View Full Version : Dizzy after practicing rolls

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Daniel Trottier
05-11-2001, 11:10 AM
I recently began studying Aikido and I really enjoy it. Problem is, I get very dizzy during and after practicing rolls, falls, etc. I want to be able to practice alone for more than 2 minutes so that I can improve, but I find that very difficult to do. Last Wednesday I joined the class in their "rolling drills" - doing forward rolls twice around the mat followed by backward rolls around the mat. Upon completion, I was very disoriented and felt nauseated, and I had that feeling for several hours.I have the problem of not being able to practice comfortably or for as long as I would like. I was just wondering if anyone else experiences severe dizzyness and if so what can be done or how long it takes to get over it. It definitely dampens the enjoyment I get from attending class so much so that I do not feel I will be able to continue if this situation persists.

05-11-2001, 12:46 PM
Hi Daniel. This is a common problem, not only in aikido. These may not help, but give them a try.
1) Keep your eyes open
2) Breathe out when rolling
3) Don't imagine you are rolling, just tell yourself you are moving along a straight (horizontal) line with your body. (It's easy)
4) Practise, especially harder, longer rolls, to make the normal ones seem 'easier' in your mind.

Hope some/any of this helps :D

05-11-2001, 01:17 PM
One thing that works for me is to "spot": always have an unmoving spot that your eyes can focus on upon the completion of the roll. Focus on the spot as you enter the roll (right up until you tuck your head) and come right back to it upon completion. It's the same idea that dancers use when they spin rapidly.

05-11-2001, 02:10 PM

When I first began Aikido I also became dizzy after performing multiple rolls. Just like anything else you learn in life, rolling becomes easier the more you do it. So, the more you roll the less dizzy you will become over time. You get dizzy because the semi-circular canals in your ears (they help you keep balance and detect motion) are not giving your brain the same inputs as your eyes. It is very similar to the mechanism that causes motion sickness when riding in a car. If you are a passenger in a car and are reading a magazine at the same time you may become car sick. The reason is that the semi-circular canals in your ears are detecting the motion of the car, but your eyes are focused on the magazine (they are not detecting any motion). The result is motion sickness. If you look up at the road and scenery as it passes by, the motion sickness usually goes away. The same works for rolling. If you keep your eyes closed while rolling, your only getting half of the brain inputs you need, hence you experience dizziness or motion sickness. The simple solution is to keep your eyes open. Focusing on one "spot" like NYFE Man suggested will also help (that's how people get over sea-sickness, they focus on the horizon). And of course, just as MJ suggested you should practice rolling as often as possible; by doing so, your body will become acclimated to the rolling motion and your dizziness will decrease. Have a good day!

05-11-2001, 04:00 PM
Errr, this may sound really stupid
Practise standing straight, keeping your balance... and spinning around really fast.
Eyes open...
Change directions every now and then...

05-11-2001, 05:19 PM
gee, can i ever relate...my first sensei told me that you wouldn't get dizzy if you alternated (ie, left roll, right roll, left roll, etc) and that seemed to work (power of suggestion?) then i got to a place that you had to roll one side only across the mat...before i could roll back on the other side the mat was moving all over the place. gave the rest of the class a good laugh, and a rest while they waited for me to struggle back. i complained one day that rolling two mat lengths like that made me too dizzy for the first 5 minutes of class, and my instructor then had us roll FOUR mat lengths instead. i moved and changed dojos, but kept that in mind and each night did four mat lengths of small rolls for a year...and you know what, i'm no longer dizzy :)

Daniel Trottier
05-14-2001, 10:06 AM
Thank You to every one who replied. I was quite discouraged but now I am up to the chalenge to beat this thing. I have a class tonight where I will start putting all the great suggestions in practise.
Thanks again.:)

05-14-2001, 03:49 PM

Thought I'd throw in 1 extra suggestion that I was told, although I'm new and not quite over it myself it does help.

Focus on your one point. It's your center of gravity about 2-3 inches below your navel.

Good luck with it all.

05-15-2001, 09:50 AM
I don't know if this is your problem, but the number one reason I've had for feeling dizzy(aside from spinning around, of course) is dehydration. Really- I am almost never dizzy when I roll, except when I don't have enough water. When I don't have enough water during class, I become significantly more offbalance even while standing up- I don't know if this is just me, but make sure you are fully hydrated, even if it doesn't help your rolls that much.

Just my $.02- the other suggestions here seem to be much better in general, but its always good to make sure everythings working.

Alex Magidow

05-16-2001, 04:32 PM
You may also find it helpful to bounce slightly on the balls of your feet after doing a lot of rolling or spinning.
[This helps the otoliths (little rock-like particles in the vestibular system) settle down properly and tell your brain which way is up.]
While the semi-circular canals are important for sensing motion, the vestibular system is important for sensing position.

05-22-2001, 06:40 AM
Errr.. i started rolling not too long ago (about 5 months or so) and all I can say is to relax and breath while doing it.

Just take things slowly, try kneeling on one knee first and remember to breathe man, breathe in and out... don't stop.

You'll get used to it eventually, I guess.