Brian Kagen pick: “Keeping Distance Apart” by Paul Wildish

Randori Shiai (free-style contest) was created as a competitive format for applying ‘aiki’ techniques by Kenji Tomiki around 1960, and since that date has been the subject of continuous development and evolution. This has enabled it to justly claim a place alongside judo and kendo as an exemplification of budo in its modern sporting form. Indeed the starting point for Aikido Kyogi development lay in the profound influence of Jigoro Kano on the young Kenji Tomiki’s maturing ideas on the nature of budo in the modern world. In a series of speeches made between 1926 and 1927, Kano addressed the issue of incorporating atemi techniques in judo randori (free) practice. Then as now, any form of atemi (striking vital points) technique was proscribed from judo randori and shiai for reasons of safety, limiting contest to grappling techniques starting from an initial seizure of the sleeve and collar of the keikogi. Atemi waza and certain of the most severe wrist and joint locks from the canon of jujitsu on which judo was based, were strictly limited to kata practice only. Despite these self imposed limitations Kano believed that: “Randori or bouts including Ate Waza may be developed through some devices and further research, but it may not be easy.” This demonstrates that after some fifty years of judo development, Kano was still thinking of ways to broaden the scope of randori to encompass all the elements of jujitsu technique.


  1. Today’s MMA…?

  2. From the above link…

    Despite the employment of techniques specifically designed for contest situations, it is rare to see a decisive technique during shiai where the players are evenly matched in ability and fitness. This was the subject of some criticism and still is, but Tomiki was unconcerned, commenting that, “We rarely see decisive techniques in judo competition, either. There are only about seven effective techniques in judo matches. In karate, there are only a few variations such as punching and kicking techniques. In kendo, there are only four scoring techniques, men, kote, tsuki, and do. Although in aikido it is said that there are around 3,000 techniques, there is nothing strange about the fact that there is only a limited number of techniques, which can be used, in a practical situation. So, naturally it is more difficult to execute decisive techniques in matches”.

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