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acot
05-21-2003, 09:11 AM
We all train focus most of our training on nage, but what about Uke? Night after night I know which training partner I like to work with because they are realistic in attack, but not so uncoopperative that I don't learn the technique. My question is how important is uke training? (personally I really enjoying being Uke, kinda like getting a well done Thai massage) How many of you work on Uke movement and attacks in details?

Peace
Ryan

DavidEllard
05-21-2003, 09:18 AM
We do lots of Training on Ukeing, in fact at one of my clubs i'd say we spent more than 50% of our time over the last year practising ukeing.

I find ukeing well far harder and more demanding that being Tori.

fullerfury
05-21-2003, 09:30 AM
To paraphrase my old teacher, Bob Gaeloene: "you spend half your time training in Aikido as Uke, so you might as well do it right". Half of training is indeed providing the framework to allow your training partner to execute the technique. Uke does oneself injustice when he/she does not keep a focused mind set when performing this role. Staying centered, attacking off line instead of directly into a vulnerable position to Nage's attack, and staying connected to Nage is essential...for both Nage's development and Uke's.

Just my 2 cents.

sanosuke
05-21-2003, 09:32 AM
To me, being uke is like being a teacher, because you know whether the techniques work on you or not, so you can tell the nage how to correct their techniques. Besides, being an uke have another plus point too, since you know where the pain spot is, you may do the techniques easier rather than if you always be a nage. And also because of that, you won't do a technique recklessly because you know how painful it felt (at least in my case).

Oh, another one, I noticed that people that often take ukemi have smoother breakfalls compared to the ones seldomly take ones. Or maybe you guys have other opinions about this?

akiy
05-21-2003, 10:25 AM
My question is how important is uke training?
Ukemi, to me, is the most important part of aikido training.

What makes a good uke? The same things that makes a good nage.

To me, there's no difference in the principles used in being a good uke as the ones used as a good nage. Both roles are learning aikido, after all...

-- Jun

Russ Qureshi
05-21-2003, 10:37 AM
Gotta go with Jun on this one. If your ukemi is no good, your execution as nage will be similar and the likelyhood of being injured increases exponentially with your (in)ability to take ukemi. Ukemi is paramount to aikido training.....

Regards,

Russ

jxa127
05-21-2003, 11:42 AM
The best advice I've gotten on ukemi is from my instructor. He is constantly telling us to continue the attack throughout the technique, and the best way to do that is to try to get your hips under your shoulders, and to keep turning toward nage.

For example, you strike with a punch to the mid-section (tsuki). Nage catches your timing and makes a connection with your arm as she pivots off line. At this point, assuming she has caught your balance, your shoulders will be in front of your hips a bit. So, take a step forward (get hips under shoulder), turn toward nage, and punch again. The step forard and turn can be part of the same movement, not necessarily separate steps.

If nage has been doing her job, you will continue to be off balance and won't be able to land the second strike. However, if she messes up, you'll be in a much better position than she.

Working to keep the hips under the shoulders and continuously pressing the attack are just training aids for when we work at less than full speed. At full speed, with a mindset of "just get nage" these things tend to happen naturally.

Regards,

-Drew

Mallory Wikoff
05-21-2003, 02:02 PM
When i'm uke, i try to act like i'm going 100% only in slow motion. To me, Ukemi is half of Aikido. without the uke it would be hard to practice. W/o Ukemi it would be very painful to be uke.

Dave Miller
05-21-2003, 05:59 PM
I would say that being a good uke is at least as hard as learning the techniques themselves. The tough part for me comes from knowing the techniques so well that, despite my best efforts, my body wants to anticipate what's gonna happen, thus thwarting tori's efforts. After a little time off, it is my skills as an uke that deterioriate the most.

DCP
05-21-2003, 07:09 PM
Everyone has made great points IMO. I just have one thing to add that could put ukemi in a slightly different light and possibly give additional defense to the "aikido isn't effective" thinking:

Ukemi is the art of saving your own butt.

akiy
05-22-2003, 08:40 AM
I would say that being a good uke is at least as hard as learning the techniques themselves.
Especially when most dojo I know place far greater emphasis (and, unfortunately, importance) on nagewaza moreso than ukemi. There aren't that many dojo that I know with, say, classes devoted to ukemi.

