View Full Version : The Dreaded Flip
03-26-2003, 04:26 AM
I've got to the stage in my training where I am learning the dreaded flip. So far I've done it with weapons (Jo to the knee) and am trying to get the hang of doing it from Kotogaesh. Has anyone got any tips from doing this?
:ai: :ki: :do:
kung fu hamster
03-26-2003, 09:17 AM
Well, actually I've taken some dreaded flips...although it may not be what you're describing - for instance, sometimes in kaitenage the nage manages to flip me directly in the air and instead of rolling away I rotate in the air and come crashing straight down. I can tell this isn't accidental because they do it again and again. Anybody know how this happens and what I can do about it? I'd rather keep rolling if I can. I take many other dreaded flips too, such as when I take a jujinage fall and the nage hangs on to the wrong hand, or koshinage where nage either hangs on to the wrong hand (hey, I've been guilty of that too... =:O ) or lets go altogether... yikes!
I'm guessing you're talking about a forward break/highfall?
Have your teachers taught you how to learn this in a systematic manner? If not, you might well ask if you're feeling uncomfortable. I think it's important to learn ukemi in the same, systematic manner as you would nagewaza.
In any case, some things to keep in mind is that a forward breakfall is just a forward roll in the air (with a bit more "tuck," perhaps). I'm beginning to think these days that it's more a spectrum/progression between a regular forward roll and a breakfall rather than an "either-or" thing. Keep your chin tucked, exhale upon landing, and stay relaxed!
03-26-2003, 10:11 AM
We had a student a couple of years back, who had taken a bad fall as a child from the balance beam in gymnastics. As a result, she was very afraid of doing breakfalls.
To get her there gradually, I took one of our extra folding mats, and made one fold of the accordion in it, so that she had a 3 inch (or so) soft platform.
I got her to begin her roll on the raised portion, going off of it onto the mat. As she got more comfortable, we increased the height so that she was able to finally roll off into the air from a foot above the mat, giving her the breakfall without nage's extra umphh!
A little more practice and she was eventually taking kotogaeshi, and even koshinage with the best of 'em.
The biggest thing, like all of Aikido, was just getting to that relaxed phase, and being able to enjoy the ride.
hope that helps...
03-26-2003, 10:38 AM
We call them stop falls as the connotation break is bad! ;)
At my school we start these from sumi-otoshi. We start with a mae ukemi from sumiotoshi, kokyunage (our versions), kotegaeshi, noroskiage etc.
As our ukemi progresses our sensei starts us on breakfalls. Doing the standard forward roll, just nage maintains the grip on the arm (sumiotoshi), following the circular motion of the roll. We start statically from the throw position and progress, the same with kotegaeshi. This has helped me with my ma-ai, kamae, and footwork. The others seem to develop from experience.. I just recently started doing "breakfalls" from kokyunages and noroskiages and didn't realize it till I was on the ground looking up at nage...
03-26-2003, 11:24 AM
There are some good tapes on taking ukemi. Bruce Bookman has one. Also, Julio Toribio (who I learned tobu ukemi from at a seminar) has an excellent where he takes you from rolls to high falls in 7 steps.
Relaxation is important as is commitment. When doing a flying breakfall (tobu ukemi) it is important to not "chicken" out in the middle of the fall-you have to commit to doing the fall and then look for the ground. You will also need to learn to control the speed of your rotation by tightening or opening your body as you go over: tight=faster rotation; more open=slower rotation (looks like slo-mo sometimes). I was always taught a high fall is a roll at a different height and rotation point. Done properly you should come up almost like you were coming out of a roll. A barrell roll ends up more perpendicular to the nage (and to me hurts more). My two cents.
The Toribio tape was with Nadeau. I don't know if it is still available.
03-26-2003, 01:46 PM
Wait until you get to the "dreaded" jumping back breakfall! :D
The Toribio tape was with Nadeau. I don't know if it is still available.
I remember attending a summer camp class with the two of them teaching breakfalls. I think my instructor has the video tape somewhere in his library. I'll have to look sometime...
03-27-2003, 08:39 AM
I am fortunate in having a couple of sempai with really good ukemi who have been willing to help me learn to breakfall. We started with kotegaeshi and when I got comfortable with that they let me in on a secret.. all breakfalls are kotegaishi! I guess its more accurate to say that they are all the same, so if you can find one throw you are comfortable taking, you can find that throw in any other. I don't know if that makes any sense to you, but it really made things click for me.
The other thing that made a big difference was learning to follow the throw (by being relaxed) and not throwing myself ahead of it (much more jarring and more work for you as uke)
Practice as much as you can. Once you get desensitized to the fear through repetition, you will naturally relax and it will get much easier (not to mention tremendously fun!)
Good luck and be safe.
03-27-2003, 06:10 PM
In any case, some things to keep in mind is that a forward breakfall is just a forward roll in the air (with a bit more "tuck," perhaps). I'm beginning to think these days that it's more a spectrum/progression between a regular forward roll and a breakfall rather than an "either-or" thing.I agree with you Jun. I look at the difference between rolling and sute ukemi as moving relative to a transilatory point rather than a fixed one (respectively). Or to be more specific (?), in a roll, the movement of the common center is tangential, linear; the movement in a "breakfall" spirals so tightly that it looks like it is a fixed point.
