PDA

View Full Version : soft breakfalls


Please visit our sponsor:
 

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!


kensparrow
04-15-2003, 11:57 AM
I was at a seminar a couple of months ago and I saw an uke who was able to do breakfalls with virtually no impact. It was one of the coolest things I have ever seen but I'm at a loss as far as understanding how he did it. :freaky: When I breakfall, my arm contacts the mat first and then everything else makes contact at pretty much the same time after that. When this guy did it, it looked as though one leg hit the mat first (softly) and then the other leg followed until it also hit the mat (again softly). I overheard someone say that he had trained with Donovan Waite. I have since seen Waite Sensei's Aikido Ukemi tape and his movement did look something like that. Unfortunately the Aikido Ukemi tape only dealt with rolls and not breakfalls (I know, I know, they are supposed to be the same thing!) My question is this: does anyone out there know how to do what I described and/or know where I could find information about how to learn it? I know there is another Aikido Ukemi tape but is unclear to me whether or not it deals with breakfalls.

Thanks.

akiy
04-15-2003, 12:25 PM
Hi Ken,

Interesting. The types of soft breakfalls (I'm assuming a soft front breakfall) that I know involve extending with the hand and contacting the ground with the hand, then the forearm, shoulder, torso, then legs in that order (not simultaneously). I can't say I've ever seen someone take a soft forward breakfall where the leg hits the ground first...

Anyone else?

-- Jun

Bronson
04-15-2003, 12:43 PM
I can't say I've ever seen someone take a soft forward breakfall where the leg hits the ground first...

The picture I have in my head of this (having not seen it) makes me wonder if uke tucked just a little if he could land back on his feet...hmmm, wouldn't that make for interesting randori :freaky:

Bronson

Qatana
04-15-2003, 01:12 PM
they've been practicing soft falls at my dojo but as i'm still learning to roll i don't think i can explain what they're doing.I'll ask at class tonite if anyone thinks they can describe it.

Veers
04-15-2003, 01:17 PM
My rolls are still pretty sad...anything with momentum and I hurt my back. My kneeling rolls are okay, but that's about it.

Bronson
04-15-2003, 02:22 PM
My rolls are still pretty sad...anything with momentum and I hurt my back. My kneeling rolls are okay, but that's about it.

Dude, cut yourself some slack. You've been taking aikido for what now...a week, maybe two? Give it time and be patient with yourself. I'm coming up on 7 years in aikido and I'm still fixing my ukemi :disgust:

Bronson

Alfonso
04-15-2003, 04:08 PM
Sure it wasn't a roll rather than a breakfall?

Veers
04-15-2003, 05:22 PM
lol, yeah, yeah, I don't expect to get it down any time soon... :)

opherdonchin
04-15-2003, 08:27 PM
Those Donovan-style breakfalls are amazing. I had heard about them, but hadn't seen them until I went to a dojo up near Albany where a couple of people were doing them. They're simply lovely. I got a lesson in them, but I'm still a long way from knowing how to do it. Jun was right about the serial landing. Another way of thinking about it is like taking a roll, but instead of starting the roll on the front hand (the one close to the ground) you want to start it on the back hand. The forward roll goes diagonal from front hand through to back foot. This one goes along the same side of the body: from back hand to back foot.

One hint that I got was that it takes a lot of abdominal involvement.

Kevin Wilbanks
04-15-2003, 08:42 PM
There is a second video that is supposed to cover breakfalls, but I haven't seen it yet. There are a couple of people at my club that are very good at them.

My understanding is that the way to start is to learn the forward and backward wide-leg 'rolls' that you see in the first video, as the breakfalls are mostly modifications of those, with a few quirks and tips that are related to particular situations. To learn it all, I think you need an experienced teacher... maybe several. I got a lot of tips on how to do it with no luck for a long time, then one particular instruction about visualizing where to aim my 'back hand/arm' set me on the path. I have learned how to do a fair chunk of the falls as exercises, but have a long way to go with doing them on the fly, being thrown.

It's actually a dangerous period, because uncertain falls 'in between' my old traditional style and the new style often prove awkard and painful. I seriously pulled an adductor muscle a few months ago, and the way I was throwing myself into the transition to wide-leg ukemi is a prime - though maybe only partial - suspect. Though mostly functional, the leg is still not completely healed 3 months later, and I had to abstain from ukemi, running, and heavier squatting/lunging for basically 2 full months to get the healing started. Now I'm trying to incorporate the new falls more cautiously.

Bryan Webb
04-16-2003, 10:36 AM
These type falls and rolls have saved my old bones from much abuse.

Kevin is correct, the transition period between old style and soft style rolls is a bit dangerous, you have to go slow and pattern. Its like changing your handwriting style. But once you have patterened the soft style rolls, it allows many more options... in addition to the old style rolls.

Bryan Webb

DavidEllard
04-16-2003, 10:58 AM
We practise and train in that style of soft falls. They were introduced to my sensei's in the uk by Mouliko Halén from Norway. Since i started three or so years ago they are the only form of over-the-top break fall i have learnt - and i learnt them from day 1. When done properly (i.e not by me :))you can fall from the hardest throw with barely a noise.

In terms of learning, although we have developed a number of practises I am happy to share, I would suggest it would be difficult to learn without finding a sensei who teaches them, as they do take a period to "swap over" to.

I saw Waite Sensei being thrown by Yamada Shihan on tape a little while ago and noticed how similar his falls were to the ones we do - the best option is probably to find someone close(ish) with him on in this style. Maybe someone on here whose US geography is better than mine can help.

kensparrow
04-16-2003, 12:02 PM
Thanks for all the input. Unfortunately I don't think I'll have the opportunity to learn this first hand unless someone happens to give a local seminar on it since no one from my dojo rolls this way. It definitely looks less abusive than a standard breakfall which is why it interests me so much. I'd like to be able to train intensely without worrying about possible long term damage (I'm not exactly 18 anymore!)

What Kevin and Opher said about the back hand makes a lot of sense. I'll have to play with that tonight before class. If any of you have any other insight or specific exercises you could share, I would be very grateful.

Thanks

Kevin Wilbanks
04-16-2003, 02:42 PM
You live in the Northeast. There must be dojos within visiting distance that you could go to to get some instruction. Donovan Waite himself is in Philidelphia. A polite call ahead in conjuntion with a 2 day trip will probably accomplish more than a million email tips. Another option is to get both videos and a partner with similar interest so that you can serve as visual feedback for one another. I learned a lot of what I can do by carefully watching the first video and practicing on my living room (carpet-on-concrete) floor.

Lan Powers
04-16-2003, 09:55 PM
Recently we had a couple of guests at our dojo whocame to visit from Austin TX. (I think that is where Birdsong Sensei is currently living)

One of his students came with him and was doing these "soft" breakfalls as well.

All I can say is WOW!!!

Most impressive. I am just getting into hi-falls now-a-days so I was boggled with it.

Gotta learn this.:D

Lan

Bronson
04-16-2003, 10:24 PM
Hey Lan,

As a little side note. Not long after I started aikido I tried to do a forward roll on the grass in my full armor. I didn't have enough experience to compensate for my 13lb helmet. My head went into the ground like a lawn dart :freaky:;):freaky:

Bronson

Veers
04-17-2003, 07:56 AM
Ouch.

Lan Powers
04-19-2003, 12:35 AM
Never tried to roll in "gear" but the first time I dropped down flat with a coif as well as a helm, itwas more like the space shuttle trajectory than anything.......#@%* near straight down. :)

Lan

Charles Hill
05-10-2003, 05:30 PM
Is there anyone who has seen the second tape in Donovan Waite's series and can confirm that he teaches the ukemi described above in it?

aikidoc
05-10-2003, 06:10 PM
At the AAA National Instructor's Seminar, Nakayama's group from California (Orange County) was doing very nice quiet high falls. I did talk to one of his people and she gave me a very brief idea of how to do it. I have yet to work on it though. The regular high falls are too hard on my old body.

kensparrow
05-13-2003, 12:26 PM
At the AAA National Instructor's Seminar, Nakayama's group from California (Orange County) was doing very nice quiet high falls. I did talk to one of his people and she gave me a very brief idea of how to do it.
What did she say? I was reminded of how much I still want to learn this the other night while working with a black belt. He did iriminage, I went over, and I swear just hung in the air for a full three count! I really could have used a soft breakfall on that one! :D

aikidoc
05-13-2003, 02:48 PM
She did not say much other than showing it to me. It appears as the best way to learn is to lead the body as far as your arms are able to reach-i.e., the slap hand is extended as far as one can. I have tried it a couple of times and it did not work for me yet so I still have to figure out what is occuring. I think the arm has to act as a static shock absorber and then collapses slightly to let the body down easy. They make it look easy but there is more going on there that I need to work out. Sorry I'm not much help yet.

akiy
05-13-2003, 04:00 PM
She did not say much other than showing it to me. It appears as the best way to learn is to lead the body as far as your arms are able to reach-i.e., the slap hand is extended as far as one can.
Yup. Basically, it should feel like you're "reaching" with the hand up and over, palm down, while the foot stays in contact with the ground almost until the hand touches the ground (if you're that flexible.
I think the arm has to act as a static shock absorber and then collapses slightly to let the body down easy.
I'm not too sure if I collapse my arm, although your description of the arm being like a shock absorber works. For me, it really is a feeling of reaching (like an amoeba's pseudopod) for the ground and lowering myself down -- kind of like using the reaching arm in the same function the foot that tucks under for a back fall serves.

