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Dave Gallagher
04-19-2011, 09:24 PM
After a long layoff due to a knee injury and some work hours issues I am ready to return to training. During this time off I seem to have developed a fear of Ukemi.I have not been able to get up the nerve to even attempt a simple forward roll.
Has anyone else ever had this happen or even heard of it before?

seank
04-19-2011, 09:50 PM
Absolutely... trained with my wife on the weekend after her five year layoff of Aikido (children, work commitments, etc.) and I found that almost every time I tried to throw her she resisted with every ounce of strength rather than trying to roll.

Talking to her about the training I think it came down to a lack of confidence in her ability to receive - not unreasonable given the time off the mat.

I wouldn't discount you subconciously wanting to protect your knee injury either. I've found my ukemi being askew post injury as you tend to favour the uninjured limb.

I'd give it some time, work up to it slowly and try to regain your confidence. I believe ukemi is like learning to ride a bike, it will come back of its own accord but you shouldn't expect to ride a pelaton after time off ;)

Dave Gallagher
04-19-2011, 09:56 PM
Sean, thanks for the post. Your wife's case sounds exactly like mine. I think you are right, I'll just give it some time. (by the way, Sean Kelleher is a fine name.)

Janet Rosen
04-19-2011, 10:44 PM
Many of us who return to training after injury have fears to deal with as part of it.
Most of us with time and patience come back just fine.
Sometimes there may be residual. Many years after my knee injury and surgery, I still have nights when I seem incapable of doing forward rolls on one side - simply "balk" like a horse at a jump and cannot for the life of me do it so have to turn them into back falls.
But I believe I'm a weird outlier on that one.... just be patient with yourself.

Michael Varin
04-20-2011, 02:41 AM
Dave,

I have definitely been there before. Three times actually.

I am going to recommend a different course of action. Assuming your body is sound... This is a mental barrier.

You need to just do it.

Go out there do some forward and backward rolls on your own, then find the guy you feel most comfortable being thrown by and take a fall for every throw from whatever set up feels best to you.

These are skills that you have already learned. There is no need to prolong this process if you are physically capable of doing them.

"Aikido can be summed up like this: True victory is self-victory; let that day arrive quickly! "True victory" means unflinching courage; "self-victory" symbolizes unflagging effort; and "let that day arrive quickly" represents the glorious moment of triumph in the here and now." -- Morihei Ueshiba

Tony Wagstaffe
04-20-2011, 04:04 AM
Mental block?

I haven'y done proper ukemi in 4 years, went out into the snow this last winter with the kids and was doing ukemi all over the place in the field near by, great fun!! The kids think I'm a right nanna, but I didn't give a toss.....
Just go for it Dave!! you'll be alright :D

Dave Gallagher
04-20-2011, 06:50 AM
Janet Rosen's concept of a horse balking at the jump is exactly how I would describe the feeling. I get right to the point of going and back away. I have an odd feeling that if I could just get the first one out of the way I would be fine.

Diana Frese
04-20-2011, 07:05 AM
How are you doing the rolls solo to warm up? Are you starting from standing and then leaning forward with your arm curved for a forward roll? Or can you crouch and roll forward from close to the ground, or roll from kneeling? Please let me know what you have tried and what works.... I want to get back in practice too!

Or are you taking nage's lead to roll, rather than warming up with solo rolls?

Dave Gallagher
04-20-2011, 07:08 AM
I can't even do solo rolls. I have stayed away from the dojo because of this.

Diana Frese
04-20-2011, 07:10 AM
Tony, what is a right nanna? Did it mean the kids thought you had lost your mind?

I feel so stupid, with all the snow we had this winter, I could have gotten back into ukemi!

Diana Frese
04-20-2011, 07:19 AM
Dear Dave,
I was posting and missed your answer. Your problem sounds exactly like mine, except I have an additional back problem, but I think I can try careful rolls.

Depending on your knee, you may be able to do the rolls from bending lower by calculating which knee to land on, in the case of a forward roll. I taught at a Y, so in my students' case it was the unfamiliarity. I gave the rolls nicknames, like baby rolls and egg rolls to get the concept of roundness to them, to get them to loosen up with familiar images.