-- Jun

Don_Modesto
05-22-2003, 09:34 AM
Jun,

I know you sometimes teach UKEMI classes. Besides falling, what do you do in them?

Thanks.

akiy
05-22-2003, 09:47 AM
Hi Don,
I know you sometimes teach UKEMI classes. Besides falling, what do you do in them?
Many odd, weird, and confusing things. Nothing you probably haven't seen.

Last night, I was asked to cover the 6pm class. Although our main instructor was on the other side of the curtain (which sometimes separates our mat space) teaching the centering class, I was surprised that there were about ten folks there.

For the class last night, I started out with normal irimi and tenkan exercises. Then I had the person grabbing do irimi and tenkan -- with the same intent and purpose as that if one were being grabbed. One of the things I underscored was for the person grabbing to take their partner's balance at first touch. We then continued with this with the person grabbing doing the technique through techniques like katatedori kaitennage, kokyunage, sumiotoshi; kousadori iriminage, shihonage, kokyunage; and ryotedori tenchinage. We ended class in zagi kokyudosa where "nage" did two "normal" kokyudosa techniques and then did the same while grabbing their partner's wrists.

The class was meant to illustrate that the point of a grab wasn't to just be a "crash-test uke" but to have intent as to immobilize and/or throw your partner. Also, the same exact principles that underly being a good nage applies to being a good uke.

Other things I do in the ukemi class here include movement from center exercises, rolling from "awkward" positions (such as those a good nage might place you into -- ability to roll 360 degrees kind of thing), striking exercises (eg how to do a proper munetsuki), connection exercises (eg staying connected with your partner through iriminage), ukemi techniques (eg the iriminage shuffle, ikkyo ura flop, the backwards forward roll, the outside forward roll), and kaeshiwaza.

So, as you can see, I try to do a lot of things outside of falling since I consier the falling part of ukemi to be only a small part of what uke should know about that "role." In fact, I ask for folks to have a handle on basic falling skills before they jump into the ukemi class.

I'd, of course, be interested to hear the sort of exercises folks do at their dojo in the pursuit of becmoing a "good uke." Anyone?

Hope that helps,

-- Jun

rachmass
05-22-2003, 10:16 AM
Hi Jun,

Being an absolutely tiny dojo, we don't have an classes devoted to ukemi. I do however, spend about as much time working on teaching ukemi in class as I do nagewaza. Also really try to focus on connection between partners and to giving a good committed attack. As we are still at a really base level (longest training student is now 7 months), we are still focusing a lot on just putting the correct foot in the correct place, and not diving out of techniques (and relaxing!).

Your class sounds excellent, and I'd be really interested in hearing how folks who take these classes perceive them, and what they feel is the best things they have learned. Also, it would be beneficial to hear from some of the newer students who post on this site, what they have found as helpful in learning to take ukemi (and I'm not talking so much about the falling part, but the following and being a "good uke" part that started this thread).

Thanks, and BTW; good thread!

DavidEllard
05-22-2003, 10:36 AM
A lot of our ukeing exercise concentrate on keeping contact, keeping a positive connection. Difficult to describe, and my teacher informs me – difficult to teach!

We have a belief that to a great extent Uke determines whether or not a technique can take place.

Now this can be somewhat controversial, because what we are saying is that if someone doesn’t move ‘correctly’ we may not be able to perform the requested technique.

Let me explain:

Say you go to do Ikkyo (from ai hamni) and as you raise and move the arm uke turns their back on you. In the way that a lot of people seem to do when they are first learning. Now by moving round, using atemi etc we can get to Ikkyo, no question, but the when uke turns their back they present other techniques that are far more appropriate from that position, not to mention they have exposed their rips.

Another example with Ikkyo; if I begin to turn the arm over and Uke goes stiff and strong in the direction I am moving as the arm begins to lower. What do I do – I might be strong enough to use strength to get through – but that’s not aiki – maybe I can adjust our movement and move round the point of resistance and perform Ikkyo, but maybe it’s easier since uke is so strong in one direction just to turn it around and throw them in the other direction.

So in our training we work as harder, if not harder on being in the correct position as uke as when we are doing the techniques. Not only does this improve ukemi but it begins to makes counters available.

