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Old 07-12-2004, 12:58 PM   #17
Dojo: Messores Sensei (Largo, Fl.)
Location: Florida
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 1,267
Re: When to introduce breakfalls

John Riggs wrote:
I too have introduced them the first night with no problems. I used Toribio's concept of rolls to high falls in 7 steps.
I'd be interested in what these 7 steps are. Thanks.

Jorge Garcia wrote:
In the last school I was student in, the sensei didn't like breakfalls nor did he teach them. When my son and I would be practicing them before class, he would always say something critical in class about it and he called breakfalls "showing off".
Jorge Garcia
Username: Jorge Garcia
Dojo: Shudokan School of Aikido
Location: Houston

Huh! Funny, I had a similar experience in a dojo near Houston over twenty years ago. I was a one-night visitor and the deliberately audible comment was, "Yeah, Aikikai people like to beat themselves up." The teacher also admonished me not to used a jo in the way I'd been taught in Saotome's dojo. Looking back, I suspect they didn't practice aikijo per se, but Shindo Muso Ryu. I wonder why they let me train there in the first place if they were so xenophobic. I wonder if it was the same dojo.

Thanks for detailed comments on your UKEMI training.

Mary Kuhner wrote:
My senior instructors take the attitude that breakfalls are seldom necessary and can just be picked up gradually as you go along. What actually happens is that the sempai quietly teach them to the kohei when they express an interest. It means, though, that I don't have names for the ones I know, nor do I have a clear idea how to teach them. I think more formal attention would be a good thing....I think our main concern as students is that at a seminar, or even in regular training, we might get thrown in a way for which our rolls aren't adequate.
In a situation where all are concerned for each other, you may not need breakfalls. But when you have some hotdog more interested in getting jazzed whipping people around, it's real nice being able to breakfall out of a SHIHONAGE which would otherwise rip up the soft tissues of three major joints, so I guess I agree in principle, disagree in practice (as you seem to with your final sentence, above).

FWIW, I don't know the names of falls, either. As for teaching them, searches on this site will offer tips as well as the book Aikido Exercises for Teaching and Training by C. M. Shifflett and UKEMI videos by Bruce Bookman and Donovan Waite.

Thanks, all! Interesting comments. Look forward to more.

Don J. Modesto
St. Petersburg, Florida
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