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dapidmini
11-02-2011, 12:51 PM
do you teach students how to do high breakfalls as a part of taisho or do you teach it individually?
when do you think student will be able to do them safely enough? at what rank?
when you started to learn to do high breakfalls, do you get a lot failed attempts that hurts or is it just me?
do you think high breakfalls are a mandatory skill?
how many kinds of high breakfalls are there? how many of them do you teach?

I'm sorry if I'm asking too many questions but I'd really like to know... and please don't tell me that I should ask Sensei. I want to know about Your training methods..;)

kewms
11-02-2011, 01:23 PM
High breakfalls are a mandatory skill. One goal of ukemi is to be able to protect yourself even if nage is trying to hurt you.

By the time a student is comfortable with normal rolls, it's appropriate to start teaching "easy" breakfalls, such as the "sliding into home" breakfall where you simply breakfall out of a normal roll. Once they can do that, you can start raising the pivot point by having them roll over a partner's hand. Start with the hand at ankle level and raise it as they become comfortable.

Failed attempts are something to avoid in any kind of ukemi. That's a good way to get hurt. If you're getting lots of failed attempts, you might step back to an easier progression (lower support point, more carefully supported falls, etc.) for a while.

Judoka learn breakfalls from the first day they step on the mat. I think the perception that they are an "advanced" skill may do more harm than good.

Katherine

Shadowfax
11-02-2011, 01:41 PM
I started learning breakfalls some time just after I had taken 6th kyu. I think everyone is ready at a different rate depending on how well they take to the easier ukemi. In my dojo we will sometimes have a breakfall clinic after the first class has ended where anyone who would like to will be taught individually by sensei how to take them. We do not usually work on them as a class because not everyone is ready for that at the same time as we have people of all levels in the classes. After that it really becomes a matter of choosing to take that ukemi during regular training when the opportunity presents.

I did have some soreness in the initial attempts because of not knowing how to arrange my body properly and there is a sort of body shock that causes muscles to be really sore from all of the impact if you do a lot of them but eventually you learn how to land so that this is minimal.

At least that has been my experience. :)

Mary Eastland
11-02-2011, 02:10 PM
We don't do break falls.

Lyle Laizure
11-02-2011, 02:52 PM
High breakfalls are a mandatory skill. One goal of ukemi is to be able to protect yourself even if nage is trying to hurt you.

By the time a student is comfortable with normal rolls, it's appropriate to start teaching "easy" breakfalls, such as the "sliding into home" breakfall where you simply breakfall out of a normal roll. Once they can do that, you can start raising the pivot point by having them roll over a partner's hand. Start with the hand at ankle level and raise it as they become comfortable.

Failed attempts are something to avoid in any kind of ukemi. That's a good way to get hurt. If you're getting lots of failed attempts, you might step back to an easier progression (lower support point, more carefully supported falls, etc.) for a while.

Judoka learn breakfalls from the first day they step on the mat. I think the perception that they are an "advanced" skill may do more harm than good.

Katherine

I don't know that they are mandatory as in you have to be able to perform a high breakfall in order to progress in the art but they are mandatory in order to protect yourself.

If a student can do a good forward roll they are ready for breakfalls. This can happen after only a few minutes of training though under strict supervision.

Lots of failed attempts means you don't have the basics down and you need to go back to square one.

Ok so Katherine covered everything, I just said the same thing slightly differently. :)

Janet Rosen
11-02-2011, 02:59 PM
I agree that they are not the "big deal" some aikido dojos make them out to be - as noted, judo teaches them right off the bat - but they should not be painful.
If you are not relaxing and exhaling, or not landing in proper position, it means you should back off, do more of the slow and easy prep work - for instance doing "lay out" forward rolls where you simply end your forward roll in breakfall landing position, doing the entire roll sloooooowly, making sure to extend, exhale, relax, hold the position to check it, etc.
If you are having pain, you will build fear and tension into the process, which is counterproductive.

Shadowfax
11-02-2011, 03:11 PM
They certainly are not a big deal where I train. But the instructors have expressed that they feel it is important for us to at least know how to take a breakfall should we need to do so. Perhaps in our own dojo a breakfall is taken only because uke chooses to. (I happen to really like them) but when at a seminar or visiting another dojo one might end up training with someone used to taking and therefore throwing people so that a breakfall is necessary.

Personally I think its a handy skill to have on the off chance my horse sends me on an unscheduled dismount. ;)

Carsten Möllering
11-02-2011, 03:51 PM
We don't do break falls.
Are you doing what is called ki-aikido?

grondahl
11-02-2011, 04:14 PM
I try to introduce high breakfalls as soon as possible, not necessary the first class but asap. Just build up to it in small steps.

