This point or question is often raised in a variety of threads. I thought we could debate the subject?
Randori or free exercise should be practiced with the mind set of training all aspects of judo from ones weakest points to ones tokui waza. The vital philosophy of randori is there is no scoring so no one wins or losses, its pure practice and a time where new waza can be tried without the ego being harmed by loss. This is the theory, in practice I think we all understand the use of randori today is a full all and out fight as seen in shiai but without a referee.
Shiai. Shiai cannot be stressed enough as a key and vital element of judo. It can also not be stressed enough that shiai is not the whole subject of judo but one of its tiniest parts. Shaia is where we take our practice and put that theory to the test. Not only is ones technique tested in shiai its the place where the greatest character changing opportunities are offered by the practice of kodokan judo. Ultimately in facing a partner in shiai we are facing up to our own fears, insecurities and self doubts. Its a time to test our character and providing we enter shiai with the correct mindset shiai is the fire where we forge the character that makes a judoka what he can be.
I write on the theory, the philosophy and this is by far from the reality of what actually is practiced or taken from each practice. The over use of the ego is a harmful barrier to randori. Sure we need to have an ego it is how to use, control and live with a healthy ego that is the point. Randori should have no place for false wins and losses as that is not what randori is.
The gokyo should be learned, uchikomi to practice the physical form, then nage komi to discover debana and correct application. Randori is the workshop where we try to develop all these other skills under practice. kata is a tool to learn and develop the core principles of judo be they tai sabaki, shisei, debana to kake etc. All of these subjects make one judo and all of thee subjects run in parallel. Over or under practice of any component part leads to a misbalance in ones judo and therefore tends to develop only certain parts of the character.
In randori there should never be the feeling of one has won or lost, its not the point of the practice. We need to place the ego under control and practice randori as a method of testing and improving out techniques free from the pressures that come from a shiai.
Shiai is a very demanding period. Judo can be dangerous, we can be badly hurt or badly hurt a partner, shiai is an awful lot of responsibility. WE are trying to fight in a pseudo killing fashion, the ippon in terms of nage waza, to completely render our partner unable to continue should that ippon have been used on an aggressor. Shiai in its purist form is the building block for our own character and its not the partner we are trying to control and beat its ourselves and in life it is always the self that is ones biggest challenge!