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graham christian
11-04-2011, 12:11 AM
Following on from a thread on the teaching section called High Break-falls I am moved to write this one. I believe by reading answers given on the subject that all are missing the basic concept and basic purpose of break-falls and even more so the concept and purpose of high break-falls but are unaware of this fact.

First let's clear what is meant by 'high' break-fall. One that goes up and straight down, splatt. Can be seen in koshi nage but not only there. In fact just concentrating on that can bring confusion as a 'normal' ukemi can also be used there depending on the version of throw.

So, back to basics. A fall. Breaking a fall. A break-fall. What does that actually mean?

It means you are heading for the ground. That's the first simplicity to get. This presents you with a problem and the problem is?

How to land safely. Voila!

A break-fall is a method of harmonizing with the ground when falling. That's all. No more, no less.

So a roll or fore-ward ukemi is a method of harmonizing with the ground. How so? Why that particular shape of body? Well the principle of the wheel fits there for that is what it is doing.

So now if you apply that to your body and Aikido you will see that it applies when? When you are heading for the ground at an angle, when the motion is both fore-ward and down.

Now we come to the more interesting one, the 'high' one. The word high is usually given the wrong emphasis and leads to much of the misunderstanding. The thing to concentrate on in order to see clearly the cocept is the down. Straight down. Straight enough that it cannot serve being a wheel.

Thus the first clear differentiation needed. Only then can you see the two distinct types of break-fall.

Straight down usually means in Aikido on your back rather than on your front. However it is now important to know what the method of falling entails and why otherwise you will not have a basic clear concept.

So back to basics here. The purpose is to harmonize with the ground, to land safely.

Why do judo people slap the mat? To help disperse the energy, to spread it out. So the method in Aikido is based on how to disperse and spread out the impact. Thus you can say you relax into the ground but you must have that concept of energy spreading out into the ground.

That's the technique of it, that's the basic, from which you can progress. Notice it is not how to resist the ground.

Now within that method, that technique there will be certain factors to take into account, like for instance tucking the head fore-ward for it is not conducive to hitting the floor. Also things like using the arms as in judo to displace the impact.

Two basic concepts of two different break-falls.

Now finally let's enter life shall we. Times where one is useful or has been useful and times where the other has or would.

You see, if you were to launch yourself over a low hedge or even a sudden ditch whilst running you would see the use of one. Even if you were to spring away from an oncoming vehicle to save your own life. Get the picture? Thus we see the fore-ward ukemi as something not often needed in life but useful whereas a backward roll or ukemi much more often needed or employed.

On the other hand when I hear people saying they don't like the 'high' break-falls I have to laugh for they have not seen what I describe above. All they mean is they don't like the idea of falling down straight from a great height. Well, nor do I, but the fixation on that leads you away from what one actually is. It's just how to harmonize with the ground when going down.

Now I would say that in life that has happened to you many times, it's unavoidable and thus from that perspective it's the most useful. Whether it's from tripping over backwards, being pushed over, etc. it's all straight down and that's the concept to grasp and the solution is as above. Add a bit of height to it and nothing changes, same principles, same solution. Less broken elbows, banged heads, bruised shoulders, cracked bones...... etc.etc.

So when you go down in Aikido you are doing one of the two types of fall described above so it's best to know that/

Regards.G..

sorokod
11-04-2011, 07:17 AM
I think it would be illuminating to watch you in a video demonstrating these concepts.

graham christian
11-04-2011, 07:52 AM
I think it would be illuminating to watch you in a video demonstrating these concepts.

Really? Which part don't you understand? Or are you having trouble visualizing?

Regards.G.

ninjaqutie
11-04-2011, 08:22 AM
I think it is interesting to hear how people view breakfalls. Some base it on height, some base if off pain, some base it off of whether you slap or not.... Thanks for your point of view. :)

lbb
11-04-2011, 08:28 AM
I'm glad I took linear algebra. It helps me understand concepts like vectors.

graham christian
11-04-2011, 08:34 AM
I think it is interesting to hear how people view breakfalls. Some base it on height, some base if off pain, some base it off of whether you slap or not.... Thanks for your point of view. :)

Thanks Ashley.

Regards.G.

ninjaqutie
11-04-2011, 08:43 AM
One other thing I really liked about your post was the mention of "... harmonizing with the ground..." I personally find that of utmost importance. Most people who end up getting hurt with these are because they are full of fear. They tighten up and anticipate the impact and end up fighting gravity the entire way down and splat onto the mat. Instead, they need to relax, stay calm and think more along the lines of welcoming the mat with vigor. I can understand the fear of those who have been injured through these falls, but more often then not, the fear the majority of the people have is unfounded; they are just afraid to fall. Sure.... you could talk about evolution and the dying urge to maintain an upright position, yadda, yadda, yadda, but I never understood the fear people have. I have always been comfortable with ukemi. Maybe I am the one who is abnormal. :eek:

sorokod
11-04-2011, 09:10 AM
Really? Which part don't you understand? Or are you having trouble visualizing?

Regards.G.

"Straight down", I'd like to see how you handle "Straight down" please.

graham christian
11-04-2011, 09:24 AM
"Straight down", I'd like to see how you handle "Straight down" please.

Done it thousands of times thank you David. It's easy to demonstrate. It's clearly explained above. Used it often in life too. Saved me breaking my back or neck in one extreme life example. So I suggest you don't worry about me thank you very much.

However, it seems you still have something you don't understand. Care to elaborate?

Regards.G.

sorokod
11-04-2011, 09:26 AM
Done it thousands of times thank you David. It's easy to demonstrate. It's clearly explained above. Used it often in life too. Saved me breaking my back or neck in one extreme life example. So I suggest you don't worry about me thank you very much.

However, it seems you still have something you don't understand. Care to elaborate?

Regards.G.

So no video?

graham christian
11-04-2011, 09:27 AM
I'm glad I took linear algebra. It helps me understand concepts like vectors.

Sounds like an irreverent or irrelevant comment to me. Unless I'm misreading it. Fail to see the connection.

Regards.G.

graham christian
11-04-2011, 09:45 AM
One other thing I really liked about your post was the mention of "... harmonizing with the ground..." I personally find that of utmost importance. Most people who end up getting hurt with these are because they are full of fear. They tighten up and anticipate the impact and end up fighting gravity the entire way down and splat onto the mat. Instead, they need to relax, stay calm and think more along the lines of welcoming the mat with vigor. I can understand the fear of those who have been injured through these falls, but more often then not, the fear the majority of the people have is unfounded; they are just afraid to fall. Sure.... you could talk about evolution and the dying urge to maintain an upright position, yadda, yadda, yadda, but I never understood the fear people have. I have always been comfortable with ukemi. Maybe I am the one who is abnormal. :eek:

I agree. ( Not with the last sentence though, ha,ha.)

I think the mention of fear especially because it's true tends to make a lot of people assume wrong things. For example many are taught or believe they are being told to face their fear, or fight their fear and that makes them more tense. They need to be taught how to let go of their fear. Letting go is the key. Interesting how that is also the key to relaxing.

You have to let go and relax first in order to face anything properly or comfortably. It's funny how some people just don't want to let go of their problems or fears. Leads me to believe they must be useful to them.

Anyway, we digress. Thanks for your view.

Regards.G.

Shadowfax
11-04-2011, 10:05 AM
Thank you for taking time to explain. The point about other ukemi fitting the wheel shape and a breakfall not fitting that shape was particularly helpful. I had not thought about it that way. But it makes sense. I would tend to think of it as more of an elipse since the shape seems to me to be more of a vertical oval than a circle.

It will be interesting to see what other people might like to share as to their concept of what a breakfall or high breakfall is as well. I would find it beneficial to see other perspectives.

I'm not much on math but if someone would care to explain how linear algebra and vectors relate to brealkfalls I bet that would be quite an interesting read. :D

ninjaqutie
11-04-2011, 11:20 AM
"Straight down", I'd like to see how you handle "Straight down" please.

A straight down fall I experienced was falling off of a roof. I was completely parallel to the ground the whole way down and landed flat on my back on a dirt/rocky surface and both of my sides got scraped a bit because I landed between two stakes (they were up around the garage since it was in the process of being built). I think that qualifies for a straight down fall..... it scared the crap out of me after the fact, but I was perfectly fine because I was relaxed, exhaled up landing and I tucked my chin so I didn't whack my head on anything. I do not have video of this though..... I wasn't even sore the next day.

I also did a flying face fall off of a lawn mower going about 20-25 mph (long story) and although it wasn't straight down, I would still put this in the same category. I got pretty dirty from bailing, but over all I was alright. THIS did make me a bit sore the next day, but what do you expect? Could have been a lot worse if I didn't go with it. My biggest worry at the time was getting away from the tumbling mass of metal that was chasing after me as it rolled, so the impending impact was the least of my worries. Again... no video. Sorry.

sorokod
11-04-2011, 11:34 AM
Nothing to be sorry for as you do not presume to educate the masses.

lbb
11-04-2011, 11:34 AM
I'm not much on math but if someone would care to explain how linear algebra and vectors relate to brealkfalls I bet that would be quite an interesting read. :D

Just because the mass of the planet pulls us toward it, doesn't mean that everything is "straight down".

graham christian
11-04-2011, 11:42 AM
Nothing to be sorry for as you do not presume to educate the masses.

Still don't get you I'm afraid. You don't like education I take it. Maybe you don't like me giving you some.

Either way that's you're problem not mine. Are you jealous?

Regards.G.

graham christian
11-04-2011, 12:06 PM
A straight down fall I experienced was falling off of a roof. I was completely parallel to the ground the whole way down and landed flat on my back on a dirt/rocky surface and both of my sides got scraped a bit because I landed between two stakes (they were up around the garage since it was in the process of being built). I think that qualifies for a straight down fall..... it scared the crap out of me after the fact, but I was perfectly fine because I was relaxed, exhaled up landing and I tucked my chin so I didn't whack my head on anything. I do not have video of this though..... I wasn't even sore the next day.

I also did a flying face fall off of a lawn mower going about 20-25 mph (long story) and although it wasn't straight down, I would still put this in the same category. I got pretty dirty from bailing, but over all I was alright. THIS did make me a bit sore the next day, but what do you expect? Could have been a lot worse if I didn't go with it. My biggest worry at the time was getting away from the tumbling mass of metal that was chasing after me as it rolled, so the impending impact was the least of my worries. Again... no video. Sorry.

I like it, well said. When I said earlier how it saved me breaking my back or neck the circumstance was not too dissimilar to your examples.

It's going back a bit now but it must have been about nine years ago. I was doing a painting job with my friend but we had been asked to do the high metal rafters in a closed factory. My friend had gone to get a 'tower' to work from as they were too high to work safely from ladders. However, thinking I'm smart I got the triple extension ladder and thought I'd just go up and get started while waiting for him to get back.

While up there some paper moved as I touched it and made me jerk back a bit thinkong for some reason there was a rat under it. Anyway, brush in one hand paint pot in the other suddenly realizing I was on a ladder and oh ***** too late, I was falling backwards. The experience was amazing though in retrospect. It was like total acceptance, no time for worry or panick, in fact time slowed. I hit the ground flat on my back, one paint brush hand out and the other hand in over my chest complete with paint all over my chest and face and floor. I actually stayed there in that position for a few seconds not moving in case anything was broken until surprisingly it felt all was ok. Then I got up went over to the window and sat on a box feeling stupid.

