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Unregistered
10-18-2002, 07:05 AM
I wondered how many people practice without tatami.

We're lucky enough that our Sensei is an Aikikai Shihan and one of our classes is held on bare floor.

Do you think this hinders or helps?

I've found sometimes that I find I have radically improved when I'm back on the mat but while on the hard floor I'm feel too concerned that I'll hurt Uke by dumping them on their back that it effects my concentration on the technique despite my confidence in their ukemi.

Ta Kung
10-18-2002, 08:58 AM
How about breakfalls on concrete? That would look cool... :eek:

Nacho_mx
10-18-2002, 09:26 AM
Aikido on a hard floor...? I pass thank you.

akiy
10-18-2002, 11:02 AM
This thread has been moved from the Anonymous forum to the Training forum.

Please do not use the Anonymous forum to merely post topics without registering and/or logging in; the Anonymous forum is intended for "delicate" subject matters for which people want to keep their identities from being revealed. I encourage people to keep this in mind before posting on the Anonymous forum as that purpose is not what that forum was created for.

-- Jun

stoker
10-18-2002, 03:50 PM
We practive in a dojo that is 85% Judo -- green matts with red matts ringing the 'action area'. The red matts are stiffer than the green from having bodies pounded into them and the green matts in the action are softer than the few green matts used outside the action area. funny how we seek the softer matts :-)

Steve Bland
10-21-2002, 03:38 AM
I was under the impression that we trained on (comparatively) soft mats for one main reason : To prevent injury.

Im a relative beginner at Aikido, and despite the fact my breakfalls are improving (slowly) I still take a bad tumble once or twice a session.

If that was on a hard surface instead of a mat im sure I would have more than a couple of twinges! Training on a solid floor I would place somewhere in the masochism category...

opherdonchin
10-21-2002, 09:59 AM
I've done plenty of rolls on hard floors. They're not so awful and they get better with practice. I'm not sure I'd want to train that way non-stop and I think that as I get older it gets less fun but I'm not old enough yet to be sure.

Steve Mullen
10-27-2005, 10:28 AM
I usually train on matted floors, however, at the university class where i began my training (and still train) the matts were or a very poor standard so it was pure pot luck wheather you landed in a bed of feathers or on a slab of granite. I was at a major course and the number of people who turned up on the day far exceeded the amount they expected to have. this means very limited mat space so the event organisers rolled out the stuff which kind of resembled a padded (or should i say slighlty padded) carpet. this made for a slightly softer landing but some very impressive friction burns

ian
10-27-2005, 10:54 AM
Maybe once in a while it helps to bring some realism, but I wouldn't think it was good for training. Last week I was teaching a hip throw (from a choke) to some beginners who couldn't ukemi, so i decided to put 2 big fluffy mats (about 12 inches thick) down - it speeded up the training considerably and nages were really getting much more practise in. I would consider this approach again, even for advanced students.

James Davis
10-27-2005, 11:33 AM
Our dojo didn't have mats for quite a while, and we got used to it. When we finally got mats, it was like a slice of heaven! :D

I have used multiple layers when teaching a high fall technique, and it did speed up training considerably.

Lan Powers
10-27-2005, 04:59 PM
> have used multiple layers when teaching a high fall technique, and it did speed up training considerably.<

We just did that the other night. Lots of fun ! All the bigger guys who don't feel good about "big" ukemi yet were having a ball. :)
Kind of cool to get to really whip a big'un over into hi falls.
Lan

aikigirl10
10-27-2005, 05:13 PM
:uch: Ouch... i dont even want to imagine aikido without mats.
But i guess it could better prepare you

James Davis
10-27-2005, 05:24 PM
:uch: Ouch... i dont even want to imagine aikido without mats.
But i guess it could better prepare you
Learn ukemi on mats, then practice on hard floor. In that order. :D It's an eye opener.

aikigirl10
10-27-2005, 06:04 PM
^^ im sure it would be

Upyu
10-27-2005, 08:05 PM
then graduate to asphalt/gravel that's another eyeopener :)

ad_adrian
10-27-2005, 09:05 PM
so here's a question
why dont ppl eva train on concreate? like if ur in a bar or what not im sure a fight will be there
i know mats r good for getting technique right but surely having some realisim cant hurt? why is training always on mats

markwalsh
10-27-2005, 11:57 PM
I practiced for two years in a UK dojo with no mats. The floor was wooden but was upstairs and had some give as the room shook. The first night I went there (after 3 years on mats) I thought they were joking...

