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CarrieP
11-20-2008, 11:15 AM
Where I live in Michigan, the winter season has descended upon us in full swing.

With the chances for falls increasing due to slippery and icy conditions, I was starting to think about how to take/use ukemi off the mat.

At least once every season, I lose my footing and have a near miss with the ground (alas, I don't fly).

Does anyone have any experience/suggestions/stories about experiences with ukemi off the mat? Yours or others? Are there things that need to be done differently/more gingerly/with more force, etc?

Unfortunately, last time I fell I utterly failed in my ability to take ukemi. I didn't get hurt, but I think this was due more to my surprise that I was on the ground than anything I consiously did with my body (had been training for about 6 mos at the time).

Eva Antonia
11-20-2008, 11:34 AM
Dear Carolyn,

this summer I had the "opportunity" to take a mix of yoko and ushiro ukemi with my bike, when I was cycling on a slippery road and there was
a) a car just making an abrupt curve to park where I was and
b) a lorry just opened its back door (a horizontal trap; the guy just let it fall down in outside direction) to unload whatever merchandise.

I tried to get out of the way of both; swerving+braking+slippery road = loss of balance, and I found myself lying on the pavement, bike between the legs, arms slapping the ground and NOTHING hurt at all.

I'm sure I'd break my arms and legs if I tried to do that stunt consciously, but in that situation it just worked alone.

But I don't think you'd have to train off the mat in order to get this reaction; I suppose if you just do lots and lots of ukemi on the mat it would come automatically.

If you try to do ukemi on hard underground, you'd be tempted to be more hesitant because you are afraid of the impact. I tried once just to see if it works, I bent forward too gingerly and fell on my head. But after that bicycle experience I tried again with normal speed just to see if it REALLY works (without bicycle), and then it worked. But then I thought it was not necessary to insist more on this and just let it be.

So just assume if your ukemis are fine in the dojo when you ar thrown without being forewarned, then they should be fine outside also.

Best regards,

Eva

lbb
11-20-2008, 12:59 PM
In my experience, winter slips and falls usually happen to fast to think about, "Gee, how am I gonna take this ukemi?" But aikido is like that sometimes too. My ukemi ain't nothin' to write home about, but it is at the point where I don't have to constantly think, "Hmm, how am I gonna get to the ground without breaking?" I have had a couple of occasions where things were moving fast and I did too-fast-for-thought ukemi, which is a really rewarding experience: finding myself on the mat, having gotten there really fast, and having done it correctly and safely, makes me think I have a fairly good chance of doing the same if I slip on the ice. So I would agree with Eva, you can train for this kind of reaction on the mat.

Bob Blackburn
11-20-2008, 01:46 PM
The more you practice on the mat, the more you body will take over during a fall.

DonMagee
11-20-2008, 02:16 PM
I've had judo break falls safe me a few times during the winter months. In judo you only have time to think 'Oh Shit!', tuck your chin and exhale.

Those are the parts that matter the most anyways.

CarrieP
11-20-2008, 02:34 PM
Thanks, all, for the responses so far.

Sam Turnage
11-20-2008, 02:37 PM
Well…. Shortly after my son started in Aikido at 5 years old, he is now 6, my wife and I had just finished talking about whether or not he mite be to young or if he is really learning anything in aikido. We have a pine floor in the house and my wife had just moped it and it was very slippery and my son who was running in the house with socks on came by and did a perfect looking back fall.:)

Jon Shickel
11-20-2008, 04:36 PM
We had a member who was waiting for a ride in a parking lot when a car backed into her from behind. It knocked her forward and she rolled out of it. She was uninjured except a few scratches on her arms.

Janet Rosen
11-20-2008, 06:07 PM
Left my orthopedist's office a few yrs ago, downcast about my knee and what I thought might be the end of my aikido training, decided to walk home instead of use the bus, as an attitude adjustment. It had drizzled and I slipped on one of those metal sidewalk doors some businesses have. My feet flew up in front of me, my body twisted to one sideso that my arm, lats and hip took the fall, and I rolled sideways and up onto my feet and kept walking - all to fast to have thought about it.

jennifer paige smith
11-20-2008, 06:35 PM
In judo you only have time to think 'Oh Shit!', .

Hey, that's the part I'm good at, too!

Walter Martindale
11-21-2008, 03:05 AM
(snip)
In judo you only have time to think 'Oh Shit!', tuck your chin and exhale.

