Thread: Scared Sempai
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Old 12-04-2004, 11:05 PM   #17
Dojo: Sand Drift Aikikai, Cocoa Florida
Location: Melbourne, Florida
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 824
Re: Scared Sempai

Learning ukemi, for me, has been significantly more challenging than learning the waza and being nage. I've been in the position of the "bad uke" in that I wasn't just fearful of ukemi, but petrified to the point that I just couldn't do them. Period. I put 100% into my training but whenever that mental block sprang up I would just stop and ask to roll. I could see the frustration in my nage's, yes, even juniors', eyes because I had to train less intensely with them. It was very embarrasing because all you want to do is to be able to take that fall but some how you just CAN'T. In that moment of time, it wasn't a matter of will just a matter of fact. (So it's NOT a matter of WON'T.) As a result, many who wanted to train hard (and usually my junior) would avoid choosing to train with me or choose to train with me to take a break. Either way such an idea hurt.

Now, after about 5.5 years, I hardly mental block on taking ukemi these days and I still strive to learn the harder falls like from iriminage and jujinage. It has been a struggle for me to learn to roll without mental blocking, then to roll quickly, then roll with a break, and then breakfall. Over the years, I have progressed up that long hard steady path of being able to train hard and take the falls. For example, only this past year have I been truly comfortable with koshinage breakfalls. Having a compassionate sensei AND training partners has helped me get past these hurdles. Otherwise I don't think I would have stuck with it.

I think what you have to remember is that not everyone "gets" taking ukemi as naturally as some appear to do. Some people don't have the trust in their bodies to do the work, some are not fit enough, and some are just physically limited. We each have are own personal challenges in aikido and perhaps taking ukemi is his.

Last edited by giriasis : 12-04-2004 at 11:14 PM.

Anne Marie Giri
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