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nmrmak 11-24-2004 05:25 PM

Practical use of ukemi
Hello everyone! I've been practicing aikido for about 3 months now, and i like every moment of it. The second thing i was taught at my dojo was rolls. (the first one was movements).

So, i was playing basketball with some friends, and i somehow got my legs entangled. The funny thing is, i didn't panic at all. I just let my body lean forward, lifted my legs, and done a fair ukemi (fair given the circumstances). It probably saved my bones from cracking, as it was all happening fast.

My question to you would be: Do you have any similar experiences where you used ukemi out of the dojo? Would you like to share it with us?

Thankful in advance,

Nebojsa Mrmak

Qatana 11-24-2004 06:12 PM

Re: Practical use of ukemi
Well mine is more intentional. I'm a dancer at the Dickens Fair in San Francisco and I do comedy so i'm falling down alot onstage. Its really visually effective to do ukemi in lots & lots of petticoats or draperies- this year I'll be doing a backward roll,landing flat on my face (in a corset) and get dragged offstage.

Ah, Theater!

bleepbeep 11-24-2004 11:03 PM

Re: Practical use of ukemi
someone from our dojo was riding behind the driver on a motorbike. they got sideswiped by a another vehicle. he said the first instinct and voice he heard in his head was front roll. he flew a few feet away just when impact occurred. he got away from the mess with a scraped elbow. his friend wasn't so lucky. he got more injuries...
i got to use front roll with an umbrella. someone on a bike bumped into me in the rain :mad: ...gave me a new take on " singing in the rain" mwahahahaha ;)

Devin McDowell 11-25-2004 06:08 AM

Re: Practical use of ukemi
I was jumping over a low fence when my foot caught it just as I was going over. I ended up heading face-first towards the ground. One front roll later, all I suffered was a bruised ego.

A few days ago I rolled halfway down a 4 story hill in forward rolls. No pain or injuries, just dizzyness.

markwalsh 11-25-2004 07:04 AM

Re: Practical use of ukemi
Hi my names Mark and I'm an alcoholic, I've been taking ukemi from drunken falls for a about 7 years now. It's good to share.


Ukemi: No 1 aikido self defence technique, 9 out of 10 cats that can flip in mid air and land on their feet recommend it.

ian 11-25-2004 07:21 AM

Re: Practical use of ukemi
I was drink on a bicycle once, hit a broken branch on the floor (it was very windy) and fell off, dislocating my collar bone. Unfortunately I didn't roll!

However I have tripped and rolled previously. Also I know one ninja technique is a ukemi into the attacker! (I think you may even grab their ankle as you roll over).

nmrmak 11-25-2004 09:43 AM

Re: Practical use of ukemi
Thank you for your responses! I have a new story to add. I bought new shoes (well, actually, those are Magnum boots), and i'm very proud of them and stuff (extra silent, water resistant, comfy...) Anyway, i wanted to test them so i did a jump from just over 2m at my school (i know, i'm a freak... I'm not always like that). My boots absorbed the shock very well, but i was unstable at the landing, so i just did a front roll. Probably wouldn't break anything, but it was a nice touch to doing a very silent jump.

I had experiences with low fences, but always ended up hurting my knees and bruising my arms(that was before i took Aikido). I really wonder how long it takes for the roll to be a natural part of your life.

MaryKaye 11-25-2004 09:54 AM

Re: Practical use of ukemi
My husband and I were trail riding when his saddle came loose and dumped him. He did the judo roll he was taught as a kid and came up on his feet. The trail guide was freaked. Apparently once you learn ukemi you never forget them completely.

I haven't been as lucky. The one time I needed an ukemi (tripped over a tree root) I had just time to think "If I do a forward roll with this bulky backpack I'm gonna die" AND "Darn it, an aikido student should be able to do better than this" before taking a faceplant ukemi on the gravel.

No, actually, it has helped once. I was bodysurfing and had badly misjudged the size of the waves. A large wave hit me and took me over backwards. I curled into a ball and did back rolls, rather than trying to straighten out, and I think this kept me from getting badly pounded and probably injured. At it was, I was honking sand out of my sinuses for the rest of the day.

