Developing your judo #11
#11: Park Your Ego In Randori
Randori is not a competition. Beginners don't know this when they first start judo and so should be instructed to relax, try throws and be prepared to do proper ukemi or breakfall. It doesn't mean that they shouldn't resist or fight back, but randori is not the time to act like a wildman in a hunting party. And it's not the time to escape a throw by avoiding a breakfall. Fighting like it's a death match is one of the biggest reasons for injuries at the club or dojo level. Many years ago, I watched in horror as my father, a newly-promoted yellow belt, broke his lower leg doing randori with another yellow belt. Both of them were too macho to do a breakfall and were thus far too tensed up to practise judo safely. If you are a higher-ranking belt, even a National Team member, save your amazing escapes for competition.
Most injuries occur during training. Is it worth the injury just to avoid a bruised ego? Park your ego at the door when you're training. Randori is the time to work on perfecting your
techniques. If your throw doesn't work, or even if you are countered, it doesn't matter. You've already learned something just by trying the technique. I've seen many high-calibre judoka being bounced around in randori, and then become a completely different opponent in competition. Don't let your ego prevent you from getting ahead.
By: Rainer Fischer (Canadian Olympian)