Toshu randori is now infrequently practiced in its competitive form and has been largely replaced by tanto randori, in which one competitor is armed with a mock knife, which is exchanged after a one and a half or two-minute half. Points can be scored either with a successful strike with the knife, or by the application of aikido techniques.
Now, I guess here is where I'm suppposed to pat them on the back for training against a "noncompliant" attacker and dancing and shuffling around or whatever. Maybe this could be confused for real timing, energy and motion. But it's all contrived. Who is ever going to approach you, show their blade, reveal their intent and just come walking up doing stiff-armed trusts? And if they did, why wouldn't you just run? If you don't, I hope you're fighting a robot with no elbows and a deactivate button on his wrist.
This competition involves free fighting between two opponents for two rounds of two minutes each. One competitor has a rubber knife, the tanto, for the first round.
The competitor with the red belt starts the first round as the attacker, armed with a rubber knife. They begin at the center of the mat, 4 meters apart.
The attacker can score by striking the defender anywhere between the belt and the shoulder line, in front or back, provided that the attack begins from the hip line, is made with a thrusting movement after both feet have moved forward, and ends with the attacking arm fully extended and the knife in the horizontal position.
The defender can score with any skillful aikido technique. One point is awarded for avoiding attack with a correct basic technique, or if the attacker is thrown out of the area while the defender has remained in the area throughout the action.
A half-point is awarded if the defender makes a successful sacrifice technique or breaks the opponents balance and has control with an aikido lock without putting the attacker is not put on the ground.
If either competitor scores a point, the knife changes hands and they reverse roles. After the first two-minute round, the second round begins immediately with the white-belted competitor as the attacker.
The match ends immediately if a competitor scores a total of two points. After two rounds, the competitor with higher score wins. If the score is tied after two rounds, a two-minute extension period takes place. And, if the extension period doesn't decide the contest, the judges decide the winner, based on skill and technique.