View Full Version : Fear the concrete?

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11-09-2005, 09:00 AM
Okay, so I've got this big loft apartment that has a lot of wide open space and is just begging to be used.... so I was wondering...

Even though it has concrete floors... i want to do some rolls on it. I'm not talking about from-standing forward rolls, but the rolls where you basically just fall on your butt, roll back, then forward, and stand up (I can't remember what this is called -- 2nd day student).

I don't see why this would be a problem (if it start to hurt, I'd stop), but because I'm so new at this, I thought I would put it out here to people way more experienced than I.... can anyone see any potential problems?



P.S. I'll wait until I'm more experienced before running around doing standing front rolls on my concrete floor... but that day is coming! ;)

11-09-2005, 09:23 AM
Rolling on concrete is a good way to find your 'corners'. First time I did it, didn't go so well. After you get over the initial fear it's a piece of cake. I think everyone should roll on concrete! Starting your ukemi correctly now will only make you better. My instructor tells us of the 'old days' when they didn't have mats and threw each other in the gravel parking lot. Still working up to that.

Good luck! Watch your head!

Amir Krause
11-09-2005, 09:52 AM
If you know to roll well, there is no problem rolling on concrete or other hard surfaces, at worst, you can get a scratch. But if you are only a beginner, keep in mind the mat is soft and absorbing for a reason.


11-09-2005, 11:22 AM
The basic backwards rollbacks should be no problems for you on concrete. However, since your a really new beginner, start from a seated position first and slowly work your way up to the standing version. As the others have said, any hard surface is good for teaching you how to roll properly. You find those corners pretty quickly, but you also have to know a little bit about how to correct those first, so I wouldn't try anything too outlandish for a while.

Brian Vickery
11-09-2005, 11:54 AM
Okay, so I've got this big loft apartment that has a lot of wide open space and is just begging to be used.... so I was wondering...

Even though it has concrete floors... i want to do some rolls on it.
.... can anyone see any potential problems?

Hello Doug,

If you really want to roll outside the dojo, I'd consider investing in some folding mats. You might not hurt yourself doing seated rolls or rolls from a kneeling position. But you what if you just keep upping the ante, going to standing rolls, then moving up to jumping rolls. A back or neck injury just isn't worth taking the chance!

EVERY aikido student wonders if they'll be able to take a roll or fall on concrete. They want to know if what they are learning is real. I know I once wondered this too, but following the advice/urging of my sensei, I finally came to the conclusion that I'd just wait for the day when I really had to take a fall. And I've fallen a few times outside the dojo, not from being thrown, but just from my own clumsiness. I rolled just fine each time.

The abuse your body takes from years of ukemi can have a cumulative effect. This might not apply to everybody, but I sure feel my 15 years of ukemi from time to time. So, take it slow and just ramp up the ukemi gradually, you'll thank yourself for it later in life!

There used to be two students who were extremely gun-ho in our dojo. They turned a garage into a mini dojo, where they could practice on their own & as often as they liked. The instructors at the dojo tried to discourage them from doing this, but they just went ahead with this anyway. They started out slow, then ramped up to full on throws on each other. They had made make-shift mats with foam strips & carpeting. On day one of them was thrown and he landed in an unpadded spot on the floor. He severely injured his back, which required surgery. He has never been back to our dojo. Just food for thought!

Best wishes on your training!

Brian Vickery