Usually something like this: During warmup: basic back and side breakfalls. Then drilling the end position for a high breakfall. Then start doing forward rolls that end in the same position. Then breakfalls over a kneeling partner where the beginner can grab the partners dogi and control the speed of the fall followed by breakfalls from a standing position grabbing each others wrists.

Marc Abrams
11-02-2011, 04:31 PM
I am frankly not a fan of high break falls. Step outside and do a high break fall on the pavement. Besides the obvious results of such an adventure, the high break fall keeps me from staying connected to the nage so that I can continue my attack.

I teach students proper ukemi. Maintain a connection with the nage, Conform and dissipate the force so as to first, learn to change levels safely; secondly neutralize the incoming force; finally, return the force - all while maintaining your center and structure. If you are doing these things correctly and you are thrown in such a manner that you really do have to do a high fall, your body will conform to the forces so that you do not get injured.

Launching yourself into the air breaks the ki flow, which tends to increase the risk of injuries when being tossed on hard surfaces. I have done sacrifice throws and have been tossed on hard wood floors and pavement without bruises or injuries because of the above-mentioned factors. Not many people want to try practicing that way very often; I wonder why? ;)

Marc Abrams

grondahl
11-02-2011, 04:46 PM
I am frankly not a fan of high break falls. Step outside and do a high break fall on the pavement. Besides the obvious results of such an adventure, the high break fall keeps me from staying connected to the nage so that I can continue my attack.

I have done high breakfalls on hard surfaces without any "obvious" results (would I do a lot of breakfalls if we always trained on hard surfaces? no). Breaking away to do a high breakfall does not break contact more than breaking away to do a roll, actually most time less since I always want to maintain connection through the fall. Regardless if I´m being thrown with a koshinage, ippon seionage or hurled over the shoulder in a sanshou style double leg.

Mary Eastland
11-02-2011, 05:13 PM
Are you doing what is called ki-aikido?
We are from that lineage.

hallsbayfisherman
11-02-2011, 09:46 PM
During my years of Judo training.high breakfalls were the norm and got quite good at it as well BUT years of doing this on a consistent basis definitely took a toll on my body.Today in my day to day Aikido training i breakfall as necessary and as close to the ground as possible.

Regards
WJ

Ian Keane
11-02-2011, 11:14 PM
During my years of Judo training.high breakfalls were the norm and got quite good at it as well BUT years of doing this on a consistent basis definitely took a toll on my body.Today in my day to day Aikido training i breakfall as necessary and as close to the ground as possible.

Regards
WJ

Amen. No matter how safe or comfortable your ukemi might seem after a high breakfall, each one jars your body a little bit, and you only have so many of those in you before they start to mount up. For the most part, they only serve to provide a bit of unnecessary flash in an instructor's demonstration (often delivered by an instructor who has long since ceased to take ukemi himself/herself). In my opinion, taking such falls serves no useful purpose for the student.

If a student is properly trained in ukemi, the decision as to whether or not to take a breakfall at all usually belongs to uke, not nage (the exceptions being those rather painful-looking throws that involve nage loading uke up on his shoulders and dropping him). If uke does elect to take a breakfall (such as in ukemi for shihonage and kotegaeshi), uke can learn how to properly position himself so that every breakfall occurs close to the mat.

Carsten Möllering
11-03-2011, 05:40 AM
If a student is properly trained in ukemi, the decision as to whether or not to take a breakfall at all usually belongs to uke, not nage ...
I sometimes read this opinion in this forum. (Never heard it in one of the german forums I visit.) And everytime, it amazes me because this view doesn't seem to match my/our practice. Or I don't really understand something.

In our teaching there are just different versions of each throw. We teach how to throw in a way which allows uke to fall backward or to roll. And we teach a different version which doesn't allow this, but leads uke into a high fall. There is no jumping of uke, but uke is led into the movement by nage.

I'll try to explain my questions with the example of irimi nage:
You can throw "outwards", away from you. In thist version the throwing arm and the leg which is in front, are aligned in the same direction. So if uke is thrown with the left arm, this left arm and the left leg are kind of parallel and are direct "forward", teh arm also more or less down.
This is an exampel of what I mean. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=KcqNoB4tQ4E)
Uke can mostly decide how to fall. Even if this version is executed sharper, uke may have the oportunity to decide how to fall.

The other version is shown here. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=kW1eJsUPCTE#t=25s) The throwing leg is moving in the direction of ukes center, the throwing arm is moving in front of the center of tori. Arm and leg are no more parellel but are moving in different directions. The leg and hip of tori are blocking ukes way, so he can't roll (forward or backward) but is led by toris arm over the leg/hip. He has to somehow get over it. Also the throw doesn't lead uke away from tori, but the throwing arm ist closing in and uke is led right "between tori feet". He is led vertically down.

In every nage waza we have different ways of doing it which are comparable to the two different forms I tried to describe.