Another advantage of this is not only the fact that not forcing techniques leads to less injuries but that you begin to learn to go into a situation think “I am going to perform technique X” but that you are able to perform a technique based on what actually occurs, something that I think is both in keeping with the spirit of aiki, and also possible more use in any self-defence situation that does happen to crop up…

Bronson
05-22-2003, 01:45 PM
not to mention they have exposed their rips.

ouch :freaky:

Bronson :D

Don_Modesto
05-22-2003, 02:34 PM
The class was meant to illustrate that the point of a grab wasn't to just be a "crash-test uke" but to have intent as to immobilize and/or throw your partner. Also, the same exact principles that underly being a good nage applies to being a good uke.
Wish I'd been there. Thanks for the run down.

jk
05-22-2003, 09:17 PM
I'll second Don's sentiments in wishing I was there for Jun's ukemi class. We've only started to touch upon uke giving an effective attack not only in terms of striking techniques, but also in sincerely trying to put nage on the ground everytime they get a hold.

Last night we worked on ushiro ryo kata dori; normally I get annoyed with this particular attack because all too often, uke just minces around nage, delicately planting his/her hands on nage's shoulders. So folks were made to practice throwing their partners to the ground using this attack...my sensei called it a version of iriminage, but the most apt description for me is ushiro ate from the Tomiki syllabus. It really made a big difference during the next round of techniques in response to ushiro ryo kata dori; nage actually had to do some work to maintain balance, and kokyu nage didn't feel anywhere near contrived.

Yeah, took us a while to figure it out up to this point; but then, the present dojo instructor's kinda slow on the uptake. :)

DavidEllard
05-23-2003, 08:18 AM
ouch :freaky:

Bronson :D
Doh!

I really must sew up the hole in the back of my hakama...

;)

JPT
05-26-2003, 02:53 PM
For me the number one thing in being a good Uke is sincerity of the attack. Attacks should be on target & done in a spirited, but controlled, way. It is no good if uke just aimlessly sticks his arm out, tori needs something to work with.

The second most important thing is the falls, you need to know how too do them so that you can fall safety in order to get back up & attack again.

Lastly the thing that makes a really good uke, is one that knows just the right amount of:-

a) correcting uke by pointing out errors.

b) testing uke by being slightly difficult or by changing their responses.

:triangle: :square: :circle:

akiy
05-26-2003, 05:21 PM
Hi everyone,

Sorry for the late reply here...

Thanks to everyone who commented on my thoughts on ukemi and the ukemi class I usually do here. I enjoy leading it and I also enjoy inviting other folks where I train to lead the class on occasion.

As far as feedback on the class has gone, some folks come for just one class and then never come back whereas others seem to keep coming back. I think the most touching comments I've gotten are from folks who told me that the class doubled their pleasure in the regular classes as they could now try to "work on aikido as uke" in the same way they used to work on it as nage.
Say you go to do Ikkyo (from ai hamni) and as you raise and move the arm uke turns their back on you. In the way that a lot of people seem to do when they are first learning. Now by moving round, using atemi etc we can get to Ikkyo, no question, but the when uke turns their back they present other techniques that are far more appropriate from that position, not to mention they have exposed their rips.
Interestingly enough a couple of weekends ago, Saotome sensei was commenting on doing ukemi from just that type of ukemi. By changing the technique to a more tenshin/tenkan version of ikkyo, it's easy to break uke's balance and take them down to their back balance point. As far as uke stiff-arming you in ikkyo, you can "cycle" the ikkyo by letting their resistance carry them into the direction of their resistance and then using it to "cycle" back into regular ikkyo. And so on.

Over the last several months, I've been working on getting people to attack effectively and efficiently as uke. I've also spent time in working on the actual falling past of ukemi as well. However, I have to say that the most interesting part of ukemi and, hence, the most difficult would be the space in between the attack and the fall (if there is one). The "middle section" of ukemi seems to be the least well-defined but, perhaps, the most interesting. There's a lot of stuff to be discovered and chewed on there!

-- Jun

Mares
05-26-2003, 09:40 PM
As an aside, it's interesting to note in my experience, usually someone good at ukemi will also be strong in technique. Someone strong in technique is not necessarily good at ukemi. But I have not seen anyone good at ukemi but have poor technique.

