Japan Aikido Association

Kenshinkan Aikido Dojo

Tomiki Aikido in the heart of Sheffield

Randori

The ultimate goal of randori is to develop the ability to rapidly cope with changing circumstances, to build a strong and supple body, and to prepare mind and body for self- defence (Combat). To derive the maximum benefit from randori, it must be practised in the way most likely to achieve results. Pay particular attention to the following three points:
1. The fundamental body position is, and must be, shizentai. This basic natural posture is not only the adaptable to change but also the least tiring. Both partners take the same posture.
2. The emphasis is first on throwing techniques. Throwing practise is more valuable both as physical education and as spiritual training, since it requires perceiving and reacting to a greater range of situations. By moving on to restraint techniques (Controlling) only after extensive practice of throwing techniques, it is possible to become equally proficient at both. Those who specialize in Aikido over a number of years have ample opportunity to study in depth, but for anyone who might be tempted to learn one or the other, throwing techniques definitely take precedence. It is better to concentrate properly on one rather than train inadequately with two. Especially if practise time is limited, concentration should be on learning throws.
3. Always keep in mind that randori is training in the art of attack and defence. In a martial art, it is essential to train the body to move freely and agilely to deal with punching and kicking attacks and to nurture the ability to react quickly and skilfully. The immediate goal is to win. Never admit defeat.
Unfortunately, in many dojo’s today randori is not practised as it should be. One reason is the stress on training for competition. In tournament competition, participants tend to abandon the basic natural posture and assume stiff defensive postures. The resulting contest-style Aikido is far from ideal.
Practising in the natural posture, points never to be neglected are: never use excess force, always put strength in shoulders, hips and limbs only as required, and always perform movements harmoniously in a controlled way, according to your own volition.
A second reason for current practices is that with the growth in the number of people practising Aikido, there is a lack of qualified instructors worldwide and standards have been compromised. Reinstitution of Shidokan style randori is surely one of the most pressing tasks facing the Aikido world today.

Having dealt with the purpose of Shidokan Aikido, one now comes to the method of training, not necessarily more different than other Aikido ryu but with randori added.
Bearing in mind that Kata and Randori must be practised equally, the aspects of randori training will be enlarged upon first, as that is the distinction of this ryu.
Randori Training
This can very simply be divided into 3 stages, leaving out shiai (competition) because one cannot train in shiai, that moment happening once only for which one had perhaps worked up to.
Working up the levels after learning how the technique is done:
1. Kakarigeiko
In this exercise there is an attacker (Uke) and a defender (Tori).
Uke attacks in a set manner, (this can be varied by the instructor at the time) and Tori performs any technique previously learned.
The main point of this exercise is to encourage Uke to develop physical stamina by not resisting, constantly being thrown or taken down under control, yet getting up again repeatedly to offer the same attack to Tori. Equally, Tori develops spontaneous reactions followed by techniques without a set sequence, thus different from kata training. This can be developed to as high a level of training as one wishing by simply concentrating on acquiring perfect timing, disturbances of Uke’s balance, and performing a particular technique with just the right amount of power necessary to complete the technique and yet not injuring the Uke who, although not resisting in any way, should still feel Tori’s control of the whole situation. This can also be done with Uke armed.
2. Hikitategeiko:
Again there is Uke and Tori.
This time, Uke is allowed to feint the attack, resist the technique slightly and in general try to encourage Tori to perform techniques positively.
This is becoming more difficult for both Tori and Uke because Uke will get thrown or locked harder due to increased resistance and Tori has to develop more skill in all aspects of Aikido in order to succeed despite some resistance.
This stage should progress from very minimal resistance, (such as not falling if there is no timing to Tori’s defence and only force is attempted or a very weak attempt at technique which Uke cannot feel at all) to escaping with movement, blocking with tegatana (hand blade) and shifting the weight to offer a heavier body for Tori.
This then makes tsukuri (preparation of Tori timing Uke’s balance and position just so that a particular technique can easily be executed) more important than Kakarigeiko.