Mary Kaye

Lan Powers 11-25-2004 10:11 AM

Re: Practical use of ukemi
Slick floor at work + forward momentum + lapse in attention = forward roll
No damage except ego

Thom Hansen 12-23-2004 02:53 AM

Re: Practical use of ukemi
I came of my motorbike at 80 kilometers/hour (approx 50 mph ) went into a forward roll, didn't even scratch the leather jacket or helmet ....

Jen R 12-23-2004 11:32 AM

Re: Practical use of ukemi
I had surgery on both feet this past spring. My balance was pretty messed up during the recovery, couldn't shift my weight to balance myself normally or anything like that. So a couple times I caught one foot or another and went into a nice little sidefall, then got up unhurt. The best thing was the lack of panic or fear. It was like, "OK, I'll fall now."

Thom Hansen 12-23-2004 07:52 PM

Re: Practical use of ukemi
Just decided to check out the forums for the day, went to sit on chair (with wheels), chair rolls from under me ... into back ukemi .......un hurt ,,,,,,,,,,, now thats practical lol

Best wishes to all for the festive season

Larry John 12-23-2004 08:23 PM

Re: Practical use of ukemi
I've got three to add:

1. Was running into the street to catch the mailman when the toe of my slipper caught on the crown of the street. I went directly into a forward roll without thinking and came up on my feet without a scratch.

2. In the basement of my old house, I slipped while taking a fast turn on a wet linoleum floor and did a hard breakfall. My hand stung a bit, but everything else was fine.

3. My college volleyball coach always told us that "the only ball you can guarantee you can't get to is the one you won't try for." This is how I've always played (and tried to live). Anyway, while playing sand volleyball with my daughter I laid out at full speed to get to a spike that had gone off my daughter's dig and was headed out of bounds. While in the air fully extended, I noticed that there was a cement curb surrounding the sand pit, and that if I pancaked the way I usually would have, I'd land right on it and break some ribs. So I slapped the curb with my low hand and rotated into a forward roll in the air, then landed on my feet just outside the curb. The other folks on the court were impressed, but I was upset that I'd failed to get to the darn ball.

This may have something to do with my sensei's frequent advice that I should focus less on goals and more on process ...

Vincent Munoz 12-24-2004 08:51 AM

Re: Practical use of ukemi
Once in basketball, when I run to defend a fast break. I was ahead of their forward. He was not looking at me because he's trying to catch the ball from behind. When he got the ball, then face to their goal, we collide. I did the USHIRO UKEMI(Back roll) at my instinct. I never thought it would happen. It just happen.

AmyGilgan 12-25-2004 02:23 PM

Re: Practical use of ukemi
Once I was dancing at a club when I slipped in a puddle of what I presumed to be beer. I did a soft backfall, and rolled back up to a standing position. My friends thought it was some sort of weird dance move.

fatebass21 01-03-2005 01:41 AM

Re: Practical use of ukemi
I am a supervisor on the night shift for a security company. I have tried to get quite a few people that I work with to start studying with me (Ive been studying for a year). They are all skeptical about Aikido, saying that it is not effective in a real life situation.

One day everyone was joking around in the office and we were all pushing eachother around. Someone pushed me from behind, but when they did, I sort of automatically did syundo (spelling?), or a weird variation of it. Anyway, before I knew it I was facing my co-worker, and he was just getting his balance back.

emi_moes 01-17-2005 09:49 AM

Re: Practical use of ukemi
one time I was riding horse back at my friends ranch. they failed to inform me that the horse I was riding was his sisters horse for competition, & well I'm a bit of a novice rider. the horse started to go really fast & I saw a fence coming up so I pulled on the reins as hard as possiblethe horse stopped just before the fence sadly I didn't (friggin innertia) I did a forward roll, & while I landed up side down, stopped by the fence. I didn't hit my head, & other than being rather muddy I was alright

JayRhone 01-17-2005 05:30 PM

Re: Practical use of ukemi
I was rollerblading in the evening a little while ago and didn't see the water hose lying in the middle of the sidewalk. :freaky: So my blades stopped and I didn't. I thought to myself 'Oh, owie' and then face planted it. Not enoght practice. *sighz and heads back to the dojo* =0)

Mat Hill 01-19-2005 07:35 AM

Re: Practical use of ukemi
Fell A over T on some ice in the street once, on quite a slope going down, legs horizontal, at about chest height, spectacular! Automatically did ushiro ukemi into standing. Hardcore-looking street gang looking-on actually cheered, whooped and clapped.

