View Full Version : Front Falls: A Beginner's Question

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07-18-2002, 02:03 PM

Looking for those who don't mind talking to n00bs.

Brief History: Started Aikido last year. Quit after 3 months. Couldn't do front rolls. Made me dizzy.

Present: Returning to Aikido starting in the new month.

Concern: Front Rolls.

They make me dizzy. Doing 5 in a row makes me weak kneed and nauseous.

Looking For: Advice beyond the usual. I get sick on swings and won't even look at a roller coaster so getting dizzy on front rolls does not surprise me. But I'm looking for advice beyond the "focus on your belt knot". Tried that, no good.

07-18-2002, 02:07 PM
I too got dizzy, felt sick to my stomach, etc.

first thing; don't eat before class

second; try focusing ahead of you when you start and finish the roll, that helped me.

third; make sure you are breathing

One thing I find helpful is to do a back roll, and immediately follow with a front roll along the same line (they take the same line diagonally across the back) both forward and back. This can help make too.

Hope that any of these can help.



07-18-2002, 02:14 PM
Maybe these will help:



Good luck!


Young-In Park
07-18-2002, 02:14 PM
But I'm looking for advice beyond the "focus on your belt knot".
In a nutshell, could you tell me what other instruction you've recieved regarding rolling?

YoungIn Park

07-19-2002, 07:06 AM
Maybe these will help:



Good luck!

Thank you for the links. Those were very helpful and the information good.

07-20-2002, 07:19 AM
In a nutshell, could you tell me what other instruction you've recieved regarding rolling?

YoungIn Park
Dear Young-In,

It's been almost a year since I stopped doing Aikido. So hopefully I'll get to try out some of this advice soon in the new month.

What other instrustion did I receive regarding rolling. None besides the "Focus on your belt knot".

I find that the most simplest things were overlooked or perhaps I'm simply forgetting that they were told to me. But breathing out would seem to help I think. And I think I close my eyes when I roll. Also I think I didn't ball up enough. I'd put out my forearm and end up feeling more square than round and ruining the roll.

mike lee
07-20-2002, 09:51 AM
Did you get a thorough physical examination from a qualified doctor before you began training?

Assuming that you're normal and healthy, dizziness is often caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain. (It can also be caused by inner ear problems, which is a medical condition.) Therefore, make sure that you are breathing when you roll and not holding your breath. If you hold your breath, of course after two or three rolls you are going to feel dizzy. Anyone would.:freaky:

Breath in, and then as you roll, breath out. Relax. Stand up. Make sure that you have good balance and posture. Look straight ahead. Look at some fixed object on the wall. Breath, relax, and repeat the process.

Don't go too fast. Don't feel that you have to keep up with the class. If the instructor pushes you, tell him/her your situation. If they aren't being a macho hardass, they should understand.

As time goes on, you're dizziness should subside -- Then you can try going a little faster.

I also get the dizzy feeling if I haven't practiced rolling for awhile. I think it's natural. After a few sessions, I feel better. ;)

07-22-2002, 12:11 AM
If you focus on rolling too much, you may not be able to do so smoothly thus spend to much time being prone.

The sensation you should be looking for is almost like its accidental. Something like, oops I tripped! One hand lunges forward, head down, body rounded and you fall down, only to have your legs go over you and lever your body upwards again. Leaving you surprised and bewildered but not tired or breathless.

And for now, don't do rolls continously. One by one till you have it down pat.

Adam Walsh
07-22-2002, 05:53 AM
Definitely remember to breathe. A while back during multiple person Jiyuwaza (sp?) I used to get to about the fifth or sixth attack and run out of energy and become really dizzy, finally remembering to breathe. It's really silly as breathing isn't normally something you need to think about. It was the same after two hours of class when we do 20 break falls to finish off.

Your muscles need blood, your blood needs oxygen. Makes sense and prevents the dizzyness. :freaky:

Bruce Baker
07-22-2002, 09:07 AM
There are many reasons for getting dizzy, some of them are related to vestibular damage, or damage to your hearing nerves or ear canals.

I can't tell you how many different types of bodily ailments can affect your balance, as I have been researching everything and anything that affect some restoration of my balance while I continue to practice Aikido.

That is not to say that drills, vestibular practice methods to retrain your brain, or correction of diet and exercise won't increase your rolling time or decrease your dizzy spells, but if all else fails, sitting out rolls, or modification will have to suffice.

Ninety percent of learning what works for Aikido is not necessary to include rolls, or pins / manipulations at full speed.

You can find a number of things to research in Vestibular links, or look up Meniere's disease which includes a number of separate causes for uncontrolled dizzyness. If you cannot locate the exact problem, then modification of practice should be considered. It may as humbling as anything you will do in your life to excuse yourself from practice as you regain your balance as you tell the room to stop spinning, but then I have found it more irritating to either be too dizzy not to drive at all, or be forced to watch practice rather than participate at any level.

There are too many factors ranging from diet to physical damage to the body that can cause this uncontrolled dizzyness ... check out some links, find information, and try to locate your particular restrictions.

If I had started Aikido in my early twenties instead of my mid forties, I would have said that you could overcome that dizzyness with just minor training or will power, but deterioration has taught me differently.

There are many drills to help you get balance, but there are also many other factors that will need to be addressed. Take some time to research, it will give you some things to look for, and maybe increase the quality of your life ... like doing Aikido.

08-11-2002, 05:04 AM

i felt sick to wen i started front rolls

i found not eating before class helped and not thinking about the roll also helped cos if i thought about the last time i would just feel sick again.

look forward at the start then at the belt in progress to compleat.

hope this helps c ua.