By the by, I love the title of this thread, it sounds like the name of an H.P. Lovecraft story.
03-28-2003, 05:56 AM
We put a lot of time and effort into learning what we term the "over arm" breakfall, that we use in lieu of the "flip".
To learn it we have developed, borrowed and adapted several techniques: practising over people crouched on all fours, getting into irimi nage position then the thrower sinks to one knee allowing the faller the support of thier knee, and other styles as well.
I would say ask you sensei to devote some time to gentle learning of your fall. The fact you use the terms dreaded suggests a idea in the back of your head it'll hurt which may need to be removed so you can properley relax and take the fall without it hurting at all.
03-28-2003, 07:34 AM
Ahh, one of my great weaknesses, the breakfall. My sensei falls with grace, power and control. I fall like a locomotive run amok. The ground shakes and small dogs run for cover when I hit the mat.
I have been working on it for years, and over time, I expect that I will be able to fall like an autumn leaf.
But it won't be this year.
03-29-2003, 09:47 PM
according to my instructor, in order to get a smooth flip you have to flip your body as circular as possible, in other words, it's a forward roll in mid-air. Last time we practiced by taking low roll in kotegaeshi fall. Then we proceed with higher and more jumping roll until we are able to flip. To overcome your fear of flipping i suggest that you practiced flip together in ukemi practice before techniques lesson, it's okay if you roll or fall awkwardly at first time, just make sure that you don't injure yourself during the process
kung fu hamster
03-30-2003, 02:13 PM
Nage cradles your head as you are thrown.... The resulting fall is usually almost flat on your back.....
thank you, that's quite illuminating. Anything I can do about the 4' vertical drop onto my back from that sort of flip? Right now I tend to land like a stunned beetle and spend time looking up at the ceiling. Do you know of any better way to keep up with nage's throw?
03-31-2003, 03:05 AM
...for instance, sometimes in kaitenage the nage manages to flip me directly in the air and instead of rolling away I rotate in the air and come crashing straight down. I can tell this isn't accidental because they do it again and again. Anybody know how this happens and what I can do about it? I'd rather keep rolling if I can.I think I agree with Jaime's translation of this movement, that you are accelerating the head around a point located further down the body which might account for nage "levitating" you onto your back. A factor to consider might be if you are a bit "high-centered": it causes a form of premature rotation in some sute ukemi; I have seen people practically thrown onto their feet a few times. One other factor could be that the nage is "whipping" your body by pulling up on or pushing some part of it while it rotates. I have been thrown onto my feet or rump by people whipping me....Anything I can do about the 4' vertical drop onto my back from that sort of flip? Right now I tend to land like a stunned beetle and spend time looking up at the ceiling. Do you know of any better way to keep up with nage's throw?I know that this was directed to Jaime, so please forgive any offense. If you would like to keep rolling, talk to your nage about letting you roll rather than "taking the fall". If this is a result of high-centeredness, try to relax as you enter the fall, especially the throat and chest regions of your body. This recalibrates the body's center of gravity and gives you greater control of it while under gravity's direct influence. If someone is whipping you, you may want to tell them to apply less force, or not lift while throwing, or something along those lines.
You could also try to make direct contact with the earth while the throw is beginning; unless the nage is going to lift you completely off the ground, your fall should follow the general vector made by your arms, shoulder and back, as if on some sort of track. On the other hand, if nage had ahold of your leading hand, they could throw you easily onto your back. Lots of possibilities in this one!
kung fu hamster
03-31-2003, 09:03 AM
many thanks, I'll have to experiment with these awesome suggestions! (by any chance are you an engineer?)
03-31-2003, 04:12 PM
...simply cradling behind the head and neck light enough so uke may not be aware of causes this type of trajectory and flat on back or rump type fall. There is no "rolling out" as I see it as the head becomes the fulcrum and the body flips over it almost unexpectically.I agree. Cradling the head would also be much like having ahold of the leading hand, causing a rotation around a "tightly turning point" rather than a "tangential" one. We are speaking the same language here, I was just trying to be more general.
Problem is, we just don't know what is happening with Linda, so I offered several possibilities. Jaime gives a very valid explanation, which gives a lot of credit to having a sensitive and skillful tori. However, they could be using her arm to over-rotate her (if it is stiff), which would be compounded by having a high center. (No offense Linda, this is just a "shot in the dark"; your center could live below ground for all I know, and your arms could be like wet spaghetti noodles during ukemi.) Hard to say without actually seeing what is going on.
And no, I am not an engineer, though I have been accused of thinking too much.
kung fu hamster
03-31-2003, 06:14 PM
'sensitive and skillful tori' - ha ha ha, where can I find one of those? (guys in my dojo, if you're reading this, I'm just joking, really!!). I don't think I have wet noodle arms, you can assume I just get stiffer and stiffer as each throw dumps me on my back. Maybe my center is way up, I can't really be sure, when they do the 'dreaded flip' the throw comes so fast. Jim, you may not be an engineer but I'm still pretty impressed that you can figure out angles and vectors and do trigonometry while taking uke...
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