Randori (乱取り) is a term used in Japanese martial arts to describe free-style practice or sparring, sometimes with multiple attackers. The term literally means "chaos taking" or "grasping freedom," implying a freedom from the structured practice of kata.
With the lure of Randori I declined some previous obligations and went to class on Friday. We worked on a few definite attacks and the in the last 10 minutes or so Sensei asked if we wanted to a bit of randori. Of course we did, even though we are mostly beginners in the sense that real Aikido doesn't start until AFTER you get your black belt.
Anyway everybody did some of it with the restrictions of only grabbing the shoulders, strike to the head and punch to the stomach as the attacks. I was OK I guess but really my only redeeming point was that I usually managed to get off-line of the attack but unfortunately I had trouble actually applying the techniques. MAYBE I was slightly better at my good point than some others, but most everybody else besides me managed to deliver on performing on actual techniques better than me, regardless of rank.
I brought my Sony “bloggie” and recorded most of the last 30 minutes of class (the max time the camera will record) and caught all of us.
I am sad that when “push comes to shove” I have a real problem with doing any cool Aikido, but maybe I have learned a little bit about not meeting force with force, maybe.
The above is NOT what we I did tonight but is does show Steven Seagal in his younger, slimmer Aikido days. I am not a huge fan of Seagal, and this video is a bit melodramatic...but I still kinda wanta root for the guy.