View Full Version : Improving breakfalls

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Ta Kung
12-11-2002, 07:21 AM

Just a quick question: What's the single best tip you've got for improving your breakfalls?

My best tip is to relax and don't force yourself to go fast during the fall. If you do, it might hurt a bit. Also, don't get your nads cruched between your legs... :D



12-11-2002, 07:41 AM
Observe your toes during the roll.It

1) Shapes your body in the right curve.

2) Gets your mind of all other stupid things you might be thinking of.

3) Makes you pay attention of yoyr feet

Fiona D
12-11-2002, 08:53 AM
Don't forget to breathe out as you hit the floor; getting the air forced out the lungs by an impact is very uncomfortable!

12-11-2002, 09:01 AM
look where you're going and keep your mouth open

12-11-2002, 11:01 AM
Do it about 30-40 times in a row. Your body naturally gets better.

Old school, but it works :)

12-11-2002, 05:09 PM
Also, don't get your nads cruched between your legs... :D

Very good point, happens often to me during koshi nage. I believe this happens when I have my legs spread open when falling, and then when touching the ground the two legs come together like a "nutcracker". :freaky: ouch.

I must keep the body as unit. This happens because one leg is left behind and then becomes uncontrolable.

What I keep in mind during ukemi:
[list=1] Relax Keep the center (one point) Keep the body as one unit
Focus on the direction of the projection, don't be trapped by the direction of the fall. Keep the circular motion until motion stops. Many becomes a log during mid air flight. Not slapping, but placing the hand on the ground. Most importantly, keep it natural. Do not guess.[/list=1]
On number 4, is the importance of ukemi other than just breakfall. It is feeling the nage and not guessing what or how the technique is going to be. Keeping in aiki with the nage. that's why being an uke isa as important if not more important than being a nage in aikido.

Many people are trapped with the downward motion of the fall, even though the projection is usually forwards or backwards. Thinking of going straight down (vertically), will add force to the fall.

Keep in mind the circular motion when one practice ukemi without being thrown. Why should it be any different? We don't jump straight up, lie on our back, and then fall straight down when practicing alone.

Choku Tsuki
12-12-2002, 11:25 AM
What's the single best tip you've got for improving your breakfalls?
To think of it as a very low soft roll in the air.


L. Camejo
12-12-2002, 11:42 AM
1. Invert the unbendable arm and maintain that form throughout the roll (do not let the arm collapse).

2. Keep your chin tucked throughout the fall.

3. Keep your eyes on your toes.

4. Project forward, not downward into the floor.

5. Imagine your body is a ball and your hips/centre is the point of rotation.

6. Relax.

Just my 2 cents.

12-12-2002, 12:12 PM
Definately very inmportant to not let your legs cross when you land. If you can imagine laying on the ground on say your left side your body possition should be as follows:

1. Chin tucked

2. eyes looking at your midsection

3. left hand extended and slapping palm down next to your hips

4. left leg extended and left foot turned so that the tows point toward the mat

5. right leg should benext to the left leg and slightly bent so the back of the knee is just off the mat and foot planted flat on the mat

6. your whole body should be laying almost on the left side.

If you start practicing this in a slow manner from a forward roll as you get the body positions correctly you can then increase the speed until you can perform a no hands ukemi and actually take the throw from nage.

if you give me a couple of days I will take some pictures and place them on my web site so you can see them and even video if you have a fast connection.

Hope this helps,

In sincere Aiki spirit,

Juan R. Alberto, Sensei

12-12-2002, 10:29 PM
Begin by practice the breakfall position as the end to a front roll. Instead of ending the front roll by standing up, end it by stopping on the floor in a breakfall position. This is a good way of introducing the breakfall position.

When you skills increase, you can then try to do a true breakfall. One way is to do a shomen uchi and drive your arm down and use that force to flip yourself in mid air and land in a breakfall. This can be tricky and dangerous so it's best to start with the front roll / breakfall first.

IMHO, the ability to do a breakfall should be a required ukemi skills (I heard that some dojos consider it an advanced skill). An aikidoka should be able to take a breakfall but only as a last resort. I used to love doing breakfalls for everything but now I realize that a simple roll will do for almost all ukemi and keep the breakfalls to a minimum, only for extreme circumstances.

12-13-2002, 01:14 AM
already mentioned above, but maintaining unbendable arm, i.e. not letting the forward arm collapse as you begin the role.

Drawing the knees into the chest as the feet have left the floor. This is really useful for us tall chaps since trailing legs cause a whipping effect which seems to increase the impact of your feet with the mat at the end of the role. If you draw the knees in, you become a smaller ball which makes for a smoother role, minimal impact and allows you to come back up into kamae much easier.