But with a knee injury you need to consider the landing. Rolling on only one side is a start, then you can work into rolling on the "off " side...

Maybe someone will post with more of the mechanics of this, it's a lotta years ago for me. But I will try it myself and let you know.
thanks for sharing and good luck.

phitruong
04-20-2011, 07:28 AM
don't think of ukemi. at home, find some open spot on the floor or go out in the grass. sit flat on the ground/floor. roll back and forth like a monkey for awhile. don't even get higher than sit on the floor. do that for a week. then the next week, go up to knee or sitting squat with your butt close to the ground. then increase the height a hand span every week. soon, you will be rolling around like a monkey in no time.

sometimes i roll around my living room, around the funiture, over the funitures, kids, and so on as a game. i think i got infected by those crazy systema buggers.

lbb
04-20-2011, 07:53 AM
"Just do it" is sometimes the right medicine, but not here, I think -- not with a technique that you're apprehensive about and that has good potential for injury if done incorrectly. What you want is a progression such as Phi describes -- progression, and patience.

I think the "monkey rolling" is particularly helpful. The way that I've done this is to sit with your legs in front of you. Your legs are bent, with your knees falling to the outside, but they're active -- they're not just dead weight. Your feet are aligned with your center line, more or less, the outside edges of your feet are touching the floor, and one foot is closer to you than the other (pretty much one behind the other). Keep your arms in and your hands close -- as if you were standing in hanmi, if that helps; if not, just keep them close and quiet.

Think about the shape described by your legs and hips as a circle. Now, starting with the foot that is closest to you, gently push off with that foot and roll around the circle -- if it's your right foot, roll from your right hip across to the left hip, down the left leg, back across to the right and back up. You should be moving sort of like a weeble in circles across the floor. Change direction, go back and forth. This gets some of the most important "rolling muscles" used to doing what they need to.

When that exercise is comfortable, start the same way, but instead of rolling around on the circle of your legs, roll up onto your back a little ways. Push off with the right foot, roll up the right hip, but now instead of rolling over to the left hip, roll up onto your back a little ways as if you were drawing a line to your left shoulder. Feel the diagonal across your back. Only go as far as you feel comfortable with. Eventually, you'll find yourself naturally rolling all the way over that left shoulder...but don't rush it. Patience, progression. There's no point in pushing limits if you're already apprehensive -- in that state, by definition, your limits have already been pushed. It's time to try another tactic.

Diana Frese
04-20-2011, 07:58 AM
Now that rang a bell. Thanks Phi. By the way, in Asian Zodiac, I'm the year of the monkey, but 1944 so old I forgot about ukemi from the ground up so thanks for reminding me.

And finally no snow on the ground and the grass is growing fine now.

Hope this "from the ground up" method works for Dave too!

Diana Frese
04-20-2011, 08:06 AM
Great! Thanks, Mary, I was posting and didn't see your post until afterwards. This will mean so much to me to be able to roll again after so many years. I really appreciate the step by step approach with all the detail and description. I really did have a mental block, but also couldn't remember the exercise from so many years ago in judo class at Cornell. Also, yours gives a transition from the circular side to side and around and then to back roll....

I'm so excited I'm answering right away, but I know the details are in there, I just skimmed the post with a real Eureka! feeling ...

If you ever were a girl scout, this was a giant good deed you just did.

Tony Wagstaffe
04-20-2011, 08:53 AM
Tony, what is a right nanna? Did it mean the kids thought you had lost your mind?

I feel so stupid, with all the snow we had this winter, I could have gotten back into ukemi!

You have it Dianne :D nanna being short for banana brains.....
Nice and soft, slipping and sliding all over the place. I actually did a real ukemi unexpectedly when I went legs right up in the air on some ice, just like a banana type backward fall, of course everyone was in stitches!!
Bear it in mind that once you have done thousands upon thousands of ukemi, it's a bit like riding a bike, you might get a bit rusty but you never forget.....;)

Tony Wagstaffe
04-20-2011, 08:57 AM
Now that rang a bell. Thanks Phi. By the way, in Asian Zodiac, I'm the year of the monkey, but 1944 so old I forgot about ukemi from the ground up so thanks for reminding me.

And finally no snow on the ground and the grass is growing fine now.