Obviously this is difficult to practise and needs Uke’s co-operation in offering the correct way of resisting, as mentioned earlier so that both partners can benefit from the exercise.
The other important aspect is that combination techniques start being learned, leading from one to another depending on Uke’s resistance and escape.
3. Randori:
In this exercise, the points of hikitategeiko training is even more emphasised in that
more power on both sides is encouraged, which should mean not just muscle power (by now it is hoped that one realised the Aikido meaning of the word power), the too and fro of both partners should be faster, smoother and when an opening presents itself, a technique is performed without hesitation under complete control.
This requires a very high level of Aikido to do well as when Uke is thrown, the fall must be spontaneous and fearless, otherwise injury could result, remembering that the harder one resists the harder will one fall if caught.
Winning does not come into this practice at all, only the desire to be able to perform techniques despite opposition from Uke.
Therefore it is very important that Tori must apply techniques correctly as one slight misdirection or application could result in serious injury to Uke who may not have chance to submit or fall even if one is wanted to. An example would be sacrifice techniques (Tori deliberately dropping down with total body weight) with a dangerous joint lock applied to Uke.
All of the 3 ways of training obviously merge and is not as cut and dried as it is made out. It is only compartmentalised for ease of teaching and explanation.
Also it is possible to vary the attack forms and arm Uke with weapons, in Shidokan Aikido usually rubber knives (Tanto) and sponge-like batons (Softo). Some Aikido ryu use wooden tanto but it is frowned upon in Shidokan Aikido for free practise as the danger of accidental injury is too high and moreover the armed attacker is less likely to attack forcefully in case Tori get injured accidentally. Conversely Tori may execute techniques inadequately in case Uke falls on the weapon.
Equally, apart from the above “weapons” it is unnecessary to learn to defend oneself against other weapons like swords or spears, as in modern society, such weapons are unlikely to be carried in public. However, such Aikido techniques are still learned in kata practice and it helps recall ancient traditions which are a pleasure to practise and compliments randori training in many ways.
Shiai:
This is not included as a 4th category on purpose for the following reasons: It means competition and that means winning or losing.
Here the psychological element is paramount as randori training when pushed hard will reach this level but not necessarily provide that last test: Psychological Stress.

One cannot train in Shiai, one only experiences it at one point in one’s training: when one enters into the “arena” and faces one’s opponent with judges and referees etc.
Having said that one cannot train in Shiai, training inevitably does happen if one enters competition events regularly. That is if one uses the experience of one competition properly in order to do better in the next one. For example, if one finds oneself losing one’s cool, goes to pieces and cannot think of what to do, becomes transfixed, stiff, or starts trying to exert muscle power when one cannot perform techniques, or when one is in the role of the attacker and resorts to brute strength to prevent technique because one naturally doesn’t want to lose, then that feeling and experience should help one’s future Aikido training by the very fact that whether one is the attacker or the defender, one has forgotten Aikido principles under psychological stress, be it the desire to win or the fear of being thrown, sometimes injured even though accidentally. In other words, the realisation that one has not yet been able to rise above mere fighting, often thought of as survival, when in reality, to survive, one needs to keep cool. Too often, competitors return year after year without visible improvement, doing the same thing again and again, which could be anything, but will finally bore everyone to death.
This advice is for those interested in Randori competition only, and really only suitable for the young and fit.
It is better to lose well, showing Aikido, than to win without showing Aikido principles. What are these?
1. Posture
This is often described as Shizentai (natural), and Shimoku Ashi (Foot stance peculiar
to many Japanese budo but more particularly Aikido)
If one is not balanced at all times, how can one move well in any direction and at any speed?
2. Me Tsuke
The focusing of one’s eye’s on an opponent. This should be an overall view and not
fixed on any one point because the wider your view, the more relaxed you will be. At present time, Tanto Randori Shiai is done with an attacker striking/stabbing with rubber knife and the rules (necessary for any sport event) insist on a step in and at the point of contact, the knife arm should be straight.
This very rapidly leads the defender to concentrate solely on the arm, often leading to a struggle and forgetting all other aspects of Aikido such as safety. The rules prohibit the armed attacker to use the other free arm to hit or hold but one should not allow rules designed for sport to blind one into forgetting self-defence elements of Aikido, for one cannot do anything if one is really injured by the attacker. Therefore, if one practises Me-Tsuke, the chances to perform good Aikido techniques will become more possible as the opponent’s whole bearing can be observed and thus felt.

