"The mix of techniques in Randori"
By Denis Vasiljef
University of Newcastle Upon Tyne Ninjutsu Club
In Ninjutsu and any other martial art, we train and learn new techniques in pairs or even in groups. This allows
both to learn a technique and to understand a body of an opponent (how it moves and how we can manipulate it).
Also, we learn our own body’s abilities and try to make it to remember the logic of movement.
Any technique is based on basic movements. Different variations create thousands of ways and connections between
techniques. Hence, it can be said that there is no right or wrong way of performing a technique, the outcome is the
Let’s consider randori as a real battle, where the question is whether you live or not. Obviously danger is very
high. You start to feel very strong feelings like fear or anger. Adrenalin has a big effect as well. In such
condition you never think how to do a technique, you just do it.
Hence, if your body have learnt something, you will be able to utilise it. (i.e. Ura gyaku). Stances, movements,
attacks, blocks and locking techniques connect into non-stop sequence. It is difficult to say exactly where one
technique stops and another starts. In fact, this connection is like water: one technique flows into another until
the full stop.
Each technique has a special timing. Some are very fast, some are slower. All of they have limits on distance and
opponent’s position. If these details change during the technique application in such way, that continuing the
technique is impossible and alternative more suitable one should be applied. The most important is not to stop in
the middle. If you have started to do something in randori you need to bring it to the end or retreat.
Randori is based on experience. Unless you train your abilities of applying techniques, it is very hard to do
something serious. The more experience you have, more effective and versatile your way in randori is.