(snip)

Depending on who you're practicing with you may be looking up from the floor before you realise the guy's attacking. Thousands of ukemi and his skill made safe landings possible (it was at Kodokan, I was an ikkyu, he was the smallest guy on the Japanese national team - how did I get to the floor so fast? What happened? - turned out he was using seioi nage all the time - it took about 5 minutes of repeated thumps to get my nervous system to realise he was attacking in time to move before the conscious brain realised it)

Have fallen off bikes and rolled out of it. Have been running for a bus, tripped, rolled, got up and kept running. Have run for a phone, snagged my foot on a tree root, rolled, got up, kept running before I realised what happened.

slipping on ice is another story - sometimes it's even faster than that national team fellow...
W

Harm-ony
11-21-2008, 07:00 AM
Since I started practicing Aikido in 1994, Our dojo have no matt (Tatami), so we must ukemi on the floor directly.
That's why Sakamoto Sensei and Maeda Sensei called our dojo as Hell Dojo
Because there were no Tatami, we must practice correctly and learn 'sensing'. :)
We have simple tatami at mid of 2007. However, because there is tatami, many people falls incorrectly. because they don't worry about getting injured??? :D

Peace and Love, :ai:

Nathan Wallace
11-21-2008, 09:45 AM
try not to smack after the fall. on the mat its one thing on ice and snow its something different

DonMagee
11-21-2008, 01:18 PM
try not to smack after the fall. on the mat its one thing on ice and snow its something different

I do not smack the mat anymore in the gym. I made a decision awhile ago that if you are going to throw me in randori then I'm going to take you with me. So now I simply hold on. It changes the dynamics of the fight and in many cases the throws are not as hard.

Nathan Wallace
11-21-2008, 10:40 PM
I can't say that you should always 'hold on' but i don't think thats what you mean. I think your saying you stay in tune and on the deffensive/offensive right down to the ground; and back up again. Either way the commitment to improve your training is always a good thing.

wideawakedreamer
11-21-2008, 11:19 PM
try not to smack after the fall. on the mat its one thing on ice and snow its something different

I remember the first time I participated in a demonstration. We were near the edge of the mat when the nage threw me (I think it was a shihonage). I smacked my hand hard on the concrete floor next to the edge. OUCH!

Luc X Saroufim
11-22-2008, 09:46 AM
as i was walking down the stairs to my basement, i *started* to slip, and my body immediately went to a sitting down motion, as if to begin a backwards fall or roll.

nothing dramatic, but the muscle memory was a pleasant surprise :)

gdandscompserv
11-22-2008, 10:38 AM
I remember the first time I participated in a demonstration. We were near the edge of the mat when the nage threw me (I think it was a shihonage). I smacked my hand hard on the concrete floor next to the edge. OUCH!
lol. Been there and done that!

DonMagee
11-22-2008, 12:33 PM
I can't say that you should always 'hold on' but i don't think thats what you mean. I think your saying you stay in tune and on the deffensive/offensive right down to the ground; and back up again. Either way the commitment to improve your training is always a good thing.

I think you put that better then I did. But that is exactly what I mean.

Kevin Leavitt
11-22-2008, 01:13 PM
I do not smack the mat anymore in the gym. I made a decision awhile ago that if you are going to throw me in randori then I'm going to take you with me. So now I simply hold on. It changes the dynamics of the fight and in many cases the throws are not as hard.

I do the same thing. Slows down the fall. I think it offers a realistic/tactical approach to ukemi as well. It encourages nage to have good posture too.

In Judo, I struggle with this, because holding on can be detrimental to you and give Ippon to your opponent. But that is the strategy of the judo game.

I think holding on is the way to go most of the time. Once I have a grip on you, I am taking you with me, so you better have good awareness and posture.

gdandscompserv
11-22-2008, 01:57 PM
I do the same thing. Slows down the fall. I think it offers a realistic/tactical approach to ukemi as well. It encourages nage to have good posture too.

In Judo, I struggle with this, because holding on can be detrimental to you and give Ippon to your opponent. But that is the strategy of the judo game.

I think holding on is the way to go most of the time. Once I have a grip on you, I am taking you with me, so you better have good awareness and posture.
My sensei would get upset if we didn't hang on.

C. David Henderson
11-23-2008, 09:34 AM
Sometimes, oddly enough, "mountain-bike" ukemi I've done involved keeping contact with the bike. Sometimes it works; others...well not the time my feet stayed clipped into the pedals and I rolled twice. Still, only some bruises and a ripped fingernail.