What am I getting wrong?

Carsten Möllering
11-03-2011, 06:05 AM
I think I didn't mark the links:

Video of the first version of irimi nage. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=KcqNoB4tQ4E)

Video or the second version of irmi nage. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=kW1eJsUPCTE#t=25s)

Tim Ruijs
11-03-2011, 06:20 AM
High breakfalls can be a necessity depending on the style you are in. That much is clear.
I think that anything that can help you out to prevent injury is good. Remember first rule of Budo!
Off course in many cases executing breakfall is a choice of aite, not imposed by tori. However sometimes tori can be very determined and have (total) control over you and then you must do breakfall do protect yourself. I do not think there is a clear border here...

As a teacher I spent a fair amount of time on ukemi (during aiki taiso) because students learn to control their body, increases confidence. I start with suwari waza ushiro ukemi (backwards roll from seated position), then mae ukemi (forward roll). Next tachi waza mae ukemi (forward roll from standing position).
When standing you first may use your arms, next round cross your arms, third round keep your arms to the side of your body. This sequence forces you to stay more and more centered while doing the same movement.
Another very useful exercise is rolling over someone seated (on all fours) on the floor.

A nice crossover exercise from forward fall to breakfall/freefall is koshinage as tori has very much control over aite and can prevent mishap quite easily. Compare this to e.g. kotegaeshi: when aite falls poorly, tori cannot do anything about it ;-(

Mario Tobias
11-03-2011, 06:37 AM
breakfalls are a mandatory and necessary skill to protect yourself. some senseis/partners jerk techniques and you often don't really have enough time for a soft roll otherwise your wrist, elbow, shoulder gets left behind leading to serious injuries. it also saved me once after a table I was standing on gave way( I was reaching for something).

we got taught high breakfalls while we were still learning the softrolls. The thing with breakfalls is that confidence plays a large part in it before even trying. How I think we did it to learn it as beginners was that we had intensive front, back ukemi drills during warm up back then like 40 front rolls 40 back rolls non stop. Aside from these drills, we practiced a lot of ukemi by ourselves without nudging from sensei or anybody. I think its only when you get comfortable with basic ukemi that you start thinking taking more risks in starting to try breakfalls. no point in trying high falls if you're not yet competent with the basic rolls.

Walter Martindale
11-03-2011, 07:41 AM
Rolls are best, of course, but if you're being sent vertically to the ground by someone who REALLY wants to slam you down (it happens, not often in practice, but it happens) OR when someone loses their balance while throwing you (it happens whether we want it to or not), it could be a valuable skill.

kewms
11-03-2011, 10:53 AM
A nice crossover exercise from forward fall to breakfall/freefall is koshinage as tori has very much control over aite and can prevent mishap quite easily.

*Provided* that tori actually knows what to do with that control and, ideally, is approximately the same size as aite. Breakfalling over the shoulder of someone taller than you is not something I'd recommend for beginners!

Which is a reason to recommend ukemi-focused classes and workshops. In most classes at most dojos, the focus is on the technique. But a vicious circle can develop: it's very difficult to learn how to do koshinage if your partner is afraid of the ukemi, but it's very difficult to develop confident ukemi if your partner is tentative about the throw.

Katherine

Andy Kazama
11-03-2011, 02:38 PM
In my experience, the ONLY serious physical aikido-waza I have had to use outside of the dojo has been ukemi/breakfall in nature...literally. I have taken a decently high ukemi while mountain biking (I did an end-over my handle-bars); and I have taken a hard ushiro sutemi slipping on an icy staircase. Forget bar fights – Nature gives you enough opportunity to practice Aikido in real life.

On the other hand, I have probably averted having to take ukemi/sutemi in the first place by having relatively more body awareness as I walk through my environment; and this comes from not bailing at the first hint of danger, but instead trying to soak into the openings and counter. Either way, I always tell new students that they are more likely to use their ukemi-waza out in the street than any nage-waza.

Larry Feldman
11-03-2011, 03:37 PM
Don't do them.

Learned how in Ju Jitsu, used to do them, but not anymore.

One of my students (and Judo Black belt) used to practice in a Dojo in a large Aikido organization. Someone observed that a large percentage of the older Sr. students were 'all busted up'. They concluded it must have been from the years of brakfalls. They no longer do them, and the latest explanation is that you can practice longer/harder without the breakfalls.

My student will occassionally launch himself in class, but totally unnecessary, except for keep ing the skill.

Lyle Laizure
11-03-2011, 06:01 PM
Don't do them.
One of my students (and Judo Black belt) used to practice in a Dojo in a large Aikido organization. Someone observed that a large percentage of the older Sr. students were 'all busted up'. They concluded it must have been from the years of brakfalls. They no longer do them, and the latest explanation is that you can practice longer/harder without the breakfalls.

