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Old 12-11-2008, 08:26 AM   #1
MarkCim
Dojo: Aikido of Modesto
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Need Help with Standing Roll.

Hello everyone,
I am having a problem doing the forward standing roll. I have no problem doing the roll from the kneeling one. But I just am having problems with the standing forward roll. I feel like I am going to fall or I feel like my arm is to weak. Any help would be great.
Thank you,
Mark
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Old 12-11-2008, 09:00 AM   #2
Larry Cuvin
 
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Re: Need Help with Standing Roll.

Mark,
If you're OK rolling from kneeling position, start there and gradually stand up as you gain confidence. This worked for me. As a reminder, always use both arms and tuck your chin. Ask help from your sensei or sempai.

Good Luck,
Larry

Plus Ki
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Old 12-11-2008, 09:15 AM   #3
Harm-ony
Dojo: Unisba Aikido Club
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Re: Need Help with Standing Roll.

try this:
Left Kamae: First, lower your upper body near the mat (as if you try to touch the mat by your left shoulder) and touch the mat by your right palm-hand (treat as an anchor), your eyes look at your navel, your left hand at the position to start rolling, push (not jump) your body by your left foot. So, your left hand does not resist your body, just rolling.

hopefully useful,

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Old 12-11-2008, 09:41 AM   #4
patf
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Re: Need Help with Standing Roll.

Couple of things that helped me out...

1. Don't jump into the roll (unless you have no choice) your natural body forward momentum should be enough to get you back up again
2. Tuck your head
3. You should feel like you are rolling all the way from the blade side of your "rolling hand" and across your back. Pushing (extending out) with your hand as it makes contact with the mat was an ukemi changer for me.
4. Another tip might be to try rolling in as short a space as possible, we practiced this at an ukemi seminar as an a ukemi technique for saving energy and self protection.
5. During a throw try and absorb more of nages energy before the roll, either by shifting/turning your body, swinging a leg back etc.
6. The closer you get your head to the ground before you roll the less energy/impact will be needed to complete the roll. Practice standing on one leg and reaching forward/down to the ground while swinging the raised leg backwards to maintain balance. while Having someone support your arm would be a good help.
7. Placing your other hand on the mat, just a little ahead of the supporting hand as you enter the roll may give you additional support.
8. Try and relax as much as possible.

I went to an Ukemi seminar hosted by Sensei Jeff Soderman in Jiai Aikida (San Diego) last year and it was an eye opener for me. We did this exercise where we lay on our back and rolled from side to side. This teaches you to extend your arms in the correct shape to make a rounder shape for easier rolling. It also allows you to practice pushing/extending with the contact arm to support the fall and make some direction changes if necessary.
In the end it's practice, though too many rolls at one time made me tired and more prone to having a few bad rolls. There were several exercises that Soderman sensei taught us at the seminar that I still practice and the have made a big difference for me. I can try and put them to paper if you'd like.
It seemed to me that my rolling got to a stage where it was OK, I would have a few bad days where my body would feel like a bag of bricks, but after the ukemi seminar and regular practice of the exercises I noticed about 6 months ago that I was no longer thinking about my rolls at all and they were happening naturally and smoothly. The extending of the supporting arm has helped me take falls while my body has been in some unusual positions.

I would recommend you hunt out an ukemi seminar if there is one in your area.

Hope this helps.

Last edited by patf : 12-11-2008 at 09:44 AM.
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Old 12-11-2008, 10:55 AM   #5
patf
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Re: Need Help with Standing Roll.

One other recollection from the Ukemi Seminar, in addition to number 6 above, see how far/easily you can bend over to touch the mat in your normal pre-roll position swinging your non-supporting leg backwards to maintain balance. Then (say you are in left-hanmi) instead of having your toes pointing forward, point them outwards to the left and try leaning over touching the mat again. You may now find it much easier to get lower down to the mat as you have opened your stance and your knee is no longer being an obstacle.

Last edited by patf : 12-11-2008 at 10:55 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 12-11-2008, 02:05 PM   #6
Peter Bowyer
 
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Re: Need Help with Standing Roll.

Try this:

Bend forward and let your back leg swing up so your body is making a T. Slowly lower yourself in this position so you are basically doing a one-legged squat, then roll forward using all the same rules (unbendable arm, head tucked, etc...). This is essentially the same as doing a roll from kneeling. Once you have confidence with this, progress your rolls from a higher position until you do it straight-legged.

