Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Helpful handful; Multiple randori in aikido

One interesting and fun and beneficial practice in aikido is multiple randori, in which 2 or 3  or 4 ukes attack one tori.  In our class we don't practice this very often but at the recent Kondo Seminar we warmed up with yonnin (4-attacker) randori.  Here's a handful of hints on implementing this practice into your class.
  • Control the intensity - First, realize this is not a gang-fight pile-on simulation.  It is just a mechanism to get a little more chaos and variability in the randori and increase the intensity a little.  It helps to have a referee (not tori and not one of the ukes) to help control the intensity by giving hints to tori and ukes from the sidelines.
  • Home positions - Give the four ukes "home positions" in the 4 corners of the mat.  They attack one at a time from these home positions.  As soon as tori touches one uke it is time for the next one to start from their home position.
  • Fall and get back up - Uke, when you fall, roll away from tori and get up, moving immediately back to one of the corner home positions.
  • Walking attacks - For all but the most advanced, craziest toris, a fast walk is a good intensity.  Ukes running blindly from all sides doesn't do anything but get someone hurt.
  • Use the aiki brush-off - Tori, don't try to engage and destroy every single uke with a beautiful technique.  Brush some attacks off.  Atemi others and keep moving.  Hide behind some ukes to keep the others off of you. You might only be able to throw a clearly-defined, named technique every 5-6 attacks.  That's more than okay.

Patrick Parker is a Christian, husband, father, martial arts teacher, Program Director for a Cardiac Rehab, and a Ph.D. Contact: or phone 601.248.7282 木蓮
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