This is their conclusion, without much of a study it seems. That isn't to say that the statement isn't correct with the individuals mentioned. While I don't think it is necessary to train "high breakfalls" every class I think it is an important skill to keep up. I have been training Aikido for 19 years and while I don't take them all the time I do not suffer any ill effects from them. Why one gets 'all busted up' is more complicated than taking "high breakfalls." How they learned to do them to start with, whether or not they took the time to heal from any injury they may have sustained (whether from taking falls or from any other part of their life) as well as their mental well being and temperament when training. No, I don't believe that "high breakfalls" need to be or should be practiced every class but I also do not believe that we can say definitively that they will get you 'all busted up.'

kewms
11-03-2011, 06:15 PM
The older aikidoka I know (and know of) who are "all busted up" mostly attribute it to overly resistive training. High breakfalls with good landings don't mess you up nearly as badly as refusing to move while people torque on your joints.

Katherine

robin_jet_alt
11-03-2011, 07:41 PM
The older aikidoka I know (and know of) who are "all busted up" mostly attribute it to overly resistive training. High breakfalls with good landings don't mess you up nearly as badly as refusing to move while people torque on your joints.

Katherine

I agree completely. High breakfalls can be done very softly, and when done well, they shouldn't cause undue wear and tear. It is when people can't do them very well that these sorts of misconceptions occur.

Case in point:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kItc4PJtCa4

graham christian
11-03-2011, 09:39 PM
I agree completely. High breakfalls can be done very softly, and when done well, they shouldn't cause undue wear and tear. It is when people can't do them very well that these sorts of misconceptions occur.

Case in point:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kItc4PJtCa4

When you say 'done softly' I don't see your point. Sounds more like you mean the trhrow.

Regards.G.

robin_jet_alt
11-03-2011, 09:47 PM
When you say 'done softly' I don't see your point. Sounds more like you mean the trhrow.

Regards.G.

Did you watch the video?

graham christian
11-03-2011, 09:48 PM
We don't do break falls.

One question, why?

I understand not emphasizing them till later. I understand lots of people do them 'because you're meant to'. I understand people can have all manner of spurious reasons associated with them. But not doing them? I'm interested.

Regards.G.

graham christian
11-03-2011, 09:59 PM
Did you watch the video?

Yes. I watched it. For me I would entitle it practising break-falls, that's all. All break-falls, or rather, good ones have certain things in common. They are strong, definite, technically perfect and completely relaxed. All at the same time. If that's what you mean by soft then fine.

However you were referring to high breakfalls. I take this to mean such as done in koshi nage or judo for example. Such as done from up/down/splatt.

Not shown in that video.

I think many forget what a break-fall is and from that comes all the various strange opinions.

Regards.G.

robin_jet_alt
11-03-2011, 10:10 PM
Yes. I watched it. For me I would entitle it practising break-falls, that's all. All break-falls, or rather, good ones have certain things in common. They are strong, definite, technically perfect and completely relaxed. All at the same time. If that's what you mean by soft then fine.

However you were referring to high breakfalls. I take this to mean such as done in koshi nage or judo for example. Such as done from up/down/splatt.

Not shown in that video.

I think many forget what a break-fall is and from that comes all the various strange opinions.

Regards.G.

Those break falls can be done from a koshi-nage. I know at least 2 people who can do them from koshi-nage 100% of the time. Personally, I'm not that good, and I only get them right some of the time. Still, if you do a good break fall, regardless of whether you have a noisy slap, you shouldn't feel much impact in your body, and it shouldn't lead to physical degeneration later in life.

My understanding of why judo players in particular end up in poor condition later in their lives is that it is because in matches, they are actively trying NOT to break fall. I.e. If they break fall well, then the opponent wins (ippon) By not falling well, they damage their bodies, but they may win the match.

graham christian
11-03-2011, 10:17 PM
I sometimes read this opinion in this forum. (Never heard it in one of the german forums I visit.) And everytime, it amazes me because this view doesn't seem to match my/our practice. Or I don't really understand something.

In our teaching there are just different versions of each throw. We teach how to throw in a way which allows uke to fall backward or to roll. And we teach a different version which doesn't allow this, but leads uke into a high fall. There is no jumping of uke, but uke is led into the movement by nage.

I'll try to explain my questions with the example of irimi nage:
You can throw "outwards", away from you. In thist version the throwing arm and the leg which is in front, are aligned in the same direction. So if uke is thrown with the left arm, this left arm and the left leg are kind of parallel and are direct "forward", teh arm also more or less down.
This is an exampel of what I mean. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=KcqNoB4tQ4E)
Uke can mostly decide how to fall. Even if this version is executed sharper, uke may have the oportunity to decide how to fall.