Is this similar at your dojo?

PeterR
05-26-2003, 09:50 PM
I think my technique far outstrips my ability as uke. Of course someone impartial might say both suck but generally speaking I think the relationship between ukemi skills and the ability to execute waza is a bit over blown.

That said both good uke and good nage have a relaxed body in common.

acot
05-27-2003, 11:01 AM
I find the most difficult ukemi I take is for Ikkyo (the reverse, sorry my Japanese terminology sucks, only Chinese is used on our dojo) back side technique. When I am circling nage and headed sometimes my knee will hit first. This is really painful, and even put me out of training for a week last year. Does anyone else have problem ukemi? and any suggestion on landing backside Ikkyo better?

Cheers

Ryan

Ron Tisdale
05-27-2003, 01:48 PM
I take it you mean ikkyo ura, osae waza, or in yoshinkan terminology ikkajo osae ni. There is a specific breakfall taught for that where I train, which seems to be very helpfull in preventing injuries. I'll try to describe it...

Sliding breakfall number 2

Since you know the nage/shite movement (pivoting, then turning the body) you know that as uke you basically must descibe a circle using your whole body. The breakfall consists of shuffling forward (if you are in right stance, you shuffle forward with the right foot without changing stance), go to front knee down, pivot on the knee so that you are facing the direction you came from, and slide into the mat stance hand first.

With a partner turning you, you actually step with the foot around your partner, so that you minimize the amount you need to pivot on your knee. I think if you concentrate on following your partner's lead at first, thinking about where you should end up, it will help you get the feeling down.

Ron Tisdale

Alan Drysdale
05-28-2003, 07:09 AM
Ron said:

"I find the most difficult ukemi I take is for Ikkyo [ura]. When I am circling nage and headed sometimes my knee will hit first. This is really painful, and even put me out of training for a week last year. Does anyone else have problem ukemi? and any suggestion on landing backside Ikkyo better?"

I expect there are people in your dojo that have figured this problem out, but you might try falling flatter so that your knees don't hit hard, landing on your outside hand as you go down and letting the legs float around to where they want to be.

Alan

Peter Goldsbury
05-28-2003, 07:38 AM
Hi Jun,

Being an absolutely tiny dojo, we don't have an classes devoted to ukemi. I do however, spend about as much time working on teaching ukemi in class as I do nagewaza. Also really try to focus on connection between partners and to giving a good committed attack. As we are still at a really base level (longest training student is now 7 months), we are still focusing a lot on just putting the correct foot in the correct place, and not diving out of techniques (and relaxing!).

Your class sounds excellent, and I'd be really interested in hearing how folks who take these classes perceive them, and what they feel is the best things they have learned. Also, it would be beneficial to hear from some of the newer students who post on this site, what they have found as helpful in learning to take ukemi (and I'm not talking so much about the falling part, but the following and being a "good uke" part that started this thread).

Thanks, and BTW; good thread!
Hello Rachel,

I think my post will throw a dash of cold water on the other posts. My own dojo is similar to your own, in the sense that my students are total beginners, having been training two days each week since April last year.

For my total beginners, we spend on average 60% of each session on ukemi: how to do it, where to put your feet, where to look, where the various parts of your body should be, etc etc. Absolutely no breakfalls, and we teach no more than the most basic kihon waza up till the first (5th kyu) grading.

In my opinion this comes close to the traditional training schedule of teaching ukemi well before techniques.

So I totally disagree with the general idea that mastery of ukemi (understood in a very general sense) somehow parallels mastery of techniques. I see this illuistrated every week in the university class here. The ukemi of the 20-year-old students are very good, but their knowledge of techniques is quite another matter.

So, Rachel, can your students execute ukemi completely straight? Can they do ukemi without looking where they are going? Can they execute ukemi without turning their bodies in the direction of the throw? Can they change feet (and direction) in mid-air? Are they comfortable doing ukemi when the leading arm is held, as in sumi-otoshi? How about koshi-nage? I mean, do you explicitly teach these aspects?

