Thread: Shihonage Ukemi
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Old 08-05-2010, 11:25 AM   #43
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 950
Re: Shihonage Ukemi

FWIW, allow me to add a minor comment and element that maybe of interest. I learned to take Shihonage in away that was making me uncomfortable as a result, I was concerned about injury. I place that on the shoulders of myself, lack of experience with taking Ukemi from Shihonage, my instruction, and the lack of experience with the waza of my training partners.

I was on vacation and happened to run into a Hapkido school, O.K. we were driving by a strip mall and seen a Hapkido school located there. Never seeing Hapkido live, I was curious as there are some similarities to Aikido. The thing was, during the observation of the class I recognized a technique they where doing as Shihonage. The thing the struck me was how they took the fall. It was a break fall.

The students where pretty rough with each other, it wasn't controlled kata. It look like a fight. Well, they where really rough. I was surprised that I didn't hear the snap of breaking bones as they practice the wazas. And after class discussion with the students it was clear to me why the could go all out on each other and not get injured. In short it was explained it is the responsibility of both people practicing the technique to do what they need to do, to get the job done.

That is to say, the thrower seriously went full speed and intensity, and it was the job of the receiver of the throw to counter and resist the throw, and one was to break fall during the execution of the technique. However the thrower placed the arm in position, it was the receiver to avoid the break however they could. One person said depending on how the arm is placed vertically or otherwise, as the receiver of the technique, he best avoided the situation with a jumping back breakfall- traveling faster that the speed of the applied technique.

The caveat was if you don't time it right your screwed- if you brake fall early while the thrower is still standing and hasn't started to lower his center of gravity his decent by kneeling down taking the receiver to the ground in the pre-pin position, injury results, as one example. It was said there is allot of responsibility upon the receiver of the throw, because in a live situation and find your self on the receiving end of the waza, you have to know how to protect yourself from injury, and that is the purpose of taking falls.

Personally, I adopted some of that philosophy and practice.And once I did that I felt more comfortable. I was taught via the philosophy of Aikido that the Shi has the responsibility not to injury the uke. And I think is good,, but not to the extreme I was taking it at. So, now I take my share of the responsibility for my own welfare. When I am the uke I am always aware when taking Ukiem what I need to do to prevent me from being injured. In many cases of being the uke,I will make a small hop to get ahead of the waza, and do a back break fall at the right time to save my arm, usually done with new over anxious students, that don't have a lot of control. Students who are always driving on the freeway, type of thing.

Maybe my story might help others to avoid injury, be thinking aobut different ways etc, in taking Ukemi to avoid injury.
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