I did at the time end up laughing at how funny it would have looked if candid camera was there.

Thus I got first extreme reality on the effectiveness of harmonizing with the ground. Once again Aikido had helped me for real.

Regards.G.

sorokod
11-04-2011, 12:13 PM
Are you jealous?

:-)

Not right now, but let's see that video. Perhaps then.

SeaGrass
11-04-2011, 12:26 PM
I would like to see a clip of Graham demonstrates his version of breakfall. I'm honestly interested.

graham christian
11-04-2011, 12:37 PM
:-)

Not right now, but let's see that video. Perhaps then.

Actually I could but you my friend are just playing games. You mention educating the masses?

What a stupid choice of phrase. Information well presented thus hopefully for some an informative piece open for discussion. Therefore after that fact it could be educational.

But if that's your game then I don't mind playing. So that means you have entered my class, you are a disruptive student. You must therefore have a misunderstanding. Simple.

Otherwise if you don't like the class then leave. Also simple.

Otherwise if you would like to constructively contribute or even enlighten me on some further aspects then go ahead. Once again simple.

Or maybe you can only learn from movies..... Mmmmm.

Regards.G.

graham christian
11-04-2011, 12:48 PM
I would like to see a clip of Graham demonstrates his version of breakfall. I'm honestly interested.

Bien, Do you actually realize what your saying. I wonder. A video giving demonstration. That would be an educational video. So you would like me to go and organize such, hire a movie camera, blah blah blah. Not a very sensible thing to say I would say. Totally irrelevant.

It shows me you probably don't understand what I offered.

But there again you can like to see whatever you feel I suppose.

Regards.G.

kewms
11-04-2011, 12:53 PM
Bien, Do you actually realize what your saying. I wonder. A video giving demonstration. That would be an educational video. So you would like me to go and organize such, hire a movie camera, blah blah blah.

Oh, please. Really?

No, he's suggesting that you ask one of your students to point an iPhone at you while you demonstrate. Or a Flip camera. Or any of a thousand other good quality consumer-oriented cameras in common use. It's just not that hard.

Katherine

SeaGrass
11-04-2011, 01:11 PM
Thank you Katherine!

Graham, just interested in seeing how different styles and different people doing breakfall and general ukemi for that matter. I'm a student of the art so i'm interested in these kinds of things. I'm not here to criticize or have I any other motives, i'm here to learn. Would you be so kind? Other clips you posted on youtube were a lot longer, a breakfall would not take that long with the same equipment used.

graham christian
11-04-2011, 01:34 PM
Oh, please. Really?

No, he's suggesting that you ask one of your students to point an iPhone at you while you demonstrate. Or a Flip camera. Or any of a thousand other good quality consumer-oriented cameras in common use. It's just not that hard.

Katherine

A clip of me doing it is not the same as demonstration. Leads to too many yeah buts by those who don't understand. So actually it is that hard to convey precisely via film. I should know, Ha, ha.

Then there's the question of me. Now that's creepy. I could give you hundreds of examples to go look at on film of Aikido, judo, even wwf wrestling where those principles are in use so what's the infatuation with me.

I could point to one right now but it wasn't a demonstration video. Secondly, knowing how great many of you are at 'thinking' you know what's happening when seeing a film clip I would then have to run you through it bit by bit. It does show me being completely splattered. It does show me flat out. It does show me getting up and then joking to the class by holding my back and limping just to wind them up because of the gasps I heard from them. Then showing them I'm only joking. This point as described above of no choice, splatt, demonstrated to the class.

So no. No film.

Regards.G.

graham christian
11-04-2011, 01:52 PM
Thank you Katherine!

Graham, just interested in seeing how different styles and different people doing breakfall and general ukemi for that matter. I'm a student of the art so i'm interested in these kinds of things. I'm not here to criticize or have I any other motives, i'm here to learn. Would you be so kind? Other clips you posted on youtube were a lot longer, a breakfall would not take that long with the same equipment used.

Bien. If that is true then please clarify. The two points here are rolling with the mat or basically being splattered down. Which would you like to see?

Secondly if the camera was still working, which it isn't, or if I was to get a mobile footage are you saying that in the future, maybe a weeks time you want to see it?

Thirdly, on clarifying which you want to see I could go look and point you to the precise time in a particular video that point is demonstrated.

Regards.G.

Shadowfax
11-04-2011, 02:11 PM
Just because the mass of the planet pulls us toward it, doesn't mean that everything is "straight down".

"And a horse can't give milk and a cow can't whinny and down is up and sideways is straight ahead"... but what exactly does that have to do with the discussion? I mean if you don't have anything to add that might help people who want to learn to do that why post on the thread? I don't believe anyone said everything is straight down.

Some of us here are interested in understanding the mechanics of breakfall and what the good and bad points might be. Others seem to be against teaching them at all. Well that's ok too. But if you are can you at least give some useful discussion as to why and hey how about you make us a video on how to deal with something like say a fast koshi without taking one?

kewms
11-04-2011, 02:17 PM
Then there's the question of me. Now that's creepy. I could give you hundreds of examples to go look at on film of Aikido, judo, even wwf wrestling where those principles are in use so what's the infatuation with me.

You started the thread with the claim that almost everyone seems to be lacking in a basic understanding of what a "high breakfall" is and what it entails:
I believe by reading answers given on the subject that all are missing the basic concept and basic purpose of break-falls and even more so the concept and purpose of high break-falls but are unaware of this fact.
So it's *your* understanding that people are interested in.

*shrug* My own view of ukemi is that it isn't really helpful to spend a lot of time categorizing different types. Work on relaxation and harmonizing with energy (yours, your partner's, gravity) and trust your body to know what to do. Especially in ukemi, committing to a particular form often just picks the place where you're going to store tension.

Katherine

ninjaqutie
11-04-2011, 02:30 PM
I like it, well said. When I said earlier how it saved me breaking my back or neck the circumstance was not too dissimilar to your examples.

It's going back a bit now but it must have been about nine years ago. I was doing a painting job with my friend but we had been asked to do the high metal rafters in a closed factory. My friend had gone to get a 'tower' to work from as they were too high to work safely from ladders. However, thinking I'm smart I got the triple extension ladder and thought I'd just go up and get started while waiting for him to get back.

While up there some paper moved as I touched it and made me jerk back a bit thinkong for some reason there was a rat under it. Anyway, brush in one hand paint pot in the other suddenly realizing I was on a ladder and oh ***** too late, I was falling backwards. The experience was amazing though in retrospect. It was like total acceptance, no time for worry or panick, in fact time slowed. I hit the ground flat on my back, one paint brush hand out and the other hand in over my chest complete with paint all over my chest and face and floor. I actually stayed there in that position for a few seconds not moving in case anything was broken until surprisingly it felt all was ok. Then I got up went over to the window and sat on a box feeling stupid.

I did at the time end up laughing at how funny it would have looked if candid camera was there.

Thus I got first extreme reality on the effectiveness of harmonizing with the ground. Once again Aikido had helped me for real.

Regards.G.

Interesting that our experiences were so similar. My dad sent me up the ladder with a tape measure to give to my uncle. The ladder was a tad short and I was only on the roof from the waist up, with my feet on the ladder. My dad came along and took the ladder out from under me. Ordinarily, I probably would have been able to pull myself up, but with the pitch of the roof and the fact that shingles weren't on it yet, I sat there in limbo for a few minutes, yelling for help and saying I was about to fall. No one believed me till they heard the thud. :uch: Like you, time slowed down for me. It was almost like a dreamlike state and I was hyper aware of everything. Honestly, the landing felt more to me like a parent laying a child down in their bed. I remember no trauma what so ever.

It was a same experience for the lawn mower too. I was so focused on missing the huge sign and the ditch and when I missed those and bailed, I first thought of a roll and realized "That is NOT going to work!!" and just sort of relaxed and accepted the inevitable. My dad (interesting he was involved in both of these huh!?!) said it was the scariest thing he saw when he looked in the rearview mirror of the pick up.

Both instances were incredibly stupid and should have been avoided. We laughed after the fact at both and wished we had video and I am just glad my ukemi saved me. I used to joke with one of my old isntructors that I had tested height and speed and officially approved the ukemi she taught. :D

lbb
11-04-2011, 02:35 PM
"And a horse can't give milk and a cow can't whinny and down is up and sideways is straight ahead"... but what exactly does that have to do with the discussion? I mean if you don't have anything to add that might help people who want to learn to do that why post on the thread? I don't believe anyone said everything is straight down.

Some of us here are interested in understanding the mechanics of breakfall and what the good and bad points might be. Others seem to be against teaching them at all. Well that's ok too. But if you are can you at least give some useful discussion as to why and hey how about you make us a video on how to deal with something like say a fast koshi without taking one?

Oh, heavens me. Cherie, I'm sorry that you felt my allusion to physics was an attack on your beliefs about breakfalls. It really had nothing to do with you.

SeaGrass
11-04-2011, 03:01 PM
Anytime Graham. High break-falls please, title of the thread you started. Just want to see how it is done and if I like it, I'll add it to my training.

graham christian
11-04-2011, 03:25 PM
You started the thread with the claim that almost everyone seems to be lacking in a basic understanding of what a "high breakfall" is and what it entails:

So it's *your* understanding that people are interested in.

*shrug* My own view of ukemi is that it isn't really helpful to spend a lot of time categorizing different types. Work on relaxation and harmonizing with energy (yours, your partner's, gravity) and trust your body to know what to do. Especially in ukemi, committing to a particular form often just picks the place where you're going to store tension.

Katherine

In that case discuss my presented understanding no? Share your perspective no? First and foremost try to understand the words and concepts I have presented no?

Just coming in saying I wanna see a film of it makes no sense to me. A film of which particular point? Just coming in with no particular contribution or indication of whether you agree, disagree, or whatever makes even less sense to me.

If they are interested in my understanding as you put it then a little explanation with their request might help or do they think I've got a library of demo videos at hand? Or even that going making a film is normal to a thread? I don't get it.

However you have given a view of how you see break-falls here. That's good. I'd find it strange to ask you for a video myself.

In a past thread you said you liked an experiential example and the one of me falling off a ladder should fit that I hope.

I too don't see the point in spending lots of time categorizing all types and forms and some I have done in the past I've never seen anywhere else. That's why I stuck to the two basics that apply to all types. One where you have the opportunity to roll or turn with the ground and one where you don't.

These two things if understood then I would say the person wouldn't need any precise film for they would be able to watch any film and see if the person was either a) rolling, turning with/on the ground or b) relaxing into the ground with no roll. You could even spin sideways in the air or flip over and land on your knees but the whole point is the landing. Did you roll off the knees or did you sink down through the knees, a) or b)? Did you land and roll or land and disperse the energy.

They are the points of breaking the fall thus they are the important bits.

That's what I'm giving import to and that's what I haven't seen mentioned or given import to before. That's all.

These to me are two basic principles that need to be understood in order to even ask yourself the right question when seeing someone fall or be thrown.

From this you would therefore be observing how the person got up from the fall. This and only this will tell you if those basics were in at least 905 of the time anyway.

Once they're in then you can work on form of break-fall or even necessity or not of such forms.

I think I have the right to point this out and also to say what I have observed in past discussions for I have witnessed there and in my experience emphasis too much on form and virtually none on those basics especially in Aikido. It's as if 'we don't do that it's judo' type mentality or just plain and simple 'I don't like them'. 'Them' being the harmonize with the mat without rolling times.