When this kind of thing happens, it does call on what one really knows about falling, in one's body. Falling thousands of time on the mat really and truly changes the way you react, without thinking,off the mat. I don't know that anything special needs to be trained, other than just taking ukemi.

FWIW

DH

Nathan Wallace
11-23-2008, 04:44 PM
I don't know that anything special needs to be trained, other than just taking ukemi.

FWIW

DH

taking ukemi right you mean. :p

C. David Henderson
11-23-2008, 11:03 PM
More, "in the right direction" from my perspective.

CarrieP
11-24-2008, 07:36 AM
Funny enough, we wound up talking about this in class this past weekend, through no prompting of my own.

Can't say I know enough about ukemi to speak knowledgably about "slapping," however it does seem to dissipate some of the energy of falling if done correctly.

Jon Shickel
11-24-2008, 07:58 AM
I remember the first time I participated in a demonstration. We were near the edge of the mat when the nage threw me (I think it was a shihonage). I smacked my hand hard on the concrete floor next to the edge. OUCH!

In techniques where you "spin out" around tori who stays in center, I've gotten in habit of a different slap out. I'll pull my fist up to my shoulder with my bicep like I was hitting someone's face right by my shoulder and back fist the ground like that. Even when you really "loose your feet", spin out fast, and go down near horizontal it dissipates a lot of force. I like it because it keeps your hand near your head and helps you protect it and roll if needed. But, the kicker is, you back fist the ground with your knuckles. On a mat it works great. But I fear I'm going to fall and do it on black top one day and break a knuckle. Ouch :eek:

CarrieP
01-05-2009, 12:25 PM
I was hoping I wouldn't have to make an update to this thread this year, but was expecting that I would probably have to.

During the week of Christmas, as we were driving to a friends' holiday party, I did something very stupid which caused me to slip on ice.

While getting gas at the gas station, I tried to step over the fuel line to get from the back of my car to the front of the car. The terrain was very icy, and as I stepped over, I completely lost traction with the other foot.

Before I knew it, I was on the ground, my hands in front of me. I came down on the flat part of my knee, right above the shin and below the kneecap. It certainly hurt like hell for a few days but no permanent injuries. I didn't even bruise all that much, oddly enough.

The more I think about it the more I think I was just lucky, but it was nice to think that maybe, just maybe, some of my training is actually sinking in. Clearly not the martial aspect, or else I'd never done something so stupid that was pretty much guaranteed to get me injured. Ah well.

Happy New Year everybody!

mwible
01-06-2009, 09:50 AM
Once, a while ago after i had been studying about 2 years, i was helping unload the groceries from the back of my mom's Dodge Durango (its a heavey car, haha) and my head is probably about 1/2 a foot from the top of the hatch, and all of a sudden my little brother pulls it down to shut it; onto my head. So i crumple to the ground the second i feel the pressure on my head and just land with perfect ukemi, leg under me, and hands spread out to my sides. And my body had done this subconsiously, haha, i just kind of reacted, and i remember looking up from the ground wondering what the heck happened:p
So i guess what im saying is just that if you DO fall, you arent going to know its about to happen, but i guess just the main thing is DONT freak out while your falling, its usually easier just to fall and get back up than to try and stop your fall with an extended hand and break a wrist.
And no, its not much different; but if you are worried about it, why not try practicing falling and rolling on concrete or blacktop?

rei,
-morgan

Tony Wagstaffe
01-06-2009, 10:14 AM
Yaaaaaagh!! .......Straight over someones car bonnet (from my old mountain bike) perfect roll out!! ...... wouldn't want to repeat it!! :crazy: :freaky: :hypno:

Should have seen their faces!!

Still felt like a pratt though........

Tony

dps
01-07-2009, 09:06 AM
Yesterday while leaving a job site my right foot slipped on the icy front porch and I fell backward, landed on my back and slapped the concrete porch with both hands. No injuries except I was holding a four foot aluminum step ladder in my right hand. iI did not let go of the ladder when I slapped the concrete and smashed my fingers in the ladder.

David

Tony Wagstaffe
01-07-2009, 09:56 AM
Yesterday while leaving a job site my right foot slipped on the icy front porch and I fell backward, landed on my back and slapped the concrete porch with both hands. No injuries except I was holding a four foot aluminum step ladder in my right hand. iI did not let go of the ladder when I slapped the concrete and smashed my fingers in the ladder.

