Jun Akiyama (akiy) wrote:
What about movements in the role of uke?
It's true that the back rounds as uke, but it still does not mean that passive spinal flexion is applicable. I have met one person in my time with a spine that was too stiff in terms of flexion to roll smoothly, but only one.
As to how to prepare for ukemi, this is quite a dilemma - one that I've been considering for some time. The problem is that it involves such a wide variety of body positions and muscle action patterns that it is almost unanalyzable. To make matters worse, in these positions, peculiar things happen like ballistic slaps and high speed decelerations. I hope to figure out more in the future about not only how to warm up better for it, but how best to condition the body for it in general.
For now, I have to go with the rule of when in doubt, opt for the most similar activity for a warm up. If one runs, for instance, slower running itself is the most important part of the warmup. So, I think doing light, gentle solo or partner ukemi exercises, gradually ramping up to more intense falls is the best I could do - after doing the other elements of a warmup as I described.