Hope this "from the ground up" method works for Dave too!

You might get away with it on the grass, only trouble is makes your clothes go green, so make sure you wear some old clothes and you'll be fine, oh yeah just clear any stones or hard bits that may be lurking there.....

sakumeikan
04-20-2011, 09:59 AM
Tony, what is a right nanna? Did it mean the kids thought you had lost your mind?

I feel so stupid, with all the snow we had this winter, I could have gotten back into ukemi!

Dear Diana,
A right nanna-roughly translated means someone who is a bit stupid , a bit dull, an idiot in .Not literally stupid , but acts a bit stupid.Sometimes also called a bit of a berk.Berk meaning the same.

Berk, plonker, nanna , numbskull, nutter are all phrases which can be used under certain circumstance to express the view that someone is a bit stupid in actions.In Tonys example his kids thought him a bet daft because he kept falling in the snow.In their eyes he was a bit of a nanna.
Cheers, Joe.

Walter Martindale
04-20-2011, 10:01 AM
You might get away with it on the grass, only trouble is makes your clothes go green, so make sure you wear some old clothes and you'll be fine, oh yeah just clear any stones or hard bits that may be lurking there.....

and check for evidence of un-cleaned-up-after canines...:yuck:

lbb
04-20-2011, 10:17 AM
Yeesh, how could I forget. In the previously-described "monkey rolling", the arms do get involved -- but I find it more helpful to not think too much about trying to do something with them, at least at first. As you start rolling around in a circle, they will naturally slap as you roll up on one side, and then slap on the other side as you roll over. If you find that they are getting too spread out, or that you're reaching for the floor, just bring 'em back to center and start again.

Practicing not reaching also helps when you end up doing the roll all the way over -- your arms will be in the right place, in the center, to give you the last push to a kneeling position.

Tony Wagstaffe
04-20-2011, 10:44 AM
don't think of ukemi. at home, find some open spot on the floor or go out in the grass. sit flat on the ground/floor. roll back and forth like a monkey for awhile. don't even get higher than sit on the floor. do that for a week. then the next week, go up to knee or sitting squat with your butt close to the ground. then increase the height a hand span every week. soon, you will be rolling around like a monkey in no time.

sometimes i roll around my living room, around the funiture, over the funitures, kids, and so on as a game. i think i got infected by those crazy systema buggers.

My wife Catherine keeps saying what are you doing you stupid old fool, can't you do that somewhere else?.....:D
I keep doing it as I have a crook back from taking too much of a hammering in the past, it helps to stop it seizing up.....

Dan Rubin
04-20-2011, 11:00 AM
Mary's exercise is demonstrated in the first five seconds of this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMpBpM38TMg

The rest of the video might be helpful, too.

Mark Freeman
04-20-2011, 11:11 AM
Dear Diana,
A right nanna-roughly translated means someone who is a bit stupid , a bit dull, an idiot in .Not literally stupid , but acts a bit stupid.Sometimes also called a bit of a berk.Berk meaning the same.
Berk, plonker, nanna , numbskull, nutter are all phrases which can be used under certain circumstance to express the view that someone is a bit stupid in actions.In Tonys example his kids thought him a bet daft because he kept falling in the snow.In their eyes he was a bit of a nanna.
Cheers, Joe.

Hi Joe

Actually, 'Berk' is term that is commonly used in this way in the UK, however it is being misused. It is a shortened bit of cockney rhyming slang that is derived from The Berkley Hunt. I'll leave you all to do the rhyming. So not a good phrase to use, but most people remain completely unaware of what they are calling someone. Tony may be a bit of a nanna, but I wouldn't call him a berk unless I had good reason to;)

This really belongs in the language thread

regards

Mark

Janet Rosen
04-20-2011, 11:34 AM
The shoulder>shoulder>hip>hip rolling Mary describes is how I teach older newbies to be comfortable on the floor, its a good approach.

Mark Mueller
04-20-2011, 12:43 PM
mary, janet,

Either of you guys willing to post a video of this?

Mark

Tony Wagstaffe
04-20-2011, 12:54 PM
and check for evidence of un-cleaned-up-after canines...:yuck:

yup yup....