The other version is shown here. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=kW1eJsUPCTE#t=25s) The throwing leg is moving in the direction of ukes center, the throwing arm is moving in front of the center of tori. Arm and leg are no more parellel but are moving in different directions. The leg and hip of tori are blocking ukes way, so he can't roll (forward or backward) but is led by toris arm over the leg/hip. He has to somehow get over it. Also the throw doesn't lead uke away from tori, but the throwing arm ist closing in and uke is led right "between tori feet". He is led vertically down.

In every nage waza we have different ways of doing it which are comparable to the two different forms I tried to describe.

What am I getting wrong?

Hi Carsten.
Basically I would say the quote you are referring to is a bit meaningless as it's written and actually would go further personally and say it's nonsense. Taking it as sensible is where you're going wrong in my opinion.

Regards.G.

graham christian
11-03-2011, 10:35 PM
Those break falls can be done from a koshi-nage. I know at least 2 people who can do them from koshi-nage 100% of the time. Personally, I'm not that good, and I only get them right some of the time. Still, if you do a good break fall, regardless of whether you have a noisy slap, you shouldn't feel much impact in your body, and it shouldn't lead to physical degeneration later in life.

My understanding of why judo players in particular end up in poor condition later in their lives is that it is because in matches, they are actively trying NOT to break fall. I.e. If they break fall well, then the opponent wins (ippon) By not falling well, they damage their bodies, but they may win the match.

Your conclusion on judo players and later in life damage sounds reasonable enough to me. Same goes for anything done not so well over a period of time. So I agree there. I don't think they are trying not to break-fall though, more not to be thrown.

Anyway, back to high break-falls. When you come to koshi nage and all the versions then some would befit as you describe but many wouldn't.

The point I'm making is if a person studies and understands fully what a break-fall is the they would see that a lot of these questions are nonsensical in the first place.

Do you know actually what a break-fall is? That might sound like a very insulting question but I believe the simplicity is lacking in most Aikidoka.

Regards.G.

robin_jet_alt
11-03-2011, 11:18 PM
The point I'm making is if a person studies and understands fully what a break-fall is the they would see that a lot of these questions are nonsensical in the first place.

Regards.G.

agreed

kewms
11-04-2011, 12:11 AM
In my experience, the ONLY serious physical aikido-waza I have had to use outside of the dojo has been ukemi/breakfall in nature...literally. I have taken a decently high ukemi while mountain biking (I did an end-over my handle-bars); and I have taken a hard ushiro sutemi slipping on an icy staircase. Forget bar fights – Nature gives you enough opportunity to practice Aikido in real life.

Yup. All my aikido stories have to do with ukemi. All of my friends' aikido stories have to do with ukemi. And all the injury stories from my non-aikido friends have to do with failure of ukemi.

(Well, actually, I guess I have used Jedi mind tricks on drunks a couple of times. Those might count as ki projection, but not as physical applications of aikido.)

Katherine

Tim Ruijs
11-04-2011, 03:14 AM
*Provided* that tori actually knows what to do with that control and, ideally, is approximately the same size as aite. Breakfalling over the shoulder of someone taller than you is not something I'd recommend for beginners!

Which is a reason to recommend ukemi-focused classes and workshops. In most classes at most dojos, the focus is on the technique. But a vicious circle can develop: it's very difficult to learn how to do koshinage if your partner is afraid of the ukemi, but it's very difficult to develop confident ukemi if your partner is tentative about the throw.

Katherine

It was illustrative and must off course match the ability of the students involved. At times I myself throw each and every student to show proper technique (e.g. koshinage). Btw, koshinage does not require breakfall: with proper guiding aite can simply 'slide off' so they (both aite and tori) can familiarize themselves with the technique in a safe way. Next step is that tori takes full control and throws aite, but like you said that requires a bit more skill. :-)

Your last remark is actually my starting point: how can I make them feel safe and secure to try the technique that looks pretty impressive? What can I do to make the technique somewhat easier? Which techniques can you perform in preparation?

Mario Tobias
11-04-2011, 04:51 AM
Don't do them.

Learned how in Ju Jitsu, used to do them, but not anymore.

One of my students (and Judo Black belt) used to practice in a Dojo in a large Aikido organization. Someone observed that a large percentage of the older Sr. students were 'all busted up'. They concluded it must have been from the years of brakfalls. They no longer do them, and the latest explanation is that you can practice longer/harder without the breakfalls.

My student will occassionally launch himself in class, but totally unnecessary, except for keep ing the skill.

Probably when you do it every class yes.

The thing is some techniques require high falls like koshinage, juji garami, some iriminage and some kokyunage as proper ukemi. However, you feel like you are being cheated if they do proper breakfall ukemi when they're doing the technique on you while when its their turn they do soft rolls because they are afraid to do high falls, for me especially koshinage where I dont learn because uke is afraid.

