"In order to beat someone now, it is best for those who are strong to use that strength to overcome the other person's strength. However, with that method, if you encounter an opponent who is much stronger than you are, you will naturally lose. So, even if you lose for a while, the correct practice of randori is to learn to slip dexterously away from your opponent, adapt to his strength, cause him to lose his balance while stepping back, and then take advantage of that opportunity to perform a waza [technique]. If you do this kind of training for a while you will be twisted by the arm and held down, or pushed down by your opponent. But if you do not frequently engage in this kind of training you will never learn how to beat a stronger opponent." -- From Mind Over Muscle: Writings from the founder of JudoThe person who wants to win at all costs (now!) is not going to learn much, if anything at all. The best that (s)he can hope to do is validate what has been developed previously: Does it work, now?
Beginners usually do one of two things when they first start randori:
- Fight like it's a life or death battle
- Only make a half-hearted attempt
To go further requires an attitude that we value learning over winning (at least in the short-term), and to remain positive and not be discouraged by "loss of face" when "defeated".
Achieving this balance is not necessarily natural, obvious or straightforward. Choosing to treat randori as a game -- serious, but also fun -- can help. If you can learn to notice what works against you, already you are learning something - and profiting from the experience.