There are some nice exercises working from the ground up that seem to work well into the soft forward breakfalls. Just another reason for us to get onto the same mat one of these days, huh?

-- Jun

aikidoc
05-30-2003, 03:20 PM
I'm starting to get the "soft" high fall down-I hit it about 70 % of the time off a kotegaeshi. I have found a great exercise to practice it with. Have one of the class members provide an extended arm. The exercise involves walking or slowly running up and hooking the extended arm with the inside arm and kick the legs up high, then look for the ground to the outside and reach way down. As the hand touches the ground, you lower yourself like a stiff shock absorber by riding the arm down-downside leg should be straight. When done properly this is almost silent.

The biggest difficulty I have with this is the habit (15 years) of wanting to slap on a high fall. When I get somewhere in between the fall is ugly and it does not feel particularly well. When I do the soft high fall properly it is virtually painless. Once I can get my mind out of the slap mode I think it will work nicely. When you go over fast, sometimes it's hard to break old habits. Some of my beginners are picking it up fast since they don't have to break the habit patterns.

Dross
05-30-2003, 03:57 PM
Does anyone have some video on the web of people doing any of these? I'd love to see it.

Goye
05-30-2003, 04:17 PM
Hi Ken and all the Aiki-people!!....

Donovan Waite Sensei was here in Colombia this week directing a great seminar and he went today to Venezuela,... I have seen the videos. I have been also in seminars with him three times,... believe me,... if you want to improve your ukemi,.. see his videos and most important,,.. try to be in class with him,.. is amazing!!!

If you were impressed with the videos and the ukemi of people that has trained with him,… you will enjoy a lot a seminar with him!

Ahh ,.. Charles,… the second tape is about some other very important things you must keep in mind while being uke,…. It is also a very good video.

Regards,..:) :)

Bogeyman
06-01-2003, 01:43 AM
I am not sure if this is quite the same as everyone is talking about but Elliott Freeman Sensei taught soft breakfalls at a seminar I attended recently. You flip in the air and land in a seated position just as in a forward tumble so that you can quickly get to your feet and get away. The impact was very soft and sometimes you could gently land on your feet. I do find myself wanting to do the big, loud breakfalls most of the time still.

E

Fminor
06-01-2003, 08:21 AM
Half a year ago, I stayed for 3 weeks at the NY Aikikai Dojo, and what I saw there was amazing.
The breakfalls they've done were smooth and soundless, even though the throw was fast and powerful.
After practice I used to worked on my breakfalls with the Deshis (many thanx - Toshi, Simon and Saar!), but I guess I'm not much of a learner cause I still don't do it right... :freaky:
Another tip for you, Ken - you should lower your body as much as you can toward the mat before turning over (which will reduce the speed of the throw and allow you to land softly).
We've also done the same drill John wrote (it's easier to practice when you're in control and at low velocity).
My current problem is that for some reason I still get a nasty hit on the shoulder (of the reached arm) when I try to "softly" breakfall.
Any ideas why?

aikidoc
06-01-2003, 09:44 AM
Efrat-you may be somewhere in between a slap or not fully laid out to the ground-i.e., parallel. I know whe I do it wrong it does the same thing.

Abasan
06-01-2003, 11:59 AM
Eric, in that breakfall do you land on your bottom? Isn't that dangerous as you can break your tailbone?

Bogeyman
06-01-2003, 04:33 PM
Yes you do land on your bottom but not square so I don't think that it a risk. Just like on a forward roll you go accross one side of your bottom and somewhat on your upper hamstring where there is more padding. I think that having the extended leg bent also helps you get the propper orientation. Also there wasn't really a slap with the hand. I hope that this makes sense.

E

aikidoc
06-02-2003, 07:41 PM
I know it is padded but I'm having trouble visualizing a high fall where you land on your bottom and it is soft. The usual idea is to distribute the impact over a large surface area and absorb some of it with your arm slap. A smaller area like the buttocks (in most cases) would seem to be like landing on your elbow.

Bronson
06-02-2003, 10:38 PM
Do you actually land on your bottom or end up on your bottom? When I watched Waite sensei's first ukemi video that was one thing I noticed that was different than our ukemi. His backfalls had him sitting on his butt at one point in the fall but he by no means landed on his butt.

Bronson

p.s. We don't land on our butt either ;)

Charles Hill
06-02-2003, 11:20 PM
I was at the Elliot Freeman seminar with Eric. The way I understood the ukemi was that there was much more forward motion than down. The ukemi I originally learned is like Eric wrote, big and with a loud slap. This is as John wrote, distributing the shock over a large area with a lot of force going straight down into the mat.

Freeman Sensei's style is lighter because a lot of the force is going forward. This allows uke to stand up quicker and if thrown high (or if the uke is short,) to be able to land on his/her feet. If I remember correctly, Freeman Sensei talked about tightening the abdominal muscles to help this forward motion.

Elliot Freeman had a lot of great ideas about ukemi, and he was excellent at conveying them simply.

Charles

PeterR
06-02-2003, 11:26 PM
I was at the Elliot Freeman seminar with Eric. The way I understood the ukemi was that there was much more forward motion than down.
Curious about this - how much choice does uke have for the way he is thrown. I keep getting the feeling that much of the speciallized ukemi requires a bit of anticiptation of technique.

akiy
06-02-2003, 11:33 PM
Curious about this - how much choice does uke have for the way he is thrown. I keep getting the feeling that much of the speciallized ukemi requires a bit of anticiptation of technique.
From what I've experienced of different ukemi approaches, the "stylistic" differences are often impingent upon a certain "style" of throwing.

From my own interpretation, some dojo project outward in their throws, and certain kinds of ukemi is necessary for that. Others may step in deeply behind uke for a lot of throws, making certain types of backfalls (eg "outside" leg tucks under rather than the "inside" leg) mandatory. Some dojo may "drop" uke into a vacuum rather than projecting outward which also requires a different kind of ukemi.

I've seen folks from single approaches of ukemi who have trouble when they encounter people who throw differently. Just another "argument" for training with a lot of different approaches, I guess...

-- Jun

PeterR
06-02-2003, 11:43 PM
I know you are right - just voicing a general feeling. Some of the ukemi we do require a lot of speciallized work so I really can not be calling any kettles black.

Fminor
06-03-2003, 12:08 AM
I want to thank you, Ken, for starting this thread and this is why:
As I mentioned before, I've been straggling with my soft breakfalls for the past few months with no success, till the point that last week I went back to do the regular "slapy" breakfalls.
After reading this thread I said to myself "no way!".
With that thought - last night I asked my friend to work with me after practice.
We've done the same exercise John wrote (extended arm) and I still landed hard and hit my shoulder blade.
Luckily, My Sensei was on the mat at the same time, folding his Hakama, and though he doesn't teach this way of Ukemi, he pointed out that my reaching hand is too close to my body.
I changed it and WOW! I was landing them easily (and most important - painlessly).
My friend started to put some acceleration to the grip and I still managed to land them OK.
That did the trick for me.
P.S I do stay on my butt at some point, though I never fall on it (ouch!).

Ron Tisdale
06-03-2003, 09:53 AM
I had the pleasure of attending a seminar with Waite Sensei recently. There is a review in my journal here, and at this address: http://65.119.177.201/cgi-bin/ubb/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=9&t=001797

I like what Jun said...there are specific ukemi for specific methods and types of throws. While I always seem to return to the style we do at my home dojo, so far, learning a bit about other styles always seems to improve what I already do.

RT

Charles Hill
06-03-2003, 10:06 AM
Peter,

What is the difference between "specialized ukemi" and non(?), un(?) specialized ukemi?

Also, am I correct to think that you consider "specialized ukemi" as something negative?

Charles

Bronson
06-03-2003, 03:09 PM
I've seen folks from single approaches of ukemi who have trouble when they encounter people who throw differently.

Yup, I've experienced it from both sides. We are a pretty breakfall light dojo and when I've visited other places I've gotten weird looks when I kind of slide out of kotegaeshi instead of taking the breakfall (I've since started practicing them though :)). I've also seen visitors who come to our dojo and have some difficulty getting their style of ukemi to fit with our style of technique.

I have the same difficulty with the Waite style ukemi. While I think it's great that he's developed a way to take safe and soft high falls, it just doesn't fit well with how we normally do our throws.