Tony Wagstaffe
04-20-2011, 12:58 PM
Hi Joe

Actually, 'Berk' is term that is commonly used in this way in the UK, however it is being misused. It is a shortened bit of cockney rhyming slang that is derived from The Berkley Hunt. I'll leave you all to do the rhyming. So not a good phrase to use, but most people remain completely unaware of what they are calling someone. Tony may be a bit of a nanna, but I wouldn't call him a berk unless I had good reason to;)

This really belongs in the language thread

regards

Mark
I'm quite used to The Berkley Hunt Mark... at least I'm useful....:D ;)

Janet Rosen
04-20-2011, 01:26 PM
mary, janet,

Either of you guys willing to post a video of this?

Mark

I'm very willing but have no video camera. Maybe I'll see if somebody can bring a smartphone or something to next Tuesday evening's class!

Oh... the link provided ealier in this very thread does indeed show it, its the very first few seconds...I tend to show a version that is a little less splayed open/a little rounder.

lbb
04-20-2011, 05:01 PM
Oh... the link provided ealier in this very thread does indeed show it, its the very first few seconds...I tend to show a version that is a little less splayed open/a little rounder.

Yes, same here -- the example in the vid is pretty short, but it looks to me like he's rolling onto a flat back. I expect that's probably not quite what is happening, but it might look like that, and that's not what you want to do, exactly. Related to what I said earlier about the legs being live and not dead, you want to maintain a tension in your core that pulls things together, and not just flop around -- and that would make the exercise appear more rounded/pulled into its center (if that makes sense).

Basia Halliop
04-20-2011, 05:16 PM
One exercise I've seen and shown to new people is from kneeling with left knee forward, put right palm on ground for extra support, reach left hand back through along ground under chest and lower left shoulder all the way to the ground until the back of the left shoulder is actually ON the ground. Then use legs to slowly push the body over. (Same with left and right reverse for the other side)

This seems to work for some people as they aren't 'falling' onto their shoulder. They're placing their shoulder firmly on the ground and continuing to roll from there.

Also some people find back rolls easier to start with (although others are the opposite...).

Michael Hackett
04-20-2011, 05:51 PM
We do the same exercise as mentioned by Janet and Mary and shown in the video. Often we'll have people start in the sitting "butterfly stretch" position - sitting on the fanny with soles of feet together and drawn in to stretch the groin - and then start the rolling. After a few rounds of that, we have them open the legs much like the video and start rolling. I've found two keys to the exercise: first, keep the arms slightly bent in a shallow arc; and lean forward at an angle to start the movement. It appears like you would roll backwards, but that doesn't work. We refer to these as "wobble rolls".

Monkey rolls for us are a good conditioning and confidence building exercise for those who can roll, but still aren't confident. We just do a series of continual rolls, starting from standing, right to left, right to left. I start someone with a series of five, five R L R L R L R L R L and then progress to maybe twenty. That will get you huffing and puffing and you will do a total of forty rolls in less than a minute.

JCT53
04-25-2011, 02:15 PM
I am not the most experianced, but I would suggest that you slowly try it and make sure the people you work with understand your problem. Hope it helps.

ramenboy
04-25-2011, 07:10 PM
Try rolling backwards a few times for a while. Almost the same body position as forward rolling. Just to get yourself used to the shoulder being on the mat.

George S. Ledyard
04-26-2011, 12:03 AM
If you are interested, a significant portion of this event will be devoted to dealing with the fear of falling. Even folks who normally don't actually think of themselves as being afraid of falling. carry a lot of tension they are unaware of. This is the source of most injuries.

Anyway, if you are interested the info ios here:
Ukemi and Connection (http://www.aikieast.com/pdf%20Files/2011%20-%20Ukemi%20&%20Connection%20-%2005-27.pdf)

- George

Amir Krause
04-27-2011, 09:07 AM
Yes, I recall having expireinced a similar very brief far of falling after the last injury I had.

Yet, prior to giving any advice, I have a few questions:
a. How long have you trained?
b. Did you roll well prior to the injury? on both sides?
c. what about simple break-falls?
d. do you believe you are currenlty fit to roll & practice?
e. did you ever teach anyone to roll from the start?

