Exploring randori in martial arts training, but first our definition and focus on the difference between sparring and randori as the two are often interchangeable in many martial arts circles.
Sparring is where two training partners compete against each other as both attacker and defender. Often timed or tagged for points that ideas is to just go at it.
Randori is the cultivation of martial arts technique with a defined attacker and defender using the idea of just going at it.
The aim of randori is to build a bridge between martial arts movement in training and martial arts movement in application, along with the unification of both the mind and body.
An example in practice.
First the level of the participants is always taken into account- overloading them, or having it devolve into sparring goes against what is trying the be achieved.
At a beginning level (kyu) the initial attack is defined- say a single punch or a single kick. At any time, when ready, uke punches or kicks, and tori responds with waza- a martial arts technique as appropriate to the distance, timing, and rhythm of the attack.
The goal is the *receive* the attack with mushin- without thinking, or any plan of what to do. Forget the mind, let the movement of the body take over, and let the transmission of the martial arts move you.
As skill is gained in the martial arts, a bit more advanced, it might be two attacks, or faster attacks.
More skill, at the black belt (dan) level it is any type of attack at any speed.
One attack, one response.