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Old 09-05-2008, 12:00 PM   #1
Jonesey
Dojo: Windsong Dojo/OKC, OK
Location: Oklahoma City
Join Date: Sep 2008
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Back falls

Back falls flat scare the crap out of me. Rolls and breakfalls (can't do breakfalls just yet) are ok, because I can see where I'm going and can generally relax into it with a measure of control to define where the roll ends, more or less. But backfalls are another story entirely.

I've been thinking about adding some yoga into backfall practice to enforce the feeling of a spinelock before the backfall so that my body gets used to the extended-relaxed dichotomy. Would work like sun salutation into backfall nice and slow.

Does this make sense or am I just strokin' it? And what problems if any does anybody see in this?
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Old 09-05-2008, 01:44 PM   #2
Michael Hackett
Dojo: Kenshinkan Dojo (Aikido of North County) Vista, CA
Location: Oceanside, California
Join Date: Oct 2000
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Re: Back falls

Probably the best thing to do is to speak with your Sensei or one of the senior students and tell them what you've just mentioned. It won't be the first or last time they've heard of the problem and they can probably help you with your backfalls.

The next best thing is to get a copy of Ellis Amdur's "Ukemi From the Ground Up" video. He spends a lot of time dealing with back falls and has what I think is a unique perspective.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 09-05-2008, 02:42 PM   #3
Janet Rosen
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Re: Back falls

In addition to the excellent suggestions above, it may help to reframe how you think about "backfalls"
1. you are not falling on your spine, but ideally on the large muscles of one or the other side of your thorax
2. you can often glance behind you so you aren't falling blindly
3. a good beginning exercise, beside the usual "rocking back and forth", would include making contact with the ground with the hand on the side you are going down to, so you know where the ground is.

Janet Rosen
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"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 09-06-2008, 03:44 AM   #4
eyrie
 
eyrie's Avatar
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Re: Back falls

There's nothing "unique" about Ellis' perspective.... OK maybe "unique" from an Aikido perspective It's how basic ukemi is taught in other systems, certainly in the karate and jujitsu I was exposed to, and IMO how it ought to be done.

Having said that... I'd second and third getting Ellis' DVD. (Hmmm... Ellis should pay me a commission for the endorsement... or at least a discount on his next book).

Ignatius
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Old 09-07-2008, 02:22 AM   #5
dps
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,282
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Re: Back falls

Quote:
Steve Jones wrote: View Post
Back falls flat scare the crap out of me. Rolls and breakfalls (can't do breakfalls just yet) are ok, because I can see where I'm going and can generally relax into it with a measure of control to define where the roll ends, more or less. But backfalls are another story entirely.

I've been thinking about adding some yoga into backfall practice to enforce the feeling of a spinelock before the backfall so that my body gets used to the extended-relaxed dichotomy. Would work like sun salutation into backfall nice and slow.

Does this make sense or am I just strokin' it? And what problems if any does anybody see in this?
This the basic back fall that I learned.

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/2...-back-fall.htm

Go slow, relax, exhale as you go back, think as yourself not falling down but sitting down, don't over think it.

David
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Old 09-14-2008, 08:17 AM   #6
deathlinenetworks
Dojo: Aikido Seishinkan
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 25
Malaysia
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Re: Back falls

hm.....
first sit on the floor with one leg bent below the other then go up and down 20 times. then get on your knees and do it again for 20 times then stand up and fall for another 20 times. later ask your partner to push you a little then you fall for 20 times.

i was never afraid of back fall because the first thing i saw was people flying and flipping around.
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Old 09-20-2008, 07:27 AM   #7
Bryan Sproles
Dojo: NOLA Aikido
Location: New Orleans
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Re: Back falls

I agree with Nicholas - it's all a matter of how you're trained to fall. If you start by sitting, then kneeling, then standing, you get over the fear pretty quickly.

Remember that at its most basic form, standing backfalls are just squatting to kneeling position and rolling back from there. Once you're advanced enough to take falls faster (like falling out of a quick irimi nage, for example), you'll already instinctively know how to do it without needing to think about it.

An easy way to do yoko ukemi (side breakfalls) is to kneel with one leg straight out in front, fall to your side and slap the mat with the hand closest to the mat. After doing that several times, try it from standing.

Hope this helps!

-Bryan
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Old 09-20-2008, 08:34 PM   #8
ColeH-22
Dojo: Eight Winds Aikido Society Pearl Dojo
Location: Florence, MS
Join Date: May 2008
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Re: Back falls

Just like Bryan, Nicholas, and David said this is the best way to back falls. This is also the way I learned to back falls and when you practice doing it over and over this way when you get thrown instinct takes over and you do it that way and believe me you don't get cause I was thrown by a guy I was randori with and he threw me wrestling style which was hard and by doing that fall I didn't get hurt, but hey this fall is easy compared to a front ukemi roll I jammed my shoulder the first time I did standing front roll and since then they kinda make me nervous so I still can't do them well.

Hopefully this will help you get over it and become a better Aikidoka.

Cole
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