You do a nikkyo and the persons complaining ouch my knees. That's actually an example of bad break-fall.

How many have ever looked at it that way? I doubt many so I think my original observations in the op are quite correct.

I also hope people see the difference and have someone show them how to apply it properly and thus prevent injuries rather than cause them through blaming wrong things.

Sorry to go on there but I do know many have never considered these things. In fact one student it was quite amusing to me that I kind of rescued him from an Aikido place that is very good at damaging bodies with their 'solid' break-falls.

Regards.G.

graham christian
11-04-2011, 03:28 PM
Anytime Graham. High break-falls please, title of the thread you started. Just want to see how it is done and if I like it, I'll add it to my training.

Going up in the air? No. Out of luck. No film. Going down hard? Yes, will that do?

Regards.G

Shadowfax
11-04-2011, 03:29 PM
Oh, heavens me. Cherie, I'm sorry that you felt my allusion to physics was an attack on your beliefs about breakfalls. It really had nothing to do with you.

I have not seen it as an attack on anything at all. I am still just waiting for you to use it to say something that might be seen as a useful contribution to the discussion so that perhaps I might learn something from you. :)

Since it was my post you quoted I took it that it was me to whom you were directing your comment.

graham christian
11-04-2011, 03:35 PM
Interesting that our experiences were so similar. My dad sent me up the ladder with a tape measure to give to my uncle. The ladder was a tad short and I was only on the roof from the waist up, with my feet on the ladder. My dad came along and took the ladder out from under me. Ordinarily, I probably would have been able to pull myself up, but with the pitch of the roof and the fact that shingles weren't on it yet, I sat there in limbo for a few minutes, yelling for help and saying I was about to fall. No one believed me till they heard the thud. :uch: Like you, time slowed down for me. It was almost like a dreamlike state and I was hyper aware of everything. Honestly, the landing felt more to me like a parent laying a child down in their bed. I remember no trauma what so ever.

It was a same experience for the lawn mower too. I was so focused on missing the huge sign and the ditch and when I missed those and bailed, I first thought of a roll and realized "That is NOT going to work!!" and just sort of relaxed and accepted the inevitable. My dad (interesting he was involved in both of these huh!?!) said it was the scariest thing he saw when he looked in the rearview mirror of the pick up.

Both instances were incredibly stupid and should have been avoided. We laughed after the fact at both and wished we had video and I am just glad my ukemi saved me. I used to joke with one of my old isntructors that I had tested height and speed and officially approved the ukemi she taught. :D

Thanks. Great examples. I hoped others would see the concepts I described as clearly as you.

Thanks for sharing them.

Regards.G.

graham christian
11-04-2011, 03:51 PM
Anytime Graham. High break-falls please, title of the thread you started. Just want to see how it is done and if I like it, I'll add it to my training.

Actually just thought of something. Go find some wwf video and watch a high body slam. Even though it's on sprung canvas study how the person lands and disperses the energy. They even use the soles of their feet too as well as arms out dispersing the impact as they hit the canvas.

However I dont see how you'll add it to your training without proper instruction. Why not just stand still and throw yourself back splatt on the mat dispersing the energy with your arms slapping the mat how I described in the o/p? But even then you probably need supervision unless you're competent already.

Regards.G.

Lyle Laizure
11-04-2011, 04:32 PM
You explained in such detail in your original post. Putting it all together on a short video clip will allow me to connect the dots and understand more clearly what you are explaining. What do you think?

SeaGrass
11-04-2011, 04:53 PM
Actually just thought of something. Go find some wwf video and watch a high body slam. Even though it's on sprung canvas study how the person lands and disperses the energy. They even use the soles of their feet too as well as arms out dispersing the impact as they hit the canvas.

However I dont see how you'll add it to your training without proper instruction. Why not just stand still and throw yourself back splatt on the mat dispersing the energy with your arms slapping the mat how I described in the o/p? But even then you probably need supervision unless you're competent already.

Regards.G.

wwf is not aikido Graham, I've asked to see a clip of you showing a breakfall in your style of aikido and have come up short. This thread has no use for me.

Have a great day everyone!

graham christian
11-04-2011, 05:04 PM
You explained in such detail in your original post. Putting it all together on a short video clip will allow me to connect the dots and understand more clearly what you are explaining. What do you think?

It would be a pleasure one day but not now. Words will have to suffice for now.

Regards.G.

mathewjgano
11-04-2011, 05:31 PM
Most people who end up getting hurt with these are because they are full of fear. They tighten up and anticipate the impact and end up fighting gravity the entire way down and splat onto the mat. Instead, they need to relax, stay calm and think more along the lines of welcoming the mat with vigor.

I remember hearing about a study of cats with broken legs from falling various heights in which there seemed to be less chance of injury on slightly higher elevations than some lesser heights. The reason given for why was that initially cats tended to tense up in anticipation, but past a certain height they had enough time to begin to relax.

Creating larger surface areas during impact and translating down momentum laterally is my basic approach. If I'm rotating through the air I'm basically expanding my limbs to eat up momentum, which also facilitates reaching for the ground to help control the way my body moves as I land.

How not to land (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1N929hWAx_0&feature=related): no purposeful/meaingful lateral rolling of kinetic down force.

sorokod
11-04-2011, 05:45 PM
While not "high" falls, I suppose that these videos are indicative of the OP's attitude to ukemi.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9NA7Ll2P3M#t=4m00s
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9NA7Ll2P3M#t=3m47s
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFVoNfkLNL0#t=3m28s
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFVoNfkLNL0#t=3m34s

graham christian
11-04-2011, 06:01 PM
A little additive here. Three people seem to be intent on seeing 'high' break-fall done by me. That makes me believe they have not understood the thread.

As I pointed out in the op that too many focus on the high, on the going up part and thus completely miss the point.

Therefore they are missing this vital point and that is that there is no such thing really as a high break-fall. The break-fall is what happens when you reach the mat.

That is defined in the op. It doesn't take film to help understand that, just fall down straight like a toppled tree and you'll see for yourself.

It's like saying how to land an aircraft has something to do with how it takes off.

This thread isn't about the take off point or the in flight point but the end point, the actual break-fall.

So there would probably be four parts to look at for the overall term generally used as break-fall.

1) The initial harmonizing with the attempted throw.
2) The take off.
3) The flight
4) The landing.

This thread is on part four and goes further by saying that's the actual break-fall part. The rest is on the journey towards it thus you end up with form of.

Now the fact that in other martial arts like judo the emphasis is placed on the how to land and widely in my opinion recognised as such as the basic after which they can focus on the form then these responses seem to me to validate what I thought and said, that in Aikido generally it seems to be an alien concept. Thus from my point of view a missing view.

Regards G.

graham christian
11-04-2011, 06:34 PM
While not "high" falls, I suppose that these videos are indicative of the OP's attitude to ukemi.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9NA7Ll2P3M#t=4m00s
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9NA7Ll2P3M#t=3m47s
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFVoNfkLNL0#t=3m28s
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFVoNfkLNL0#t=3m34s

O.K. You are persistent.

http://youtu.be/ttipyZQTguE

In this video I'll give more clarity for you. At 1-05 there is a more pertinent example, a no choice but to example.

At 3.55 similar.
At 4.30 there is an example of going over circularly but actually the landing is more as per straight down, ie: sinking into the mat with no roll.
At 5.10 similar to the last as from kotegaeshe but this time a complete roll,
Finally at 5.24 there's a mix. As the throw twisted and projected then the body landed going kind of sideways roll on impact but then rooted and put the arms out to in mid air to disperse the energy.

The examples you point to above I would say this. If the person is going down but still managing to roll, rock backwards then I class that as backward ukemi, a roll. If they go flat out then it's the other one.

Regards.G.

graham christian
11-04-2011, 06:47 PM
I remember hearing about a study of cats with broken legs from falling various heights in which there seemed to be less chance of injury on slightly higher elevations than some lesser heights. The reason given for why was that initially cats tended to tense up in anticipation, but past a certain height they had enough time to begin to relax.

Creating larger surface areas during impact and translating down momentum laterally is my basic approach. If I'm rotating through the air I'm basically expanding my limbs to eat up momentum, which also facilitates reaching for the ground to help control the way my body moves as I land.

How not to land (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1N929hWAx_0&feature=related): no purposeful/meaingful lateral rolling of kinetic down force.

Hi Matthew.
Interesting, thanks.

I had a skydiver friend doing Aikido with me once, about 18 years ago now. After a few lessons he asked for a couple of private ones as he said he had a problem. This guy was a long term skydiver, I found their hierarchy went by numbers of jumps so they recognised each other by number or if someone they didn't know came along they would wonder what he was. Like was he a mere 33 or 100 or was he up with us in the thousands.

Anyway, this friend found he was petrified of the break-falls. Wow. That didn't make sense at all to me. Here's a fella that hurtles towards the ground at I don't know what speed and safely lands and rolls on whatever hard surface and he's scared of a soft mat from three feet. Go figure.

Anyway I got him through it but here's the thing. He told me that the one reality he had as a skydiver was that that thing, the ground, hurts! Now being up close and personal with it about to be thrown into it freaked him.

Thought you might like that one.

Regards.G.

sorokod
11-04-2011, 06:51 PM
Thank you. These help me understand your take on the subject.

graham christian
11-04-2011, 07:06 PM
Thank you. These help me understand your take on the subject.

Thank you. As they say on british rail 'apologies for any inconvenience caused'

In the past on here the videos have been used by others merely to find fault even if I say to ask me a specific happening on any video and I'll explain. They didn't seem interested yet used them to tell me what was happening instead.

Thus a person asking for specific and then looking at that specific is a brand new experience.

Regards.G.

phitruong
11-04-2011, 07:26 PM
wwf is not aikido Graham, I've asked to see a clip of you showing a breakfall in your style of aikido and have come up short. This thread has no use for me.
!

you know the mud eel in vietnam? slipper as hell and very difficult to pin down (and taste like chicken :) )

mathewjgano
11-04-2011, 07:31 PM
I believe by reading answers given on the subject that all are missing the basic concept and basic purpose of break-falls and even more so the concept and purpose of high break-falls but are unaware of this fact.
First, and I apologize for going off-topic, but in the effort for promoting greater dialogue, I think describing how people don't "get it" detracts from the conversation...particularly when saying "all" people posting on the topic are missing something. A) Not everyone is posting all their knowledge, but are addressing aspects of it; B) and sincerely, I would think you'd be more sensitive about telling people they're missing key aspects of their training.

Thus we see the fore-ward ukemi as something not often needed in life but useful whereas a backward roll or ukemi much more often needed or employed.
In my experience I've had about as much forward as backward "ukemi" in my life no and off the mat.

Add a bit of height to it and nothing changes, same principles, same solution. Less broken elbows, banged heads, bruised shoulders, cracked bones...... etc.etc.
I wouldn't say nothing changes: the need for good ukemi skills increases because momentum forces increase. A relative beginner can roll or break their fall from low heights pretty easily, but the greater the "down," the greater the need to harmonize yourself with the ground before the ground harmonizes you on its own non-considerate terms.

mathewjgano
11-04-2011, 07:44 PM
Hi Matthew.
Interesting, thanks.

I had a skydiver friend doing Aikido with me once, about 18 years ago now. After a few lessons he asked for a couple of private ones as he said he had a problem. This guy was a long term skydiver, I found their hierarchy went by numbers of jumps so they recognised each other by number or if someone they didn't know came along they would wonder what he was. Like was he a mere 33 or 100 or was he up with us in the thousands.

