View Single Post
Old 08-12-2008, 10:38 AM   #5
DanielR
Location: New York
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 158
Offline
Re: Christian Tissier: Ukemi

Improving my ukemi skills has been an obsession of mine for quite a while now, and Tissier Sensei's students are certainly up there.

I'm sure Rob's response was mostly tongue-in-cheek, but I thought I'd just offer my perspective: the "getting thrown a lot" approach has done practically nothing to improve my ukemi, especially the so-called soft high falls. I was only able to achieve noticeable progress after I got a chance to train under instructors like Frank Ostoff Sensei and Jan Nevelius Sensei who have developed, as part of their wider approach to Aikido, a clear methodology for teaching ukemi. Playing with their senior students has been a great help. Still much room for improvement

Interestingly, it sometimes happens that when I get thrown by a really good nage, it almost feels like a good ukemi happens by itself. But for me this only started to take place when I got some important issues of alignment, relaxation and uke-nage interaction worked out to some basic extent. The flip side of being thrown like that though is that a good nage can sometimes compensate for uke's deficient ukemi skills. So as the instructors I mentioned above emphasize, it's an important part of the learning process for the nage to gradually "let go" of the uke and let them take care of themselves.
  Reply With Quote