Tim Ruijs
11-04-2011, 06:58 AM
@Larry
First off: Learning to do breakfalls should be done cautiously for obvious reasons.
Second: People think it is cool when you can do breakfalls, so everyone wants to do it all the time. That is simply bad practise. I think it is useful to be able to do (proper) breakfall, just do not do it all the time. On occassion I have not taken breakfall when my teacher threw me and I sensed he was going for exactly that. Still, no damage, no injury, just a little smile on his face.
But in the same breath I hasten to add that at times I ABSOLUTELY had to take breakfall to save my skin.

Only last summer a very experienced soto deshi injured his elbow (not too bad, but still), because he was a tad slow taking ukemi from my teacher. This was kote gaeshi where you might expect problems in the wrist area, but not this time. My teacher suddenly turned sideways and did not go for a hold/pin, but a throw. Aite was anticipating a pin and not the throw which caught him off guard and was late taking ukemi. Imagine someone floating mid air with a wrist lock being thrown sideways. The stress put in the elbow was simply too much. Pretty awesome sight, but also extremely hard to take the fall....

hallsbayfisherman
11-04-2011, 11:40 AM
I just watched the posted video on soft breakfalls and must say it is demonstrated very smooth ,soft and gentle and at a very slow controlled speed and the impact appeared quite gentle on the body,keeping in mind that this is an instructional video.

From my experience,being instructed on how to actually breakfall is always done at slow controlled speed as shown in the video.But once you get into full training and are thrown at full speed from full height shoulder throws such as Morote Seoi Naga or Ippon Seoi Naga, i at no time ever landed that slow and smooth.Being 6` ,220 lbs,the years of impact from these high breakfall throws did create a lot of wear and tear on my body.

I am certainly open to the fact that we may have been doing it wrong,whereas some suggest that if done correctly,high breakfalls should not cause any degree of wear and tear on the body.All i can say is i had my fair share of injury from doing it especially during randori.Thankfully now in my Aikido training these type of extreme breakfalls are not done.

Regards
WJ

Lyle Laizure
11-04-2011, 04:41 PM
Do you know actually what a break-fall is? That might sound like a very insulting question but I believe the simplicity is lacking in most Aikidoka.
Regards.G.

A break fall is nothing more than an advanced way of rolling. If uke focuses on the forward roll the break fall takes care of itself. In other words, if a student can do a splendid forward roll he/she should be able to do a splendid breakfall.

Janet Rosen
11-04-2011, 06:09 PM
A break fall is nothing more than an advanced way of rolling. If uke focuses on the forward roll the break fall takes care of itself. In other words, if a student can do a splendid forward roll he/she should be able to do a splendid breakfall.

Lyle, I would disagree in the sense of the body's landing position. A person could have splendid forward rolls but always roll up to kneeling or to standing.
To me the single most important thing of a breakfall, whether one arrives at it via a fall from a height, via jumping forward over one's arm, or via going straight back/down with legs flying up in front of one's body, is having practiced via sheer repetition the proper landing position.

Mario Tobias
11-05-2011, 12:19 AM
A break fall is nothing more than an advanced way of rolling. If uke focuses on the forward roll the break fall takes care of itself. In other words, if a student can do a splendid forward roll he/she should be able to do a splendid breakfall.

I think a breakfall is also a way of "letting go". Did you encounter some practices that breakfalls just came naturally and they werent intentional?

Janet Rosen
11-05-2011, 01:30 AM
I think a breakfall is also a way of "letting go". Did you encounter some practices that breakfalls just came naturally and they werent intentional?
To me that's the point of practicing a variety of things - when I've needed it either in the dojo when thrown how/where/when I didn't expect AND on the street when a slip on an oil spot or similar mishap has occurred, my body is on autopilot for what this far has been the right fall for the situation. And they generally have been breakfall landings, not rollouts.

Shadowfax
11-05-2011, 09:23 AM
The last two times I have come off a horse were breakfall landings. One was a straight over backwards landing flat on my back and the other, I am told, was a pretty cool triple somersault with a twist before landing on my back. This was back before I started training in aikido so my mind was unable to be as in control and aware of things during the event and I don't remember the details. But they sure beat that one 14 years ago when I went straight up and then straight down and landed on my head. I still don't remember that landing...

Of all of the falls I have taken off of horses I would say that most were breakfalls. The one time I took a forward roll off my horse, went over his shoulder when he stumbled in some mud, I dislocated a shoulder.... actually come to think of it Iv'e done that twice. Dislocated the same shoulder both times. Landed on my feet the first time. I think I prefer the breakfall. :)

graham christian
11-05-2011, 08:43 PM
A break fall is nothing more than an advanced way of rolling. If uke focuses on the forward roll the break fall takes care of itself. In other words, if a student can do a splendid forward roll he/she should be able to do a splendid breakfall.