Anyway, this friend found he was petrified of the break-falls. Wow. That didn't make sense at all to me. Here's a fella that hurtles towards the ground at I don't know what speed and safely lands and rolls on whatever hard surface and he's scared of a soft mat from three feet. Go figure.

Anyway I got him through it but here's the thing. He told me that the one reality he had as a skydiver was that that thing, the ground, hurts! Now being up close and personal with it about to be thrown into it freaked him.

Thought you might like that one.

Regards.G.

Hi Graham,
That is kinda funny. I can see how the ground might take on a whole new meaning when you dive right at it. Ground = potential death if systems fail. It's different too when you have a quasi-wing above you to stall your decent; gives more sense of control I would think.
When I was a kid I fell from a variety of heights, which I think may have helped me at times. Somehow falling 10 feet from a treehouse puts 3 or 4 feet in a better perspective...not that it isn't still scary sometimes: i value what's left of my brain. :D

graham christian
11-04-2011, 10:12 PM
First, and I apologize for going off-topic, but in the effort for promoting greater dialogue, I think describing how people don't "get it" detracts from the conversation...particularly when saying "all" people posting on the topic are missing something. A) Not everyone is posting all their knowledge, but are addressing aspects of it; B) and sincerely, I would think you'd be more sensitive about telling people they're missing key aspects of their training.

In my experience I've had about as much forward as backward "ukemi" in my life no and off the mat.

I wouldn't say nothing changes: the need for good ukemi skills increases because momentum forces increase. A relative beginner can roll or break their fall from low heights pretty easily, but the greater the "down," the greater the need to harmonize yourself with the ground before the ground harmonizes you on its own non-considerate terms.

Hi Matthew.
On your first point about promoting greater dialogue. It's still my view now. I don't think saying what I see is insensitive. If others disagree they would actually dialogue about it and tell me they use those points all the time. No one did.

In life regarding teaching Aikido I come across quite a few things that Aikidoka assume and have been taught until they meet me. I don't say to them 'you do know' I observe and then point out what they don't know and don't understand. Some points relate to all I've ever met from various styles. Therefore I conclude across the board. I'm quite open to others saying that's not true because we do that here.

On point b) it sounds reasonable as you put it but not so to me. I can see things missing and therefore can say. Again it's so easy to disprove by someone saying we do that here. What's the problem?

On the foreward and backward ukemi in life are you sure you are understanding what I said? If you did then I don't think that would be your response.

Your answer to the last point also makes me believe you have a misunderstanding on what I said also.

So there you are. Those last two points I am saying you don't understand what I said. That's not rude, it's not demeaning, it's opening the door to a) the possibility and probability from my view that there is a misunderstanding on your part or b) that the cause is my presentation.

I can say this because you are not communicating from the concept that I put foreward. So somewhere there's a misunderstanding going on.

Regards.G.

kewms
11-04-2011, 11:59 PM
On point b) it sounds reasonable as you put it but not so to me. I can see things missing and therefore can say. Again it's so easy to disprove by someone saying we do that here.

Actually, not so easy. The number of people who say "we do that here" (regardless of what "that" is) doesn't seem to have much relationship to the number of people *actually* doing it when I go out and train at different places. Everyone's aikido is fantastic on the internet...

Which is why video is useful. Although in many cases one does need to feel what's going on, video can at least make sure people are talking about the same visible manifestations. A "splat" straight down breakfall looks very different from a layout-into-a-breakfall style roll.

It's also why people tend to be skeptical when someone comes along claiming that large numbers of aikidoka are mistaken on this or that point. While there are a few people who truly have unique insights into the art, most of us are not such special snowflakes.

Katherine

Mario Tobias
11-05-2011, 12:00 AM
wow, less than a day for the original post and 50 responses already.

one of the hardest ukemis I've had to manage was from an atypical shihonage technique. The guy had an iron grip and was throwing straight down deep in his center. You can't do a back roll and you can't do a flip. All you can do is to do a back splat, it hurts. it's not even considered "high".

kewms
11-05-2011, 12:06 AM
I remember hearing about a study of cats with broken legs from falling various heights in which there seemed to be less chance of injury on slightly higher elevations than some lesser heights. The reason given for why was that initially cats tended to tense up in anticipation, but past a certain height they had enough time to begin to relax.

It also takes a certain amount of time to rotate around to be feet first. I see that in my own cats. One of them is a great leaper: he'll jump straight up in pursuit of a toy, then flip himself around in mid-air so that he comes down on it feet first. But with a lower jump, or if he ends up too close to a wall or other object that interrupts his flip, he can easily find himself crashing straight down, landing on his side or something instead.

Want to study relaxed ukemi? Watch cats playing with each other.

Not a great model for humans, though. They cheat, what with extra vertebrae and floating shoulders and such. :-(

Katherine

Janet Rosen
11-05-2011, 01:36 AM
Katherine, AFAIK research bears out your and also my direct observation of cats needing time/space (ma'aow ?) to rotate.
I watch mine take slow and totally relaxed rolls and falls to learn from them...but it's that soft slow float straight up the wall that I know I'll never manage :-)

Mary Eastland
11-05-2011, 08:35 AM
wow, less than a day for the original post and 50 responses already.

one of the hardest ukemis I've had to manage was from an atypical shihonage technique. The guy had an iron grip and was throwing straight down deep in his center. You can't do a back roll and you can't do a flip. All you can do is to do a back splat, it hurts. it's not even considered "high".

That is just wrong. Uke can get really hurt from that kind of practice.

SeaGrass
11-05-2011, 08:41 AM
you know the mud eel in vietnam? slipper as hell and very difficult to pin down (and taste like chicken :) )

hahaha, you meant those slippery mud skippers? I saw them for the first time a few years back. They did taste like chicken :D

Demetrio Cereijo
11-05-2011, 08:50 AM
Are you talking about the kind of breakfalls uke does in this clip?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=479YHWvilFk

Shadowfax
11-05-2011, 09:05 AM
O.K. You are persistent.

http://youtu.be/ttipyZQTguE

In this video I'll give more clarity for you. At 1-05 there is a more pertinent example, a no choice but to example.

At 3.55 similar.
At 4.30 there is an example of going over circularly but actually the landing is more as per straight down, ie: sinking into the mat with no roll.
At 5.10 similar to the last as from kotegaeshe but this time a complete roll,
Finally at 5.24 there's a mix. As the throw twisted and projected then the body landed going kind of sideways roll on impact but then rooted and put the arms out to in mid air to disperse the energy.

The examples you point to above I would say this. If the person is going down but still managing to roll, rock backwards then I class that as backward ukemi, a roll. If they go flat out then it's the other one.

Regards.G.

That bit at 5:24....seems to me that catching yourself on your elbows like that is just a very bad idea.

sorokod
11-05-2011, 09:48 AM
Are you talking about the kind of breakfalls uke does in this clip?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=479YHWvilFk

I would definitely consider this a high ( :-) ) quality ukemi. It is the fact that the uke can absorb so much energy and then immediately attack again, indicates that the uke is appropriately relaxed. Also worth noting that the uke has no choice, he has to go down and make the best of it. This is different from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttipyZQTguE#t=5m14s for example, where the uke is in effect encouraged to escape.

Demetrio Cereijo
11-05-2011, 10:03 AM
Yes, two different kind of ukemi, both situational and both worth learning, imo.

Demetrio Cereijo
11-05-2011, 10:23 AM
one of the hardest ukemis I've had to manage was from an atypical shihonage technique. The guy had an iron grip and was throwing straight down deep in his center. You can't do a back roll and you can't do a flip. All you can do is to do a back splat, it hurts. it's not even considered "high".

Something looking like this ones?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAVP7F89cpU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oex5jstvPLc

mathewjgano
11-05-2011, 12:56 PM
Hi Graham,

On your first point about promoting greater dialogue. It's still my view now. I don't think saying what I see is insensitive. If others disagree they would actually dialogue about it and tell me they use those points all the time. No one did.
I think everyone should be able to give their opinion on anything, but I believe it often tends to get in the way. I think we can discuss ukemi without addressing who knows what; it struck me as a bit ironic, but it's not that important I guess and so happily digress.:)

In life regarding teaching Aikido I come across quite a few things that Aikidoka assume and have been taught until they meet me. I don't say to them 'you do know' I observe and then point out what they don't know and don't understand.
I prefer to frame teaching in terms of "this is how I do it," rather than "you don't understand; this is proper understanding." A matter of personal taste, I guess; maybe I would feel different if I had more experience/understanding.

On the foreward and backward ukemi in life are you sure you are understanding what I said? If you did then I don't think that would be your response.
I'm rarely sure I fully understand what people are saying. I've missed too many obvious points in the past to assume that. Would you be willing to elaborate? The following led me to think of ukemi in my everyday life; the examples are of one moving forward, and one moving backward, to my mind. So I guess I didn't "[get the picture of how forward ukemi isn't often needed in life]" from it. In my life, whether it's a drop or not, forward and backward seem fairly close in proportion of usage...thinking of my 20+ years of sports and activity in daily life.

You see, if you were to launch yourself over a low hedge or even a sudden ditch whilst running you would see the use of one. Even if you were to spring away from an oncoming vehicle to save your own life. Get the picture? Thus we see the fore-ward ukemi as something not often needed in life but useful whereas a backward roll or ukemi much more often needed or employed.

So there you are. Those last two points I am saying you don't understand what I said. That's not rude, it's not demeaning, it's opening the door to a) the possibility and probability from my view that there is a misunderstanding on your part or b) that the cause is my presentation.
I have no problem being told I misunderstand something...chances are good I do. There is a difference, as I see it (and then I really will digress, I promise :D), between suggesting people misunderstand what you're saying and suggesting all the people misunderstand the real point of an ukemi form based on brief internet remarks. I didn't think you were being rude. I probably should have just remained on-topic; sorry for the distraction.
Take care,
Matt

ninjaqutie
11-05-2011, 01:05 PM
That is just wrong. Uke can get really hurt from that kind of practice.

Uke could get hurt, but I wouldn't consider that technique "wrong". Shihonage is one of the most dangerous techniques for ukemi because you can smack your head on the mat, however just because there is room for injury doesn't make a variation of a technique wrong. I have taken ukemi in this method and it is more difficult, but manageable if you can get out of your own way, tuck your chin, relax and absorb the landing with a slap (or other preferred non-slapping method too I suppose).

mathewjgano
11-05-2011, 01:34 PM
Uke could get hurt, but I wouldn't consider that technique "wrong". Shihonage is one of the most dangerous techniques for ukemi because you can smack your head on the mat, however just because there is room for injury doesn't make a variation of a technique wrong. I have taken ukemi in this method and it is more difficult, but manageable if you can get out of your own way, tuck your chin, relax and absorb the landing with a slap (or other preferred non-slapping method too I suppose).

