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Thread: Randori Competition!

  1. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fernando View Post
    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.
    One principle that I have found myself sharing with my children time and again; Failing/Losing is essential to learning. Without losing, we can never discover our weaknesses. We can never progress. They come home after a test at school and look depressed when they get a bad result, I say "fantastic! which question was the hardest? Now you know exactly what to study to improve next time."

    I totally understand what it feels like to fail miserably at randori - both in class and at taikai or friendly competitions - and I recognise how much it taught me. I could identify precisely where my weakest points were (sometimes with colourful bruises, but usually just by the vivid memories) and came back to the next class more determined than ever to overcome my limitations. Was it any different whether the randori was included in a "competitive" setting? Sometimes Yes and sometimes No. Perhaps my experiences were different to yours. I didn't (don't) have a particular problem with kenshi being praised for their skills in randori, as long as the other aspects of training are given recognition too. I would have a BIG problem with an Art that teaches Self-Defence being opposed in principle to competition for the wrong reasons.

    Because of discussions like this, I have come to recognise that everyone here is essentially supportive of randori training and practice, but opposed to activities where people can "lose". I think this probably sounds like delusional madness to anyone who has found their chosen path to be one that includes competition as an essential part of the training.

    I hated watching the Shorinji Kempo randori competition from the ASEA Games. For the same reason that I dislike the TaeKwonDo sparring at the Olympics, or the various Karate competitions. The action is reduced to skipping about, feints and aborted movements with the occasional committed strike that is either rewarded or not by a judge's expert opinion on whether or not it was on target. It can be dull and unsatisfying to the point of boredom - which is particularly annoying when you know just how incredibly fit and talented the competitors are. Ensuring the safety of competitors makes for a rather silly version of something only vaguely related to a martial art. I don't like watching Shorinji Kempo randori as a spectator. It is not complete enough and observers have to "fill in the blanks" for themselves when the action is halted. Inexperienced spectators will see even less. I think randori should be included as part of Taikai and/or demonstrations to ensure the public can get a taste of this aspect of the training, but tournaments can end up taking over an event.

    Don't mind me... I just like talking.
    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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  3. #77
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    Default Competition, again

    Gassho!

    Sorry for the late reply. I had a great time at the German gasshuku last weekend, though.

    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.

    Did that make any sense at all?
    Well, not really, I'm afraid. While the basic premise (productive, enjoyable and (most of all) safe) is pretty obviously correct, the 'chain of logic' afterwards doesn't hold up at pretty much any point, according to my experience. In short:
    - If there's (too) many participants, reducing the speed of the exercise is at least as effective as the number of participants while avoiding disadvantages like not everyone being able to practice. Also, just last year we had a rather extended randori session during the Berlin gasshuku that included a finishing exercise of 'everyone against everyone, one hit and you're out', which worked out quite safely. It should be noted, of course, that there was a winner in this.
    - While pointing out good and bad techniques makes sense, it's not at all necessary to be done all the time, since the participants usually can tell quite well themselves which techniques hit and which didn't (it might be called 'learning through pain' ). This might not be as true for beginners. Also this practice massively interrupts the flow of techniques, making the exercise somewhat artificial. Compare this with sport competitions where points are scored without interrupting the fight, as an aside: A single hit there is usually just a prelude to gain initiative / the upper hand etc.
    - Randori is possibly the type of exercise that best allows for learning without structured analysis. I'd even go so far as to say that that's part of its point/idea! That doesn't mean analysis can't be very helpful, of course. Usually a couple of pointers by a senior after a bout can go a long way, though, perhaps even more than a detailed analysis of every move.


    Quote Originally Posted by Fernando View Post
    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").
    Theoretically there's no limit, practically I've never seen anything resembling full contact in SK. As the saying goes, "theoretically there's no difference between theory and practice, practically there is."

    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.
    Maybe, but I strongly doubt it.

    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
    Unfortunately no. Going to Japan next month is eating too deeply into my finances.



    Quote Originally Posted by Tripitaka of AA View Post
    One principle that I have found myself sharing with my children time and again; Failing/Losing is essential to learning. Without losing, we can never discover our weaknesses. We can never progress. They come home after a test at school and look depressed when they get a bad result, I say "fantastic! which question was the hardest? Now you know exactly what to study to improve next time."
    […]
    Because of discussions like this, I have come to recognise that everyone here is essentially supportive of randori training and practice, but opposed to activities where people can "lose". I think this probably sounds like delusional madness to anyone who has found their chosen path to be one that includes competition as an essential part of the training.
    As Kaiso famously said: "We don’t need to make tough guys, all we need to do is make people who won’t lose." Based on this (and experience), I'd say that losing is, in fact, a pretty big topic in SK. The thought behind this is, IMHO, self-defense: Not losing is the ultimate target in that, because it equals survival. But, IMHO again, this means that we should explicitedly include losing into our training, in the sense of how it happens, how to avoid it, what it does to us etc. Whether other teachers agree is another question, of course. What I'm more opposed to (if at all) is winning, in the sense of one kenshi winning over others, potentially including being put down etc.
    But I'll stress that I see this as a rather theoretical point and that I don't think these absolutes have much in common with the realities of SK practice today, including embu competitions etc.