3. Kuzushi
The disturbance of balance.
Shidokan Basic Syllabus Shidokan Kihon
When jujutsu was developed, it was found that techniques could be preformed easily when an opponent lost balance.
This can easily be realised even when one is a beginner in Aikido for without balance, an opponent has no power. In other words the opponent can only channel power in one direction at any one time, and if that power is used to try to recover one’s balance, one cannot use that power against one’s opponent. Without this concept, Aikido techniques cannot be performed against an unwilling opponent as opposed to other forms of martial art which develops striking and hitting and therefore only needs a stationary target.
Having defined Kuzushi, how can one achieve it?
Basically, this can be done in two ways:
Passively when the opponent loses balance or actively when one makes the opponent lose balance.
However, in practice one leads into the other and the balance of which end is emphasised depends on the situation. For example, in Kakarigeiko, the passive end is more likely as Uke is committed to the attack. Equally in real life an enemy should be so motivated too. After all, one does not go round proclaiming one is an Aikido exponent and therefore do not attack. An attack is usually focused on one point and if that has suddenly disappeared, the attacker, for that split second, will feel a loss of power and balance as there is no tangible object to absorb the force. This then makes Aikido more possible as self-defence. In Randori and obviously Shiai, the active end of achieving disturbance of balance is more emphasised because one’s opponent is also an Aikido Exponent and if practising the principles, would not lose balance easily. Initially one tends to struggle with heaving and oulling in an attempt to break an opponent’s balance but one should really try to remember Aikido: don’t match strength and resistance with the same but rather try to find the weakest point of the strength and resistance. Usually that would be at the point of attack, not before and not after. Arriving at this level of achievement is what the previous Randori training should be about. Therefore this will become more difficult to achieve as one progresses Aikido training and finally will only be possible if one arrives at the perfect point in time when everything happened all at once. Often one stops in Shidokan Aikido because of this seemingly impossible part of their training system which would be a great pity because achievement in competition Shiai should not be the only reason for Aikido training although it is a great booster to one’s ego for all that hard work.
4. Ma Ai
This means distance.
In all martial arts, the correct distance for successful application of its techniques is important. For example, if one had a sword, then the object must be within cutting distance, if one wanted to kick, then the object must be within kicking distance, and so on.

In Aikido, the distance must be within arm’s length where the object, be it the wrist, hand, elbow or whole body, etc. is within the grasp of one’s hand so that a lock or throw van be effected. Aikido’s maximum power is at about the distance of a nearly extended arm, the so-called unbendable arm likened to a taut bow. This distance is obviously only at the moment of execution of technique, and what happens before and after depends on the opponent’s movement and how one evades an attack.
5. Chu Sin
This means the centre of oneself.
Aikido power comes from one’s centre, often described as “hara” (Lower abdomen). Therefore, though one may perform a technique with one hand, the direction of power comes from the centre, not through the right or left hand but through the mind and body together, and the hand is only the contact point with one’s opponent.
This is developed through Tegatana and Shotei practise.
Tegatana is the development of moving with relaxed central power keeping correct Ma Ai, where one moves with right hand and right foot forward, keeping arm’s length with each other by touching hand blades, seeing each other’s eyes through the V and moving in Tsugi Ashi (Succeeding feet, ie. Not crossing one foot over the other), or left hand and left foot. This is a really difficult exercise for beginners as one tends to lead with one’s arm, and thus end up side-ways on.
Shotei is the development of pushing power from the centre where one touches with the heel of the palm, reverse posture (right hand with left foot forward and vice versa), and tries to push each other over. This can be practised stationary or moving and is easier for beginners from the aspect of centralising one’s power. It also develops the relaxed upright posture so typical of an Aikido exponent.
6. Tai Sabaki
This means avoidance without which, one cannot even began to practise Aikido
techniques as if one is injured in the initial attack =, one will be in no position to perform anything.
7. Zanshin
This means keeping oneself always in a ready state of awareness. It is usually
mentioned as coming at the end of a technique but should really be constant, by definition, not just something thrown in at the end.
8. Sen-No-Sen; Go-No-Sen; Sen-Sen-No-Sen
This has been explained in the glossary of terms but suffice it to say that it relates to
the timing of one’s action. In order to achieve any one of these, one needs to reach the height of reading an opponent’s intentions and have the ability to react within the context of that correctly. Quite a handful by itself.
9. Tsukuri
This means preparation which applies to one’s opponent as well as oneself. In other
words, one prepares one’s opponent for the technique as well as one prepares oneself to perform it. I t means positioning the opponent in the perfect place and balance for easy execution of technique either passively or actively, and at the same
time one is in a position, balanced, to execute the technique.