In the Shodokan method there are a couple techniques I tasted which plant aite straight back and down, similar to Demetrio's Yoshinkan example of shihonage. It definately gets you to tuck your chin!
Ushiro ate examples:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obxocbg0rlE&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-7NOGHe1E8&NR=1 (@ ~ :39)

Janet Rosen
11-05-2011, 02:06 PM
I've been thrown straight down many times (generally on some wonderfully devastating iriminages that approached "no touch" throw status in which my momentum was so great the lower half of my shot up in the air as my upper body went straight back/down) the type where you land hard wonsering what happened...and never considered this dangerous because my body had enough repetitions to assume proper position.
Having said that...conceivably a person adding unneeded power for the attack I'd offered could have added more downward speed than I could handle in the short distance and end up hitting back of head...speaks to importance of both partner's intent and matching of energy.

graham christian
11-05-2011, 04:28 PM
Are you talking about the kind of breakfalls uke does in this clip?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=479YHWvilFk

Has a couple of good examples there. You can't argue that one of them was high. However , how he handled hitting the mat is precisely the point. First he knew how to disperse the energy, secondly he knew how to then bounce back ready to attack again.

This is actually advanced on from the basics I describe. This is precisely why I find the view of someone saying show me a demo on film like it's a five minute job unreasonable. There are a number of basics involved in that one shown and you can't know them from watching that.

If all someone sees is 'ouch' then it shows me lack of understanding for example.

Thus you can tell amount of understanding by what someone does say.

Regards.G.

graham christian
11-05-2011, 04:31 PM
wow, less than a day for the original post and 50 responses already.

one of the hardest ukemis I've had to manage was from an atypical shihonage technique. The guy had an iron grip and was throwing straight down deep in his center. You can't do a back roll and you can't do a flip. All you can do is to do a back splat, it hurts. it's not even considered "high".

Yep. You get the picture. The point is you can learn how to meet the mat so that back doesn't hurt.

Regards.G.

graham christian
11-05-2011, 04:49 PM
That bit at 5:24....seems to me that catching yourself on your elbows like that is just a very bad idea.

Hi Cherie. Good example of how things are usually observed which I am saying is wrong due to lack of understanding. Allow me to explain.

The two concepts were a) rolling or rotating with the ground and b) sinking in and dispersing energy from the impact.

Now that means any time your body meets the mat at any angle. There is a third one but that is based on b) and involves springing.

Anyway, therefore when watching someone thrown the first thing to look for is what was the result on ukes body? how did he handle hitting the mat? How was he after it?

If he was fine then you can see he was doing something that prevented him getting hurt.

So in the example you use the form was twisted. That was caused right at the point of throwing. However, then the form when hitting the mat looked awkward but the question is was the principles I described being used? a) was used followed by b). Thus me o.k.

Using elbows without those principles is not a good idea no. The point is sometimes things don't happen as they should so all the more reason to know what to do when that's the case.

Hence also the need for the difference between demonstration video and one showing practice. Thus I said I don't have a demonstration video.

Hope that clears that up.

Regards.G.

graham christian
11-05-2011, 05:08 PM
Hi Graham,

I think everyone should be able to give their opinion on anything, but I believe it often tends to get in the way. I think we can discuss ukemi without addressing who knows what; it struck me as a bit ironic, but it's not that important I guess and so happily digress.:)

I prefer to frame teaching in terms of "this is how I do it," rather than "you don't understand; this is proper understanding." A matter of personal taste, I guess; maybe I would feel different if I had more experience/understanding.

I'm rarely sure I fully understand what people are saying. I've missed too many obvious points in the past to assume that. Would you be willing to elaborate? The following led me to think of ukemi in my everyday life; the examples are of one moving forward, and one moving backward, to my mind. So I guess I didn't "[get the picture of how forward ukemi isn't often needed in life]" from it. In my life, whether it's a drop or not, forward and backward seem fairly close in proportion of usage...thinking of my 20+ years of sports and activity in daily life.

I have no problem being told I misunderstand something...chances are good I do. There is a difference, as I see it (and then I really will digress, I promise :D), between suggesting people misunderstand what you're saying and suggesting all the people misunderstand the real point of an ukemi form based on brief internet remarks. I didn't think you were being rude. I probably should have just remained on-topic; sorry for the distraction.
Take care,
Matt

Hi Matthew. The point on foreward and backward ukemis in life.

At that point I was talking rolls. So foreward roll and backward roll. So in life how many times have you had to throw yourself foreward into a roll to avoid something? Compare that to how many times you have fallen, been pushed or tripped and turnrned into a backward roll. I am assuming that the second is more.

Then we progress to there is rolling and there is falling without rolling. the principles of the second are described. the second is therefore actually a very common occurence in life. If you know the principles described then you will hurt yourself less. That's the point. Now carry that over onto the mat and then see that even if form is bad or you trip or whatever then if the meeting with the mat is based on principles then that is a breakfall.

So you may on your first response be right, you may have done just as many rolls foreward in life as backwards. So there I may be wrong.

Anyway, it's all good.

Regards.G.

graham christian
11-05-2011, 05:17 PM
That is just wrong. Uke can get really hurt from that kind of practice.

Mary. I asked why you don't do break-falls in your Aikido but didn't get a reply. Now you say the described technique is bad and uke could get hurt. I'm missing your point completely and not sure even what you mean by no break-falls.

Care to elaborate?

Regards.G.

Mario Tobias
11-05-2011, 07:12 PM
Something looking like this ones?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAVP7F89cpU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oex5jstvPLc

Yep. Although if you notice nage was throwing on one of his sides throwing with one hand. My nage was throwing to his center using 2 hands. You can imagine how much distance I needed to adjust so I wouldnt be in an akward twisted position. There's also danger that there's a knee clipping your back.

Another devastating technique is hanmi handachi shihonage ura where nage doesnt move except his arms. He starts straightening your arms and you really need to move around him otherwise your going to break something. He then throws straight down towards his center between his knees, not throwing you outside. The head typically slaps the mat if you dont tuck the chin in. I'd prefer doing the high breakfalls than this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqVo62I2gzY

kewms
11-05-2011, 08:53 PM
At that point I was talking rolls. So foreward roll and backward roll. So in life how many times have you had to throw yourself foreward into a roll to avoid something? Compare that to how many times you have fallen, been pushed or tripped and turnrned into a backward roll. I am assuming that the second is more.

If Nurse Janet is reading, she might have some insight on the relative frequency of head/tailbone injuries (falling backward) vs. hand/elbow/knee injuries (falling forward). I personally know people who have done both.

A forward fall is going to happen if something suddenly stops your forward motion while your upper body keeps going: wheel of a bicycle collapsing, hitting a pothole on skates, tripping while stepping up.

A backward fall is more likely to happen if your upper body stops while your legs keep moving: slipping on ice, say, or missing a step down.

But both are entirely plausible.

I'm not differentiating between falls and rolls here because an untrained person in the same situation will likely just go splat, probably injuring whatever body part(s) makes contact first. An aikidoka will (we hope) be able to take ukemi appropriate to the situation, which might be a roll, a fall, or simply recovering their balance and getting on with their lives.

Katherine

graham christian
11-05-2011, 09:36 PM
If Nurse Janet is reading, she might have some insight on the relative frequency of head/tailbone injuries (falling backward) vs. hand/elbow/knee injuries (falling forward). I personally know people who have done both.

A forward fall is going to happen if something suddenly stops your forward motion while your upper body keeps going: wheel of a bicycle collapsing, hitting a pothole on skates, tripping while stepping up.

A backward fall is more likely to happen if your upper body stops while your legs keep moving: slipping on ice, say, or missing a step down.

But both are entirely plausible.

I'm not differentiating between falls and rolls here because an untrained person in the same situation will likely just go splat, probably injuring whatever body part(s) makes contact first. An aikidoka will (we hope) be able to take ukemi appropriate to the situation, which might be a roll, a fall, or simply recovering their balance and getting on with their lives.

Katherine

Sorry, you lost me there. You quote what I said which was specifically rolls but then give examples of not differentiating. Thus not sure what the point is.

Where you say a backward fall is more likely to happen I don't get that either. I would think legs stop and upper body keeps going would be far more common even in such things as going to sit on something and missing, leaning back on things that move or collapse, pulling something that breaks, etc.

Also when I say in normal life I tend to think not of fast motions as the most common but normal walking, carrying, sitting, turning and bumping into something and falling backwards etc. Thes slower activities are far more common I would say.

Anyway, that's all a minor point in the op. If the basics of the straight down fall are emphasized and learned then the ground wont look so dangerous and injuries will be prevented. This one being by far the most common type of fall in life thus should be seen as a necessity I would say.

Regards.G.

Janet Rosen
11-05-2011, 10:06 PM
If Nurse Janet is reading, she might have some insight on the relative frequency of head/tailbone injuries (falling backward) vs. hand/elbow/knee injuries (falling forward). I personally know people who have done both.

Don't know about relative frequency...I do know what women who fall forward are VERY prone to the Colles fracture, a particularly nasty form of wrist fracture (and why I love Ellis Amdur's Ukemi From The Ground Up dvd, which early on shows an easy-for-newbies-to-do-at-home exercise to build better body habit!) while those who fall back/side are prone to hip fractures....
of course, how one loses balance dictates whether one falls forward or back. It's the training that allows the body to choose the correct response.

Sometimes on high velocity forward (like over bike handlebars) extending forward, then tucking and rolling even into multiple rolls to eat up the energy is appropriate, but if "uke" sees that forward rolling is going to roll her into trouble (wall or traffic) an experienced body can bail on one, redirect energy to one side of the body, and transform that roll into a breakfall landing. I've done it.

Going backwards, well I"ve never been a fan of backrolls and since my knee blew out don't do them at all - all my back ukemi is some sort of fall, soft style round fall or solid breakfall depending on the situation.

kewms
11-05-2011, 10:06 PM
Sorry if I was unclear. My point was simply that I've seen plenty of examples of both forward and backward falls, both in my own experience and that of others, and so I'm not prepared to agree that either is more common without additional evidence. And secondarily that a given situation that leads to contact with the ground might cause either a roll or a fall, depending on the individual.

Millions of "normal" people run, ride bicycles, and do other activities at a pace greater than walking. You can't ignore such activities if you're studying falls.

Of the falls I'm personally familiar with -- admittedly a small sample -- the most common causes are (a) slipping on ice, (b) being elderly and frail, and (c) participating in active recreation of some kind.

Katherine

kewms
11-05-2011, 10:13 PM
Sometimes on high velocity forward (like over bike handlebars) extending forward, then tucking and rolling even into multiple rolls to eat up the energy is appropriate, but if "uke" sees that forward rolling is going to roll her into trouble (wall or traffic) an experienced body can bail on one, redirect energy to one side of the body, and transform that roll into a breakfall landing. I've done it.

I've done that in the dojo to avoid collisions. I actually have a small scar from such an incident on the back of one hand: mat burn because it was the only point in contact with the mat when I did an emergency pivot.

The really fun part of head-over-handlebars falls is the possibility that the bike will come with you. Never had the pleasure myself, fortunately, but have heard plenty of stories.

Katherine

Lyle Laizure
11-05-2011, 10:55 PM
IMO if a person makes a blaket response on how most folks just don't understand what he/she is saying it is probably because the one that is sharing lacks sufficient ability to communicate. Instructors need to be able to "teach" or "demonstrate" the technique or concept in a variety of different ways.

There was an instructor that visited my area a few years back. He said that I wouldn't want to miss his seminar as he was going to be teaching stuff noone had done before. Graham, brother, you sound a lot like this visitor.

graham christian
11-06-2011, 05:34 AM
Sorry if I was unclear. My point was simply that I've seen plenty of examples of both forward and backward falls, both in my own experience and that of others, and so I'm not prepared to agree that either is more common without additional evidence. And secondarily that a given situation that leads to contact with the ground might cause either a roll or a fall, depending on the individual.