It's also a great workout for the quadricep (thigh) muscle.

When you bow deeply to the Universe, it bows back. - Morihei Ueshiba
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Old 12-11-2008, 05:37 PM   #7
Janet Rosen
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Re: Need Help with Standing Roll.

In addition to the above: its not a matter of arm strength but of learning to keep arms rounded and extended to form a wheel.

Physiologically it would involve, like most aikido, engaging the lats and the triceps (instead of the shoulder muscles and biceps).

Metaphors or visualizations that can help are a wagon wheel or embracing a huge beach ball or balloon that is actually expanding as you go into the roll (blow up the ball, inhaling, as your arms go into position, then keep it inflated but let yourself exhale as you actually do the roll)

Janet Rosen
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Old 12-11-2008, 09:28 PM   #8
Jorge Garcia
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Re: Need Help with Standing Roll.

Lower your body to the ground by bending your knees and touch the ground with both hands. Push off with your back foot and use both hands (as you go over) to push the ground thus protecting your head. Later you can go from a standing position with one hand only. I think that lowering the body is important. When I was starting, the ground looked so far away!

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 12-23-2008, 04:26 AM   #9
Marko Ilic
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Re: Need Help with Standing Roll.

Hi Mark, I had the same problem with my left Ukemi. I too felt that my arm was too weak. The way I overcame that was my Sensei's advice:,,Keep your arm strong, but not that strong that I can't move it, but neither that weak that it just falls down.'' Also throw the opposite leg back, but keep your arm like a wheel; imagine you're a wheel and then just slide.

Don't worry about hurting yourself getting hurt, just don't be afraid of getting hurt and roll on a non-hard surface.

Hope this was any help.

Peace,
Marko

I am not black belt, but I am cool
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Old 12-24-2008, 09:51 PM   #10
DevinHammer
 
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Re: Need Help with Standing Roll.

If you watch videos of the smoothest forward rollers, and play them in slow motion, there is one KEY thing that you will probably not notice because you're usually focusing on their upper body. Keep your eyes on their forward foot. Notice that the foot doesn't leave the ground until they are well into the roll.
If you feel like your arm isn't strong enough, or that you're falling onto your shoulder, it's because your foot is releasing the weight of your lower body before your upper body is ready to receive it.
Try this:
Take all the suggestions above, and make sure your foot DOES NOT leave the floor until your shoulder has touched the floor.
I guarantee this will smooth out your forward rolls and keep your shoulder safe from impact.

"Do, or do not. There is no 'try'."
-- Jedi Master Yoda
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Old 12-25-2008, 10:38 AM   #11
Ellis Amdur
 
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Re: Need Help with Standing Roll.

I agree with Devin and Janet's posts above. One further thing - you should not be rolling over your shoulder at all. The 'track" should be triceps/scapula/lower back.
The mistake many teachers make is to line up the arm with the lead foot (right arm over right foot, for example). This actually torques the body in the wrong direction. Furthermore, lining up in hanmi to take the roll also torques the body in the wrong direction.
You should be in Hitoemi (feet are not so severely lined up as in hanmi) and the lead arm should go BETWEEN the legs rather than over the toe. Finally, turn your head so you are looking OVER your shoulder, not down or under the arm.
There is a DVD being sold (ahem . . ..) which shows all of this in some detail.
Best

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Old 12-25-2008, 11:26 AM   #12
Peter Wong
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Re: Need Help with Standing Roll.

That DVD was helpful to me and practice, practice, practice.
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Old 12-25-2008, 09:42 PM   #13
Don
Dojo: aikido of charlotte
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Re: Need Help with Standing Roll.

Amdur Sensei is correct. I will simply state it in a slightly different way that helped me teach front rolls to students. However, I cannot take credit for it. Search the archives for posts by Anne-Marie Girl. The subject was teaching ukemi and more speciifically to women. Her post prompted me to try and teach it as she explained it and I NEVER have failed to be successful using the method she posted since then.

What I tell new students whether from the kneel or standing is that your objective is to push youself off and/or lower yourself into a position in which the first thing to absorb the fall is the upper/mid side of your back (lats) I tell the students to visualize what THEY think they would have to do to accomplish that. Invariably they come up with something that approximates positioning the lead rolling arm as Amdur Sensei has stated and looking around behind and over their shoulder.