10.Kake
The throw or performance of technique.
This is the desired result of training and can be achieved easily and safely if one tries to incorporate the principles discussed.
No attempt has been made to describe any techniques because Randori training means finding your own particular approach, keeping only to the principles mentioned above. However, Shidokan system has a basic kata called Randori-no- kata, consisting of 17 techniques devised to enable one to practise Randori (including Shiai) safely. There should be something suitable to one particular person to use effectively out of the 17. Occasionally variations are demonstrated by different instructors to stimulate the student into possible applications and combination movements.
Finally if one developed Hikitategeiko to its ultimate art, Randori would not be needed because Randori implies effort which is required when one has just missed the perfect execution of technique.
Thus one can see how difficult Aikido can be and yet despite all this, it can look so deceptively easy and beautiful, as it can really be if one continues to practise always with these principles in mind, attempting to put it all together as one obviously. Shidokan Aikido cannot finish on Randori alone as Kata is also equally important.

Kata Training:
Too often, this seems to have no connection with Randori but if one cannot make the link, the ultimately techniques in Randori training will become fewer as one discards those not suitable for oneself, usually due to inadequate knowledge and ability.
The formalised way of practise, with set mode of attack and reaction is absolutely vital because it trains the mind and body step by step initially until one is reacting as a whole, according to one’s ability. It also helps to preserve certain techniques which are highly dangerous to one’s opponent is applied 100 per cent but could be very useful in (hopefully not) life and death situations. By implication, such techniques could not be allowed in a sporting context.
Finally therefore, train in Kata as one would train in Randori, applying the very same principles discussed above and then one will find the two ways becoming as one.
Kata in Shiai:
This has been included in competition events in order to give fun to those Aikido
exponents interested in the psychological stress aspect of one’s own training which cannot be obtained through normal practise, as mentioned earlier. It also helps to balance out the Shidokan system in allowing anyone to take up and enjoy Aikido, even to the point of participating in completion without having to be young or as physically fit and strong.

Kime No Kata
Kime no Kata is also known as Shinken Shobu no Kata (Combat Forms) and is designed to teach the fundamentals of attack and defence in an actual combat situation, as both names imply. Its twenty techniques, which include strikes at vital spots, are all applicable in real-life situations, but are banned in Randori. They are divided into two groups, Idori, where the basic position is kneeling, and Tachiai, where techniques are executed in a standing position.

Idori
Tachiai

Ryote-dori Tsukkake Suri-age Yoko-uchi Ushiro-dori Tsukkomi Kirikomi Yoko-tsuki
Ryote-dori Sode-tori Tsukkake Tsukiage Suri-age Yoko-uchi Keage Ushiro-dori Tsukkomi
Kirikomi Nuki-kake Kirioroshi

Kodokan Goshin Jutsu
Kodokan Goshin Jutsu, formally established in 1958, is a set of twenty-one self- defence techniques, twelve for use against an unarmed assailant, nine against an armed assailant.