Millions of "normal" people run, ride bicycles, and do other activities at a pace greater than walking. You can't ignore such activities if you're studying falls.

Of the falls I'm personally familiar with -- admittedly a small sample -- the most common causes are (a) slipping on ice, (b) being elderly and frail, and (c) participating in active recreation of some kind.

Katherine

O.K. Thank you, I get it.

One point though. THE major point if I may say so. On what some are calling 'solid' breakfalls ie: the one I call straight down. Relaxing into the ground, dispersing energy not only laterally but more importantly down and out through the ground, that's the major point in the op. That's the one that prevents injury most often. That's the one people avoid, in my view because they have never been taught it in Aikido.

Only one person in this thread has had reality on that point, reality enough to see it's benefit and say how it saved her from great injury more than once.

Regards,G,

graham christian
11-06-2011, 06:28 AM
IMO if a person makes a blaket response on how most folks just don't understand what he/she is saying it is probably because the one that is sharing lacks sufficient ability to communicate. Instructors need to be able to "teach" or "demonstrate" the technique or concept in a variety of different ways.

There was an instructor that visited my area a few years back. He said that I wouldn't want to miss his seminar as he was going to be teaching stuff noone had done before. Graham, brother, you sound a lot like this visitor.

Lyle, I may sound like a lot of 'fools' so what? It's not my fault if there are lots of them. Read the above post, only one person so far had the reality I put foreward. A reality I say should be basic. Yet it's hard to see that because no one's said it.

It's also hard to explain when you know others won't get it because they will only be referring in their minds to things and experiences they are used to.

Beginners mind is talked a lot about here but even that, is it real to those who keep mentioning it?

It means an open mind. It means leave all your assumptions, prejudices, reactions, etc. at the door.

With this mind a person could see it's a blanket, bold statement and find that interesting. Thus their approach would be from interest rather than any other attitude. They may even have interest and disagreement or confusion or concern, that's fine too.

I do not believe that after reading the op, and seeing the response and examples I agree with ie: (the falling off ladder, the falling off roof) that a person can't see the concept of relaxing into the ground that I am referring to.

So the only questions for them is do they practice it? Is it basic? Is it a fundamental principle? Is the op correct? Is it taught generally as that principle in Aikido?

It is in judo. It is in wwf, hence my mention of it. It is in many falling arts. In this art however all I here is how damaging such falls can be and zero on how to make that not a problem.

When you check it out you will find actually that many people and shihans say 'this is how it should be done' and go on to say how others do it wrong, or show why other ways are wrong. So saying something is missing or wrong or even unknown is nothing new, it's open for debate.

Also I hear many TOP aikido people here on this forum complaining how modern aikido has lost something. Now that's blanket is it not? Personally I feel every time they get specific on what they consider is misssing and the reasons for it they get it completely wrong on most points. So that's my blanket response.

If I mention a point that causes a big reaction, a lot of put down, a lot of emotive reaction, then sometimes it may be down to me but I think the vast majority of times it's because I've hit a raw nerve. A point of blindness, a point others have never thoroughly looked at and inspected, a firm belief held that I have challenged. This can be looked upon by others as mischief, ignorance, arrogance or whatever, I don't really care. I mention what I can see and usually what I know, not think I know.

So there you have it. My sunday morning sermon ha,ha.

Regards.G.

kewms
11-06-2011, 11:55 AM
One point though. THE major point if I may say so. On what some are calling 'solid' breakfalls ie: the one I call straight down. Relaxing into the ground, dispersing energy not only laterally but more importantly down and out through the ground, that's the major point in the op. That's the one that prevents injury most often. That's the one people avoid, in my view because they have never been taught it in Aikido.

*shrug* Both my current and my previous dojo do these and teach these. So I ignored that part of your original post because I thought it was obvious and boring. ;)

In most forums, jumping in to say little more than "me too" is considered rude, so a lack of responses doesn't necessarily indicate that your post was outside of other people's experience.

Katherine

mathewjgano
11-06-2011, 12:10 PM
Hi Matthew. The point on foreward and backward ukemis in life.

At that point I was talking rolls. So foreward roll and backward roll. So in life how many times have you had to throw yourself foreward into a roll to avoid something? Compare that to how many times you have fallen, been pushed or tripped and turnrned into a backward roll. I am assuming that the second is more.

Then we progress to there is rolling and there is falling without rolling. the principles of the second are described. the second is therefore actually a very common occurence in life. If you know the principles described then you will hurt yourself less. That's the point. Now carry that over onto the mat and then see that even if form is bad or you trip or whatever then if the meeting with the mat is based on principles then that is a breakfall.

So you may on your first response be right, you may have done just as many rolls foreward in life as backwards. So there I may be wrong.

Anyway, it's all good.

Regards.G.

Hi Graham,
One thing is certain, I'll be paying more attention to it in the near future! :D
I can't think of too many times that I've rolled forward to avoid something, but I can't think of too many times I've rolled backwards to avoid something either. I've rolled usually as a response to tripping on something (mostly someone's foot in soccer). Trying to avoid things usually causes me to use some kind of suriashi movement (probably more often backward than forward). When I've slipped and fallen it definately tended to be backwards. Last year in fact I had a bad fall in a soccer game where I landed all my weight on the left rear corner of my hip. Bad ukemi! It was bruised fairly deeply and it limited my play for a couple weeks. I definately didn't harmonize with the ground on my own terms!:uch: Practice makes perfect (or as my drivers' ed. teacher said: "proper practice prevents poor performance") and my lack of practice has made a definate lack of perfect.
Do you have your students practice ukemi movements apart from waza? One of the things I found useful for myself was to really focus on gradual increases of height, starting without even leaving the ground. Just moving around in different ways and seeing how my body feels flipping/rolling this way or that. Then trying to all but leave the ground, maintaining one solid point of contact with it; then leaving the ground a little, but staying close to it; and then finally trying to launch myself (with different degrees of lateral movement).
Different surfaces too: I used to practice rolls on concrete once I could roll on soft surfaces pretty easily. The "launching" rolls really forced me to learn how to have a strong round shape...to round my corners. Having some sense of hard surfaces is invaluable for good ukemi skills. Slapping the mat hard, for example, can be a great way to break your hand/wrist if you're too used to plush mats and you find yourself on concrete instead.
Take care,
Matt

mathewjgano
11-06-2011, 12:52 PM
Relaxing into the ground, dispersing energy not only laterally but more importantly down and out through the ground, that's the major point in the op. That's the one that prevents injury most often. That's the one people avoid, in my view because they have never been taught it in Aikido.


I think of this in terms of my understanding of physics, and this is what I was trying to describe earlier: In a fall "down," when you touch the ground, the energy is going down into the ground and bouncing back up through the body; this cannot be controlled. Relaxation allows the energy to spread out (laterally from the initial point(s)), dissipating the impact along different regions; while tensing causes it to focus places, causing greater damage to those localized areas. So when you relax "into the ground," you're actually allowing the energy to spread outward from the initial point of impact, spreading it through the body so more parts take their share of the impact. My sense of things is that it's the "relaxing" more than the "into the ground." I can see how embracing the ground consciously might actively remove unconscious tension though.
Not everything should relax in all falls, however, or you can end up with serious head injuries.
My sense of things at any rate.
For what it's worth.
Take care,
Matt

graham christian
11-06-2011, 01:11 PM
Hi Graham,
One thing is certain, I'll be paying more attention to it in the near future! :D
I can't think of too many times that I've rolled forward to avoid something, but I can't think of too many times I've rolled backwards to avoid something either. I've rolled usually as a response to tripping on something (mostly someone's foot in soccer). Trying to avoid things usually causes me to use some kind of suriashi movement (probably more often backward than forward). When I've slipped and fallen it definately tended to be backwards. Last year in fact I had a bad fall in a soccer game where I landed all my weight on the left rear corner of my hip. Bad ukemi! It was bruised fairly deeply and it limited my play for a couple weeks. I definately didn't harmonize with the ground on my own terms!:uch: Practice makes perfect (or as my drivers' ed. teacher said: "proper practice prevents poor performance") and my lack of practice has made a definate lack of perfect.
Do you have your students practice ukemi movements apart from waza? One of the things I found useful for myself was to really focus on gradual increases of height, starting without even leaving the ground. Just moving around in different ways and seeing how my body feels flipping/rolling this way or that. Then trying to all but leave the ground, maintaining one solid point of contact with it; then leaving the ground a little, but staying close to it; and then finally trying to launch myself (with different degrees of lateral movement).
Different surfaces too: I used to practice rolls on concrete once I could roll on soft surfaces pretty easily. The "launching" rolls really forced me to learn how to have a strong round shape...to round my corners. Having some sense of hard surfaces is invaluable for good ukemi skills. Slapping the mat hard, for example, can be a great way to break your hand/wrist if you're too used to plush mats and you find yourself on concrete instead.
Take care,
Matt

I teach ukemi as rolls foreward and backward on their own yes. However I teach mainly to non-resist the mat or ground as I describe from falls which are not rolls. In other words if they fall sidewards, flat forewards face down, flat on their back, down on their knees, no difference, they are all breakfalls.

So the standard foreward and backward ukemis as rolls are secondary for me.

When teaching forward ukemi I introduce them into aikitaiso. First from the knees so low ones. Then from standing projecting yourself. Backward ones from standing first as an exercise down and up continuously.

How much depends solely on how good they are getting at it.

For forward ones I then teach how to come up facing forward or to come up facing the way you came from. That would be my next step on the process. Backward ones would be going all the way over and up.

Next for foreward would be over things or across distances. This I would call advanced and not super necessary.

When I was much younger ha,ha, we were taught many high and many long foreward breakfalls and some sideways ones the likes of which I've never seen elsewhere. Anyway, for the high ones we would start with someone laying down and breaking over them. Then on up to them being on their knees crouching. When the limits of height by that method was reached we would move on to someone holding a jo out like a bar which you had to breakfall over so the height could go up to whatever.

The long ones were done by placing two jo's on the mat a distance apart from each other and you had to clear them.

I agree with your view of eventual forming a 'strong' round shape for I would say that comes when you are now confident that the circular shape protects. For me it also equals turning around your own center.

As far as hard surfaces goes yes I remember that being a challenge. I started on grass then anywhere. I remember having a similar debate with two Aikidoka a few years ago outside a row of garages near a car park. I was telling them their aikido breakfalls were the reason for their damage and it was the second time they had come to argue the point. A bit like on here I said my piece and told them if they don't believe me then they****** well you get the picture. In the end they said prove it.
We were on knobbley concrete so I just suddenly launched into a foreward breakfall. The only funny bit was that loose change came flying out of my pockets all over the floor.

I then told one to push me and I went back flat on my back to show them. I then said how I'm not muscley or young but neither am I hurt. That's when they got the reality.

The slapping the hand as you put it is not as easy as it looks. I call this a springing one rather than the flat out dispersal one where you stay where you are, not getting straight back up.

That one takes more work and more understanding to perfect.

Just to add, in aikitaiso I do tests during the exercises. For instance, when doing backward ukemi ie: down, roll back, roll foreward and up. On the up I wil meet them by pushing down on their shoulders as they are coming up. They are to ignore the pressure and carry on up 'through' my push down. Things like this to develope center.

O.k. enough from me.

