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Old 10-13-2003, 07:03 AM   #10
Dojo: Sand Drift Aikikai, Cocoa Florida
Location: Melbourne, Florida
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 824
I voted "very intimidated" as I was afraid of doing the roll itself. It wasn't a fear of falling, or a fear of injury. I really did not know what my body would do. I would just stand there and think about 50 different ways of what might happen as I would totally over analyze each movement of the technique. Additionally I had 10 different people telling me how to roll as everyone else already knew how to roll. I heard all the metaphors. It didn't help that I had other students and instructors pushing me, before I was ready, and expecting me to breakfall after about two to three months as this was their "golden standard".

It wasn't until I switched schools, after six months of the above, to Florida Aikikai where they didn't place a particular standard on ukemi (the rolling and breakfalling). It was here under the guidance of a really great sensei and some great sempai did I learn to relax and learn to roll. After a couple of months I was able to get comfortable with my rolls. Ukemi was actually joy after the pressure was taken off.

Now, I can roll very well and smoothly. And I'm beginning to breakfall but not completely confidently, although I could always do a "technical breakfall". My breakfalling issues have to do with trusting myself, my skill and my partner especially in techniques like koshinage, although doing breakfalls for kotegaeshi and sumi otoshi are becoming second nature for me.

Anne Marie Giri
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