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The one question every coach must ask their students when teaching the art of randori

the art of randori

The one question every coach must ask their students when teaching the art of randori

There’s a lot to process during any randori. It’s imperative to have the right attitude, a proper understanding and clear objectives. I’ve found if you don’t have these in place from outset then a meaningful randori is going to be hard to achieve. By having this winning mind-set clear in your mind before you start then you are more likely to finish each randori having learnt more and ultimately become a better judoka.

The question coaches must ask their judoka after each randori.

I had one simple question I would try and focus on after each and every randori: what did I learn?

It’s such a simple question, but I can’t underline how important it is.

I really don’t think any judoka should let a randori session go by without asking themselves this question at least once.

It orientates everything.

By placing our goal on learning we put the focus on improvement rather than winning and this distinction is crucial to long term development.

I see loads and loads of really talented judoka getting this wrong, so I wanted to share with you this coaching resource.

The poster is a high resolution pdf template that is ready to print out. 

judo randori

download the poster

The Randori Rules poster ran as a feature in the Koka Kids Junior Judo magazine.

For your use, I have reformatted it and added it as a free coaching resource for you use within your dojo

It’s message? Aim to learn, not to win!

The poster focusses on getting the judoka experimenting, attempting, attacking and allowing attacks and above all learning.

The goal of randori should be to learn. Most people don’t set this as their goal – instead they want to beat whoever they are practising with, they aim to win when really you can no more win a randori that you can win an uchi-komi.

By focusing on winning you become reluctant to risk. The bars go up. Neither fighter attempts to attack for fear of being countered. Nothing much happens. Neither fighter learns much. Neither improves much either.

By re-focusing our goal from winning to learning it becomes easier to attack, to experiment and to progress.

Getting thrown is all part of the learning process.

Some judoka are going to find this really hard. They are not going to like being thrown by someone they consider weaker than them one bit, but give them time and make them see sense!

However you get them thinking like this doesn’t matter, it’s just important that you do it. Ask the right questions to get your judoka questioning what they’ve learnt.

download the poster