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Old 10-17-2005, 09:24 AM   #7
Location: Ontario
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 177
Re: Breakfalls can be a problem!

Stelios Papados wrote:
One of the hardest parts in my third year Aikido training (though not always ) is taking breakfalls.
In response to a well oriented cote-gaeshi one or two of my classmates will take a breakfall without even thinking and it looks pretty natural too! When it commes to my turn , most of the times I consider it to be an ardous task. Sometimes I will take an excellent breakfall, other times I will land flat on my back (hurts a lot) while some other times I will clamp my genitals as my legs fall on the last step of the fall.
Since your classmate can take breakfall pretty well, why don't you ask them for advice? I found sometimes, a senior follow classmate knows the "tricks" better than Sensei, because the Sensei usually learned the breakfall at least 10 years ago and forget the hurdle of a beginner.

It's said that Donovan's Ukemi tape is excellent. But I don't have it yet. I'm waiting for the DVD version.

Do a search on the Aiki Web forum, there are already plenty of good advises. I'll offer my limited experience here though.

1. Load all your weight on your front leg (left leg in this example).

Make it stay on the ground as long as possible while reach out with your right hand to touch mat. Bend your front kneel, if you're flexible enough you rig hand can touch the mat while your left fee is still on the ground. ( I can't, I see someone does it. resulting a very soft fall).

2. Kick your leg up vertically.

Not horizontally. Visualize the breakfall like a big VERTICAL circle.

3. From there, you don't have much choice in your level. Later on, you can experiment with 2 different landing. one is hand, arm, shoulder, back, leg, like a reverse front roll (this one is harder, I haven't fully get it right. I can only do it when condition is right). The other is shoulder, arm, hand (bang), then back, right leg (smaller bang), then left leg (smallest bang).

4. Do solo practice after class. You need to push off with your front leg (left leg) to get going. (The same thing if someone doesn't throw you hard enough, you need to push off with your front leg. Then again, if the nage doesn't throw hard enough, you don't need to do a breakfall.)
It's harder to do than a experience guy throwing you. But if you can do it solo, you can take it from anyone.

About the second crashing leg in your case, don't worry about it. It's already too late. From kote-gaeshi breakfall, I never find the need to land the second leg except to get up to attach again. I can keep it in the air as long as I like. In your case, I suspect that you put too much weight in your rear leg (right leg) before launch.
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