Bronson

PeterR
06-03-2003, 07:34 PM
Peter,

What is the difference between "specialized ukemi" and non(?), un(?) specialized ukemi?

Also, am I correct to think that you consider "specialized ukemi" as something negative?
Hi Charles - not negative at all but in context.

For example: last Saturday I was teaching a rash of beginners an oshitaoshi (ikkyo) technique from suwariwaza. This particular variation involves Tori initiating the strike. Shodokan folks will recognize this as the first technique in the Koryu Goshin (Old Style Self Defense) no kata others might from Budo Renshu. When done with full speed and power this particular technique is brutal even in suwariwaza - from tachi it will probably break your neck - the shoulder is driven almost straight down. To do that technique right uke has to know a particular ukemi which quite frankly looks like break dancing. The pair look seriously cool when doing this technique but the ukemi outside of the context is really not all that practical.

I think that one has to realize which ukemi are practical over a broad range of conditions and which go with a particular situation and, at least mentally, separate the two.

One of my most hated things is when uke launches themselves into ukemi and tori has not even had a chance to do the technique. I have noticed a correlation between fancy ukemi and this occuring.

Duarh
06-04-2003, 03:45 AM
I'm starting to get the "soft" high fall down-I hit it about 70 % of the time off a kotegaeshi. I have found a great exercise to practice it with. Have one of the class members provide an extended arm. The exercise involves walking or slowly running up and hooking the extended arm with the inside arm and kick the legs up high, then look for the ground to the outside and reach way down. As the hand touches the ground, you lower yourself like a stiff shock absorber by riding the arm down-downside leg should be straight. When done properly this is almost silent.
Is this the kind of ukemi everybody is referring to? We do these at our dojo, but only out of techniques like irimi-nage - ie, as back falls, not front falls. It's hard to imagine doing it from a heels-over-head kotegaeshi. . .*ponders* very interesting image, that.

It's a nice exercise, yes. I'm far from getting it right, though. . .

Stefan Pisocki
06-04-2003, 06:54 AM
The way that Waite Sensei teaches it, you hook with the outside arm. That way, your inside hand touches first, and you roll away from Uke once you are on the mat. Sensei used me to demonstrate once, and my impression was that he put a lot of weight on my extended arm and went beyond parallel with me. I don't have the ukemi down yet, but I will open my pool in the next few days and plan to practice falling into the deep end ( I hope I don't pull Uke in with me!).

G DiPierro
06-04-2003, 08:50 AM
The "soft breakfall" is from Donovan Waite's first video, not his second, but I beleive he calls it Mae Yoko Kaiten (front side roll). It is essentially the same thing as the rolling breakfall that is more standard in the USAF East expect the impact is much softer.

For people who have not seen it, the standard USAF-E rolling breakfall is done with both legs extended and hitting the mat sequentially, not with the entire body hitting the mat at the same time. You can see examples in the video clips at AikidoOnline. A more traditional flat judo-style breakfall is also used, but only for techniques which do not involve forward projection, like koshinage.

I have practiced with people who do the soft breakfall so well that there is almost no sound on impact, but I have found that there is always some resistance in thier ukemi which prevents me from delivering full power. While the soft breakfall is vast improvement in flexibility over a conventional forward roll, IMO, to be able to fully recieve any kind of technique without resistance, a hard breakfall is still neccesary.

The times when I do purposely use a soft breakfall are when I am thrown with enough spin to make a roll impractical but without enough power to neccesiate a hard breakfall. This doesn't happen very often, so I haven't spent enough time working on this to reach the level of extreme softness that others have acheived. When I do need to use it, I just adapt my standard rolling breakfall to reduce the impact of the leading leg.

For people who already can do the rolling breakfall and wish to soften it, my advice would be to touch the mat with your leading hand sooner and then use it to guide and position the rest of your body, particularly the leading leg, relative to the mat so that you will able to roll out of the fall more smoothly and with less impact.

Also, I have a short video clip of Donovan demonstrating this ukemi which was formerly available on CarbonEcho, a site which now seems to be defunct. I will be happy to share it with others, but I would prefer to upload it to a public page where everyone can find it. If anyone has suitable location for this, let me know.

akiy
06-04-2003, 10:54 AM
I believe John, I, and some others who are talking about the soft breakfall is more referring to the soft breakfall done out of a front breakfall (eg out of kotegaeshi). This breakfall is not on either of Donovan Waite's videos, although he does show a nice soft back breakfall.

I know that some Yoshinkan folks do a sort of variant on the soft front breakfall which is sometimes called the "fan" breakfall (since, from the side, it looks like a Japanese folding fan sort of opening up then closing again).

-- Jun

aikidoc
06-04-2003, 10:55 AM
The aikido section of e-budo might be a place to consider. Why not this site?

akiy
06-04-2003, 10:56 AM
The aikido section of e-budo might be a place to consider. Why not this site?
If I remember correctly, at least some of the video clips on Carbon Echo were from copyrighted videos that were put out by USAF. I'd rather keep away from posting such things without permission...

-- Jun

aikidoc
06-04-2003, 01:09 PM
I am talking about the kind taken out of kotegaeshi. The old fashioned tobu ukemi. I have not seen Waite's videos. I have seen the fan type fall (although it did not seem very soft) when I lived in California-yoshinkan. Some of David Dye's people did it during a seminar. The high fall I'm referring to starts exactly like a traditional kotegaeshi high fall but instead of slapping you reach back and touch and release. I was working on it last night but am still wanting to do something in between-it really jars you when you do it wrong.

Charles Hill
06-04-2003, 01:09 PM
Thank you Giancarlo and Jun for talking about what is/is not on the Donovan Waite videos.

Jun,

Two questions;

By "back breakfall," do you mean where uke's legs "kip up" like off a clothesline type technique?

Does Donovan Waite just show it, or does he teach it clearly?

BTW, I really wish people would go to the video section here and clearly describe and comment on the videos listed. If it helps one, the videos are quite cheap, but if it is not what one needs, they are expensive.

Charles

akiy
06-04-2003, 01:25 PM
By "back breakfall," do you mean where uke's legs "kip up" like off a clothesline type technique?
Right. Basically the way that I do it (although it more resembles a half-frozen fish flopping onto the groun moreso than a silent, graceful ukemi), the "inside" arm (closer to nage touches the ground first, then the shoulder, then across the back to either the other shoulder or the opposite hip.

There are variations to this ukemi, of course. I saw one of the uchideshi folks from Yoshinkan Hombu dojo do this kind of ukemi for Inoue sensei, although a bit differently, very silently and elegantly, indeed. Quite nice. I'm hoping the person who took the ukemi will be at the Aiki Expo again this year since I want to talk to him about the ukemi...
Does Donovan Waite just show it, or does he teach it clearly?
If I remember correctly (since I haven't wanted the video in a while since I donated it to the dojo video library), he does demonstrate it quite well (of course) and his first video provides pointers on getting that fall as well.

There are exercises designed to help folks with the basic feel of the technique without having to kick up the feet. They look a bit like an upside-down barrel (sideways) roll at first, but does help in learning this ukemi. (It's basically like the description that I wrote in the paragraph above except with the feet on the ground and the roll occuring from hand to arm to shoulder to other shoulder -- all with the butt off the ground. More easily seen than described, I'm afraid...
BTW, I really wish people would go to the video section here and clearly describe and comment on the videos listed. If it helps one, the videos are quite cheap, but if it is not what one needs, they are expensive.
Yes. I encourage people to take a look through the Videos section (http://www.aikiweb.com/videos) of this site and review the videos there. It can only go to help out folks out there who are curious about the videos...

Hope that helps.

-- Jun

Ron Tisdale
06-04-2003, 02:24 PM
The yoshinkan does indeed do the soft version of the tobu ukemi, and it is quite nice. I'm lousy at it...hyaku ukemi is one thing, but whenever I try to do it quietly I fail. I have seen some who are truly masters at it though. They seem to be able to do it even when there is a lot of power in the through. I think it helps to be young and flexible.

Ron

G DiPierro
06-04-2003, 04:00 PM
I believe John, I, and some others who are talking about the soft breakfall is more referring to the soft breakfall done out of a front breakfall (eg out of kotegaeshi). This breakfall is not on either of Donovan Waite's videos...Yes, it is. I beleive he calls it mae yoko kaiten. Watch the tape again and take a look at that technique.

People who do that fall will use it out of kotegaeshi in the same way that I would use a harder breakfall that involves both legs extended and slapping the mat sequentially. In Donovan's version, the legs are bent slightly and he sits up a little more to reduce the impact. It is the same fall, only the execution is different.

akiy
06-04-2003, 04:04 PM
Yes, it is. I beleive he calls it mae yoko kaiten. Watch the tape again and take a look at that technique.
I'll see if I can get the tape and watch it again. I seem to remember, though, hoping that the front soft breakfall would be on his tape when I got it but was disappointed that it wasn't.

