So, I commented in a previous article that since...
- Kano said/implied that Junokata was meant to transmit practical randori knowledge to relative beginners, and...
- We can no longer see much relationship between randori and junokata...
Then something must be wrong with our idea of what we think randori is.
I spent this past weekend emphasizing this idea at our wonderful Junokata get-together at Windsong in OKC, and our time together there pretty much confirmed/cemented this idea but there was something else that I saw - a different facet fo the same idea...
We mis-understand ukemi as well as randori.
Aikido and judo are give-and-take things. These arts have been compared to playing catch - tossing a ball back and forth between two people, where the ball consists of energy and initiative and control and balance and space and slack...
Without someone to receive (uke), then the best you can do is bounce a ball against a wall. Without someone willing and able to receive the energy you are putting on them, then you are practicing kata or pulled-punches type randori. And without an uke that is good enough to yield and flow out of the initial dis-balance condition, you can never get to the more interesting subsequent conditions (renzoku).
Junokata is a practical randori thing in one sense, because it is about building smart ukes and building judoka that can switch freely between the tori and uke roles. It is about teaching people to play catch.