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Old 01-14-2014, 02:32 PM   #22
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,207
Re: An Experiment in Assessing my ukemi

Hi Adam and Ashley, thank you very much for sharing your insights! I'm sorry, I didn't notice your posts until just now when I came back to reread things. Last night while I was doing suburi I started thinking about it some more.
Recently, Sensei had told us an axiom along the lines of, "first come correct, then with speed, then with power." In this session, I was focusing a lot on trying not to over-muscle anything and "listening" (i.e. coming correct). By the time this video was shot, I was exhausted and mostly trying to keep standing and to avoid feeling sick, which happens when I'm out of shape (which I still am, based on last Saturday's keiko). As it regards dropping to the mat when released, some of that was me enjoying the sweet release of not having to use my legs and posture muscles, but I take your point about hitting the ground so hard, as well as doing it with better form. If we can be mindful of that though, do you think slapping hard on the mat can be a way to condition the body through impact, not unlike a makiwara? Whatever the case, I do think it is vital for people to practice ukemi on hard surfaces. When I was first learning ukemi I would practice (rolls) on my lunch breaks in the parking that I'm planning on making Aikido a more central focus again this year, I really should do that some more, come to think of it. Thank you!
When I take jiyu waza ukemi like this from Sensei it is pretty informal. It's a low intensity free-play of connection and posture, and the sense I get for it is that it gives me a kind of exploration-oriented whole-body workout. It always wears me out quickly and even when I was training for my marathon it exhausted me. I always come away from it feeling "rebalanced," for lack of a better term.
Assuming everything goes as planned this year, I'm going to do my best to post another clip (after some time with consistent training has passed) to see where I'm at.

Any other pointers that pop up (from anyone) I would greatly appreciate! As it was suggested, I will ultimately be following the advice of my teacher, but I am a firm believer in having as many different sets of eyes and minds sharing their point of view and I have no problem with anyone telling me where I seem to be lacking. Any time someone is willing to offer me their honest opinion, I see it as a kindness.

Last edited by mathewjgano : 01-14-2014 at 02:42 PM.

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