-- Jun

akiy
06-05-2003, 12:02 AM
Hi everyone,

So I went and borrowed Donovan Waite's Ukemi tape tonight and I just fast-forward watched it...

It does contain, as Giancarlo points out, the "mae yoko kaiten" rolling, but it's not the soft breakfall that John and I are talking about. In fact, the tape doesn't show the soft breakfall as we're discussing at all. (And, if I remember correctly, the second tape does not either, as I was rather expecting it to do so but, disappointedly at the time, it didn't...)

The "mae yoko kaiten" is basically a normal forward roll with the "yoko kaiten" method of getting back up -- I've also heard this being called the "roley poley" method of getting back up as well.

The soft breakfall that John and I are talking about has the hand that's usually slapping (in a regular breakfall) touch the ground first and is, in fact, a breakfall/highfall rather than a roll. Although I do know that Donovan's students often perform the mae yoko kaiten in place of a breakfall, it's different from what we're talking about.

That roll, though, can be used in certain ways , though. You can emphasize the "dampening" or "absorbing" part of the soft breakfall by doing the mae yoko kaiten ukemi without letting the feet/leg touch the ground; in other words, you'd go over into the roll, extend the "slapping"/reaching arm out over your head, let it touch the ground like a pseudopod, then use that arm to keep the lower body from impacting and going into the yoko kaiten. This, I think, will teach the arm its proper function for the breakfall -- ie basically absorbing the fall rather than breaking it.

In any case, I hope that helps the discussion here...

-- Jun

G DiPierro
06-05-2003, 07:47 AM
It does contain, as Giancarlo points out, the "mae yoko kaiten" rolling, but it's not the soft breakfall that John and I are talking about. In fact, the tape doesn't show the soft breakfall as we're discussing at all.OK, now I see where the confusion started. You and John are discussing a different fall than Ken Sparrow and the others. You seem to be referring to a soft version of the flat judo-style breakfall. I have never seen this ukemi, and Donovan Waite certainly doesn't do it. In fact, my guess would be that the reason why the flat judo breakfall was left off his tape completely is that he doesn't know a soft version of it.

In the USAF-E, the flat judo breakfall is not recommended for that many techniques. Its use is limited to koshinage, a few non-standard techniques like udemaki otoshi, and sometimes osae waza versions of techniques like kotegaeshi.

For nage waza, a different breakfall which is similar to mae yoko kaiten is preferred. It is the first breakfall demonstrated on Kanai sensei's video, but he doesn't give it a unique name there. This breakfall is the primary one of advanced students in the USAF-E, and it is used by most of the demonstration ukes for Yamada sensei and Kanai sensei.

I suppose you can look at it from either side. Mae yoko kaiten could be considered a soft version of this breakfall, or the breakfall could be considered a hard version of the roll. Either way, it is essentially the same fall. Personally, I tend to look at it from the first perspective since I find that the hard version is more flexible and the best fall for powerful throws. Still, I think that improving my execution of the soft variation would be an asset, particuarly with people who do not throw very hard.

aikidoc
06-05-2003, 08:24 AM
When you say flat break fall I think of the one where the body goes very flat relative to the ground. Usually caused by opening the shoulder while turning the head. I'm referring to the straight over the top breakfall in which the feet go over the head.

I'm still working on the timing-I know I'm doing something wrong still (kills the mid back when done wrong) but I've seen this done so nicely that it makes me wonder why I have been abusing my body with the hard slap falls all these years.

G DiPierro
06-05-2003, 08:29 AM
Curious about this - how much choice does uke have for the way he is thrown. I keep getting the feeling that much of the speciallized ukemi requires a bit of anticiptation of technique.A good uke, with a good nage, should not choose the type of fall but should let nage's technique determine the ukemi. I use several different styles of ukemi and I normally do not antipicate the technique but rather select my ukemi depending on how I am thrown. Even with the same partner and the same technique, I will often switch between several different kinds of falls as the nage's execution subtly changes.

In order to learn a new style of ukemi, anticipation of the technique is required. I think this is true not only of ukemi but also of other aspects of aikido. Once you have learned a new kind of fall, though, you will able to sense when it is appropriate to use simply based on your body's position and velocity.

Finally, it is not uncommon for an experienced uke to make subtle adjustements to ukemi in order to conciously choose to take a specific form of ukemi. With inexperienced nages, this is actually a necessary part of helping your partner to learn the technique. With experienced nages, these adjustments are felt as resistance and are generally not a good thing, though they are part of the non-verbal negotiation of a mutually acceptable level of practice. Very experienced nages will simply work around your adjustments and throw you the way they want to anyway.

G DiPierro
06-05-2003, 08:54 AM
When you say flat break fall I think of the one where the body goes very flat relative to the ground. Usually caused by opening the shoulder while turning the head. I'm referring to the straight over the top breakfall in which the feet go over the head.By flat break fall, I mean the judo breakfall where you slap with your hand, extend your leading leg, stomp your trailing leg, and arch your back. This is a high-impact fall which is why we generally only use it for techniques in which uke is thrown straight down.

For forward projection techniques, we use another breakfall that looks something like mae yoko kaiten. The front hand slaps, but body remains bent at the hips rather than straight. The uke continues to roll over, slapping the extended leading the leg against the mat and then sitting up into the same finishing position as mae yoko kaiten as the extended trailing leg hits the mat.

The legs do go over the head in this fall, but in perfect execution the uke's torso is usually parrallel to the ground and perpendicular to the direction of the throw. The legs remain extended and rotate in a circle parallel to the direction of the throw and perpendicular the ground. In a good throw, the uke's extended legs will pass within a few feet of nage's head. Incidentally, it is the high rotational interia created by the uke's extended legs which allow nage to deliver a large amount of power into the throw without hurting uke.
I'm still working on the timing-I know I'm doing something wrong still (kills the mid back when done wrong) but I've seen this done so nicely that it makes me wonder why I have been abusing my body with the hard slap falls all these years.If you are doing a flat judo breakfall for forward projection throws, then you are definately abusing your body since you are absorbing the power of both the forward and downward motions through impact of your entire body on the mat. If you are doing the side breakfall, there is still a significant impact, but when correctly executed this is a relatively painless fall, even for hard throws. This ukemi dissipates most of the forward motion through rotation and slapping of extermities rather than through direct impact of your entire body on the mat.

akiy
06-05-2003, 10:55 AM
Hi Giancarlo,
OK, now I see where the confusion started. You and John are discussing a different fall than Ken Sparrow and the others. You seem to be referring to a soft version of the flat judo-style breakfall.
I read the judo-style breakfall description that you wrote in a subsequent post and have to say that what John and I are discussing, at least, is a bit different. I do know the judo-style breakfall and teach it on occasion, although it's not my "native" breakfall.

However, you do mention the style of ukemi that folks under Kanai sensei does. Having seen the type of ukemi done by Kanai sensei's students, I have to say that what John and I are talking about is very similar -- the "back" arm (eg the one not behing kotegaeshi'ed) leads ahead of the body to touch the ground first. This leading arm and that side of the body "absorbs" the impact of the rest of the body rather than slapping. I think that's about the only "basic" difference that I see in these two falls.
I suppose you can look at it from either side. Mae yoko kaiten could be considered a soft version of this breakfall, or the breakfall could be considered a hard version of the roll. Either way, it is essentially the same fall.
Yup -- sounds about right.
Personally, I tend to look at it from the first perspective since I find that the hard version is more flexible and the best fall for powerful throws. Still, I think that improving my execution of the soft variation would be an asset, particuarly with people who do not throw very hard.
I usually just revert to the "regular" slapping breakfall when I'm thrown hard by, say, my teacher. But, the soft breakfall is nice when I can do it as it does provide for a different way to receive the fall rather than the "wham bam" way. Also, it stings a lot less when done on a hardwood floor...

Also, personally, I don't really like the yoko kaiten thing. Takes up too much space and puts uke's back towards nage. Could be just my preference, though.

-- Jun

kensparrow
06-05-2003, 01:06 PM
OK, now I see where the confusion started. You and John are discussing a different fall than Ken Sparrow and the others.
Actually, I was talking about breakfalls the way Jun describes them. As far as I'm concerned, if I can get the hand or arm being "kotokeish'ed" to touch the mat at any point then I did a roll and not a breakfall.

The ukemi I saw that prompted me to start this thread was definitely a "slap hand contact only" type, not a "high roll" type although it definitely had the flavor of a Waite style roll.

By the way, I just want to thank everyone for all this great information. I've been dieing to try it out but unfortunately I injured my back (not aikido related) and have to go easy for a while. As soon as I get healthy though, I plan to start experimenting with "pseudopod arm" .:)

G DiPierro
06-05-2003, 03:08 PM
However, you do mention the style of ukemi that folks under Kanai sensei does. Having seen the type of ukemi done by Kanai sensei's students, I have to say that what John and I are talking about is very similar -- the "back" arm (eg the one not behing kotegaeshi'ed) leads ahead of the body to touch the ground first. This leading arm and that side of the body "absorbs" the impact of the rest of the body rather than slapping. I think that's about the only "basic" difference that I see in these two falls.Jun, after reading your post and Ken's most recent one, it seems to me like we are all talking about the same thing. What you described sounds just like the soft breakfall ukemi as done by some of the people from New York, Philadelpha, and other USAF-E dojos.