Rather more seriously, flew ten metres out and down from a broken rope swing when I was old enough to know better, onto a steep slope with brambles and broken glass... moments of bliss through flying, then landed relaxedly (definitely by luck than judgement) into backward breakfall then immediately into a forward roll and made it with both kegs intact but a slight nagging (still) knee injury.

Couple of years later, had to dodge a riot van in a riot outside Hyde Park... scrambled onto the fence (in those days higher than now), lost my balance and dived a full two metres into a perfect mae ukemi... proud of that one... avoidance in combat, through getting out of the wrong place at the wrong time: pure aiki?! :D

Beth Mizuno 01-19-2005 02:50 PM

Re: Practical use of ukemi
Hit a patch of ice as I was going to work. I had an open cup of coffee in my hand and a purse and a backpack on my shoulder. My feet went up -- and the rest of me went down, right into a break fall. I watched the coffee as it seemed to flow straight up into the air and then come down into my cup. It was the strangest sight -- that coffee. Got up and went on to work, a little bruised but still perfectly serviceable.

Ukemi is a wonderful thing.

This is my first post. I am a student at Saotome Sensei's dojo in Washington, D.C. Been practicing since 1985, but took six years off in the middle (maternity and childcare responsibilities). Hello all!

Alvin H. Nagasawa 01-19-2005 08:53 PM

Re: Practical use of ukemi
I would say that you are very fortunate that your training in Aikido had prepared you on that cold and Ice laden situation. I commend you for bring it out to all of us. And too experience the coffee returning into the cup as you have experienced. What mind bogging experience. Once in a life time reaction. Time stood still didn't it.

Keep safe and health in your walk down the path of Aikido. :) :ai: :ki: :do:

AikiSean! 01-30-2005 10:44 PM

Re: Practical use of ukemi
I was always taught you are MUCH more likely to fall then you are to be attacked, so know how :)

villrg0a 01-31-2005 12:37 AM

Re: Practical use of ukemi
I was parking my bike after a long twisty ride when all of a suddent the front wheel stopped ( i did not notice a big stone which caused the front wheel to stop). Anyway, I was steering to the ight when this happened, then the bike started to lean to the right side. No choice but to dismount, and had to dismount in a hurry or my right leg will be caught....there goes the front roll...over the handle bars, stood right back and killed off the switch before picking up my fallen baby.

Alvin H. Nagasawa 01-31-2005 01:08 AM

Re: Practical use of ukemi

Sean Constable wrote:
I was always taught you are MUCH more likely to fall then you are to be attacked, so know how :)

Mr. Constable You said in your reply I was always taught you are MUCH more likely to fall then you are to be attacked, So know how. :confused:
I don't understand your direction in your comment? Are you saying you have to fall before you are attacked?. So know how?. You should ask your instructor in the same dialog you are trying to put across here :confused:

Good luck in your training.I hope your instructor can help you along. :)

Bronson 01-31-2005 05:11 AM

Re: Practical use of ukemi

Alvin Nagasawa wrote:
Mr. Constable You said in your reply I was always taught you are MUCH more likely to fall then you are to be attacked, So know how. :confused:
I don't understand your direction in your comment? Are you saying you have to fall before you are attacked?. So know how?. You should ask your instructor in the same dialog you are trying to put across here :confused:

Good luck in your training.I hope your instructor can help you along. :)

Huh? It was clear to me that he was saying it is much more likely you will fall down at some point in your life than be attacked.


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