Best regards,

Dave Miller
06-05-2003, 06:26 PM
...can your students execute ukemi completely straight? Can they do ukemi without looking where they are going? Can they execute ukemi without turning their bodies in the direction of the throw? Can they change feet (and direction) in mid-air? Are they comfortable doing ukemi when the leading arm is held, as in sumi-otoshi? How about koshi-nage? I mean, do you explicitly teach these aspects?

Best regards,Wow. I thought myself to be pretty good at ukemi untill I read your post, Peter. We have a drill for "front rolls" that we go through that I thought to be pretty thorough. I includes breakfalls, rolls to standing, rolls to the side and front rolls to the back (or any other direction). I'll have to play around with the "no look" ukemi. Do you have any more info on exactly what you mean by that? I have always been taught to look where you're going.

:cool:

Peter Goldsbury
06-06-2003, 03:59 AM
Try this exercise as a sort of test, which I first practised in England at Ryushinkan.

Stand in shizentai, with feet slightly apart and enough space fore, aft and sideways to execute ukemi. Now, focus on the eight directions you have available for ukemi; directly forward, directly aft, sideways left and right, and also diagonally in four directions.

You are in shizentai, which means you can start from either foot or arm. In theory, you should be able to do ukemi, and I mean what is commonly understood as mae or yoko ukemi here, not ushiro ukemi, in any of these eight directions, starting from either hand and either foot and ending up with the same hand/foot or the opposite hand/foot.

Of course, some combinations are more difficult than others and it is a solo training exercise, which, moreover, can be done with the eyes open or closed. There are others that can be done with a partner.

Best regards,

rachmass
06-06-2003, 06:09 AM
Dear Mr. Goldsbury,

Thank you for your post, and to answer your question let me start with what I had said earlier:

"As we are still at a really base level (longest training student is now 7 months), we are still focusing a lot on just putting the correct foot in the correct place, and not diving out of techniques (and relaxing!)"

No, I am not teaching anything much other than trying to follow along properly at the moment with a good connection, meaning to me, keep attacking through a grab; keeping the little two fingers and palm connected to nage on a grab; not diving out of a technique too quickly; trying to keep uke's center connected to nage; keeping attention on nage; not turning your back to nage, etc. We are practicing falls, but no high falls, just basic forward and backward ukemi. I know that you spent a good deal of time training under Chiba Sensei, and my background is from that lineage too, and I am trying (at a very beginning level) to impart that style of ukemi to my students. So, in answer to your question: "can your students execute ukemi completely straight? Can they do ukemi without looking where they are going? Can they execute ukemi without turning their bodies in the direction of the throw? Can they change feet (and direction) in mid-air? Are they comfortable doing ukemi when the leading arm is held, as in sumi-otoshi? How about koshi-nage? I mean, do you explicitly teach these aspects?", no, we don't do that yet, or anytime soon (hey, I can't do that either!). I do have to say though that these students are doing remarkably well and are showing amazing spirit and are taking pretty decent ukemi for the short time they have been practicing.

Best regards,

Rachel

Peter Goldsbury
06-06-2003, 06:59 AM
Hello Rachel,

Thank you for your reply.

There is one thing we do here that I forgot to mention, which also has a bearing on ukemi.

When demonstrating a technique in our beginners classes, the instructor almost always changes roles with uke and also shows the type of attack and the type of ukemi required.

In my experience this does not usually happen. The instructor shows the technique with a good uke then people begin to practise.

Best regards,

rachmass
06-06-2003, 07:06 AM
Hello again Mr. Goldsbury,

Actually, I do that too. I show the technique four times, then the uke/nage roles switch and I take ukemi two to four times. As the most experienced has 7 months practice (and is my husband, so sometimes is not the best to demonstrate on), this has made most sense, and has helped the students pay better attention as they know that they are going to have to demonstrate next. My friend Shawn who comes up once a month (and is a supberb uke) also demonstrates or co-teaches the class so that we get a wider view of ukemi. She's very animated and physically talented, while I am very solid and strong but not flexible. It gives a good view of the different styles of ukemi and allows folks to follow what is more comfortable for them.

best,

Rachel

akiy
06-06-2003, 09:56 AM
Hi Peter,
Stand in shizentai, with feet slightly apart and enough space fore, aft and sideways to execute ukemi. Now, focus on the eight directions you have available for ukemi; directly forward, directly aft, sideways left and right, and also diagonally in four directions.
Good exercise and one I've been doing in the ukemi class for a while now.