We practiced few foreword rolls, no break-falls, but all the usual techniques. I have no doubt that some mat-less practice improves both ukemi and nage waza. The latter through the more obvious connection to the floor and the feeling of pushing off the big toe. It also slows practice to a point where you can feel things through. The former through survival.

At the dojo we found that something was missing however and started training on mats once a week. Also worth noting is that students there, who have not trained elsewhere, think it's no big deal as they don't know any different (see also Sorinji Kempo).

Re injuries - I saw less injuries there than matted dojos - though long term I would watch the knees, and for those making a sudden change to mat-less there are definite risks.

Personally now, I'd recommend a spell of trying it, but I like the aerobic expansiveness that mats can provide - they're a nice privilege.

Mark

Sonja2012
10-28-2005, 01:42 AM
We did a workshop with other martial artists the other day in a regular sports hall without mats. I think rolling would still be ok (for a while) and it would probably improve everybody´s rolling skills *very* fast, but what got me is the pain in the knees :hypno: I just wanted to avoid kneeling down whenever possible (it occured more often when taking ukemi), but I have very sensitive knee caps, so other people might not find it too bad.

philipsmith
10-28-2005, 05:47 AM
I have on accasion used hard floors to teach ukeme. For example a couple of years ago I was teaching at a seminar where a lot of students where doing spectacular high rolls BUT landing on the outside of the ankle. After about five minutes practice on a wooden floor ukeme was drastically altered. Interestingly when I saw the same guys a year later they were still doing the "wooden floor" ukeme.

Dazzler
10-28-2005, 07:13 AM
Interesting set of opinions.

Take a step back and consider the purpose of ukemi.

I can think of 2 things initially;

Firstly to enable ones partner to practice.
Secondly to experience what your partner is doing.

In allowing your partner to practice does it make any difference what he throws you on? No. Other than a softer surface should increase your chances of coming back for more.


In terms of the second - will a hard floor enhance your capacity to feel what your partner is doing....or divert your attention to self-preservation?

I have practiced ukemi on hard surfaces...I've practiced grappling on hard surfaces (and even a soft surface is not much fun without a gi on).

Its not something that you need to do a lot of.

Why don't we train on concrete? because its stupid.

Who knows of anyone that has used a forward roll in a fight.

Breakfall maybe...but not by choice.

I'd imagine there are exceptions..but they are likely to be in a very small minority.

In the heat of the moment a few concrete burns won't make a jot of difference. You wont even find them until later.

But they'll certainly get in the way of regular attendance at class.

anyway - I digress.

In this instance the focus should be on the thrower and not the throwee! If theres going to be trouble I'll not be volunteering for ukemi.

FWIW

Cheers

D

ps. Phil - you have a better physique than me for shock absorption anyway - I'll have to train a lot harder to catch you up!

Ian Upstone
10-28-2005, 07:40 AM
I have to second Daren's opinion here.

You are as likely to need breakfalls in a fight as you are bowing skills. They are just a part of practise that allow us to continue training, an artificial element that is essential for repeated practise of techniques. Making uke fall is a by-product of techique, not the aim of it.

Regluar training on a hard surface will not add anything apart from increasing the risk of injury and forcing techniques to become less dynamic.

The only benefit I can think of by taking an occassional fall on a harder surface is that it may help you realise where your falls can be smoother. However, regular long-term training will iron out problems like this, and you're less likely to injure yourself along the way.

Ian (who admits to falling onto concrete recently ...accidentally I might add)

markwalsh
10-28-2005, 10:43 AM
1. The most commonly used (physical) self defense technique of aikido is being able to take ukemi on a hard surface - particularly if you drink :) It's been said before that trips, slips and falls are more dangerous than axe-wielding lunies (for most of us).

2. I too am grateful for mats for allowing us to practice certain techniques and absorb more over time. I would again however stress how they can benefit nage by making the ground connection easier to feel - try practicing to the point of balance breaking on wood - that way you can feel the point without having to go to the doctors :) You may also find that turning on a hard surface is easier on the knees.

bogglefreak20
10-29-2005, 07:49 AM
Learn ukemi on mats, then practice on hard floor. In that order. :D It's an eye opener.


:D Exactly!

We always train on mats and I remember that as beginners we were discouraged by our sensei to try it on hard floor for the first couple of months (most of us did it anyway ;) ).

Later, when we felt more and more comfortable with it (and our egos and bravado started kicking in), sensei proposed we all try it at home on wooden floor. "That'll set you back on the ground."

Nowadays I do it sometimes at home after morning stretching excercises. Quite comfortably, I might add.

ruthmc
11-02-2005, 08:51 AM
I've done a few breakfalls on a wooden floor (usually due to missing the mats, occasionally falling off the skateboard) and the only difference is that it stings a bit when you slap your hand down.