Against Unarmed Attack
When Held
At a Distance
Ryote-dori Hidari-eri-dori Migi-eri-dori Kataude-dori Ushiro-eri-dori Ushiro-jime Kakae-dori
Naname-uchi Ago-tsuki Gammen-tsuki Mae-geri Yoko-geri
Against Armed Attack
Knife
Stick

Pistol

Tsukkake Choku-zuki Naname-zuki
Furiage Furiorshi Morote-zuki
Shomen-zuke Koshi-gamae Haimen-zuke

1. Yama-Arashi
2. Yama-otoshi
Shidokan Basic Syllabus Shidokan Kihon
Te-Waza (10)
3. Kibisu – Gaeshi : Heel – both inside and outside variation’s
4. Kuchiki–Taoshi
5. Kuchiki – Taoshi : Feinting Ippon - Seoi – Nage
6. Morote–Gari
7. Sukui–Nage
8. Tai – Otoshi : Kote – Gaeshi 9. Ippon–Seoi–Nage 10.Seoi – Nage
11.Seoi - Otoshi

Yoko – Sutemi – Waza (7)
1. Uki–Waza
2. Yoko–Otoshi
3. Tani–Otoshi
4. Yoko–Guruma
5. Yoko–Wakare
6. Kani–Basami
7. Kawazu–Gake
Ma – Sutemi – Waza (4)
1. Tomoe – Wage : 2x Variations – 1 Foot - 2 Feet
2. Sumi – Gaeshi
3. Hikikomi – Gaeshi
4. Tawara - Gaeshi

Koshi – Waza (7)
1. Ogoshi
2. Uke–Goshi
3. Koshi–Guruna
4. Tsuri–Goshi
5. Tsurikomi–Goshi
6. Sod–Tsurikomi–Goshi 7. Harai-Goshi

6th Kyu – White Belt
100 hours Training = 6 months Kihon
Unsoku – Complete
Ukemi – Front, Back, Side
Ate – Waza - Shomen 1-5 Left & Right
Kibisu – Gaeshi – Heal & Outside Grip Variations Morote – Gari - left & Right
O Goshi – Basic understanding of.
Suwari – Waza – Kneeling
Aiki – Nage 2x variations Tachi – Waza – Standing
Aiki - Nage

5Th Kyu – Yellow Belt 100 Hours Training
Unsoku – Complete
Tandoku Undo
Ukemi – Front/Back/Side
Ate – Waza – Left & Right – Complete – All 5 Hiji - Waza – Left & Right – Complete – All 5 Randori – Goshin – Waza – Demonstrate Shoman Giri – Gedan – Ate
Seoi – Nage
Suwari – Waza
Hiza – Gatame
Vide – Osae – Dori Mune – Osae – Dori
Kakari – Geiko

Shidokan Basic Syllabus Shidokan Kihon
4Th Kyu – Orange Belt
Unsoku – Complete
Tandoku Undo – Complete
Ukemi – Front/Back/Side/Rolling
Randori – No- Kata
Ate – Waza – Left & Right – Complete
Hij – Waza – Left & Right – Complete
Randori – Goshin – Waza
Kibisu – Gaeshi – heel both inside and outside variation Kuchiki – Taoshi
- From Uke’s Shomen Attack
- Ippon – Seoi – Nage
- From Maegeri – Front Kick
Hikikomi – Gaeshi – Ma – Sutemi – Waza Suwari – Waza – Seated
Kono – Ho – Gaeshi
Aya – Dori
Shuto – Jimi
Tachi – Waza – Standing
Kono – Ho – Gaeshi
Aya – Dori
Shuto – Jimi
Kakari Geiko and or Ninin – Dori