Not so. It's how to break a fall. Better to break a fall than break yourself. How to harmonize with the ground.

Let me ask you this, where would you find experts on break-falling?

It would be a place where people need to harmonize with the ground because falling is part of the job. So outside of Aikido you can find stuntmen, comedy actors from charlie chaplin to jackie chan, etc.

They all learn how to connect with the ground properly when falling, no form, basic rules of such. Form comes later and rolls are later on that list.

So a break-fall is how to land comfortably. Most landings from falls you can't roll from so most break-falls do not include rolling.

Regards.G.

Lyle Laizure
11-05-2011, 11:03 PM
Not so. It's how to break a fall. Better to break a fall than break yourself. How to harmonize with the ground.

Let me ask you this, where would you find experts on break-falling?

It would be a place where people need to harmonize with the ground because falling is part of the job. So outside of Aikido you can find stuntmen, comedy actors from charlie chaplin to jackie chan, etc.

They all learn how to connect with the ground properly when falling, no form, basic rules of such. Form comes later and rolls are later on that list.

So a break-fall is how to land comfortably. Most landings from falls you can't roll from so most break-falls do not include rolling.

Regards.G.

I know a stunt man or two actually. While I haven't taken stunt "classes" from what my friend tells me it isn't all that much different from what we do in Aikido.

If one is performing a roll correctly they are connecting with the ground properly!

If it is a breakfall then no, you are not rolling. The alignment of the body however is identical with the exception of a backwards fall.

Lyle Laizure
11-05-2011, 11:04 PM
Not so. It's how to break a fall. Better to break a fall than break yourself. How to harmonize with the ground.

Let me ask you this, where would you find experts on break-falling?

It would be a place where people need to harmonize with the ground because falling is part of the job. So outside of Aikido you can find stuntmen, comedy actors from charlie chaplin to jackie chan, etc.

They all learn how to connect with the ground properly when falling, no form, basic rules of such. Form comes later and rolls are later on that list.

So a break-fall is how to land comfortably. Most landings from falls you can't roll from so most break-falls do not include rolling.

Regards.G.

I know a stunt man or two actually. While I haven't taken stunt "classes" from what my friend tells me it isn't all that much different from what we do in Aikido.

If one is performing a roll correctly they are connecting with the ground properly!

If it is a breakfall then no, you are not rolling. The alignment of the body however is identical with the exception of a backwards fall.

Either way repeated practice is the only way to prepare.

Lyle Laizure
11-05-2011, 11:05 PM
I think a breakfall is also a way of "letting go". Did you encounter some practices that breakfalls just came naturally and they werent intentional?

Hello Mario, I'm not sure I understand your question.

Lyle Laizure
11-05-2011, 11:07 PM
Lyle, I would disagree in the sense of the body's landing position. A person could have splendid forward rolls but always roll up to kneeling or to standing.
To me the single most important thing of a breakfall, whether one arrives at it via a fall from a height, via jumping forward over one's arm, or via going straight back/down with legs flying up in front of one's body, is having practiced via sheer repetition the proper landing position.

Janet, I agree that repetition is key. We will disagree perhaps on the method of repetition.

kewms
11-06-2011, 12:20 AM
Clown training is another place to look for falling skills. If you can find it -- film festivals are your best bet -- Circus Dreams is a good documentary about circus training generally, and particularly mental aspects like handling fear. http://circusdreams.net/index.html

Systema falling skills are worth a look, too. They talk about formlessness generally, and when falling in particular. Anywhere you hold tension is a place that's vulnerable to both acute and chronic injury. Their advanced training includes stuff like getting shoved backwards down flights of stairs...

Katherine

Janet Rosen
11-06-2011, 01:37 AM
Janet, I agree that repetition is key. We will disagree perhaps on the method of repetition.

Hi Lyle, being older, working sometimes with older beginners, and believing that fear and pain create bad body habits, I am a big fan of Ellis Amdur's approach per his DVD "Ukemi From The Ground Up" because it builds on a simple low impact approach with repetitions of things that can be done in a very relaxed way. The very tiny exposure I've had to Systema has also reinforced my focus on relaxation and simple movement.

Mario Tobias
11-06-2011, 01:32 AM
Hello Mario, I'm not sure I understand your question.

There are certain situations where before the throw uke has a split second choice that he can do a roll or a high breakfall but he does the breakfall anyway. then there are some situations where nage is in full control and uke doesn't have a choice. In these situations, as the other poster said (probably because of your intensive ukemi training) the body goes on autopilot. You're OK after the fall, you meet the ground and sometimes, you don't know what had just happened. You just remember being flipped. You just let go and trust your experience will save you from injury.

