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Variations of tokuiwaza

Ok, so now that we've gotten all this "randori is an experiment - not a contest" and "randori is not about winning" business out of the way, how about some real hints on how to really trash some bozos...

This particular hint applies more to judo randori, but i guess you can stretch it a bit and get some aikdio randori benefit out of it.

You need to be able to throw your tokuiwaza (your 1-2 best throws) whether uke is advancing or retreating with their left or right legs.  So basically, you need four variations of a couple of throws.  By the time you start to get significant skill at four variations of two different throws, you should start to have more "success" in randori and be able to start enjoying it more.

I suspect that a lot of folks that get frustrated with randori only have 1-2 variations for their tokuiwaza, leaving significant holes in their game.  If you think that you are doing pretty good at "kata" versions of throws with compliant partners but you often can't make them go in  randori, then you ought to work on figuring out what situations you are having trouble with those particular throws?  That will give you some idea of where you need to concentrate your research in order to cover the gaps in your game.
Patrick Parker

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