View Full Version : forward roll

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Vera Cordwood
06-22-2001, 04:44 PM
Um, my forward roll, sucks. I'm a newbie. Any suggestions on how to get it right/better/best?

Chuck Clark
06-22-2001, 07:24 PM

Ask your instructor or teacher for help. Don't give up!


06-22-2001, 09:00 PM
Relax, keep at it, and keep a positive mind.

But like Chuck said, for anything more your instructor is the person you should be looking to on this. Good luck to you.


06-22-2001, 11:01 PM
if you are a beginner, your forward roll is supposed to suck, also your backward roll on at least one side, look at the fine print on your contract, i think it is item # 24 :)
besides your instructor, other good sources (sometimes easiesr for nervous beginners to ask) are senior students--- I'd suggest one whose rolls you like, that you feel comfortable working with. and don't be surprised if you get different/conflicting advice if more than one person helps, we all do things a bit differently---if it gets too confusing, smile when you tell the others that Student X is helping you so you'd like to concentrate on what s/he told you to try.
I would try to do them before and after each class (still do, you can never roll too much), and in the beginning to keep a positive mind set, would end before i got tired (more likely to make mistakes) and after a roll i was fairly satisfied with, so my last memory of rolling would be good.
Good luck, Vera!

Jim ashby
06-23-2001, 01:58 AM
Can you swim? Sounds a strange question I know, but the arm action of a forward roll is very close to the arm action of a good front crawl. The leading arm touches the ground little finger first and the roll continues along the arm, across the back and to the opposite hip. Difficult to convey in words. This method was taught to me and I've used it to help others, it's a good visualisation. Works for me!
Have fun.

06-23-2001, 07:25 AM
When I started I was told that EVERYONE eventually learns to roll, thought I'd be the exception. It took three months. I'd recommend you hold your sensei's advice and practice, practice, practice--VERY slowly, so you develop your form. Forty, fifty front, back, kneeling, standing. Good for the legs and you develop a keen awareness of where your furniture is.

BTW, a friend of mine started a few years after I did, I told him what I'd been told. It took him almost a year. He just successfully tested shodan at the age of 58 this spring.


06-26-2001, 07:55 AM
It seems to me practise is the key element! Although some people tend to be naturally better at the start in doing ukemi, it seems to be the people that do more ukemi that get better more quickly i.e. if you're having difficulty don't sit around worried about why it isn't working - just keep at it and try to change your body as you do it! (without being totally reckless of course)


06-26-2001, 12:40 PM
I'm one of those people that took me three or four months to learn to do a roll. I had such a mental block. The key as others have said is practice, but also don't be afraid to go at your own pace. There is nothing wrong with having to take some time to learn to roll. My problem is that I had about four of five people who had about 10 different ways each to tell me to do the same thing. I just learned to block them out and worked myself through it on my own.

My biggest problem is that I thought about what I was doing too much. I would sometimes fixate on a point then I would freak out. I just learned to do the rolls without thinking. Trust your body, and you can do it.

I hope that helps,
Anne Marie

06-26-2001, 08:26 PM
hi vera,

all i can say is 'be a ball' :D

good luck and have fun!


06-26-2001, 10:08 PM
Like everyone else, the best advice is keep practicing. One pointer though, pratice from kneeling and strive to look at your belt knot the whole way through...by the way, we all sucked at the beginning