When I watched Donovan Waite's ukemi videos, the technique he called mae yoko kaiten looked like the same fall to me. I'm not sure what differences you see between the two.Also, personally, I don't really like the yoko kaiten thing. Takes up too much space and puts uke's back towards nage.Both of these are true of the ukemi used by Kanai sensei's students as well. However, we immediately stand up from the seated position and turn around to face nage. I use my own momentum to continue rolling out of the ukemi and up into a standing position.

Perhaps the people who use the soft variation are not able to stand up as quickly since they tend to dissapate most of their momentum during the fall, and therefore this may be why they appear to sitting with their backs facing nage. Other than that, the finishing position of both falls is exactly the same.

akiy
06-05-2003, 03:25 PM
HI Giancarlo,
When I watched Donovan Waite's ukemi videos, the technique he called mae yoko kaiten looked like the same fall to me. I'm not sure what differences you see between the two.
The main difference that I see is that the mae yoko kaiten ukemi is a roll; the soft breakfall as done by folks as you describe is a highfall/breakfall (ie there's "air" involved).
Perhaps the people who use the soft variation are not able to stand up as quickly since they tend to dissapate most of their momentum during the fall, and therefore this may be why they appear to sitting with their backs facing nage. Other than that, the finishing position of both falls is exactly the same.
Perhaps, although I've seen folks who do the soft breakfalls do the yoko kaiten thing and get back in very much in the same manner as shown on the tape. I still think, whether it's from the soft breakfall or the mae yoko kaiten roll, it takes up a lot of room/time as well as exposes the back...

Thanks for your responses,

-- Jun

shugyosha
09-17-2003, 03:58 PM
Hello,

Very interesting thread!

I've just found a clip showing a breakfall (it's the topmost left link on this page (http://aikimultimedia.no.sapo.pt/taijutsu.htm)). I wondered if that was the ukemi you were talking about? Or how does it differ from the one in the clip?

thanks,

Steffen

akiy
09-17-2003, 04:30 PM
Hi Steffen,

No, I'd say what's in the clip you mentioned seems like just a regular old front breakfall.

If all goes well, I should be getting myself a camcorder soon. I'll see about digitizing a few clips of the soft breakfalls that I know and putting them online. Stay tuned...

-- Jun

Lan Powers
09-17-2003, 05:49 PM
Way cool, Jun.....waiting with bated breath...heh heh.

Lan

aikidoc
09-17-2003, 10:31 PM
I reviewed some tapes from the AAA national instructors seminar and some were doing the soft breakfall. My observation is that it appears to be more of a high fall roll that a flip slap. The hands are stretched out like a windmill and the back hand makes initial contact. I worked on it tonight and it made a difference from what I was doing. Still not soft enough yet but getting there.

akiy
09-17-2003, 11:33 PM
Hi John,

Your observation is pretty good. I've heard some people refer to the fall as a "folding fan" breakfall since it looks a bit like one of those Japanese fans that folds shut.

In any case, I totally jumped the gun and picked up a camcorder on the way to the dojo today. I haven't played around with it enough to be able to use it much, but I figured (although video taping isn't allowed in the classes) I should have it for the Expo. In any case, I have two weeks to return it if it doesn't work out.

I'll see about putting some kind of clip of a soft breakfall together soon. Maybe I'll add a few exercises I know to help people work on the fall, too. Stay tuned...

-- Jun

MaylandL
09-19-2003, 10:32 AM
...

I'll see about putting some kind of clip of a soft breakfall together soon. Maybe I'll add a few exercises I know to help people work on the fall, too. Stay tuned...

-- Jun
Look forward to it. This is a consistent question I get from the beginners at the dojo I have teaching responsibilities at. Any visual aids would be most welcomed.

I've been told by my senseis (yes I have two of them) that you have to keep connected to tori to feel his/her energy and to have a "loose tension". I think that means not to be rigid but to remain felxible and adaptive to tori's energy. I'm still trying to nut this one out.

Happy training all :)

kensparrow
09-19-2003, 12:36 PM
I'll see about putting some kind of clip of a soft breakfall together soon. Maybe I'll add a few exercises I know to help people work on the fall, too. Stay tuned...

-- Jun
Definitely looking forward to it. I've tried the "reaching with the back hand" technique and every once in while it works and I come down (relatively) softly but I'd love to see it done by someone who is actually good at it!

aikidoc
09-19-2003, 01:32 PM
I like the fan visual. I used the windmill blades as an explanation. It also looks somewhat like the ginger bread man/person doing a cartwheel. The collapsing fan concept works for me. Using the back arm to perform a controlled collapse is what seems to make it quieter. My feet are still hitting too hard.

shugyosha
09-20-2003, 11:40 AM
Hello Jun,

I am definitly looking forward to seeing this clip!

greets

Steffen

Greg Jennings
09-21-2003, 11:01 PM
Jun, All:

As uke in iriminage, I've always tried to stay very tight, to circle inside/behind nage, to keep my posture.

As part of this, I was taught to wrap my inside arm underneath nage's armpit and grab his uwagi behind his shoulder.

From this position, iriminage ukemi is often a sort of flat spin break fall. That is, the axis of rotation is more vertical than horizontal.

From that ukemi, I adapted the "feeling hand" ukemi that Jun and others talk about earlier. But, I do it with the *outside* hand. I get my feet up and rotate my trunk away from nage and reach the arm down.

One benefit from this is that if nage breaks his posture to throw me, I can use the connection established by grabbing the uwagi to throw nage.

The arm that I reach under is in a perfect position to attack any number of ways. That or one can move to a side or half mount.

FWIW,

Clayton Drescher
09-23-2003, 04:45 PM
Just an observation report:

I saw a sandan test yesterday and one of the uke's was a phantom I swear. The only occasional sound he made was his toes tapping the mat at the very end of a fall. He made *every* fall into a roll of some sort, completely silent. I've never seen soft falls done with such regularity, truly impressive. I'll see if this gentleman is practicing tonight, maybe get some pointers.

Best,

Clayton

aikidoc
09-23-2003, 05:32 PM
Hey Clayton. How's the dojo search going?

Clayton Drescher
09-23-2003, 06:04 PM
Pretty good, tough decision, but I think I'll go with Suginami (ex Skid-Row). They had Kato Sensei this weekend, watched dan tests last night. Lots of good places out here. I posted the pictures my girlfriend took in Midland on the Aikiweb Gallery, under the Member Galleries. They haven't been cleared yet by Jun, but should be any day now. Feel free to use any you think are good enough for your website, they were all taken by Christy Carruth.

Clayton

kensparrow
09-24-2003, 11:34 AM
Jun, All:

As uke in iriminage, I've always tried to stay very tight, to circle inside/behind nage, to keep my posture.

As part of this, I was taught to wrap my inside arm underneath nage's armpit and grab his uwagi behind his shoulder.

FWIW,
I discovered this by accident a couple of months ago and it has made a huge difference. I find the throw is much less scary if I can maintain that contact with nage. It just seems to help me stay oriented as I go over.

One of the other students showed me that reversal you mentioned too - good motivation to keep good posture!

Janet Rosen
09-24-2003, 12:33 PM
Just an observation report:

I saw a sandan test yesterday and one of the uke's was a phantom I swear.
Curious locals wanna know where! :-)

Greg Jennings
09-24-2003, 02:48 PM
I discovered this by accident a couple of months ago and it has made a huge difference. I find the throw is much less scary if I can maintain that contact with nage. It just seems to help me stay oriented as I go over.
Roger that. I hate going straight back. Once upon a time, when doing iriminage, while I was looking up at my feet, my nage decided to drop to his knees and pile drive me into the mat. I had enough presence of mind to put my chin on my chest and take it across the shoulders, but I still had a sore back for months.

Since then, I've always remembered to get that inside arm securely connected.
One of the other students showed me that reversal you mentioned too - good motivation to keep good posture!
Heh, heh, heh.

Another thing you can practice doing is to duck through nage's armpit as he sets up for the throw. You end up directly in shikaku with a nice connection to work with.

It's good practice to learn to keep the knees bent and circle tightly.

Best Regards,

Clayton Drescher
09-25-2003, 03:06 AM
Sorry:), Kato Sensei is in the Bay Area this week, he'll be down in San Jose somewhere this weekend. Held a seminar at Suginami Dojo last weekend. Dan tests and party were Monday night. I think I told someone at your dojo, Janet, that Kato Sensei was here the weekend before because I had my dates screwy, I apologize for misleading Roy ( I think it was).

