After a decade long break, I've had about 2 years back on the mat. My ukemi isn't coming back. Rolls still hurt, I cant seem to install better ukemi, and adjusting technique is difficult. Am I too well programmed? I wont roll unless I am actually thrown, I am stepping out and tapping out of techniques, and generally being a lame-assed wuss training partner.
Any words of wisdom, kicks in the pants, commiseration, training tips, etc.?
i am willing to offer out my "kicks in the pants" service.
whether i roll or not, it depends on the situation. i don't normally roll unless i was thrown.
Don't know what your aikido practice is like so can't really comment. however (sort of a but, large one
) most aikido folks that i have seen tend to roll like a wheel. years ago, i attent an aikiweb friendship seminar taught by Dennis Hooker, Chuck Clark and Ellis Amdur (really really great seminar). Ellis taught a ukemi class and his talk of ukemi changed the way i do roll (except for egg rolls, spring rolls and so on). Ellis way of rolling is like a ball instead of a wheel, based on his observation of the monkey at the zoo. my mates and i, we called it monkemi (monkey ukemi). Ellis has a DVD. i would recommend it. i also worked with some systema folks for a period of time and their approach to ukemi is very similar to Ellis but with some differences (those systema buggers are crazy). things to consider. don't attack the mats like your enermy. make it your best friend and lover. caress it, feel it, flow with it, be gentle with it, play with it. watch this guy move http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=duMScxR7LJ8
i wouldn't try the park bench unless you are pretty relax and flow with it.