Competition

Competitions take the form of tanto or toshu randori, and also enbu in which pairs (tori and uke) are judged on their kata. Toshu randori is barehanded, and both aikidoka are expected to perform techniques on one another and attempt to resist and counter each other’s techniques. The appearance of this form is heavily influenced by judo randori with a few changes designed to enhance the use of aikido technique (for example, one is not allowed to grasp the opponent’s keikogi).

In tanto randori, there is a designated attacker (tanto) and a designated defender (toshu). The attacker attempts to stab the defender with a training knife (usually rubber or stuffed) while the defender attempts, with any of seventeen basic aikido techniques, to throw or perform joint-locks on the attacker. Tanto is expected to resist or counter with the first five techniques. In competition, the roles switch, with competitors having the same amount of time with and without the knife. In both these forms of randori, the traditional separation between the performer of technique (tori) and the receiver of technique (uke) no longer exists as either of the participants may throw their opponent.

Scoring

Credits

  • Tanto tsukiari – 1 point – Awarded for a successful tanto strike. For the strike to count, the tanto must land on the upper half of the torso. The arm must be extended, and the attacker must be moving forward, finished with good balance. Glancing hits do not count. Obviously, this does not apply to toshu randori.
  • Yuko – 1 point – Awarded for a balance break, or for making your opponent retreat out of the designated area.
  • Wasa-ari – 2 points – Awarded for a full throw or lock, but losing good posture and balance.
  • Ippon – 4 points – Awarded for a full throw or lock, keeping good posture and balance.

Penalties

  • Shido – 1/2 point – Awarded to the opponent when a competitor commits minor violation. Shido are only counted in pairs.
    • Dogi-mochi shido – Grabbing hold of the gi.
    • Taisabaki shido – Failure to dodge properly, e.g. by swatting the knife away instead of moving out of its path.
    • Tanto shido – Failure to mind the knife: tanto may receive a tanto shido if he or she drops or loses control of the knife; toshu may receive a tanto shido if he or she allows the tanto to be pressed against their body for three seconds.
  • Chui – 1 point – Awarded to the opponent when a competitor commits a major violation. In American tournaments, 2 chui end the match.

View Aikido competition clips on Youtube.

Aikido World Championships London 2011: Men’s Randori Final

Aikido World Championships London 2011: Women’s Randori Final

Aikido World Championships London 2011: Embu, Randori No Kata