Any other exercises of this type you can share?

As far as the instructor taking ukemi during demonstrations, many of the instructors here will say, "And for the ukemi..." and be uke. Also, some of them will walk around the class and throw people and then, subsequently, take ukemi from them. Our main instructor also usually trains one-on-one with his demonstration uke for a while, taking ukemi when it's his turn, too...

Regards,

-- Jun

Dave Miller
06-06-2003, 05:43 PM
Pardon my ignorance but what is shizentai?

:blush:

Peter Goldsbury
06-06-2003, 07:36 PM
Pardon my ignorance but what is shizentai?

:blush:
自然体 literally translates as 'natural body'. It is not hanmi, but has the hips straight. In the exercise I mentioned in an earlier post, the feet are side by side, arms at the side.

Best,

PeterPhilippson
06-07-2003, 05:36 AM
We put a lot of time into teaching people how to be uke, because we can only develop our nage skills to the extent that people can take the ukemi, and attack properly.

We have separate ukemi practices for beginners until they feel confident enough to not injure themselves. More advanced ukemi training: I hold a jo diagnonally, people take hold across their bodies and do a forward ukemi. Or ukemi over people kneeling or more than one in a line.

We sometimes teach people to punch, sometimes with a pad. One of our sensei has a background in karate, another in Muy Thai, which is a help.

Yours in Aiki,

Peter

Charles Hill
06-07-2003, 10:51 AM
A number of times, I have seen Shihan from the Aikikai take or demonstrate ukemi. It is always both powerful and beautiful. However, I know for a fact that these people rarely take ukemi anymore. This says to me that years of daily practice of correct ukemi results in it becoming part of one's self, kind of like riding a bicycle.

Mr. Goldsbury writes that a mastery of ukemi does not equal a mastery of technique. This makes sense to me, but I do think that a mastery of ukemi is a prerequisite to the mastery of technique.

Charles

Chicko Xerri
06-07-2003, 07:08 PM
refined Ukemi is the greatest technique.

Kelly Allen
06-11-2003, 01:22 AM
I tend to place great importance on my Ukemi for three reasons.

1: It tends to be a good cardio vascular, and abdominal, exersize for me.

2: I have found the more relaxed I am a Uke the better I am at it. This relaxed train of practice flows over to my ability to perform better as Nage.

3: The more advanced my ukemi gets the more suttle nuiances I can pick up from my sensei when he throws me. Explinations of what I am doing wrong in spacific technique tends to make more sense to me as well because I can feel the differences while being thrown.

Dave Miller
06-11-2003, 11:57 AM
literally translates as 'natural body'. It is not hanmi, but has the hips straight. In the exercise I mentioned in an earlier post, the feet are side by side, arms at the side.

Best,Thanks, Peter. That's what I thought, based on the context. I'm definitely gonna try that.

Bronson
06-11-2003, 02:05 PM
You are in shizentai, which means you can start from either foot or arm. In theory, you should be able to do ukemi, and I mean what is commonly understood as mae or yoko ukemi here, not ushiro ukemi, in any of these eight directions, starting from either hand and either foot and ending up with the same hand/foot or the opposite hand/foot.

A few of us stayed after class last night and worked on this for the first time. It was fun:D I think I must be doing it wrong though because, to be quite honest, it wasn't really that difficult. Once I got over the idea of starting the ukemi in a "weird" position and realized that if I just did it my feet would follow and I'd end up ok it wasn't really that bad.

We did change one thing though. We didn't worry about ending up with opposite foot foward. Our normal ukemi training works very hard to get us to end up with the same hand and foot forward and we didn't feel like messing around with that just yet :p

Overall a fun exercise and a good practice.

Thanks for posting it.

Bronson

Peter Goldsbury
06-11-2003, 05:12 PM
We did change one thing though. We didn't worry about ending up with opposite foot foward. Our normal ukemi training works very hard to get us to end up with the same hand and foot forward and we didn't feel like messing around with that just yet :p

Bronson
This is not really a change. In the original post, I stated that you can do either: same foot or opposite foot.

Best regards,

Bronson
06-11-2003, 11:46 PM
This is not really a change. In the original post, I stated that you can do either: same foot or opposite foot.
Aaaah, my mistake. I thought we were supposed to both. So even by my previous understanding it wasn't really a change but an omission.

I would like to ask for clarification on a couple terms. Mae ukemi and yoko ukemi. We don't use these in our dojo. We use zempo kaiten ukemi to mean a forward roll and either ushiro ukemi or, more usually, koho ukemi for a backward roll. Everything else (side rolls and whatnot) is "a variation" on these two...unless we're talking about breakfalls. Breakfalls are designated in english ie, forward, backward, side, rolling etc.

While practicing the exercise you described we were doing zempo kaiten ukemi (forward rolls) with either same hand/foot or opposite hand/foot in all directions. Is this what we should have been doing or are you looking for more of a breakfall.

Thanks again,

Bronson

Peter Goldsbury
06-12-2003, 07:26 AM
Well, 'mae' means forwards, 'ushiro' means backwards and 'yoko' means sideways. The names you use are variations of these and I have found that many dojos have preferred names. What you call zenpo kaiten ukemi is a mae ukemi with a fancier name (forward direction rotary ukemi).

All the exercises in my previous post are with this type of ukemi.

If you think of the two basic patterns of ukemi we teach our students here, both are in fact mirror images, with a vast spectrum of variations, which students do as they become increasingly proficient. Here students start in seiza, or hanza, and roll forwards, ending up in seiza or hanza, in the same hanmi as before they started. They then reverse the process and execute a backward roll, ending up in the same way. However, the more variations you add, the more the two types of roll become similar. Thus, you can do a mae ukemi, but facing backwards or sideways, as one might do from shiho nage, or do an ushiro ukemi, but facing forwards, as one would do from a direct irimi nage, with the body horizontal and the feet at eye level. The possibilities are many.

Best regards,

Peter Goldsbury
06-12-2003, 07:37 AM
Further to my last post, one possible way of distinguishing a roll and a breakfall is the contact of the body with the ground. Thus, the ukemi from koshi nage or ganseki otoshi cannot really be described as a roll, in my opinion. You fall, and you break your fall in a certain way. As with running vs. walking, there is a period where the whole body is in mid-air. But one can do this either forwards or backwards, given the flexibility of this general distinction I suggested in my last post.

As for whether the 8-direction exercise is of rolls or breakfalls, this depends among other things on one's physical flexibility. A mae ukemi directly backwards might be hard to execute as a roll because it is difficult for some to bend their backs so far. Thus the roll will in fact be a breakfall. Another factor with breakfalls is that they are probably best done with a partner who is doing the throwing.

Best regards,

Charles Hill
06-12-2003, 09:46 AM
Peter,

I don't understand what you mean by "mae ukemi directly backwards." Until your last two posts, I thought you meant the roll was proceeded by pivot to the rear. Now, I'm confused. Could you expalin it a little more?

Charles

akiy
06-12-2003, 09:55 AM
To me, at least, the exercise that Peter describes is done without moving the feet at all when going into the roll. Rather, the front rolls are done in all eight directions are done from shizentai without pivoting. This makes some of the angles (eg southeast, south, and southwest especially (if you start out facing north)) pretty tricky...

-- Jun

Peter Goldsbury
06-12-2003, 03:41 PM
Peter,

I don't understand what you mean by "mae ukemi directly backwards." Until your last two posts, I thought you meant the roll was proceeded by pivot to the rear. Now, I'm confused. Could you expalin it a little more?

Charles
Well, let us take an example. You are in shizentai and are going to do a mae ukemi (aka 'forward' roll) directly behind you. You have several choices, assuming either arm or either foot. You can roll directly backwards on the right arm, which will involve a slight body turn to the right, as you might do with an ukemi from a direct sumi otoshi. Or you can make a large pivoting movement overhead and backwards with the left arm, but still turn to the right. So, too, for the left hand side, and with a choice of hanmi for landing.

I would not think you would need to use such a movement in a technique (and beginners should not attempt either way described), but the 8-direction rolls are exercises designed to increase body awareness, flexibility, and overcoming fear.

By the way, I sent you a private mail a few days ago on a different topic. Did you receive it?

Best regards,

Bronson
06-15-2003, 12:02 AM
Thanks for the clarification Peter. Turns out we were doing it right after all :D

Bronson

Charles Hill
06-15-2003, 08:31 AM
Thank you, Peter, for both your email and explaining the exercise further I think I understand it, so now I'll have to try it.

I have a question that I think fits this thread.

Some teachers teach that a front breakfall in response to a technique that requires uke to pivot toward the direction he/she is going in is not correct. The thinking is that it takes time to pivot, and nage should never give uke that much time to move. For other teachers, it is a fundamental part of such techniques to have uke take a forward breakfall. Right now, I'm thinking of breakfalls out of kotegaeshi and shihonage, but I'm sure there are others that are similar. What do people think?

Charles

Dave Miller
06-23-2003, 08:02 AM
With kote gaeshi especially, we have a dispute among senseis (albeit a friendly dispute) as to how it should go. Some suggest that there should be some movement by uke into the technique whereas others advocate a more direct throw by nage. I have learned it both ways and can do it either way but the more direct throw makes more sense to me for the reason you gave. If uke isn't trying to attack further but rather attempting to escape (as in the first scenario) then there is really no reason for the throw. In the second scenario, uke is attacking throughout the entire technique which not only makes the throw make more sense, it also makes it technically easier for both uke and nage, IMHO.

Paula Lydon
06-24-2003, 02:04 PM
~~Hi Ryan,



Over the past couple of years I've really been fascinated with the role of uke. How to save my own butt, feeling openings in nage's movement, the mirror image of nage/uke, etc. Lately I've been noticing the value of clearly understanding the role in each technique that uke must play for learning to occur. Giving the appropriate attack and movement for nage to work on a particular tech. both logically and as realistically as we can make it in a dojo setting.

Often I find my partner giving movement that is either counter or not fully exicuted for what we're working on and I realized that most of that simply comes down to them not fully understanding the dynamic we're working on. So, for my part, I'm making an effort to go back and make sure I understand, as uke, my side of techniques. Nage is working on this move BECAUSE I'm giving them this action or responding to them thusly.

Take care! :)

rafaelgrativol
07-15-2003, 06:02 AM
My sensei is always saying that what is important in being a uke are mostly perform a good (realistic) attack and while the tori is performing the movement the uke is supposed to deffend himself/herself...

jxa127
07-15-2003, 07:34 AM
My sensei is always saying that what is important in being a uke are mostly perform a good (realistic) attack and while the tori is performing the movement the uke is supposed to deffend himself/herself...
Rafael,

That's interesting. I've been taught the opposite: like you say, uke should perform a good, realistic, attack, but then uke should continue to attack until thrown! If uke is defending him or herself, they he or she is not attacking. A defending uke is a lot easier to deal with than an attacking one.

Regards,

-Drew

Charles Hill
07-15-2003, 08:18 AM
I think that the ideal ukemi combines the ideas in both Rafael and Drew's posts. One should attack and continue that attack until there is somekind of positive motion by nage. Then the uke should react to that. If that positive motion is let up, then uke continues an attack. I think one way uke defends him/herself is by taking a fall when they have no other choice.

BTW, I just got Donovan Waite's first Ukemi video and it is excellent.

Charles

Mel Barker
07-15-2003, 08:44 AM
If uke isn't trying to attack further but rather attempting to escape (as in the first scenario) then there is really no reason for the throw.
Why not? How do you study against resistance (which is someone not attacking by my reckoning, i.e. escaping)?

Mel Barker

Mel Barker
07-15-2003, 08:51 AM
A defending uke is a lot easier to deal with than an attacking one.
I have the exact opposite experience. Throwing someone attacking is a breeze, but even a relative newcomer that tries not to be thrown, but not attacking is most problematic.

Mel Barker

Dave Miller
07-15-2003, 09:17 AM
Why not? How do you study against resistance (which is someone not attacking by my reckoning, i.e. escaping)?

Mel BarkerIf the person is trying to escape, i.e. move away, I just let go. They will stumble back, possibly falling, and then decide what they want to do next. The point is that I'm not gonna try to force the technique but rather just flow with uke.