My solution was rather simple, since I did roll well before the injury and did teach it, and the only issue was a simple mental barrier of fearing the shoulder was still injured, I re-started rolling slowly, on aslightly softer mat, on the other shoulder, from mid-high and with second hand in supportive position (to release tension).
After a few rolls I could feel the level of tension reducing it did not get away for a few practices.

Good luck
Amir

Eva Antonia
04-27-2011, 11:43 PM
Hello,

I got hurt twice, once I tore my left ACL and the second time, just three weeks ago, my foot was trapped in tori's hakama and I made an uncontrolled flight into terrain with my right shoulder. I don't know what happened exactly to the shoulder (afraid to go to the doctor, thinking he could ban me from aikido), but it hurt breathtakingly.

Strangely, instead of fearing ukemi after these incidents, my body just adapted it in order not to touch the hurt parts. After the ACL thing I got an orthesis until surgery, and automatically started doing ukemi so that the leg with the orthesis was always on top and never got fall impact. After the shoulder incident I either switched to breakfalls where the shoulder did not touch the floor or to soft rolls where I pull the shoulder in and touch the floor directly with the upper back. It's not even consciously done, but it works...even if someone does a completely unexpected counterattack where the fall has to come instinctively.

There is no remedy for other things, such as sukumen irimi nage, which I just couldn't do for some time because the shoulder wouldn't allow to do the necessary turn, or ikkyo, when the partner goes a bit roughly and nails the bad shoulder to the mat (I especially dislike those whom I ask to go ahead quietly with my right shoulder, and they confuse left and right, treat my left shoulder with gentle care and then hammer the hurt one into the tatami).

So I think
1) you could try to adapt your rolls and falls to your injury,
2) if there is too much ukemi trauma, start again with rolls from kneeling position and then switch to 1).

Wish you much luck!!!

Eva

lbb
04-28-2011, 07:40 AM
Strangely, instead of fearing ukemi after these incidents, my body just adapted it in order not to touch the hurt parts.

The problem with this is that, while this adaptation may be better than landing on the hurt part, it may still not be good for you. Your shoulder is supposed to touch the mat in a roll -- not land on it with your full weight, but it does touch it briefly. Your legs aren't supposed to always end up with the same one "on top" in a backward fall. Adaptations that do ukemi differently may spare an injury, but may also lead to injury of another part of your body. I know people who have permanent injuries or disabilities and who have found non-standard ways to do ukemi that they have practiced safely for years, so yes, it can be done -- but you have to make an intelligent decision about whether the adaptation is a safe thing to do. In the case of an injury that should heal, it might be more prudent to simply not do that kind of ukemi for the time being, rather than take chances on a new injury.

hughrbeyer
04-28-2011, 09:12 AM
(I especially dislike those whom I ask to go ahead quietly with my right shoulder, and they confuse left and right, treat my left shoulder with gentle care and then hammer the hurt one into the tatami).

Duct tape.

Use it to put an "X" on the hurt shoulder and people won't forget.

Janet Rosen
04-28-2011, 10:57 AM
Your shoulder is supposed to touch the mat in a roll -- not land on it with your full weight, but it does touch it briefly. Your legs aren't supposed to always end up with the same one "on top" in a backward fall. Adaptations that do ukemi differently may spare an injury, but may also lead to injury of another part of your body..

Mary, I understand and agree w/ your basic premise as expressed in the last sentence.
But , as one who indeed does very ideosyncratic falls and rolls due to multiple joint issues, I have to ask why you think that a roll is only correct if the shoulder touches the mat? What is the problem if a person does back fallsl so the same leg is always on top?

Basia Halliop
04-28-2011, 11:56 AM
Eva Roben wrote:
(I especially dislike those whom I ask to go ahead quietly with my right shoulder, and they confuse left and right, treat my left shoulder with gentle care and then hammer the hurt one into the tatami).

Duct tape.

Use it to put an "X" on the hurt shoulder and people won't forget.

Electrical tape works pretty well too. And it comes in red too, which is an extra reminder.

I've even seen someone take white tape and write 'OUCH' with a marker on it :).

