View Full Version : 'Splat' falls

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09-11-2003, 08:15 PM
Ukemi has to be my favourite part of Aikido. I love to learn different ways to fall. But damn, those splat falls take a bit to learn. I have no fear of trying them, but getting them wrong certainly hurts.

Any tips?:freaky:

09-11-2003, 10:27 PM
splat falls.......i guess it's flip then. you're right, dean, it is take some time to learn. you see, basically a flip is a front roll in mid-air, so you have to work on your front roll first. if you can roll smoothly then try to roll without your arm supporting you, then try with a bit of jumping and do the roll as you jump, then you start with partner afterwards.

there's another kind of splat falls, you know the one when the nage do irimi nage the ke looked like hanging on nage's arm in mid-air before they fall down (some people called it 'leaf-fall'), that one is also a cool ukemi if you know how to fall...

happy training!

09-12-2003, 07:08 AM
Bronson Diffin had some great explanations and ideas for training breakfalls that had to do with an exercise ball......

Bronson, Bronson......Anybody?

09-12-2003, 02:06 PM
you mean 'bellyflop' or 'spread eagle flat on your back' falls?

just like regular ukemi, they hurt less the more you do them.

09-15-2003, 12:06 AM
Bronson Diffin had some great explanations and ideas for training breakfalls that had to do with an exercise ball......
Oh sure, put me on the spot ;)

If you already have a basic idea of how to do the falls you can practice them at a relatively low level of impact with one of those big bouncy exercise balls.

Again, if you already have a basic idea of how to do the falls, I wouldn't have any brand new person try this stuff (except maybe the first two). That said I wouldn't even say this is my preferred way to practice them, it's just another way. If you are having difficulty please, please, please ask you sempai/sensei...they want to help you get it right.

If you are going to try these please start slowly as it's sometimes difficult to fully explain with just words.

1) Back falls: Easy, just sit on the ball tuck your chin and roll backwards off of it, slapping when you hit the mat.

2) Side falls: Sit on the ball with both feet flat on the floor (like you would in a chair). Extend your right foot across and in front of your left keeping the right leg mostly straight. Roll off the ball to the right, slapping as you land. Reverse for the left side. Make sure to tuck your chin...always tuck your chin.

3) Forward (flipping) fall: I'll try to explaing this :confused: To start at low level you just allow yourself to roll over the ball landing the position you've been taught. After you're comfortable with that you can start to get some height. To do that you stand and hold the ball in front of you and slightly off to one side. Kind of between your center and the point of your hip. Then you simply tuck your chin and let yourself fall forward, keeping your body straight. As long as you don't bend in the middle you'll bounce up and over landing in a breakfall position. After you are comfortable with that you can get a (slow) running start and dive onto the ball, landing on it in that same spot between your center and the point of the hip to flip over with even more speed/height.

Watch you fingers when falling on the ball. Somebody tried it and jammed one of their pinkies.

If you have the ball too low on your hips you'll probably face plant.

If it's too high on your belly you'll just bounce on it. Better to start too high and work down ;)

Alternately you could go to the website for the

Journal of Asian Martial Arts (http://www.goviamedia.com) and order a back copy of Volume 8, Number 3 from 1999. It has a really good article on this subject.

You could also ask your sempai/sensei for help. Yes I know I already said that but it's worth repeating.


09-25-2003, 06:00 PM
Hi there, I hope I explain this well...

When we do ukemi, instead of rolling out of a technique such as kote gaeshi, the uke leaps over their own arm to land on their side in what I only know as a Splat fall.

Some people when they do this fall, tend to truncate it so that they don't spin so much vertically, but horizontally. I hope people know what I mean here.
We are told at the club that the proper way of doing the fall is to throw yourself up and over your arm.

My question is, why is it important to spin more up and over rather than spining out and over on a horizontal axis?

Thanks in advance.

09-25-2003, 06:09 PM
Great advice about the exercise ball, btw, in New Zealand we call them Swiss Balls. I have a friend who has one, sounds like alot of fun!

As for asking others at the club, I most certainly have done that. One of my workmates is a shodan so he is great to go to for advice.

He has great enjoyment in putting kote gaeshi on me to teach me to flip :)

Don't worry he is not a tyrant.

Thanks again for the good advice.

Greg Jennings
09-25-2003, 06:09 PM
Most everyone calls that a breakfall or highfall.

If you're jumping over your arm, well, that's the first mistake.

You don't do it in a more flat plane because that will land you flat on your back as opposed to on your hip, thigh and "slapping arm".

It's more akin to a front roll with the "rim of the wheel" raised up off the mat.

There are some excellent videos around. Bookman Sensei's and Waite Sensei's are the two I have.

We're having a video ukemi clinic this Saturday, but I don't think you're in our neighborhood ;) .


09-25-2003, 06:13 PM
Thanks for the reply, and yes, you are right, I'm a little far away to come to your video clinic :)