Questions from Manoel felipe M de albuquerque from Brazil, asked on June 12, 2017


Dear Shihan Reynosa

Good morning, sir.
Please, excuse me by my interruption. I know you are very busy.
It is about randori.
In your last Brazil’s Seminar (2016) Bruno sensei ask you about techniques what work in randori: few techniques works in randori.
And you confirmed his opinion.

Sir, I don’t wanna to be offensive or disrespectful, but I’m confused myself.
If few aikido techniques work…

We train this way in order to build the bridge of understanding between the theory of the Dojo and the reality that we live in, where real violence and real criminals are not going to comply with what you want them to do.

You should only train in randori with your seniors that have gone through to the second kyu at the very least. Do not involve students below this rank, otherwise you are just putting them at risk and sometimes you are putting yourself at risk because they won’t understand if they get hurt and you will be wrong and then they will hurt you because they don’t quite get that this is still training and they are likely to come at you in a way that you are going to underestimate because you don’t want to hurt them. “Ai te no chikara awasu” You must find a level in your training where both partners benefit.

I don’t think you are doing anything wrong other than worrying too much about it. You are Shodan working towards Nidan and this understanding will come at the right time if you give it time. If anything, you want too much too soon…you (no offense) and 99% of everyone else that lives in our “fast food” society!

I think that is the way you need to train. If you cannot perform the technique correctly in slow motion (so to speak), what chance do you have in performing correctly in fast motion? That doesn’t make sense. People who go too fast too quickly, only learn how to do it wrong quickly and that is totally counter productive!

That is where “atemi” came from in the Aikido world. A well placed diversionary strike is very valuable, however focusing too much on the atemi tends to stop the flow of movement, which then becomes counter-productive to the flow of ki! And when your opponent stops, they tend to change their mind and then you have to change as well. This does not make sense in the world of Aiki.

No, it’s more like choreographed training, where everyone knows what he wants them to do and then they just do it. It’s not hypnosis, however as an uke of a great teacher, you never want to resist what they are doing. Your job is to be part of what he wants to do and then simply do your job and in most cases, that is falling the best way you can to make them look good. I don’t mean to be offensive by saying this, it’s just the way it is and as a student, you cannot question this. However, as a student you may not believe that this is real or effective, but in this case you should find a new teacher. 😉 

Ultimately this is why we have randori in the first place…to temper the ego and generate humility. The way most classical Aikidoka practice randori is to inflate their egos and make themselves look good. In the street, most of these same people would not be able to survive a real attack.

Thank you for the questions and I have sent your questions to Christian Foeller, our webmaster in Germany so that he might put my comments to you on my blog site so that others could benefit by my comments to you.  I hope to see again soon one day!