Dave Gallagher
04-28-2011, 09:10 PM
Just an update. I am beginning to come around. This is due to a PM I received from a Forum member with some very good ideas.
I expect to be back to a good level in the next week or so.
I have also discovered or re-discoverd the value of staying relaxed. It's never too late to start all over again when you have to.

Dave Gallagher
04-30-2011, 10:06 AM
Well, as luck would have it, I was working on ukemi last nite when my knee began to swell and a bit of pain set in. Seiza was a killer.
I have an appt with the doctor Friday.

Diana Frese
04-30-2011, 11:02 AM
I was just reading around in the threads, when.... oh no this sounds way too familiar.... so I signed in, success after two tries. Then I got my reading glasses off the table...

Sounds like what happened to me many many years ago. I had been sent home to Connecticut after a scary ukemi from shiho nage koshi nage or something like that. My knee had some black and maybe green and purple ... I can't remember..

(My ukemi was never that great anyway...) Then I came back after maybe a couple of weeks and some friends from the dojo were having a party. I was dancing, you know with people at some distance sixties style and knees were bending except mine swelled up maybe like a baseball...

May not be the same as yours but here's what happened. I went to Doc Meyers, one of the old timers a brown belt at the time, on Woodhaven Boulevard accessible by subway and bus. He waved the syringe which was half clear and half a darkish pink..." Hey nurse look what I got out of Daian's knee...."

Then he told me if I had waited much longer after it swelled up they would have had to take the knee cap off and scrape it.

Well, Doc Meyers was famous for a sense of humor, but with things like that you don't take chances.

Hopefully you will be okay after treatment. I was, that was the late sixties and I trained actively until the mid eighties.

Shany
04-30-2011, 11:56 AM
After a long layoff due to a knee injury and some work hours issues I am ready to return to training. During this time off I seem to have developed a fear of Ukemi.I have not been able to get up the nerve to even attempt a simple forward roll.
Has anyone else ever had this happen or even heard of it before?

can you go to swari-waza and do a forward roll slowly and safely without any damange to your knees?

lbb
05-01-2011, 08:19 PM
Mary, I understand and agree w/ your basic premise as expressed in the last sentence.
But , as one who indeed does very ideosyncratic falls and rolls due to multiple joint issues, I have to ask why you think that a roll is only correct if the shoulder touches the mat? What is the problem if a person does back fallsl so the same leg is always on top?

You tell me, Janet. With the average person's anatomy, it is a problem. If it's not a problem, then, uh...no problem? Not sure where this digression is leading...

Janet Rosen
05-01-2011, 10:07 PM
You tell me, Janet. With the average person's anatomy, it is a problem. If it's not a problem, then, uh...no problem? Not sure where this digression is leading...

You've answered by repeating that it's wrong or incorrect ukemi (for the average person) but in terms of actual body use I'm trying to understand the specific harm or damage - or is it a matter of "correct" as in traditional?
I'm not trying to criticize or stir things up. I have a decades long interest in kinesiology and body use and am asking what you think the harm is, specifically, so I can consider it.
Thank you.

lbb
05-02-2011, 07:33 AM
You've answered by repeating that it's wrong or incorrect ukemi (for the average person) but in terms of actual body use I'm trying to understand the specific harm or damage - or is it a matter of "correct" as in traditional?
I'm not trying to criticize or stir things up. I have a decades long interest in kinesiology and body use and am asking what you think the harm is, specifically, so I can consider it.
Thank you.

As someone with a decades long interest in kinesiology, have you ever seen an injured person develop a limp? Have you ever seen that limp cause yet other problems? That's what I'm talking about. It seems pretty obvious and straightforward and shouldn't call for a lot of reading-into: when you change functional mechanics in order to "work around" an injury, rather than simply giving the injury time to heal, you may very well be buying additional trouble through your impatience.

Carsten Möllering
05-03-2011, 01:42 AM
... when you change functional mechanics in order to "work around" an injury, rather than simply giving the injury time to heal, you may very well be buying additional trouble through your impatience.
To my experience in many cases this is not a question whether or not to work around an injury or a chronic problem, but a question of how to work around it.

True: Sometimes it's not possible. But very often it is. And can be a very helpfull way to get over it. This can teach a lot!