Shidokan Basic Syllabus Shidokan Kihon
3Rd Kyu – Green Belt 200 Hours Training
Randori –No-Kata
Section A – Atemi – Waza: Complete L&R
Section B –
Section C – Tekubi – Waza: Complete L&R
Section D – Uki –Waza: Complete L&R
Randori – No –Kata
Ura – Waza 1-10 on right side
Toshu & Tanto Kuzushi
Shishi Hon No Kuzushi
Randori – Goshin – Waza – Demonstrate
Tonoe – Nage 1 of 2 Variations
Yama – Otoshi
Sankyo – Ogoshi
Ryoto – Moshi – Shuto – Jime – Omotot & Ura
Tawara – Gaeshi – Ma – Sutemi – Waza
Kakari Geiko
Hikitate Geiko
NB/ examiners may ask of anything of previous syllabus Attend 1 seminar

Shidokan Basic Syllabus Shidokan Kihon
2Nd Kyu Blue Belt 200 Hours Training
Randori – No – Kata –Complete L&R Shishi-Hon No-Kuzushi – 14 Complete Shiatsu
Do First aid points – Hand, Back and Legs Tachi – Waza Ushiro Zeme Otoshi Randori Goshin Waza (Demonstrate) Shime – Waza
Hadaka – Jime – Naked Strangle
Okuri Eri Jime - Sliding – Collar Strangle
Kata – Ju – Jime - Single wing choke lock
Kate – Ha – Jime – Single wing choke lock
Tai – Otoshi – Kote – Gaeshi
Kawazu – Gake – Yoko – Sutemi – Waza
Ninin Dori
NB/ Examiners may ask anything from previous syllabus Attend 1 seminar

Shidokan Basic Syllabus Shidokan Kihon
Hadaka-Jime: A choke where the right hand encircles Partner’s throat from behind with the left hand (palm up) gripping the right hand (palm down) and right knee in the middle of Partner’s back.
Hasso: Sword posture where the guard of the sword is near the mouth and the elbows nearly horizontal.
Kata-Ju-Ji-Jime: Judo term where the left hand grasps Partner’s left lapel as near the neck as possible, 4 fingers inside and thumb outside, pointing upwards. The right hand over the left hand and grasp Partner’s right lapel about the same position but thumb pointing downwards and 4 fingers outside.
Men: Sword cut straight down onto Partner’s forehead.
Okuri-Eri-Jime: Judo term where the right hand grasps Partner’s right wrist and tries choke
from behind by grasping the right lapel with left hand.
Sageto: Feet together, sword held in left hand with edge of blade upwards and tip downwards but no quite touching the floor. Both hands by the side relaxed.
Sakate: Hold knife in right hand, tip pointing vertically down, blade edge facing Partner for striking from above.
Seigan: Right posture, sword tip aimed at Partner’s throat with hilt about 10cms in front of the belt knot.
Shinogi: Blocking with the flat of the sword blade, edge facing inwards and tip slightly down and pointing to the right, stepping into left posture.
Waki-Gamae: Sword posture where the left hand is in front and just below the belt, the tip of the sword pointing backwards and slightly down to disguise the length of sword.
Kata: Techniques practised in a formalised set of situations Ryu: School or system
Oshikiuchi: Martial arts to defend oneself at the palace; a secondary system of hand-to- hand combat which only samurai (warrior class) of high social and financial status were allowed to study.
Glossary of Terms
Kotengu: mythological goblin of Aizu accredited with great power.
Okuden: Secret teaching.
Sojutsu: The art of the spear.
Shidokan Basic Syllabus Shidokan Kihon
Kyujutsu: Kyudo - the art of the bow (archery)
Hanshi: Master teacher
Do: Way
Go-No-Sen: Action after an initial act of aggression
Sen-No-Sen: Action without initial thought of aggression.
Sen-Sen-No-Sen: Action during the thought of aggression before the act is begun ( the ultimate art).
Atemi: Bllows or strikes.
Kobo-itchi: Attack and defence are the same things.
So-Doshin: the name created by Nakano Michiomi for himself as leader of Nippon Shorinji Kempo
Randori: Free form and thought as opposed to Kata.
Kendo: the art of the sword using bamboo swords as the sport.
Niginatado: The art of the halberd.
Iaido: The art of drawing and cutting with the sword
Jukendo: The art of the bayonet
Budoka: One who practises the martial arts ending in DO. Mokuso: to compose the mind before and after training.