Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Explaining judo randori to kids

This is something that I have always had trouble explaining to my kids classes - the nature or feel of randori in judo.
Kids seem to want to make it this win-lose, dominance game in which the larger, older, more athletic always wins, and I have tried lots of different times to explain the kind of randori that I want to see. I don't want to make it a take-turns-throwing thing - that's not randori - but it's so hard to explain the difference between randori and shiai to these kids.  And how do you get the stronger kids to give the smaller kids a chance without telling them to deliberately stop moving and take a fall?
So, I have a new thing to try.  I'm going to try to explain them something to the effect of...
  • The goal in this sort of randori is to make lots of throwing attempts and to fall down a lot of times.  So, we're not resisting throws.  If the other guy gets anything fairly close to a throw, then take the fall. Someone should be falling down and getting up almost continually.
  • It doesnt' matter who throws first - I personally like to let the younger or lower-ranked student have the first and last throws of the session.  But somebody has to start off with a throw.
  • Between throws we're going to count steps.  After I throw, I give the other guy about 5 steps to do a throw.
  • If, after 4-5 steps, the other guy doesn't appear to be doing anything, I'll do another throw.
  • So it is a give-and-take thing without being an absolute take-turns-throwing thing.  Each player has about five steps to take their turn, then their turn goes back to the other guy.
 Yall have any additions or changes or better way to explain the dynamic of randori to kids ranging from 6 yo to about 12 yo?
Patrick Parker
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