Lyle Laizure
11-06-2011, 03:51 PM
There are certain situations where before the throw uke has a split second choice that he can do a roll or a high breakfall but he does the breakfall anyway. then there are some situations where nage is in full control and uke doesn't have a choice. In these situations, as the other poster said (probably because of your intensive ukemi training) the body goes on autopilot. You're OK after the fall, you meet the ground and sometimes, you don't know what had just happened. You just remember being flipped. You just let go and trust your experience will save you from injury.

I have found that when uke has the option of taking a fall or not, whether or not it is a roll or breakfall it means one of two things. Either the nage's techniques is wanting and or uke's attack wasn't very sincere.

The autopilot I understand. Most times when my sensei throws me, one second he is there the next I am on the ground and it isn't a painful experience at all.

Lyle Laizure
11-06-2011, 03:56 PM
Hi Lyle, being older, working sometimes with older beginners, and believing that fear and pain create bad body habits, I am a big fan of Ellis Amdur's approach per his DVD "Ukemi From The Ground Up" because it builds on a simple low impact approach with repetitions of things that can be done in a very relaxed way. The very tiny exposure I've had to Systema has also reinforced my focus on relaxation and simple movement.

Don't get me wrong, I don't just start people off flipping through the air. I haven't seen the video you mentioned but I am careful to be sure a student can safely roll from a seated position before standing them up and eventually sending them through the air. I agree older students face different challenges when beginning their training and each student is an individual and has to be taught on their current level. On occasion though there are those that just catch it and move quickly through the stages.

kewms
11-06-2011, 04:36 PM
I have found that when uke has the option of taking a fall or not, whether or not it is a roll or breakfall it means one of two things. Either the nage's techniques is wanting and or uke's attack wasn't very sincere.

To an extent... Nage's technique may be fine, but he may have consciously or unconsciously chosen to give uke a choice, perhaps because of the difficulty of some of the ukemi options.

My teacher warns people not to judge their own technique by uke's failure to take a particular fall. Maybe uke did something dumb. Maybe uke disconnected just a little early because they were anticipating the fall. If nage ends up stable, balanced, and in a safe or (better) advantageous position, they did fine.

Katherine

Lyle Laizure
11-06-2011, 09:22 PM
To an extent... Nage's technique may be fine, but he may have consciously or unconsciously chosen to give uke a choice, perhaps because of the difficulty of some of the ukemi options.

My teacher warns people not to judge their own technique by uke's failure to take a particular fall. Maybe uke did something dumb. Maybe uke disconnected just a little early because they were anticipating the fall. If nage ends up stable, balanced, and in a safe or (better) advantageous position, they did fine.

Katherine

Hello Katherine - I agree that uke's failure to take a particular fall should not be a means of judging nage's technique for the most part. Safety should be, and is my first priority. And yes I beleive, as you stated, if nage ends up stable etc then yes they did fine.

renshin
12-09-2011, 02:04 AM
Koshi nage doesn't require hard falls ;)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJDb5KbMiBY

amoeba
12-09-2011, 04:19 AM
I am frankly not a fan of high break falls. Step outside and do a high break fall on the pavement. Besides the obvious results of such an adventure, the high break fall keeps me from staying connected to the nage so that I can continue my attack.

I teach students proper ukemi. Maintain a connection with the nage, Conform and dissipate the force so as to first, learn to change levels safely; secondly neutralize the incoming force; finally, return the force - all while maintaining your center and structure. If you are doing these things correctly and you are thrown in such a manner that you really do have to do a high fall, your body will conform to the forces so that you do not get injured.

Launching yourself into the air breaks the ki flow, which tends to increase the risk of injuries when being tossed on hard surfaces. I have done sacrifice throws and have been tossed on hard wood floors and pavement without bruises or injuries because of the above-mentioned factors. Not many people want to try practicing that way very often; I wonder why? ;)

Marc Abrams

I know the posting is quite old, but well...

Actually, I've done breakfalls on every kind of floor. Tatami, sure, but also lawn, wood and, yes, concrete. No pain at all (excpet on asphalt it will probably abrase your skin, but then a forward roll would probably be worse...)

And in our direction, I don't feel at all that the fall breaks the connection. On the contrary, it's quite often the only way to follow the technique through. But maybe that's because we never "launch ourselves into the air", we're just thrown and follow, which, depending on the throw, results in the breakfall. But Carsten has already written a lot about that, I think.

For the teaching: in our dojo, we normally teach it when people want to learn it, which can be after a few months if you're confident and fit (my boyfried was really eager there...;) ) or after years. A lot of people start at quite an advanced age and are not too sporty for that, so they tend to go slower. And some never get very good at it, which is completely okay.

But with an uke who cannot so highfalls, you always have to adjust your technique so it's possible to do a backward roll.