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Ordonez, Carlos 10-27-2004 12:21 PM

Problems with Ukemi
 
I've been practicing Aikido for 6 months now, but I can't accomplish a good ukemi all the time. I'm 6'4" and I weight 300 LBS. I move now very fast and with more agility, and most of the techniques I performed them without any problem, But ukemi is my down FALL :( . I got hurt the first time I tried, I almost ripped a ligament in my shoulder and it hurts since then. Can you help me to improved my falls?

stern9631 10-27-2004 01:04 PM

Re: Problems with Ukemi
 
Start lower to the ground, maybe?

akiy 10-27-2004 01:08 PM

Re: Problems with Ukemi
 
Hi Carlos,

It's very difficult to analyze and help something out like learning how to take a fall without first-hand knowledge of what you're doing. What sort of advice has your instructor given you?

-- Jun

Ordonez, Carlos 10-27-2004 01:17 PM

Re: Problems with Ukemi
 
Jun,

He just show me the way to do it. Placing a hand in the floor then positioning my other by it's side and slide my body first on my arm, then my shoulder, back and so on.

I find it easy to do it when I'm projected or when I'm lower to the ground but I always hurt myself practicing no matter what. My shoulder still hurting specially when I rotated it, and maybe there's the psycological factor of not wanting to getting hurt.

jitensha 10-27-2004 01:36 PM

Re: Problems with Ukemi
 
Carlos,

I haven't been doing aikido for very long, but i've thought
quite a bit about ukemi. One general thing to consider is that you may be pushing yourself too hard for your level of experience. We have a first kyu in our dojo who is similar to you in physical build.
His technique is excellent, but he still takes our ukemi class
for beginners so he can focus on just making his contact
with the mat more safe and graceful.

My general advice would be to slow down and treat your ukemi
as a stretching exercise. Let all your joints stretch smoothly and slowly in a relaxed manner as you lower your center to the mat. Pay attention to your posture as you set yourself up for a forward or backward roll. Then complete your ukemi by letting your own body weight naturally take you to the mat (i.e. don't "throw" yourself.)
Obviously, you should have a cooperative nage when you practice like this...

Just my quick thoughts on the subject. As Jun said, more specifics would help others help you.
-Chris

Ordonez, Carlos 10-27-2004 01:47 PM

Re: Problems with Ukemi
 
Everybody,

Thanks for the advices. I found easy to do it when I'm closer to the ground, maybe because I'm more relaxed and closer to the groud. (Being afraid of heights may be a problem) I know the weight or the body complex is not an big issue if you the technique well , but I just want to improve it. My instructor and my advanced class mates tell me to not worry, keep practicing, break a few bones and you'll be set. (Breaking a bone is a joke) Interesting when I'm hurt I do the ukemi better.

CRO

Marxama 10-27-2004 02:35 PM

Re: Problems with Ukemi
 
Hi Carlos!

Yeah, it's tough doing ukemi when you're tall! As Jun said, you should speak with the instructor about the problem. Have you done ukemi from sitting position? That helps alot in getting your arms and legs and head and stuff in the right position during the fall, and you don't have the height to worry about (thus, no psychological barrier). Don't push it, if you're hurting, you should take it easy

Janet Rosen 10-27-2004 02:59 PM

Re: Problems with Ukemi
 
Carlos, I'll let others keep talking about ukemi. My concern is:
Quote:

Carlos Ordoņez wrote:
I've been practicing Aikido for 6 months now, .... I got hurt the first time I tried, I almost ripped a ligament in my shoulder and it hurts since then.

An injury needs 6 ot 8 weeks to heal. That you continued to train with it/through it means that you never let it heal and have given yourself a chronic injury. It may wax and wane in how much it bothers you but will likely never be "better."
Please be kind to your body and give it what it needs to heal.

Ordonez, Carlos 10-27-2004 03:37 PM

Re: Problems with Ukemi
 
Quote:

Janet Rosen wrote:
Carlos, I'll let others keep talking about ukemi. My concern is:

An injury needs 6 ot 8 weeks to heal. That you continued to train with it/through it means that you never let it heal and have given yourself a chronic injury.