    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

  4. #78
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    Hi all, this is my first post in the E Budo community and I want to clarify that my written english is poor, quite as my spoken english.
    About Randori and Randori competition I tried to read all the post, but, due also to my bad english, I could had miss or misunderstood something, so please forgive if I will say something that is already been told.
    As was told by everyone Randori is a main part of the Shorinji Kempo training, it helps to improve our "vs realty" approach, and force us to improve our way to do each kind of waza.
    We could say that we have two "opposite" Kihon and Randori, Kihon is how the tecnique has to be done to have full and perfect result, Randori is how we manage to come out from a sudden situation such as an unkown attack. In the middle stands the Embu, it will help us to bring our Kihon to our Randori.
    Unfortunately if we think to self defence we have to state that real life is different from the Dojo and from our training fellow, even if of other country and meet the first time. We are a big family and is really difficult to find someone that during training will be so rude and aggressive to create the correct amount of stress to be measured like in a "real life aggression". So we need to train using some stress at least to test our "Hei Joshin".
    Starting from here Randori is the key, and in my humble opinion the competition is the way.
    Ok, do not kill me and just let me explain.
    If we use the same judging method of the Embu, JL talked about Norcia 2007 Randori, we can do a competition without being against the Shorinji Kempo philosophic principles.
    A Pair and its Referee will be judged from 5 Judge with a score related on how they have managed their randori. How the referee act and how did kosha and shusha. No matter who wins the combat, all the three need to act properly, The high score wins as per embu competition. Do not forget tha the human is a competitive being, and not all the competition is bad. If we can use these energy to improve ourself we will have a better result. Back to the randori competition I can win without having my partner lose, we both have to be of high level, kumite shutai, and we need to hit ourself but not too hard or we can't finish the competition, fusatsu katsujin. In national/regional/european/world competition we could think of mix the pairs, everyone attend for a role, let's say referee or praticant, that random groups are made and competition starts, you can avoid that couples prepare before their techniques to look better. At the end the high score wins. The losers will improve from their weakness, I really agree with who says that failing will improve us. And about Kaiso's thought on losing he says something like "you have not lost until you think so" that is really different to be the last in a competition.
    One other thing, if we are able to set such a competition we will be really unique among combat sports and other martial arts for whom winning goes through the annihilation of the opponent. We "win" preserving the opponent.
    That's are just my two cents
    Again sorry for my bad english
    Last edited by Max; 8th October 2015 at 08:58.
    Max
    Shorinji Kempo
    Roma Eur Shibu Italy

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  6. #79
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    Gassho!

    Welcome to eBudo, Sensei! :-)

    This is certainly one of the most original ideas I've heard regarding this topic and because of that alone it's certainly worth a try.
    I don't see yet if this would actually approach a 'street-like' scenario, more than other kinds of randori, that is. But I doubt we'll know until someone has actually put this idea into practice! :-)

    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

  7. #80
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    The main thing, as per the thread object, is the randori competition. Everyone has said that randori is something that every kenshi need to practice to improve his or her skills. Doing randori will help, but not fullfill the requested skill to fight in the street, as per each and every other system or discipline. Is a part of Shorinji Kempo training with embu and kihon and we need to use it, as we do with embu and demostration to gather more people to practice the discipline, actually out of the Japan we miss the first tool that attract today person's interest the fighting contest. For person that do combat sports and even those of jissen karate we are non fighters just "dancer". We all know that is not true but we need a way to show it.
    If we are able to create a system that can set the Shorinji Kempo near the combat sports and MMA but without losing its principle we could have an increment on the people that would practice it.
    Max
    Shorinji Kempo
    Roma Eur Shibu Italy

  8. #81
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    Gassho!

    Okay, so this idea is more about attracting people than getting 'street fighting skills'?

    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

  9. #82
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    Correct.
    We, as kenshi, have to practice Randori for a lot of reasons not only for the effectiveness.
    To improve "street fighting skills" we need to train more than Randori.
    Max
    Shorinji Kempo
    Roma Eur Shibu Italy

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