Clayton

shugyosha
10-15-2003, 10:30 AM
Hello,

I just wanted to remember Jun to shoot the 'promised' video on ukemi ;-)

greets

Steffen

akiy
10-15-2003, 10:33 AM
Hi Steffen,

I've actually shot and digitized a couple of short video clips, but neither are "ready" yet. The one I just did this week is a bit large at around 8 megabytes (mpeg format) since it shows the fall from different angles; I'm hoping to make it a bit smaller. Since I'm going out of town this weekend, I'll see if I can get something ready by the time I leave...

-- Jun

Jeanne Shepard
10-21-2003, 11:17 PM
About a month ago, we had two visiting Senseis give a seminar and I think what they taught was the "folding fan" with the extend arms that people are talking about. (Frank Ostoff from Dusseldorf and Jan Nevelius from Stolkholm, both senior students of Endo Sensei) They also taught an interesting backwards "slither" over a crouched partner exercise to ease us into the fall.

I have both of Donavan Waite Sensei's tapes, and I must say, I have NEVER gotten the hang of the front "slither" exercise. I just keep crashing. The back slither exercise is much easier.

Whoa! I'm long winded tonight.

Jeanne

Lan Powers
10-22-2003, 12:16 AM
Can't WAIT for the clips Jun...:)

Who is the uke, and who is the nage? (if I may ask) And are you including sound as well? (didja hear that pin drop? :) )

akiy
11-10-2003, 06:55 PM
Hi folks,

So I went and captured a couple of short video clip samples of a soft breakfall.

These clips are meant to give people a couple of samples of one certain kind of soft breakfall that I've encountered and are not authoritative by any means. There are people I know and have seen who can do this much more elegantly and quietly!

In any case, here are the sample clips:

http://www.aikiweb.net/videos/ukemi/softbreakfall1.mpg

http://www.aikiweb.net/videos/ukemi/softbreakfall2.mpg

I'll warn folks that they both weigh in at around 2.5 megabytes large and are 720x480 resolution in MPEG1 format. I'm only announcing these here in the Forums for now to make sure these are viewable, so please let me know if they don't work for you.

Thanks,

-- Jun

aikidoc
11-10-2003, 08:26 PM
Jun those are great-would be nice to see one off a kotegaeshi or something as well. They demonstrate the arm leading the body perfectly

Lan Powers
11-10-2003, 09:49 PM
Thank you Jun!

Kinda makes a foolish question about who was the uke and who was the nage .

:confused:

By the way, was that you in the clip?
(Never having met, Y'know)
Thanks again, it is great to see this on-line.
Lan

Abasan
11-10-2003, 10:32 PM
thank you thank you. i haven't downloaded em yet cause i'm at the office. can't wait to view em.

XhessCake
11-10-2003, 10:32 PM
As from what some ppl say u put alot of weight on the nages arm.... Seems kinda stupid to me... In the dojo it can be cool but outside it'll hurt more t land like that

shugyosha
11-11-2003, 01:36 AM
Hello Jun,

thank you very much. I will study that new breakfall carefully! :-)

greets

Steffen

Daniel Mills
11-11-2003, 05:23 AM
Wow :)

aikidoc
11-11-2003, 08:35 AM
"As from what some ppl say u put alot of weight on the nages arm.... Seems kinda stupid to me... In the dojo it can be cool but outside it'll hurt more t land like that"

Johannes:

Actually, it is less traumatic to the arm. On a hard surface I think I would rather touch and let myself down a bit vs. slapping which would really smart on cement or wood. It takes practice but once you master it there is very little impact on the arm or body, as evidenced by the quietness of the landing. It takes some work to get it down consistently but it does not hurt when done properly.

Ron Tisdale
11-11-2003, 08:46 AM
Yep, that was Jun...as to it hurting, I'm not as good with that fall, but if you do it like that, it doesn't hurt at all. That's one reason its a 'soft' breakfall. :)

I've seen the yoshinkan variation...its definately amazing, I've even seen it done from kneeling in the space of one mat (the same person as before Jun :)). You just hear a whisper. When a 7th dan does it, you don't even hear a whisper!

Ron

Don
11-11-2003, 09:36 AM
We had Donovan Waite down for a seminar two summers ago and have been working softer ukemi ever since. The MPG's illustrate the use of a hand/arm as a shock absorber but that it really only part of it. Getting low by bending knees is also a big part of it. The closer you are to the ground translates into less distance to fall! While it may not be apparent, uke does have much influence on that, but they must be aware through the throw. It is possible even if you are going fast. Secondly, and this is going to seem counter intuitive, to get softer rolls, you need to abandon the concept of rolling over your arm. What! This is the way most of us are taught! That is true, and it serves to teaching maai ukemi well. However, the aspect of teaching that is frequently overlooked is the incredible importance of turning the body into the roll. This manifests itself, for instance, in kote gaeishi in uke making eye contact with nage through the roll. That turns the body and causes the roll to be more across the back, which makes a softer roll. This can EVENTUALLY be turned into a roll in which the arm is not even rolled on, but the much larger surface area of the back rolls across the mat. It is ABSOLUTELY critical for new students to not try this until they are very comfortable rolling up the arm and turning the body before abandoning the roll-up the arm. Otherwise, they will crater into their shoulder and probably separate it. However, the practicing of turning and getting low will result in much softer rolls/falls.

akiy
11-11-2003, 12:24 PM
As from what some ppl say u put alot of weight on the nages arm....
I can't say I've taken any measurements, but it's probably a lot less weight/impact than with a regular, slapping breakfall. It's probably about as much weight in the arm as in a forward roll.
Seems kinda stupid to me... In the dojo it can be cool but outside it'll hurt more t land like that
From breakfalls I've demonstrated on hardwood floors, I'll say that a regular, slapping breakfall stings my hand/arms like crazy whereas the "soft" breakfalls are much less painful.

-- Jun

aikidoc
11-11-2003, 03:44 PM
I agree with Jun. When rolling you don't collapse the arm so as not to collapse into the roll. Since this is more like a high roll and you do collapse the arm, it would seem like you are stress the arm less than the roll would-seems like it to me anyway.

John Boswell
11-12-2003, 02:02 PM
Jun,

Thank you lots for those videos! You make it look so easy, but at least we have a point of reference now. ;)

One request: Can you post them (when you get time) under one of your main board references, left side of homepage? Perhaps under the training section there, as opposed to the training forum... just so these videos will be easy to find and won't fall away as the forums move on.

Please? Thanks! :D

akiy
11-12-2003, 02:10 PM
Hi John,

I'll probably be putting them into the multimedia section or in the AikiGallery (when I set it up to accept video uploads!).

In the mean time, if you've had any trouble viewing the first clip, please try the following and let me know if it fixes things for you:

http://www.aikiweb.net/videos/ukemi/softbreakfall1.1.mpg

Otherwise, since the clips are so short, they'll probably not stream very well. It'd be better to download them onto your local hard drive and play them from there rather than directly from the links.

-- Jun

John Boswell
11-12-2003, 02:19 PM
Oh! I've had no trouble with them. In fact, I've got them both saved and loaded up... watching them over and over again at work. (*sheesh! don't tell the boss!*) ;)

I was just thinking of these being saved for others down the road. 3rd link worked for me though. Np. ;)

Domo arigato!

Alan Lomax
11-12-2003, 10:19 PM
Well Jun,

That not only gave us a couple of high quality examples of “Soft Break falls”, but also answered the age-old question that has been burning in my mind. That being; if a Nana Dan fell down in the Dojo when no one else was around to hear, would they still make a sound?

Thanks for taking the time and trouble to put those out for us. I like the soft break fall. For me it is a work in progress. As my body has requested through various getting older type awarenesses, I employ the soft break fall whenever possible with regards to my limited abilities.

Regards

akiy
11-12-2003, 11:46 PM
That not only gave us a couple of high quality examples of “Soft Break falls”, but also answered the age-old question that has been burning in my mind. That being; if a Nana Dan fell down in the Dojo when no one else was around to hear, would they still make a sound?
Heh - thanks! I took more videos tonight, so I'll hopefully have a few more clips of different stuff soon.

As for a nanadan making noise when they fall, we'll have to see how much noise I make if/when I reach such a lofty height! Most of the seventh dan and up folks whom I've had the chance of throwing seem to have pretty good ukemi, though.

-- Jun

Nafis Zahir
11-13-2003, 12:00 AM
I train with Donovan Waite Sensei. But I used to train somewhere else where they taught high, soft breakfalls. I was learning to do it that way. There a student there, now a San Dan, who was the best at it. Very high, reached for the mat practically before his feet left the mat, and hit the mat so softly, that even the Instructor said it was like air. Well, after many years of doing it that way, one day, his shoulder began to hurt. Come to find out that even thought that fall was soft and pain free, the height, the unseeming weight, and the constant "lag time", finally took its toll on his shoulder. After that, he said he would only take break falls when absolutely necessary. Lower breakfalls may seem harder, but your body actually absorbs more shock. Something for everyone to think about. I'm not saying don't reach for the mat, you just might not want to do it too soon.

