Friday, March 07, 2014

Rory Miller hints on toshu randori

Rory Miller has a pretty cool book about Drills...

In which he gives some of the best description and hints for a drill that he calls "One Step," but which we call "toshu randori."  Hints that we don't hear every day...
This is my most basic drill. I find it useful and versatile on many levels. At it’s most basic it is very simple: one partner initiates a move in slow motion and the other partner at equal speed makes one motion to respond. The partners continue this without resetting, winding up wherever they wind up and finding solutions.
  • To reinforce that this drill is about self teaching I break every few minutes when we first start and have the students tell me what they’ve noticed and what they’ve learned. One of the first ones that come up is “You can’t win on defense.”
  • If you block an incoming strike, your opponent is free to make another attack.
  • If someone gets in an untenable position, have the partners maintain position, have them ease up any pressure causing pain and have them think of options. Bad guys don’t give do-overs; don’t practice them here.
  • Do not practice dying, either. Students will have a tendency to reset and start over when they feel a decisive blow has landed. This is a bad habit. You may be knocked out in real life, but you might not. If a man can take ten bullets to the chest and head and keep fighting it seems a little delusional (and a terrible habit) to give up over a slow-motion strike.
  • It’s hard to stick to one-step on the ground because so many grapplers practice a flow of motion. Try to restrict them anyway. Limiting it to one move you often find an efficient strike that is missed when people go into grappling mode.
  • Most locks are relatively complicated and take several moves to get, and thus usually fail on moving people in real life. Show how locks in real life are based on ‘gifts’ where the threat puts himself in the lock position. By just applying power to one point, efficiently, you can make a lock work. Same goes for many take-downs.
  • If two students are starting to spar, have them start with the initial attack coming from behind or on the flank.
  • When a student gets stuck, have them freeze and brainstorm; then ask their partner for ideas, then other students, then the instructor. I haven’t seen any position so hopeless that a room full of people couldn’t come up with something.
  • Watch for people who are moving arms but not feet.Show that striking and off-balancing are both good options.
  • It’s okay to run away.
  • After they have practiced for a while, explain that they are on a quest for the golden move. The golden move is anything that prevents damage to you, causes damage to the threat, puts you in a better position and puts the threat in a worse position. If every action does all four things, you will win.
  • In a seminar situation, encurage everyone to play with people they do not know and to switch partners each time.Use foam ‘bricks’ and scatter them around the training area. When a group or pair go to the ground, they can use the brick as an equalizer. It tends to change the ground game quite a bit.
  • Stop action critique: Straight-up coaching for the one-step is dead simple: “Freeze. Go back one move. Why didn’t you…” when you see an opportunity for something more efficient than whatever the student used. Don’t overdo it, though, or you’ll be stopping them every move. Let them play.
  • Let the rounds go for a minute or longer. At the end ask, “What did you notice, what did you learn?” And get the students to evaluate their own learning process and milk the experience for themselves. This is critical!

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Patrick Parker

1 comment:

  1. Nice! Very cool. I remember this kind of practice really helping me a lot, but a lot of the points you listed are one's I don't think I've ever noticed before. Fun to do in push hands.


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