David

Did ya feel a pratt though?

ha ha....... sorry just conjoured up slapstick funny in my mind......:D

Just brought back memories of when I used to work as an electrician....... At the top of an ally step ladder drilling a large hole with an extension masonry core drill through 2' thick wall and the bloody thing jammed and and the drill kept turning with me on the end of it ..... kote gaeshi by heavy duty power drill......!!

Step ladder went one way me the other...... wasn't injured though thankfully

Tony

C. David Henderson
01-07-2009, 10:08 AM
Yaaaaaagh!! .......Straight over someones car bonnet (from my old mountain bike) perfect roll out!! ...... wouldn't want to repeat it!! :crazy: :freaky: :hypno:

Should have seen their faces!!

Still felt like a pratt though........

Tony

Once I was hit while riding when a car made a right turn into my path (guess it would have had to be a left in the UK....)

I flipped over the hood of the car. I remember seeing my bike going through the air and made a grab for it. Then I found myself having slid off the front of the car. Somehow I'd caught the bike.

Driver got out, and shaking, asked me if I was ok. Shaking, I said I thought so. Wasn't until about an hour later that I began to feel the bruises.

Wouldn't want to repeat that either.:D

graham butt
01-07-2009, 01:29 PM
i had someone jump onto me from behind once, they didn't get a hold of me and i was able to roll, turn and face them... It was just a little kid acting 'hard' in front of his friend though. I was more annoyed that i broke my watch, not any watch my fake rolex one that cost me 1 dollar. Unbelievable so it was, since then i've never work a watch... that was four years ago.

-G-

Jayd H.
01-08-2009, 09:33 PM
Have any of you guys heard of parkour (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6a6YSRGzcA&feature=related)? Rolling on concrete is very common, and practitioners train long to perfect their rolling.

I recently started and was shocked to see how poor my rolls really were after my five years of aikido. Mats are just way too forgiving; to really have a useful roll, I think it's essential to practice on hard surfaces.

(The commercial in that video features one of the founders of parkour, David Belle.)

dps
01-09-2009, 07:50 AM
Did ya feel a pratt though?

ha ha....... sorry just conjoured up slapstick funny in my mind......:D

Tony

More like Curly of the three stooges.

David

Tony Wagstaffe
01-09-2009, 09:25 AM
I do the same thing. Slows down the fall. I think it offers a realistic/tactical approach to ukemi as well. It encourages nage to have good posture too.

In Judo, I struggle with this, because holding on can be detrimental to you and give Ippon to your opponent. But that is the strategy of the judo game.

I think holding on is the way to go most of the time. Once I have a grip on you, I am taking you with me, so you better have good awareness and posture.

You ol' cheater you......:D ;)

Tony

Tony Wagstaffe
01-09-2009, 09:27 AM
More like Curly of the three stooges.

David

I AM Curly.....:D ;)

Tony

Tony Wagstaffe
01-09-2009, 09:53 AM
Have any of you guys heard of parkour (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6a6YSRGzcA&feature=related)? Rolling on concrete is very common, and practitioners train long to perfect their rolling.

I recently started and was shocked to see how poor my rolls really were after my five years of aikido. Mats are just way too forgiving; to really have a useful roll, I think it's essential to practice on hard surfaces.

(The commercial in that video features one of the founders of parkour, David Belle.)

When I first started my own club in 1979 ...... Tatami were just too expensive to buy and I found that I had to improve/soften my ukemi somewhat..... Hand/leg slaps definitely out of the question!!....... We did manage to find some neutral colour industrial carpet about 1/2" thick which did take out a bit of the sting, but loads of mat burns .....
Later on at my own cost that 'orrible squeaky jigsaw type stuff made out of, I think, Polystyrene type material? A bit more forgiving......
But as you say try a concrete floor for a while......
One of my tests for sankyu was to make sure that all were at least capable of performing ukemi on a hard surface....
Quite often during summer time (when dry) to get the class outside on the green is good for a reality check.....
Green dogi's........ made sure that they were laudered for next class!! :rolleyes: ;) :)

Tony

CarrieP
01-12-2009, 03:49 PM
Parkour is definitely very cool, and I've seen it in a couple places, like the Bond film Casiony Royale, but nothing I'd get into anytime soon. But very cool.

Kevin Leavitt
01-12-2009, 05:54 PM
My son loves parcour. I pointed out to him that his Judo practice was good training for parcour, it motivated him to work harder!

lbb
01-12-2009, 07:56 PM
The parkour sequence from Casino Royale (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56mZAPBgjAY). If you havne't seen the movie, it's worth a view.