Abasan
11-21-2003, 02:16 AM
Jun, I always thought you were bigger/older or something. Excellant falls, looks very similar to Donavan Waites falls... (i saw his clip with Yamada shihan).

Is that what he is teaching in his ukemi tapes?

Anyway, Nafis... about that San Dan you mentioned. Is his ukemi similar to the one Jun had on his clip? It look somewhat that Jun had his arm really cushion his body into the fall slowly rather then using it to disperse the force.

akiy
11-21-2003, 11:35 AM
Hi folks,

I went and uploaded a few more ukemi video clips:

1) http://www.aikiweb.net/videos/ukemi/softbackbreakfall1.mpg

2) http://www.aikiweb.net/videos/ukemi/softfrontbreakfall1.mpg

3) http://www.aikiweb.net/videos/ukemi/miscbreakfall1.mpg

The first is a back breakfall in the style, I believe, popularized these days by Donovan Waite. The second is the "falling leaf" ukemi (with a twist) that I showed at the Aikido-L Seminar this past weekend; I'll see about doing another one without the twist soon. The third is an odd breakfall that I was taught by a guy from Russia a while back; I can't say I do this ukemi at all and, in fact, it's been several years since I last tried it...

These are all around two to three megabytes each as well. As such, they'll probably play better after being downloaded to your local hard drive and played there rather than straight from the site.

As I said before, please don't treat these as "definitive" nor even "recommended" ukemi techniques but, rather, as a sampling of some stuff I've encountered over the years. I can't take responsibility for their use (or misuse); make sure you're doing these under qualified instruction!

Please let me know if these do not play. They're all in MPEG1 format so they should be viewable by almost everyone.

-- Jun

aikidoc
11-21-2003, 05:33 PM
Jun-nice tapes. That last one (the Russian version) looks awkward from twisting the body.

You've seen a 7th dan take ukemi-I haven't seen any higher than 6th and that's because he's a younger 6th.

akiy
11-21-2003, 05:52 PM
Jun-nice tapes. That last one (the Russian version) looks awkward from twisting the body.
Of course, that could just have been my awful re-rendering of that ukemi through my body. Maybe if I practiced for a bit...
You've seen a 7th dan take ukemi-I haven't seen any higher than 6th and that's because he's a younger 6th.
Heh. I've had many occasions to have sixth dan folks take ukemi for me; one happens to be our senior student here.

Also, just a short while ago, I had to perform a counter to ikkyo (known as "aiki otoshi" or "sukui nage") on an 8th dan who was uchideshi to the founder for 15 some odd years. (It goes without saying that had he not allowed me to do so, I wouldn't have been able to throw him. He wanted to show the dangers of brining uke in too close during ikkyo...)

-- Jun

aikidoc
11-21-2003, 09:31 PM
And he took the back fall? Wow. I've seen Ikeda sensei take ukemi but he's about my age. I did see a tape with Hikitsuchi sensei taking rolls-he must have been in his 60s or 70s at the time.

Nafis Zahir
11-26-2003, 12:34 AM
Anyway, Nafis... about that San Dan you mentioned. Is his ukemi similar to the one Jun had on his clip? It look somewhat that Jun had his arm really cushion his body into the fall slowly rather then using it to disperse the force.





No, it was much higher and the reach was fully extended. His hand would hit the mat while his feet were still pointing towards the ceiling!PS-You never answered the email I sent you!

kensparrow
12-01-2003, 12:49 PM
Jun,

Thank you! Those videos are awesome. Definitely a case of a picture being worth a thousand words!

Lan Powers
12-01-2003, 11:15 PM
Once more, a deep-felt thanks for the effort of getting these clips done, and put up here.

Kind of cool to know how you have given something to so many folks Jun, isn't it?

(Kinda like this whole site)

:)

Lan

Duarh
12-02-2003, 01:38 AM
Thanks for the clips!

We definitely do the second 'falling leaf' ukemi in my home dojo in Latvia (though we call it the 'fish' ukemi) - myself, I've trouble using it with one hand busy and I don't think people do that at our dojo very often, but there was a 4th dan from Italy over once who used it from suwari waza ikkyo very neatly.

I can usually do the Donovan Waite back ukemi when I've got something to suspend myself from with one hand (ie, someone's arm), but I'm not very good at just doing it on the spot - any suggestions for improving that?

Now the third one really is weird. . .it also looks kind of neat, though:D.

DanielR
03-29-2004, 08:33 PM
Hi Jun,

I went back to this thread to download your ukemi video clips

http://www.aikiweb.net/videos/ukemi/softbreakfall1.mpg

http://www.aikiweb.net/videos/ukemi/softbreakfall2.mpg

http://www.aikiweb.net/videos/ukemi/softbackbreakfall1.mpg

http://www.aikiweb.net/videos/ukemi/softfrontbreakfall1.mpg

http://www.aikiweb.net/videos/ukemi/miscbreakfall1.mpg
but the URL's don't seem to work anymore, at least not when I tried just now. Is it possible to make these available again?

Thanks a lot,

Creature_of_the_id
03-29-2004, 11:16 PM
Hi Jun,

I would love for you to put those clips back online also. (I've only seen the first two of them).

Benjie Lu
03-30-2004, 02:14 AM
Hi Jun,

I went back to this thread to download your ukemi video clips

Jun wrote:

http://www.aikiweb.net/vi...tbreakfall1.mpg

http://www.aikiweb.net/vi...tbreakfall2.mpg

http://www.aikiweb.net/vi...kbreakfall1.mpg

http://www.aikiweb.net/vi...tbreakfall1.mpg

http://www.aikiweb.net/vi...cbreakfall1.mpg

but the URL's don't seem to work anymore, at least not when I tried just now. Is it possible to make these available again?
Jun, please, please, please...

Thanks!

crand32100
04-01-2004, 04:34 PM
Ken,

If you ever come up to Burlington Vermont I could show you how to do it. You won't hurt yourself in the process either. The only thing is that I've never seen Donovan Waite Sensei take uke, so I don't know if it would be different than what you are looking for. It's easy to learn how to do it, but it may not look like what your teacher wants you to do. By the way, I believe that Donovan Waite Sensei is in Burlington this weekend at the Champlain Valley Aikido.

akiy
04-05-2004, 12:56 PM
Hi folks,

I went and made the following clips available again:

http://www.aikiweb.net/videos/ukemi/softbreakfall1.mpg

http://www.aikiweb.net/videos/ukemi/softbreakfall2.mpg

http://www.aikiweb.net/videos/ukemi/softbackbreakfall1.mpg

http://www.aikiweb.net/videos/ukemi/softfrontbreakfall1.mpg

http://www.aikiweb.net/videos/ukemi/miscbreakfall1.mpg

I can't guarantee they'll be up for too long, though, as their download does take up a fair amount of bandwidth. I'll be watching the stats and logs...

-- Jun

DanielR
04-05-2004, 01:07 PM
Jun, many thanks!

aikidoc
04-05-2004, 01:45 PM
Jun:

Thanks for putting those back up again.

I have also discovered something that really makes the breakfall quiet if you can time it right. That is getting the foot (opposite the landing side) down reaching with the ball of the foot before the side of the leg hits. It's the tuck leg in the roll. I have found by reaching down with it you can really get quiet. The reach back with the arm and riding it down buys you some time to try and reach down with the leg.

For example: on a right side kotegaeshi when you would breakfall on the left as you reach back with the left arm try and get the right leg to reach the ball of the foot toward the mat. Then you can ride both the arm and the foot down resulting in very little impact on the side of the leg (just two quiet pats). I have not been able to do this consistently yet (haven't worked on it in a while) but when I do succeed it is really quiet. Just some thoughts.

Don_Modesto
04-06-2004, 12:33 PM
Thanks for these, Jun.
http://www.aikiweb.net/videos/ukemi/softbreakfall1.mpg

http://www.aikiweb.net/videos/ukemi/softbreakfall2.mpg

DJM: This fall seems to be a hybrid of what Donovan Waite teaches and what I see in the ASU. You go over like the Waite people, but you don't roll across your shoulders, you take the fall principally and your side, sitting up into the both-legs-in-front posture so characteristic of Waite method falling.

http://www.aikiweb.net/videos/ukemi/softbackbreakfall1.mpg

DJM: Here you go across the shoulders. Do you prefer the one-sided fall on the forward UKEMI for a reason?

DJM: While I love the softness I see in people doing this--still have yet to learn it myself--I don't care for the transition into sitting with both legs out front. I like to bounce right up after a breakfall and face NAGE as soon as possible. With the sitting thing, there's an interval, SUKI if you will, in response time. What's your take on this, Jun?