Once the tingling goes away and you can feel your fingers again, it's ok. ;)

I agree that it's good once you've learned the basics to try to roll on a hard floor so you can find your remaining corners, and work on rounding them off :)

Ruth

CoramR
11-03-2005, 01:21 PM
I believe that when you are a beginner, you should practice on fairly soft tatame because it will prevent injury due to lack of experience with Ukemi. However once you become adeped in the ways of Ukemi you should train on hard tatame or with no tatame at all so that you have more of a reason to practice proper Ukemi. I have heard many stories of people who learned Ukemi very well because if they didn't, they would be in pain for several days. So, I beleve that the more experienced you are in Ukemi, the harder the falling surface should be.
In Aiki Spirit,
Ryan
:ai:
:ki:
:do:

MaryKaye
11-03-2005, 02:35 PM
We recently changed from hard tatami to softer Zebra mats. The younger, hardier students may feel some ambivalence about this, but the older students are pretty unanimous in saying that the change will enable them to practice longer and harder without nasty physical repercussions. Since several of our higher-ranked members are in their fifties, this is important to us and I think it was a good change.

I bought a couple of the rejected tatami, though, and put them on concrete in my basement--wow! what a difference not having the sprung wood floor makes!--because I think practicing there will help keep my ukemi from getting sloppy. On Zebras I am a bit too willing to let my head touch the mat.

Mary Kaye

akiy
11-03-2005, 02:56 PM
So, I beleve that the more experienced you are in Ukemi, the harder the falling surface should be.
I'm curious -- did you come to this conclusion through having done this through your own experience?

-- Jun

Rupert Atkinson
11-03-2005, 06:27 PM
The no-mat option would certainly be cheaper. I prefer mats for safety but have trained on wodden floors from time to time. Once you are warmed up you get used to it pretty fast but one mis-breakfall and it'll hurt for days - reality check. Way back when I did TKD and Karate (just for a year or so) - they never used mats but did do takedowns -pretty easy really. Iaido was also done on a wooden floor - not exactly breakfalling, but shikko-ing around can take its toll on the legs. On the opposite side, in Korea, some places have mats that are way too soft - you sink in as you walk, like walking on peat.

Mike Fugate
11-03-2005, 10:24 PM
Honestly when I am on a mat I feel as if I could be thrown all day long, because in the school we only have wood floors. All the break falls were done on hard wood floors,....and as goes for myself since I train one on one with my sifu we do alot at his house in the back yard, soo in all honestly grass in my opinion is great for building your self up to take better falls. And since we cover multiple styles sparring is very interesting for you get a chance to see and feel an Aikido/Kungfu technique on a realistic surface. But all and all, Sifus Gandmaster was training on the hard floors up till the day he died, and that was in his upper 90's......ANd it dint slow him down. ;) :ai: :ki:

Ian Upstone
11-04-2005, 03:10 AM
I still see no benefit from training on a hard surface...

The 'realism' aspect doesn't seem to make sense. The chances of being thrown by someone in the real world out there is tiny. The goal of developing smoother breakfalls at the higher risk of injury, is silly. It's the same mentality as using live blades in an otherwise highly artificial and safe environment. Why not line our dogi with broken glass while we're at it in case we have to fall on glass at some point?

Sloppy breakfalls are soon sorted out through regular training, and hard surfaces are going to limit the way in which we can throw uke. I for one would immediately have to remove from my repertoire any hip throws and techniques where you throw down and hang on to uke. Randori and jiyuwaza would either slow to a crawl or be an exercise in injury management.

I can see the argument made for it (and it certainly proves how tough people can be!), but the vague benefits put forward so far are hugely outweighed by the negative aspects.

I reserve the right to be wrong, but I'll need serious convincing :D

Paul Kerr
11-04-2005, 04:36 AM
Regluar training on a hard surface will not add anything apart from increasing the risk of injury and forcing techniques to become less dynamic.

My own experience has been exactly the opposite. You need a heightened sense of awareness and sensitivity as both nage and uke to train on a hard or unpredictable surface. It always does wonders for my zanshin!


The 'realism' aspect doesn't seem to make sense. The chances of being thrown by someone in the real world out there is tiny.

Very true. However, the chances of slipping, falling off a bicycle, tripping etc. are much more significant. In that case, you'd better know how to go gracefully to the ground.


I can see the argument made for it (and it certainly proves how tough people can be!), but the vague benefits put forward so far are hugely outweighed by the negative aspects.