I also emphasize that they are NOT to try and support themselves with their lead (unbendable arm) It should not be a noodle, but neither can it support them. It is simply an artifact to make the body round. (A little aside here - I think over emphasis on the idea that somehow your "unbendable arm" can support you leads to people not getting their backs over in the roll and can lead to shoulder separations....it is just IMO WRONG WRONG WRONG to tell a new student that somehow an "unbendable arm" can successfully support them and it can lead to needless injury)

I start them out doing this kneeling. We do this for a while and then I stand them up. I use an extra piece of foam initially simply to give them more confidence that they will not hurt themselves, but they almost always do not have a problem as long as they keep the proper visualization of what part of their body has to absorb the fall first.

Then using the same extra piece of foam, I position them in the down postion of Kaiten-nage so that they can feel the difference from when they throw themselves and when someone else gives them energy.

Finally I remove the extra piece of foam and we do it on the normal mat surface. One night and they integrate into the normal class, albeit at a very controlled slow pace.

Try that and see if it helps.

One of the best pieces of advice ever contributed to Aiki-Web IMO. Thanks again to Anne Marie Girl...whereever she is now!
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Old 12-26-2008, 02:55 AM   #14
Mato-san
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Re: Need Help with Standing Roll.

Tuck chin and distribute the roll over the sphere your body makes... no point of impact. I think fear is the factor here. Like nike "just do it"

Before you drive or steer your vehicle, you must first start the engine, release the brake and find gear!
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Old 01-07-2009, 12:23 PM   #15
dalen7
 
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Re: Need Help with Standing Roll.

Not sure we are talking the same thing.
Here the guys cross their arms across their chest and then roll from a standing position - its not that I cant do it...well, I have never tried - but I am afraid to do it...

I dont see how its possible without hurting your shoulder.
No hand and arm to support you has you go down...but anyway.
Not sure when that comes up on the testing requirements - but not looking forward to it.

If your not doing it that way, I would say that the hand and arm are like a guide...and not much different if kneeling. - of course your not jumping on your hand...

Peace

dAlen

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Old 01-14-2009, 11:07 AM   #16
patf
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Re: Need Help with Standing Roll.

Quote:
Dalen Johnson wrote: View Post
Not sure we are talking the same thing.
Here the guys cross their arms across their chest and then roll from a standing position - its not that I cant do it...well, I have never tried - but I am afraid to do it...

I dont see how its possible without hurting your shoulder.
No hand and arm to support you has you go down...but anyway.
Not sure when that comes up on the testing requirements - but not looking forward to it.

If your not doing it that way, I would say that the hand and arm are like a guide...and not much different if kneeling. - of course your not jumping on your hand...

Peace

dAlen
We call those "Monkey Rolls" in our dojo. Not sure why that is. I couldn't do (even attempt) them for the longest time until I got comfortable enough with normal rolls. Then I just relaxed and trusted that my body would do the right thing and I can do them easily now. I think they are slightly different than regular rolls because, for me, I find that I need to make my back as round as possible and the point of initial contact with the mat is different. They seem to require more of a body flip than regular rolls.

A very useful roll to be able to do as it really works when being thrown from juji-nage and both your arms are otherwise engaged.

Last edited by patf : 01-14-2009 at 11:08 AM. Reason: juji-nage text
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Old 01-14-2009, 11:39 AM   #17
dalen7
 
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Re: Need Help with Standing Roll.

Quote:
Patrick Fitzpatrick wrote: View Post
We call those "Monkey Rolls" in our dojo. Not sure why that is. I couldn't do (even attempt) them for the longest time until I got comfortable enough with normal rolls. Then I just relaxed and trusted that my body would do the right thing and I can do them easily now. I think they are slightly different than regular rolls because, for me, I find that I need to make my back as round as possible and the point of initial contact with the mat is different. They seem to require more of a body flip than regular rolls.

A very useful roll to be able to do as it really works when being thrown from juji-nage and both your arms are otherwise engaged.
Monkey rolls.
Cool name!

Yeah, it may take me awhile before being comfortable with trying those as well. But as you mentioned, it does help with certain attacks where other forms of Ukemi dont realistically work.

Peace

dAlen

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