Regards.G.

graham christian
11-06-2011, 01:17 PM
I think of this in terms of my understanding of physics, and this is what I was trying to describe earlier: In a fall "down," when you touch the ground, the energy is going down into the ground and bouncing back up through the body; this cannot be controlled. Relaxation allows the energy to spread out (laterally from the initial point(s)), dissipating the impact along different regions; while tensing causes it to focus places, causing greater damage to those localized areas. So when you relax "into the ground," you're actually allowing the energy to spread outward from the initial point of impact, spreading it through the body so more parts take their share of the impact. My sense of things is that it's the "relaxing" more than the "into the ground." I can see how embracing the ground consciously might actively remove unconscious tension though.
Not everything should relax in all falls, however, or you can end up with serious head injuries.
My sense of things at any rate.
For what it's worth.
Take care,
Matt

Yes. Thats it basically. I do actually say how the head has to be tucked foreward as it's not conducive to such impact. But yes overall. From this you can see that if someone grabs you by the lapels and slams you up against a wall that it's the same'break-fall' albeit on a vertical plane.

Regards.G.

Lyle Laizure
11-06-2011, 03:46 PM
Lyle, I may sound like a lot of 'fools' so what? It's not my fault if there are lots of them. Read the above post, only one person so far had the reality I put foreward. A reality I say should be basic. Yet it's hard to see that because no one's said it.

It's also hard to explain when you know others won't get it because they will only be referring in their minds to things and experiences they are used to.

Beginners mind is talked a lot about here but even that, is it real to those who keep mentioning it?

It means an open mind. It means leave all your assumptions, prejudices, reactions, etc. at the door.

With this mind a person could see it's a blanket, bold statement and find that interesting. Thus their approach would be from interest rather than any other attitude. They may even have interest and disagreement or confusion or concern, that's fine too.

I do not believe that after reading the op, and seeing the response and examples I agree with ie: (the falling off ladder, the falling off roof) that a person can't see the concept of relaxing into the ground that I am referring to.

So the only questions for them is do they practice it? Is it basic? Is it a fundamental principle? Is the op correct? Is it taught generally as that principle in Aikido?

It is in judo. It is in wwf, hence my mention of it. It is in many falling arts. In this art however all I here is how damaging such falls can be and zero on how to make that not a problem.

When you check it out you will find actually that many people and shihans say 'this is how it should be done' and go on to say how others do it wrong, or show why other ways are wrong. So saying something is missing or wrong or even unknown is nothing new, it's open for debate.

Also I hear many TOP aikido people here on this forum complaining how modern aikido has lost something. Now that's blanket is it not? Personally I feel every time they get specific on what they consider is misssing and the reasons for it they get it completely wrong on most points. So that's my blanket response.

If I mention a point that causes a big reaction, a lot of put down, a lot of emotive reaction, then sometimes it may be down to me but I think the vast majority of times it's because I've hit a raw nerve. A point of blindness, a point others have never thoroughly looked at and inspected, a firm belief held that I have challenged. This can be looked upon by others as mischief, ignorance, arrogance or whatever, I don't really care. I mention what I can see and usually what I know, not think I know.

So there you have it. My sunday morning sermon ha,ha.

Regards.G.

I'll be honest. I didn't read the majority of your post. You repeat your self. It reminds me of when the adults talk on Charlie Brown, wa wa wa wa, wa wa wa. It's like you are talking to hear yourself. I as well as a few others here have asked for a video and there is always a reason why you can't produce one of yourself doing this. I reckon it doesn't matter. Good luck to you in your training.

graham christian
11-06-2011, 05:13 PM
I'll be honest. I didn't read the majority of your post. You repeat your self. It reminds me of when the adults talk on Charlie Brown, wa wa wa wa, wa wa wa. It's like you are talking to hear yourself. I as well as a few others here have asked for a video and there is always a reason why you can't produce one of yourself doing this. I reckon it doesn't matter. Good luck to you in your training.

Ha, ha. You do give me a laugh I'll give you that.

For someone who don't read a post and then say what's not in it don't you think that's a little odd?

Plus what you say isn't in it is. That's even more bizarre. So let me do what you don't like and repeat myself.

What you say isn't there is in fact on post 43. Thereafter from 57 onwards others were posting videos and discussing.

Regards. Charlie.

robin_jet_alt
11-06-2011, 06:47 PM
O.K. You are persistent.

http://youtu.be/ttipyZQTguE

In this video I'll give more clarity for you. At 1-05 there is a more pertinent example, a no choice but to example.

At 3.55 similar.
At 4.30 there is an example of going over circularly but actually the landing is more as per straight down, ie: sinking into the mat with no roll.
At 5.10 similar to the last as from kotegaeshe but this time a complete roll,
Finally at 5.24 there's a mix. As the throw twisted and projected then the body landed going kind of sideways roll on impact but then rooted and put the arms out to in mid air to disperse the energy.

The examples you point to above I would say this. If the person is going down but still managing to roll, rock backwards then I class that as backward ukemi, a roll. If they go flat out then it's the other one.

Regards.G.

Nice ukemi at 4:30, but not spectacularly good. Not like the Isoyama video. I would call the ukemi at 5:25 somewhere between very bad and terrible. Very high potential for injury there. The same goes for the ukemi in the videos that were previously linked to. The training may have been slow and gentle, but the ukes were consistently catching themselves on their arms which has a very high potential for injury.

Overall, I tend to agree with what you are saying, Graham, if not the confrontational tone you are taking, or the execution that tends to be demonstrated in the videos (with a few exceptions).

robin_jet_alt
11-06-2011, 06:50 PM
In the Shodokan method there are a couple techniques I tasted which plant aite straight back and down, similar to Demetrio's Yoshinkan example of shihonage. It definately gets you to tuck your chin!
Ushiro ate examples:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obxocbg0rlE&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-7NOGHe1E8&NR=1 (@ ~ :39)

I don't find this ukemi, or the ukemi demonstrated in the Yoshinkan videos to be anything out of the ordinary.

I have been hesitant to post personal videos here, as I don't want to invite ridicule. However, I feel it might be instructive for people to see where I am coming from, so here is a video of some of the guys from my dojo.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tl3WSLV5P4w

*disclaimer. I do not claim to be this good. In fact I make no claims about being good at all. If you look at my other videos and find some of me, then please refrain from negative comments. I am still learning and doing my best.

ninjaqutie
11-06-2011, 07:36 PM
When I was much younger ha,ha, we were taught many high and many long foreward breakfalls and some sideways ones the likes of which I've never seen elsewhere. Anyway, for the high ones we would start with someone laying down and breaking over them. Then on up to them being on their knees crouching. When the limits of height by that method was reached we would move on to someone holding a jo out like a bar which you had to breakfall over so the height could go up to whatever.

My old instructor used to hold hula hoops up on the air about chest high that we had to go through. She would even take two hula hoops and move them so one was going up while the other was going down (to work on timing). Her theory was that we should be able to dive through an open window if necessary and using the hoops allowed us to see if our rolls were compact or if our legs were just flying behind us, in which case, the student would bring the hula hoop along with them.

The long ones were done by placing two jo's on the mat a distance apart from each other and you had to clear them.

Our dojo just had students crouch down one next to the other in the child pose position. You would then attempt to dive roll over as many of them as possible. If people were a bit scared of crushing someone, we would put one of the big guys there to take it or we would put a jo or something too. She would even have us practice doing rolls and picking up a weapon (like a knife). We did some cool stuff in the class.....

The slapping the hand as you put it is not as easy as it looks. I call this a springing one rather than the flat out dispersal one where you stay where you are, not getting straight back up. That one takes more work and more understanding to perfect

We didn't do the "lay out slap" in either of my dojo's either. We were taught to slap the mat and bring it back up to guard as fast as possible. My first teacher told me to think of it as bringing it back twice as fast as it slapped the mat. As you say, the timing can be a bit hard. I have occasionally found myself slapping too early with partners who actually control my fall (say from koshinage) instead of just letting me drop on my own. Someone with bad timing could easily catch themselves with their hand, catch themselves by landing on their elbow or just plain slap late and their body has already landed. I guess that is where exhaling is a splendid idea. I have been unable to slap at times because my arms are tied up (jujinage and such) and my only saving grace was relaxing and exhaling upon landing so the wind wasn't knocked out of me. A bit of a rough landing, but it has never been anything to write home about.

It seems that you and I have a lot in common when it comes to ukemi.... which I find interesting. :D Do you happen to have any judo/jujitsu/aikijitsu background? My first dojo was aikijitsu.

hughrbeyer
11-06-2011, 08:42 PM
I prefer to frame teaching in terms of "this is how I do it," rather than "you don't understand; this is proper understanding." A matter of personal taste, I guess; maybe I would feel different if I had more experience/understanding.

Theoretically, I'm totally with you. Practically, I discover that the few real teachers I've chosen in life tend to speak very much in the "This is right; everybody else is wrong" mode. I don't necessarily buy in to everything they say, but if they don't believe what they're teaching, why am I there?

In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, not so much.

kewms
11-06-2011, 11:22 PM
Theoretically, I'm totally with you. Practically, I discover that the few real teachers I've chosen in life tend to speak very much in the "This is right; everybody else is wrong" mode. I don't necessarily buy in to everything they say, but if they don't believe what they're teaching, why am I there?

In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, not so much.

In practice, you're actually in the guy's class and can judge for yourself.

On the internet, you can't. What if the guy on the internet says the guy who runs your dojo is an idiot?

(Knowing where you train, I think I know your answer. Just a rhetorical question.)

Katherine

mathewjgano
11-06-2011, 11:46 PM
I don't find this ukemi, or the ukemi demonstrated in the Yoshinkan videos to be anything out of the ordinary.

I have been hesitant to post personal videos here, as I don't want to invite ridicule. However, I feel it might be instructive for people to see where I am coming from, so here is a video of some of the guys from my dojo.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tl3WSLV5P4w

*disclaimer. I do not claim to be this good. In fact I make no claims about being good at all. If you look at my other videos and find some of me, then please refrain from negative comments. I am still learning and doing my best.

Hi Robin,
I don't really think they're out of the ordinary; just examples of one technique which I noticed I was particularly attentive of the back of my head while uke...in fact once I did bounce my head lightly off the mat; never feels good.
I hear you on posting video of yourself. I'm nowhere near so brave yet. Until then I'll "have" to post what others were braver than me to make.
I enjoyed the video you provided! Thank you.

Theoretically, I'm totally with you.
Hi Hugh,
I hear you. I would definately rather have people tell me what they think about something, however, for the sake of public discussions, particularly among strangers, I think it helps a little to use more neutral language.
Like I said though, if my experience were greater I might have a different view. This is based on the idea that I know next to nothing about much of anything...which I do. :D
Take care,
Matt

robin_jet_alt
11-07-2011, 12:07 AM
Hi Robin,
I don't really think they're out of the ordinary; just examples of one technique which I noticed I was particularly attentive of the back of my head while uke...in fact once I did bounce my head lightly off the mat; never feels good.
I hear you on posting video of yourself. I'm nowhere near so brave yet. Until then I'll "have" to post what others were braver than me to make.
I enjoyed the video you provided! Thank you.



Thanks. I agree with you about shiho-nage being a scary technique. My sensei agrees too and spends ages teaching all his students to receive it well because he is very concerned about their welfare. I've even heard stories about people dying after receiving too many hard shiho-nages.

graham christian
11-07-2011, 09:06 AM
Nice ukemi at 4:30, but not spectacularly good. Not like the Isoyama video. I would call the ukemi at 5:25 somewhere between very bad and terrible. Very high potential for injury there. The same goes for the ukemi in the videos that were previously linked to. The training may have been slow and gentle, but the ukes were consistently catching themselves on their arms which has a very high potential for injury.

