Competitive Aikido

Phil : Tanto Randori (2011 London)
Phil : Tanto Randori (2011 London)

Freeplay (Randori) along with Kata practice are balanced and essential aspects of training within Tomiki Aikido practise. Kata provides the core knowledge, skills and understanding of Aikido through sequenced learning. Randori takes the techniques learnt through Kata to a variety of applications from Kakarigeiko (Randori without or with light resistance) to Hikitategeiko (Randori with counters and combinations with varying degrees of resistance).

The core principles learnt through Kata include:

  • Posture and balance
  • Avoidance and blending
  • Maintaining appropriate distance
  • Balance breaking and direction of throw
  • Exploiting Ukes weaknesses.

Randori takes these principles and asks the Aikidoka to apply them in an unstructured/non-sequenced manner to see if the Aikidoka can decide which Aikido technique can be applied when.

Link between Kata and Randori
Link between Kata and Randori

With Bradford Tomiki Aikido being a mem­ber of the British Aikido Association (BAA), club members can if they choose take part in the various junior and adult competitions organised by the BAA, as well as the international competitions organised by the European Tomiki Aikido Network (ETAN) and the Japan Aikido Association (JAA).

Adult Competitions

These are the adult competitions:

  • British Kyu grade Championship
  • British Club Team Championship
  • British Open Championship
  • European Championship (held when there is no International Tournament)
  • International Aikido Tournament/ World Championship (held every 2 years)

The events at these competitions include:

Embu is a formal presentation of Aikido Kata techniques by two people being observed by a judging panel. A smooth flowing performance demonstrating the purpose and understanding of the specific kata is required. Combined with movement and co-ordination between both participants, a first class representation of the Kata results. Traditionally there are several categories of embu including: –

  • Randori no Kata (basic techniques)
  • Koryu Dai San
  • Open Kata

Ninin Dori is a “free-style” event with three players, each of whom in turn, take the part of the defender against the other two. Players are assessed on the variation of technique and attack, speed of performance, spatial awareness and general reaction under stress. This event requires considerable stamina and also tests the participant’s fitness.

Tanto Randori (Shiai), in this event a player demonstrates their ability to deal with a thrusting attack from a short baton, formally known as a “Tanto”. Two players are involved, each in turn taking the part of an attacker (Tanto) and a defender (Toshu). The defender scores by the application of an Aikido technique against Tanto. The attacker can score by making a positive strike on the defender’s target area with the tanto and by using a limited number of techniques once grasped. There are bouts for men and women. Neither player is co-operating. Juniors (under 18 years of age) are not allowed to take part in Randori events.

Kogodantaisen is a seven-person team event. This event is composed of several matches with the characteristic skills from the training system taught by the first president, Kenji Tomiki. The event balances the practice of both Randori and Kata in parallel and includes: -.

  • Basic Kata
  • Koryu Dai San
  • Tanto Avoidance
  • Tanto Randori
  • Toshu Randori

Toshu randori (Randori Kyogi) Where two players compete against each other, both unarmed in an attempt to skillfully apply Randori techniques.

Junior/Youth Competitions

2017 BAA Junior Nationals
2017 BAA Junior Nationals

These are the junior/youth competitions:

  • Open (Northern) Championship
  • Open (Southern) Championship
  • National Championship
  • European Championship
  • WSAF World Championship

Juniors compete in up to four disciplines from within three age categories (Under 8s, 10s, and 12s). Young Adults compete within two age categories, (14s and 16s).

The junior/youth events include:

  • Embu (kata) usually taken from the basic seventeen techniques of the Tomiki system.
  • Open Kata demanding a higher level of skill with a broader range of technique being performed.
  • Ninin Dori (kakarigeiko) with two attackers (ukes) performing against one (tori). This is a fast free flowing and dynamic event.
  • Tanto Kakarigieko with one attacker defending against another with applied techniques
  • Tanto avoidance (Tai Sabaki) where two opponents take it in turns to use the Tanto in a best of six-strike contest.

More information

On the Competitive Aikido within the BAA page there is more information about Randori.

The BAA have also produced this PDF document detailing the guidelines for Adult and Junior/Youth competitions.

Upcoming Competitions

See the Events page for details of the events and competitions for this year.