That may be an issue. I went to the doctor after I got hurt, and I partially rip the tendon of my shoulder, but I was Ok. And he told me I'll take two weeks two heal. Maybe I should get a second opinion but it doesn't hurt that much it just bothers me. I'm going to try the sitting position ukemi. Thanks for the advise.

Bronson 10-27-2004 09:40 PM

Re: Problems with Ukemi
 
I agree with Janet. I came very close to giving myself a chronic injury because I was too stubborn to stop training to let it heal.

Let it heal. See a doctor or physical therapist. I had to have mine immobilized for a while to let it heal, you may need something similar.

Bronson

Don_Modesto 10-27-2004 09:59 PM

Re: Problems with Ukemi
 
Quote:

Bronson Diffin wrote:
I agree with Janet. I came very close to giving myself a chronic injury because I was too stubborn to stop training to let it heal.

Let it heal. See a doctor or physical therapist. I had to have mine immobilized for a while to let it heal, you may need something similar.

Bronson

Set yourself a solo training regimen for the time you're absent from the dojo:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6635

The advice about a layoff is sound. I've seen several big guys hurt their shoulders learning forward rolls. The teacher of that dojo insisted that folk learn forward rolls from standing in their first lesson. Some never came back. When you return, take the advice about staying low.

I have my beginners start with back rolls and then reverse them. They put both knees on the mat with one leg extended backward. Then they put the arm on the same side as the forward leg way back so that their elbows are past their groin. This puts their shoulders almost on the mat so that there's very little impact upon the roll. Just "melt" into the mat like this. You can work up to rolling.

Good luck.

Jonathan 10-27-2004 10:54 PM

Re: Problems with Ukemi
 
Carlos:

No newbie to aikido ever does standing rolls the first time they attend a class at my dojo. That seems very unwise to me for reasons you've illustrated in this thread.

After a long time doing and teaching ukemi I think one of the most helpful pieces of advice I could give you concerning standing front rolls is to make sure your arms are extended in front of you in a circular way. Your arms should appear as though they're hugging a barrel. If your lead arm forms a sharp angle - as often happens with beginners - you'll find that you won't roll up smoothly to your shoulder, but instead you'll bang your elbow and then your shoulder as you fall forward. Extending your arm with too much of an angle to it has the same effect on your roll as a square wheel would have on the motion of a bicycle: very bumpy. Your arms should form a circle together as they extend in front of you to the ground.

(You could also try stuffing a couple of pillows into your keikogi top at the shoulders. :D )

Hope this helps!

philipsmith 10-28-2004 02:21 AM

Re: Problems with Ukemi
 
Agree with Janet, Bronson & Don.

I was too stubborn to stop (having damaged both shoulders) and now have 80% movement in both. See a physical therapist.

Phil Smith

Ordonez, Carlos 10-28-2004 08:51 AM

Re: Problems with Ukemi
 
Thank You All
I'll go see my doctor again, because my shoulder still bothers me a little. I'll keep practicing but with care (Not plomeling myself from 6 and a hafl feet :eek: but from 20 inches from the floor :o ). I tried the sitting ukemi advise in my office (I closed the door so no one could see me and think I'm weird :hypno: ) and it help. It didn't hurt and it was a good-smooth roll on a hard floor. I'll try this weekend in class and other variants (Both knees are good but I had try before with one knee on the floor and it also is efecctive). My usually nage is very understanding with my injury and is gentle with the technique on that shoulder.

I may have damage it, but I will be careful not to damage it anymore. ;)

Thanks all.

CRO

Dan Gould 10-29-2004 11:19 PM

Re: Problems with Ukemi
 
Start from a kneeling position, maybe. I do it from standing, but in a very long stance so I'm not very high up, and the force is going more forward, rather than straight down (as it would be if I was standing upright.)

Remember that you've got to be loose, the key is relaxation. I only roll well now because I rolled instinctively from a friend attacking me with a bokken (lol), and I thought "Hey, I CAN do this, I just have to stop being afraid of it." Once you're relaxed, your muscles and limbs all move much more freely, and it's a more natural movement coz everything followseverything :-)

Good luck, you'll get it eventually.


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