Overall, I tend to agree with what you are saying, Graham, if not the confrontational tone you are taking, or the execution that tends to be demonstrated in the videos (with a few exceptions).

Hi Robin. I see your view there.

However, I think here lies the difference between demo videos and these. In a demo vid it's all prescribed and certain uke's are used. Thus at first I wouldn't use parts of mine in this thread and because of that received acuusations.

Now when I do you seem to be viewing them as such, a mistake my friend.

To understand my videos in particular, based on past opinions from here, I suggest don't even try for you will be way off mark. This isn't a boast it's because my Aikido is way different from anything most have experienced so comparing it to what you're used to will lead to many false assumptions.

The one for example you call very bad I have in another post explained what happened there. Yes the form was bad, twisted, but unless you know why what can you say?

The type of 'throws' techniques we do by form you may recognise but by execution I doubt.

The point of the op was teaching how to harmonize with the mat. By your comment on landing on elbows it shows me you are missing a point. The point I made was that you can land any way you please, on your knees, on your arms, on your back, whatever if those principles are in. The difference is to know when you can land one way and when you can't. You say great potential for injury. I say no injuries. Therefore there is something we are doing you are not aware of. I can imagine now walking into some dojo and telling them to just fall on their arms or elbows or knees or backs and then watching everyone get injured, it would happen the way they train and go down. So two different things there.

That demo video you show is just that, demo. No comparison. For you it may equal many things for me it equals first, the past. Second, a competent display of certain skills. That's about it for me. The uke was bouncing up to attack again and again. I used to be used as such in demos but hardly relevent to the points at hand for they are repetitive breakfall attack scenarios. The op is basics before you get anywhere near there.

Regards.G.

graham christian
11-07-2011, 09:19 AM
My old instructor used to hold hula hoops up on the air about chest high that we had to go through. She would even take two hula hoops and move them so one was going up while the other was going down (to work on timing). Her theory was that we should be able to dive through an open window if necessary and using the hoops allowed us to see if our rolls were compact or if our legs were just flying behind us, in which case, the student would bring the hula hoop along with them.

Our dojo just had students crouch down one next to the other in the child pose position. You would then attempt to dive roll over as many of them as possible. If people were a bit scared of crushing someone, we would put one of the big guys there to take it or we would put a jo or something too. She would even have us practice doing rolls and picking up a weapon (like a knife). We did some cool stuff in the class.....

We didn't do the "lay out slap" in either of my dojo's either. We were taught to slap the mat and bring it back up to guard as fast as possible. My first teacher told me to think of it as bringing it back twice as fast as it slapped the mat. As you say, the timing can be a bit hard. I have occasionally found myself slapping too early with partners who actually control my fall (say from koshinage) instead of just letting me drop on my own. Someone with bad timing could easily catch themselves with their hand, catch themselves by landing on their elbow or just plain slap late and their body has already landed. I guess that is where exhaling is a splendid idea. I have been unable to slap at times because my arms are tied up (jujinage and such) and my only saving grace was relaxing and exhaling upon landing so the wind wasn't knocked out of me. A bit of a rough landing, but it has never been anything to write home about.

It seems that you and I have a lot in common when it comes to ukemi.... which I find interesting. :D Do you happen to have any judo/jujitsu/aikijitsu background? My first dojo was aikijitsu.

Hi Ashley.
No, no judo, aikijutsu or jujitsu background. Just an old school zen type training in Aikido. Have trained with judoka after class to help them with their judo but thats all there. Used to use the terms aikijutsu during class, a method picked up from old teacher, to show how not to do things in aikido but that's all on that aspect.

I was a bit like an uchideshi to an very spiritual but disciplinarian teacher. That's about it really.

Regards.G.

Lyle Laizure
11-07-2011, 04:25 PM
you know the mud eel in vietnam? slipper as hell and very difficult to pin down (and taste like chicken :) )

Seems like a valid statement.

robin_jet_alt
11-07-2011, 05:12 PM
Hi Robin. I see your view there.

You say great potential for injury. I say no injuries. Therefore there is something we are doing you are not aware of.

That demo video you show is just that, demo.



Hi Graham,

Fair enough. I am not aware of whatever it is.

The video was posted as an example of how ukemi is done where I learned my aikido. Yes, it is a demo and they are trying to show off a little bit, but at the same time, that is the sort of ukemi we practice (with the exception of the shiho-nages). I think it is a valid example of such. I don't have any videos of regular training, so it will have to do.

graham christian
11-07-2011, 09:11 PM
Hi Graham,

Fair enough. I am not aware of whatever it is.

The video was posted as an example of how ukemi is done where I learned my aikido. Yes, it is a demo and they are trying to show off a little bit, but at the same time, that is the sort of ukemi we practice (with the exception of the shiho-nages). I think it is a valid example of such. I don't have any videos of regular training, so it will have to do.

Hi Robin. Another misunderstanding on my part or yours. When I said about using video as example I meant you using mine to point out things when mine isn't a demo video.

graham christian
11-07-2011, 09:13 PM
Hi again Robin. Now your video. I agree what it is and why it is you used it. No problem there.

Regards.G.

robin_jet_alt
11-07-2011, 09:17 PM
Hi Robin. Another misunderstanding on my part or yours. When I said about using video as example I meant you using mine to point out things when mine isn't a demo video.

I guess I am misunderstanding again. The ukemi that Hamatsu-san and Yamasaki-san are demonstrating in that video is the same ukemi that they do at the dojo. Are you saying that you would change the basics of your ukemi for a demonstration? I don't see why this would be necessary.

graham christian
11-07-2011, 10:49 PM
I guess I am misunderstanding again. The ukemi that Hamatsu-san and Yamasaki-san are demonstrating in that video is the same ukemi that they do at the dojo. Are you saying that you would change the basics of your ukemi for a demonstration? I don't see why this would be necessary.

No. I'm saying the op was about the basics of ukemi not the form of ukemi. The main topic or point then went on to a basic called landing where you can't roll. So forget rolling or bouncing back up as that's not the topic.

The basic I was putting forward was relaxing into the ground. The very thing others were actually demanding I show them was not an example of someone doing this but an example of me doing this.

Thus in the video I finally provided under protest was an example of me being splattered. You see me flat out splatt. I'm saying that is a basic breakfall, very basic. If you apply it it looks like you should be hurt but you will not be.

It's not what generally springs to mind when the term breakfall is used, hence my pains to point out what I was talking about. A new look.

I did on one post say look at it like an aeroplane flight in four parts. 1) preparing to take off. 2) taking off. 3)the flight 4) the actual landing. Thus I said this thread was only about the landing bit not the form. Where body meets mat.

So it doesn't matter what part of body so much as what you do with that part of body and the impact.
(lets forget head here shall we)

Therefore if you relax the legs as the impact the mat and allow the energy to disperse it will and you will not get hurt legs. The same with going down flat on your back. These people generally find dangerous or painful or hurting but that's precisely my point. they needn't be.

Anyway, let's wrap this one up, enough already. Ha,ha.

Regards.G.

Basia Halliop
11-08-2011, 09:53 AM
I think you have a point here.

I wouldn't go so far as to say that the form of your landing doesn't matter or that any body part can hit the ground equally safely: from what I feel physically when I get thrown around, there are definitely better and worse positions to land in. But in my experience the right kind of relaxation and way of holding your body can go a huge way to make up for less-than-ideal landings. (and can turn a good landing into an even more pleasant one)

I definitely have learned to aim to land in certain ways, but I've noticed that as I get more practice and experience, a 'weird' or even fairly 'bad' landing rarely affects me as much as it did a few years ago (whether it's due to my own mistake or an unusual way of throwing or some combination). Sometimes it hurts but mildly, other times it even feels fine, when I wouldn't have thought it would.

I do think there's a limit to this, though. Some angles, especially with a lot of force, there's just not as much you can do with your body to make it less harmful. So for me, I'd never give up on good form either. Use all the tools you have and you're less likely to have all your tools fail you at the same time.

graham christian
11-08-2011, 03:48 PM
I think you have a point here.

I wouldn't go so far as to say that the form of your landing doesn't matter or that any body part can hit the ground equally safely: from what I feel physically when I get thrown around, there are definitely better and worse positions to land in. But in my experience the right kind of relaxation and way of holding your body can go a huge way to make up for less-than-ideal landings. (and can turn a good landing into an even more pleasant one)

I definitely have learned to aim to land in certain ways, but I've noticed that as I get more practice and experience, a 'weird' or even fairly 'bad' landing rarely affects me as much as it did a few years ago (whether it's due to my own mistake or an unusual way of throwing or some combination). Sometimes it hurts but mildly, other times it even feels fine, when I wouldn't have thought it would.

I do think there's a limit to this, though. Some angles, especially with a lot of force, there's just not as much you can do with your body to make it less harmful. So for me, I'd never give up on good form either. Use all the tools you have and you're less likely to have all your tools fail you at the same time.

Thank you, I agree with all you say there. Of course we can always improve.

Regards.G.

robin_jet_alt
11-08-2011, 04:44 PM
I think you have a point here.

I wouldn't go so far as to say that the form of your landing doesn't matter or that any body part can hit the ground equally safely: from what I feel physically when I get thrown around, there are definitely better and worse positions to land in. But in my experience the right kind of relaxation and way of holding your body can go a huge way to make up for less-than-ideal landings. (and can turn a good landing into an even more pleasant one)

I definitely have learned to aim to land in certain ways, but I've noticed that as I get more practice and experience, a 'weird' or even fairly 'bad' landing rarely affects me as much as it did a few years ago (whether it's due to my own mistake or an unusual way of throwing or some combination). Sometimes it hurts but mildly, other times it even feels fine, when I wouldn't have thought it would.

I do think there's a limit to this, though. Some angles, especially with a lot of force, there's just not as much you can do with your body to make it less harmful. So for me, I'd never give up on good form either. Use all the tools you have and you're less likely to have all your tools fail you at the same time.

Now this is something that I completely agree with.

Aikironin21
11-23-2011, 12:30 AM
I was lucky a couple of months ago, while cutting branches from a tree, I was up on the top of a ladder where I definitely should not have been with a chainsaw. The ladder collapsed under me, and fell from the eight foot ladder, straight down, no motion in any other direction than straight down. I had presence of mind to turn off the chainsaw, then I contracted my ab muscles and crunched up around the chainsaw as I descended. I was picturing me landing on broken bits of ladder and some of the branches I had cut. I tucked my chin, and as I felt near to the ground I flattened out my body to spread the impact force out as much as I could. I prayed no piece of ladder or branch was sticking up. I let out a yell as I impacted, and popped right back up to conduct an inventory on whether I had anything impaled inside me. I didn't. The only injury I got was a bone bruise on my elbow along with a gash from a piece of the ladder, and the weight of the chainsaw caused a sprain or some kind of strain in my shoulder. It still is tender today but I kept training in Aikido and Kaj so it hasn't had a good shot at really resting.

Charles Hill
11-23-2011, 01:29 AM
*disclaimer. I do not claim to be this good. In fact I make no claims about being good at all. If you look at my other videos and find some of me, then please refrain from negative comments. I am still learning and doing my best.

Hi Robin,

I watched the clip of you at the All Japan demo. I think your ukemi is better than anyone in any of Graham`s clips. Your technique is better too. Nice work!

Charles