Thanks, again.

akiy
04-06-2004, 12:44 PM
Hi Don,

Good to hear from you.
Here you go across the shoulders. Do you prefer the one-sided fall on the forward UKEMI for a reason?
I'm not too sure what you mean by a shoulder-to-shoulder fall in a front breakfall. Do you have a clip or a reference somewhere that I can see?
With the sitting thing, there's an interval, SUKI if you will, in response time. What's your take on this, Jun?
My take is that pretty much every interaction that you have with someone at the dojo is a "yakusoku keiko" -- a training with a promise. As such, there are plenty of other places in which there are openings that are quite blatantly presented -- an elbow into uke's kidney during ikkyo takedown, a kick into uke's face during kaitennage, a sharp twist of the hips at the end of a nikyo "high" pin, and so on and so forth. As such, of course there may be an opening, but the same kind of openings exist in pretty much everyone's training that I've seen...

Lastly, I think I mentioned it before, but these falls are not necessarily indicative of what I usually do in daily practice nor are they meant to be any sort of recommendation over other types of falls. Rather, they're just samples of types of breakfalls that I've become exposed to -- that's all.

-- Jun

Don_Modesto
04-06-2004, 01:07 PM
Thanks for the quick response.
I'm not too sure what you mean by a shoulder-to-shoulder fall in a front breakfall. Do you have a clip or a reference somewhere that I can see?
Working from memory, I seem to recall Waite, in the first of his two UKEMI videos, doing the roll across his shoulders to finish his fall on the side opposite where his hand first hit the mat. Lovely blending with the mat.

There were several people in Peter Bernath's dojo who did this in exemplary fashion. I regret spending so much time envying them and so little pestering them to teach me. Alas!

Shomaru
04-14-2004, 04:55 PM
Mr. Modesto, don't you think that it is better, as uke, to get as far away from nage as possible after taking ukemi. I realize that sometimes you might want uke to get right back up and attack you if you are trying to practice in a more flowing way but standing right back up into nage's face doesn't show awareness, does it??

Don_Modesto
04-15-2004, 06:06 PM
Mr. Modesto, don't you think that it is better, as uke, to get as far away from nage as possible after taking ukemi. I realize that sometimes you might want uke to get right back up and attack you if you are trying to practice in a more flowing way but standing right back up into nage's face doesn't show awareness, does it??
Thanks for the post. Sorry, I don't understand how bouncing up correlates with staying close. In the Waite method, you remain in place with your back toward NAGE a moment longer than standard UKEMI. Do I take your meaning correctly?

Benjie Lu
04-21-2004, 02:08 AM
Hi folks,

I went and made the following clips available again:

http://www.aikiweb.net/videos/ukemi/softbreakfall1.mpg

http://www.aikiweb.net/videos/ukemi/softbreakfall2.mpg

http://www.aikiweb.net/videos/ukemi/softbackbreakfall1.mpg

http://www.aikiweb.net/videos/ukemi/softfrontbreakfall1.mpg

http://www.aikiweb.net/videos/ukemi/miscbreakfall1.mpg

I can't guarantee they'll be up for too long, though, as their download does take up a fair amount of bandwidth. I'll be watching the stats and logs...

-- Jun


Okay! :D

Thanks for putting them up again. Excellent breakfall technique. I'm rather good at ukemi myself but I'll have to study these since I'm also aiming for near silent breakfalls.

Thanks again

PeaceHeather
04-21-2004, 11:00 PM
Never tried to roll in "gear" but the first time I dropped down flat with a coif as well as a helm, itwas more like the space shuttle trajectory than anything.......#@%* near straight down. :)

Lan


All right, just how many SCAdian aikidoka *are* there on this forum, anyway?

("Coif" - dead giveaway, dude. :D )

Heather, non-combatant

Sitting Duck
07-29-2004, 02:18 AM
" Excellant falls, looks very similar to Donavan Waites falls..."

Can someone please, make a video or give me a link to that Waite-kote-gaeshi ukemi beacuse i cannot
understand the descriptiion you guys give... (pictures/videos says more than 1000 words)

eric carpenter
09-28-2004, 03:41 PM
Thanks for these, Jun.
i think your right,im not keen on sitting in that position ,but it is a transition form , goes very quickly,but im going to give a lot of thought to what your saying, domo arigato.

Shane Mokry
09-29-2004, 10:42 AM
Hey Jun,

Those are some of the coolest falls I've ever seen. I wonder if tori's weight changes them any. I'm going to try to learn how to do them and then I'm going to try to pull some off during randori.

Take care and thanks for the pics.

Shane

eric carpenter
10-03-2004, 09:08 AM
well im all for soft breakfalls,why punish yourself,and on a long training weekend ,at the finish your not as tired.

billybob
10-06-2004, 12:00 PM
i wonder if the principle is like the old story of the shao lin monks that jumped from the top of the temple and landed in the courtyard without making a sound. by being soft and aware they 'meet' the ground without resistance.

one size does not fit all, but when i saw my own sensei practicing the soft techniques i held back.
when i was 20 i was uke for a demonstration of a judo throw called tai otoshi (body drop). the master teaching the technique threw so hard and fast i think my foot whistled going through the air, and i would swear the hair was burned off my foot by air friction. (showing interest in his daughter before the workout was probably poor form). tai otoshi usually involves driving uke's body all the way to the mat. from my admittedly limited perspective it seems that reaching for the ground in a situation like that might mean some broken bones, dislocations and the like. i will try to learn the soft stuff, but i'm not ready.

billybob

bkedelen
10-06-2004, 12:51 PM
I believe that the effort of reaching the arm over to contact the ground early may be being over-emphasized. In my experience, the soft falls are result of twisting the upper body more deeply into the throw. In addition to positioning the rear arm for connection to the ground, this movement also causes your body to be farther along on the roll sequence than it would be during more basic ukemi. The advantage is not only that you can lower yourself, by that you naturally contact the earth farther down your body, allowing you to roll out of the fall, drop into a kneeling position, or if properly motivated, land on your feet, perhaps even in a standing position. Another advantage is that your head clears the perigee of it's movement toward the earth much earlier in the sequence. These factors combine to form a great advantage when taking ukemi for techniques such as tai otoshi (the bent knee aspect of which can be applied to almost any throw, such as shihonage, for challenging ukemi practice) because they allow you to move the two bodily elements at greatest risk during ukemi (your head and your internal organs) past the danger zone in a very efficient manner. The arm appears to be at risk because it looks over-extended, but in fact the practitioner can achieve a feeling of unraveling the arm. This unraveling, relaxed extension keeps the arm from being in a position to sustain damage.

Sitting Duck
11-24-2004, 08:33 AM
"I believe that the effort of reaching the arm over to contact the ground early may be being over-emphasized. In my experience, the soft falls are result of twisting the upper body more deeply into the throw"


Exactly,
by "twisting the upper body more deeply" _you_will_ "contact the ground early" - one and the same....

Lan Powers
11-29-2004, 01:26 AM
I can do the soft version about 1/3 of the time for forward ukemi (I have to have it "set" in my mind that I am going to try beforehand though.)
I am not at all sure that it will EVER be the first impulse of my stubborn body. :disgust:

Yes Heather I am a former heavey fighter from this kingdom, leather armor, steel helm, rattan sword and all. :)
Lan

Sreyan
07-25-2009, 02:10 PM
Hi Jun,
You probably don't have these videos any more, but if you do I'd appreciate if you could put them up again.

If bandwidth is a concern I might be able to provide hosting for them.

akiy
07-25-2009, 02:34 PM
Hi Jun,
You probably don't have these videos any more, but if you do I'd appreciate if you could put them up again.
At this moment, I have no plans of putting these video clips back online again as these "soft breakfalls" aren't really in-line with my current approach of the totality of ukemi (ie not just about falling) in aikido. As I believe there are plenty of examples of this kind of falling skills on YouTube and such, I'd prefer that the video clips that I took of myself be taken out of the public's eye.

I appreciate your interest, in any case.

Best,

-- Jun

Sreyan
07-25-2009, 07:32 PM
Hi Jun,
I completely agree that breakfalls are only part of receiving a technique. I appreciate the quick reply pointing me where i might look to work on my falls.

Best,
sreyan

Nafis Zahir
07-26-2009, 11:43 PM
Both Jun & Ron are correct. Most people do the ukemi they are taught for the way they are thrown at their dojo. However, it is best to learn other forms of ukemi. I have learned 3 different forms of ukemi. I trained with Waite Shihan for 3 years and I must say that his system of ukemi, IMHO, is the best one for dealing with any kind of throw you receive. Even if you are locked up tight, if you lead with your hip and do his ukemi, you will come out soft or softer than you would have doing something else. But again, you should study other ways of ukemi. Some people not only throw hard, but they throw downward, which doesn't give you much time to reach for the mat like you would in a high fall. So you should be able to deal with those moments. At times like that, which is most of the time for me now, I do Chiba Shihan's ukemi which is harder, but it absorbs the impact so that I really don't feel it. Always keep an open mind, give a good attack, and the rest will happen naturally.