Not true. It has nothing to do with being 'tough'. Trying to out-tough concrete usually doesn't work so well. It has to do with developing your ukemi on surfaces other than mats - if you find that appropriate to your training goals.

Ian Upstone
11-04-2005, 05:06 AM
Being an accident prone fool, I have a couple of times slipped, fallen or otherwise made unplanned landings onto concrete - and the falling skills have come in very handy.

The falls weren't 'graceful' by any means, but prevented any injury. Regular, habitual falling obviously helped me. I don't think training regularly on a hard floor would have altered my automatic response. In fact, my breakfalls would not be as they are, had I not developed the skill over time on a decent surface to practise on, where falling has become an automatic and relaxed response, and the fear of falling has been replaced by the confidence to not give it any thought.

My 'tough' comment was stated perhaps a little tongue-in-cheek. Being, as David Lynch has better put it, more a 'worrier' than a 'warrior' - I know I'd hold back on my attacks in the role of uke, because of the potential of injury on a hard service if nage decides to plow me into ..well, where a mat would be. My attacks would no longer be honest with my mind on my fall rather than my attack.

As for developing ukemi on surfaces other than mats, for why? For the sake of it? When am I going to be thrown 100s of times onto concrete? If my training goal was to land a lot on concrete then I'd probably practise that. It is not, and I don't suspect that for many others it is either.

Ian Upstone
11-04-2005, 05:38 AM
My own experience has been exactly the opposite. You need a heightened sense of awareness and sensitivity as both nage and uke to train on a hard or unpredictable surface. It always does wonders for my zanshin!

Are suggesting that techniques become more dynamic and less prone to injury without mats?

I aggree you'll have a heightened sense of awareness and sensitivity, but it will be in the form of concern about how your uke will land - not your technique. Your technique suffers, as it does when training with a partner who cannot take ukemi - you have to limit the range of what you are doing.

There are enough hurdles in training and developing skill - a hard surface just adds another one in my opinion.

Dazzler
11-04-2005, 06:00 AM
. It has to do with developing your ukemi on surfaces other than mats - if you find that appropriate to your training goals.

Like that statement. If you are going to do it - have a reason.


.There are enough hurdles in training and developing skill - a hard surface just adds another one in my opinion..

And I agree fully with this.

My take on this is that if you are going to say use concrete etc because its more realistic, why then use unrealistic "techniques" and escapes ?

There is no big flowing ukemi from aikido when applied 'realistically'.

These escapes have been developed for safe practice...as has the use of tatami.

Look at the Dennis Hooker thread on how long is too long.

How long would anyone wish to practice on a dangerous surface?

Once in a blue moon can be an eye opener.

For me - There is far too much to work on in regular practice without having concerns about the mats or lack of them.

IMHO.

Cheers all

D

Paul Kerr
11-04-2005, 12:35 PM
Are suggesting that techniques become more dynamic and less prone to injury without mats?

That has been my experience, yes. Not always, but certainly enough to have make it a useful practice. My first experience, in aikido, of training on a hard surface was when I was required to be uke at a demo with my sensei on a concrete floor - lots of big kokyu-nage, koshinage, kotegaeshi and tenchinage. The ground gives direct and immediate feedback, so the learning curve was short :)

I aggree you'll have a heightened sense of awareness and sensitivity, but it will be in the form of concern about how your uke will land - not your technique.

I disagree. I'm already concerned with how uke will land, regardless of surface so whether it's gravel or feathers isn't a limitation on my technique, merely a factor.


Your technique suffers, as it does when training with a partner who cannot take ukemi - you have to limit the range of what you are doing.

On the contrary, training with an inexperienced uke calls for your technique to be better. I don't see that as limiting.



There are enough hurdles in training and developing skill - a hard surface just adds another one in my opinion.

I just don't perceive it as a hurdle - 'interesting variation' more like.

Avery Jenkins
11-04-2005, 01:33 PM
I'm 47. Gimme the mats. At this point, whomping some concrete everytime I fall doesn't give me any more street cred, it just gives me pain.

Mike Fugate
11-04-2005, 06:15 PM
I honestly do not see any real draw backs to training on a mat. To me I like the extra conditioning, and hardening of the body tha hard surfaces provide. Just my opinion however...But I think regardless of what it is it must be a realistic surface. Regular gym mats will work fine,,,,but matts I have seen in some schools were more like mattresses/Trapolenes and footwork is almost impossible on them. So Im gonna go out on the limb and say if we training hard, traditionaly, and with the upmost of passion...hard floor or no hard floor when the time comes to use it in real life you will be satisfied. ;) :ki: