View Full Version : Aikido without Ukemi?

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07-16-2003, 09:39 AM
Has anyone here ever been in a situation where you've thrown someone that doesnt know Aikido type Ukemi? Perhaps a different stylist or in self defence? How did they fall and what did they hurt? Especially in throw were you get a lot of air time, Tenchinages, Kokyu nages or the odd Ikkyo?

This may seem like a war monger like question, but I resently trained with a new guy. Its strange to see how people fall when they dont really know how to, even if the Shiho-nage I did was nice and light.

Dave Miller
07-16-2003, 10:01 AM
I've never done it but I can imagine that it would not be a good thing. That's what folks often miss when they see our nice, graceful falls, that we spend lots of time practicing those falls. If you toss someone who doesn't know to fall, it's gonna be "game over," IMHO.

Gabriel O'Brien
07-16-2003, 11:20 AM
Currently my dojo has a large number of very green beginners (like I'm not! :D ) and I've noticed how much I need to "pull" my techniques in order to allow them to take the ukemi as best they can. I've noticed this does significantly decrease the effectiveness of my sloppy techniques...

Needless to say I wouldn't wish an Aikido throw with intent on someone who doesn't have the tools to take the impact... at least not if someone with as little control as I have were to be nage.

I have however noticed that on occasion when my Sensei applies a technique to a beginner he can manage to apply what at least appears (!) to be an effective technique on someone who has no clue about ukemi without any harm coming to them...

Insert $0.02 here.


07-16-2003, 04:03 PM
I had a "drunk uncle Fred" incident a few years ago. Threw the guy with uchi mata (judo throw).

He fell badly. I felt kinda guilty abt it afterwards. Several days later, when he'd sobered up, he apologized and showed me the bruise.

T'wasnt pretty ;-(

Jim ashby
07-17-2003, 02:02 AM
I haven't thrown anyone on the street, however I have used Nikkyo and Kote Gaeshi on miscreants. They really didn't like it.

Have fun.

Dave Miller
07-17-2003, 08:36 AM
I haven't thrown anyone on the street, however I have used Nikkyo and Kote Gaeshi on miscreants. They really didn't like it.

Have fun.How did you use Kote Gaeshi without a throw? Did you just sit them down?

Just curious.


07-17-2003, 09:43 PM
I've used a shihonage on "the street" once. It seemed to work pretty well. Other than that, I use yonkyo from time to time in the school where I work to split up fighting kids. (no, I don't aim for the pressure point, I just take them by the arm and walk off...seems to work)

Jim ashby
07-18-2003, 01:24 AM
Dave. I just laid it on a bit harshly to an idiot in a bar in the pigalle in Paris who was waving my boss's credit card about and bragging that he could charge what he wanted. The idiot was the other side of a counter and he had nowhere to go. It looked like it really hurt!

Have fun.

C. Emerson
07-18-2003, 10:31 AM
Before I go, My background is Instructor, Corrections officer and Deputy Sheriff. Only my experiences.

Yes, it is ackward and unpredictable. They don't know what you doing, They don't know how to fall. And they fight it, so you use more force, ultimatley you do the technique faster, to complete the technique. They ultimatly end up injurying themself or close to it.

Most everytime, ackward is the best way to describe it. They try to wiggle out of it and they end up putting themself into a vulnerable postion. Like with throws, landing head first, because of there efforts to escape. Joint locks, turning the wrong way trying to get out. Or the biggest one is a reluctance to go down, when going down would be the best way out. They just don't understand the mechanics of what your doing. The only thing that I find challenging is, that they will do something that you know is wrong and they will get them injured, yet following through and completing it anyways. Being an instructor your always looking for people moving incorrectly and potential injuries.

So when you really see it for the first time, you say to yourself, Oh, this is going to hurt.


07-18-2003, 12:15 PM
Thanks Chad, interesting post.

07-18-2003, 12:52 PM
My old friend Ed Baker Sensei told me a story before he died about throwing an inmate with an irimi-nage. He said that someone came up to him just as he threw the miscreant and slammed him in the back.

I laughed and said, yeah, I hate it when that foot comes up and nails you in the back. Really a beginning uke's mistake. I remembered he looked startled and then he laughed, told me how he'd forgotten about beginning uke's. (He probably hadn't used anyone under shodan in years.) Same thing happened to me once throwing a beginner with a kote gaishi. I was still thinking big fall and he came right through with a left hook to my jaw. Not all bad falls are bad for uke. Not all good throws are good for nage. Great question.

07-22-2003, 04:12 AM
new ukes... I once witnessed a beginner being thrown in a shiho nage. he was told how to fall, he just finished practicing ukemi... and he landed on his elbow, ribs on top of the elbow, crack! ambulance. At the next session we did a lot of ukemi from shiho nage (basic backward rolls).

I also know this bloke who seems to be a permanent 'new uke'. He can't relax whatsoever. So, when working with him I have to be extra aware because his actions are unpredictable. I broke a finger a while ago. It was healing but still a bit sore. I threw this guy with a tenchi nage and what does he do? - He desides to go tense and out of all the places he could grab me by he chose my finger.

People who don't know ukemi often try to grab you and hang for dear life if they feel they are going down. It is just something to be aware of.

I look at it this way. You want to bring uke from A to B, say from standing to flat on the ground, but you don't want to hurt them excessively. This is why I do Aikido and not something else. So you make sure they go down the way you want.

If they are about to bang their head on the curb, you protect their head. Same as when you are practicing in a crowded dojo you watch where you throw (at the last grading we were told not to throw ukes into the grading panel, apparently someone did :)) It is a bad idea to send your uke into walls or other people.

I think it is a part of zanshin practice - awareness. When you are throwing someone you don't let them grab you. On their way down you make sure they are not hurt more you want them to be. Same in the dojo. Buty uke while flying in the air should also take notice of the surroundings and avoid rolling into people and objects.

Sorry for a long post, this is something I have been thinking about recently.

Peter Malecek
08-01-2003, 07:32 PM
The one time that I threw a real person (i.e one with no training in how to fall ) I found the whole experience disconcerting. One night, while making my way home to my flat in Kilburn by way of The Spotted Dog (just to make sure that their beer was warm)I realized that I had gone the long way and decided that I needed to take a shortcut (the beer was indeed warm and available in large quantities). While in the midst of my shortcut a gentlemen came up to me and pointed out that I looked a prat( nice suit wrong part of town etc. etc.)but that for a small fee he would ignore my transgretion against his sartorial taste. I declined and he decided that I needed some additional incentive.

I'd like to say my training kicked in at this point, but given that I've never actually trained while drunk I think it was mostly luck. Somehow I found that I was able (with the help of aforesaid luck) to use Hijiate Kokunage and threw my attacker down and forward. The effect of the throw was such that the guy did in fact lose his balance and fall violently forward, but without the fancy roll. He landed in a heap, chin first, not pretty.

It was then my training kicked in : a) I was pretty upset that I had not managed to throw with enough force to flip uke (notice how I wasn't blaming uke for this - that would have been rude); and b)I assumed kamae in the left hand stance ready for the next technique. Only after uke didn't appear to be setting up for the next training cycle (he was dazed kneeling, bleeding quite heavily and swearing through some very broken teeth)did I realize that:a) this was not a drill; b) I still had to pee real bad: and c) running away at this point would be good for me, my trousers, and quite possibly for my attacker.

There is no moral to the above, I just thought the orignial question presented a chance for a war story while staying on topic.




Despite the tone, the above is true and while there is no moral there are several lessons. The most important lesson is that despite making a shed load of bad decisions that night I did make one good one, I ran away(not walked or swaggered)after the guy was down - at least I did that bit right .

Peter Malecek
08-01-2003, 07:39 PM
Ooops. Sorry about the spelling in my last post. Czech language key board, no spell check, Canadian fingers.

Thor's Hammer
08-03-2003, 10:34 AM
I sometimes hold on when people throw me into a backfall in order to soften the landing. One also holds on in koshinage so's you don't get your head splattered. This isn't "wrong", this is protecting yourself. If nage doesn't like it, then they can do the technique correctly to fit the situation(such as in the case of tenchinage, moving your arms so that uke lets go, or holding on tightly in case of koshinage so uke doesn't die.)

08-04-2003, 01:56 AM
i threw my TKD friend using kokyu nage/soto kaiten nage last time, the result is that he ran towards the wall that i had to catch him to prevent the crash.

Mark Balogh
08-07-2003, 05:22 AM
Errm, a girl (been training 4-5 years) at our club was grabbed by a complete beginner Ryote-dori (2-hands on 2 hands) and could not do tenchinage or even move him. He then grabbed me and I did Tenchi-nage but with focus making atemi if I could or if he let go. This put him in a right mess, but I could not throw him down, just away.

I think that sometimes you get easy pickings with beginners sometimes you get a tough time, but training with both types makes you more experienced and able to deal with anyone in a real situation.

I am not a fan of all these herioc war stories cause no one tells you when it goes wrong. I know someone who did Kotegashi on the street and the other person has just locked up tight, I know of failed Irimi-nages (several). I think the best attitude an Aikidoka can have is to turn disadvantage into advantage and follow it through, with either technique, atemi or evasion. Obviously Dan grades and up usually know all this and can handle a street situation. ;)

Ron Tisdale
08-07-2003, 09:04 AM
Obviously Dan grades and up usually know all this and can handle a street situation.
Oh? Here's one Dan grade who's not always so sure (speaking for myself). Life is sooooo unpredictable. The longer I train, the more I realize I don't know.


Mark Balogh
08-08-2003, 07:17 AM
Oh? Here's one Dan grade who's not always so sure (speaking for myself). Life is sooooo unpredictable. The longer I train, the more I realize I don't know.

Mr. Tisdale is obviously a very sincere practitioner, who has the valuable 'beginners mind' approach. How refreshing. :)

Ron Tisdale
08-08-2003, 09:22 AM
Mr. Tisdale is obviously a very sincere practitioner, who has the valuable 'beginners mind' approach. How refreshing. :)
Ok, you're making me blush...

Ron (shoshin is kool, Mr. Tisdale is my dad) Tisdale


Vincent Munoz
09-01-2003, 03:21 PM

been practising aikikai for 10 years now. presently, i joined with another group coz i can't find aikikai in my present place. most of em are not very well train in ukemi. ukemi is as important as nage, right? most of the time in randori, many of them afraid to be my uke, some are upset. In aikido centrum cebu (aikikai affiliate), we throw uke like a samurai cutting as thought in hombu dojo. so when i perform especially shomenuchi kokyu nagi, they felt it very hard. shall i change my way of throwing?

could anybody advise me how to control even a very strong attack? nage is suppose to be in control always, right? neutralization - to harmonize with nature?

one in budo,


09-01-2003, 04:04 PM
Ukemi is more important to (obviously) uke, whose main concern is not getting hurt. But nage should get a good feel for his/her training partners in order to help them and take care of them. Itīs pointless and even dangerous to try to force a technique on an uke with poor ukemi skills.