Well, there are teachers who develloped their specific aikido by working around an injury: Tohei sensei (spine), Endo sensei (shoulder).
I myself experienced this a few time in all those years. Most impressive after I tore a muscle fiber.

You have to have good teachers (or in other cases coaches) I think, a good physiotherapist, and most of all a lot of experience of practice and of your own body.

So to have to work around an injury even can improve your level of aikido. Without doing harm to your body, even in the long run.

Abasan
05-03-2011, 02:22 AM
I advice to you to start off the mat instead from a crouch.

Lying on your back, reverse your legs over a shoulder and go into seiza from there. then lie back and repeat with the other shoulder.

If you're flexible both feet can go at nearly the same time over the shoulder. If you are not, then the lead leg should go over the shoulder and followed by the back leg.

As you get comfortable doing this, once you have nearly completed doing the back roll but with your shoulder still touching the ground, reverse the movement into your original position.

Once you can do that comfortably, reverse the roll into a crouching position (instead of going back into a lying position).

There you have just completed basic ukemi from back to front. Having being able to do that, you'll have no issues to go from a crouching position and then to a standing position. Either mae or ushiro, its all the same.

Phil Van Treese
05-03-2011, 02:25 PM
To get over the fear of rolling, start from your knees and work your way up. When I separated my shoulder and was out for 1 1/2 years, it was very scary to get back to ukemi. I started from the knees and worked my way up. You do the same and your fears will leave. Good luck to you.

LinTal
07-10-2011, 11:55 PM
Rolling was a huge mountain for me when I first started. I'd be so afraid and tense up which made it alot worse, for the rest of the lesson but especially for my headspace the next time. Most of my shoulder would be bruised and sore to move between classes, I don't think I could have stayed if the people weren't so lovely and supportive.

Towards the end of 4 months I fluked a roll a couple times and something felt right, I started getting the feel of what it was supposed to be like. It gradually dawned on me that maybe my focus was off. Each time I tensed I would fall straight downward while I tried to roll. It was like the only thing I wanted was to be able to fly gracefully like the people in hakama during demonstrations.

I decided to change the picture in my head, I started visualizing a seagull skimming the surface of the ocean as it flew. I imagined that the expanse of mat was the water and walls didn't exist. Momentum from other people throwing me helped me fly too. Eventually I started thinking 'out' rather than 'go down into a roll', and it worked! Beating gravity's brilliant fun!

Learning to roll was hell, but that's what makes it so much better now. :)

bob_stra
07-11-2011, 11:27 AM
I've skimmed through this thread, so pardon me if this has been mentioned -

Have you tried rolling with one of those big physioballs? It a great way to gain confidence from a low height, whilst minimizing impact. All you need to do is drape yourself over the ball and follow its contour

http://cache.budovideos.com/images/screengrabs/1096/1096-1.jpg

http://cache.budovideos.com/images/screengrabs/1096/1096-2.jpg

http://cache.budovideos.com/images/screengrabs/1096/316.jpg

From: http://www.budovideos.com/shop/customer/product.php?productid=16162

(There use to be a youtube vid of some of these types of rolls, but I can't seem to find them. If someone has a link, please post it)

gates
07-12-2011, 05:06 AM
As you have had lots of good advice here is something a little left of center. Download a free hypnosis tape of the Internet such as " improve your performance in sport". When prompted to visualize yourself, do so taking ukemi, left and right. There is no reason not to take a perfect fall in your imagination is there?
My ukemi is rubbish by the way, except in my head.

graham christian
07-12-2011, 11:44 AM
Hi Dave.
You may have overcome this by now but thought I'd add a little something.

I once had a student, also a friend, who when he told me in confidence that he was scared to break-fall my jaw dropped in disbelief. This guy was a pretty well known skydiver.

Thus I learned a new perspective and mention him because it was a mental barrier.

I did two things to get him through it. One was I gave him private help to remove any embarrassment

Secondly and more importantly I got hold of a really thick soft mat
and built up his confidence.

The embarrassment factor is something that in my experience is, for some, a major part of the problem.

Not so much the embarrassment in looking stupid to others but more to do with the feeling so in yourself. A person can feel like they're going back to infant school and therefore feel stupid.

Anyway hope you are back to confident now.

Regards.G.