboldt University Berlin Branch

    "An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind." Gandhi

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    I'm so pleased to see such intelligent contributions to a thread, on a topic that has been widely discussed before. The recent entries have found ways to add to the debate without going around in circles. Excellent.

    Just a thought. If you wanted to invite other clubs to gather for a training session, how would you go about including randori training? You would need it to be productive, enjoyable and safe. So you'd need to be quite clear about what type of behaviour was to be expected. Rules, if you like. In order to keep it well supervised, it might be necessary to restrict the number of participants at any one time, perhaps a court, with a margin of safety to prevent accidents. To make it useful for spectators as well as participants, there is a role for seniors to point out those techniques that have been successful and those that were negated by the partner's defence. Judges, if you like. In this way, the people sitting around can at least learn to exercise their observation skills and come to an understanding of what they might try to achieve when their turn comes. For that to be a good learning experience, it needs to be clear just which moments were judged to be close to the ideal. If every encounter is allowed to go without structured analysis, then how is anything learned? If there is no demonstration of the right way, then how is anyone to know it from the wrong way. If there is no winning move, then there is no point in moving.

    Did that make any sense at all?

    I haven't done randori for decades. I was useless at it when I did it. I don't think it was ever going to be my strongest point. I hated "competition" in most forms of endeavour, but... I think avoiding competition is like learning to type in time to music, but never learning how to make a sentence.
    David Noble
    Shorinji Kempo (1983 - 1988)
    I'll think of a proper sig when I get a minute...

    For now, I'm just waiting for the smack of the Bo against a hard wooden floor....

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    Gassho,

    Quote Originally Posted by JL. View Post
    But:Here, I think, You're mistaken.
    Well, I don't think I am ( - Or else I wouldn't have said it). I'll try to explain myself:

    Quote Originally Posted by JL. View Post
    At least, no randori I've ever been involved in had the same intensity level of an at least half-contact competitive fight. Also I'm not aware of anyone ever training randori full contact (i. e. trying for a knockout)
    Ok, that's truth. But.. What does it mean? - Is the absence of competitions or tournaments what prevents us from doing "hard randori"? - There is no limit imposed to the toughness of noncompetitive randori practice (apart from respect, safety and mindset of mutual progress, and given you are "some senior").

    Maybe we don't see much of this kind of "hard randori" simply because beyond a certain limit, it does not serve any purpose in our Shorinji Kempo development or, if it does, the associated drawbacks are worse than the expected benefits.

    Moreover, If we were to admit that randori competitions could change/improve the intensity or seriousness of our randori practice, that would be a bad symptom: It would mean that the goal of getting a medal, or impressing the girlfriend watching us weights more than our commitment to Shorinji Kempo practice and goals.

    Quote Originally Posted by JL. View Post
    It's hard to estimate what kind of stress this actually means without having done it, I suppose.
    Ok, but we can agree on this: The extra stress supplied from randori competition respect to randori practice at dojo can basically come from two factors:
    i) The "hardness" (i.e. possibility of getting beating to a pulp)
    ii) The competitive factors (ego, public, willing to win, etc.)

    For the first one, I find it silly to assume a higher challenge only by the fact that you are in a competition. If I feel ready to "fight" up to a certain level of thoughness, Why should I increase this level towards a tournament and why should I decrease it in regular practice?

    For the second group, this is the kind of feelings I think to be outside of Shorinji Kempo philosphy, and I wouldn't like to see encouraged through the establishment of randori competitions in taikais/embukais.

    And, Jan-san (out of topic), Are you going to Lisbon? I would like to meet you there in person and maybe have some cold beers


    Kesshu
    Fernando Fernández de Bobadilla
    WSKO Almería Branch - SPAIN

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    Gassho,

    Quote Originally Posted by Tripitaka of AA View Post
    Just a thought. If you wanted to invite other clubs to gather for a training session, how would you go about including randori training? You would need it to be productive, enjoyable and safe. So you'd need to be quite clear about what type of behaviour was to be expected. Rules, if you like. In order to keep it well supervised, it might be necessary to restrict the number of participants at any one time, perhaps a court, with a margin of safety to prevent accidents. To make it useful for spectators as well as participants, there is a role for seniors to point out those techniques that have been successful and those that were negated by the partner's defence. Judges, if you like. In this way, the people sitting around can at least learn to exercise their observation skills and come to an understanding of what they might try to achieve when their turn comes. For that to be a good learning experience, it needs to be clear just which moments were judged to be close to the ideal. If every encounter is allowed to go without structured analysis, then how is anything learned? If there is no demonstration of the right way, then how is anyone to know it from the wrong way. If there is no winning move, then there is no point in moving.
    Ahhh, David-San, I see your movement!!! - You're no good - You are taking me out of my ground step by step...

    OK, In life is alway difficult to draw a line that separates neatly right from wrong, and every rule has exceptions and is subjected to interpretation. You exploited this fact with your crafty scenario to put me in a situation where I just can't distinguish randori practice from randori competition. Hum!

    To fight back this ambush I'll:
    i) Stick tight to a principle
    ii) Then, try to apply this principle to all details of the situation.

    The principle is something like "The goal of randori practice must always be mutual progress and development, so that all actions taken by one kenshi must sincerely pursue benefits for both of them." - This is the easy part.

    Now, How can I separate the grain from the chaff? Beforehand, I'll have to admit that it cannot be done 100% because ego is always present.

    Even in a private randori practice with your dear partner and no-one looking, is difficult to absolutely nullify the ego-related thoughts and you can find yourself involuntary getting upset because you cannot block your partner's attacks or frustated because he does with yours.

    Admiting this, in a situation like the one you described, I'd pay much attention to details:

    - I don't like this kind of practice made in front of non-kenshi people (i.e. public). If there is an event involving randori practice, I don't like the families or friends being there watching this part.

    - I would no way qualify the participants (qualifying rounds or selection of "competition teams" from each dojo with the "best at randori", etc) - Separate kenshi just by grade is O.K.

    - Of course, I would never declare a winner or a loser, neither would I give medals, trophies or that kind of stuff.

    - Naturally, there are "judging rules" and even an associated "jargon": The same is used in randori at gradings: Separated roles (kosha, shusha) -> Kamaete, hajime... (pow, pow) ...Yame!.. -> And then: "ryusui geri waza ari!" (or "yuko!" or "nuko!" or whatever).

    - Anyway, the "judgement" and any associated explanation by a senior, should strictly limit to the techniques or movements involved and not refer to the "fighting abilities of the kenshi" - Except in case of unrespectful behaviour, where severe reprimand is appropiate.

    - I wouldn't say "thrice attack, thrice defence", so you carry the count. Instead I'd rather balance the practice time for each role.

    - When possible (depending on many circumstances) I'd better distribute kenshi in several tatamis with simultaneous randori practices, so there is no excess of prominence of one couple.

    Last year I had the opportunity to attend a Unitiy Study Session conducted by Kawashima Sensei. He demonstrated the "judging rules" and "jargon" I mentioned above and then broke the group into teams of 7-8 kenshis. In each group, we exchanged all roles ("referee" or however it is called, "auxiliar referee", kosha and shusha) so we all "judged" several couples, and also practiced as kosha and as shuhsa with several kenshi (of different branches). It was a valuable experience.
    (And, by the way, I must say Kawashima sensei is amazing in all aspects, human and technical )

    That's my point of view.

    Kesshu.
    Last edited by Fernando; 10th June 2015 at 12:10.
    Fernando Fernández de Bobadilla
    WSKO Almería Branch - SPAIN

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