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Old 12-24-2009, 12:40 AM   #1
Charles Hill
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Ueno Chimp Rolls

Ellis Amdur has an excellent DVD tutorial on ukemi and in it he shows a forward roll in which one crosses the spine much lower and less diagonal than a typical Aikido roll. He says that he learned it from sumo and watching a chimp roll on concrete at the Ueno Zoo in Tokyo.

I found this clip of Parkour aficionado David Belle rolling on a wide variety of hard surfaces. He, too, rolls low across his back.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rekmYbFRbK0

Here is a Parkour roll tutorial, a bit cheesy, but good. These guys teach that you should change the angle depending on how hard the surface is. If the ground is soft, like grass, roll more like the trad aikido style. If the ground is hard, roll more Ueno Zoo chimp style.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OnrS...eature=related
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Old 12-24-2009, 03:46 AM   #2
ChristianBoddum
 
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Re: Ueno Chimp Rolls

I like the chimp analogy and have used it many times as an illustration.
Chimps have shorter legs, so they basically just have to lean forward to roll, we have to bend the knees more so we can't
copy it 100%.
I have also noticed this roll in Kung Fu a lot,
it has an advantage in taking off speed, an the body seems to do it naturally when the rolls get fast and enegetic,
BUT you will not end in a ready position,
and that's why I don't see it as Kihon,
aside from that it's cool !
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Old 12-24-2009, 09:35 AM   #3
Janet Rosen
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Re: Ueno Chimp Rolls

The Parkour tutorial is pretty good in its basic instructions!

Janet Rosen
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Old 12-24-2009, 09:51 AM   #4
Michael Hackett
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Re: Ueno Chimp Rolls

I'm with Janet - the tutorial is pretty well done. Besides the basic instruction, I liked the overall tone of the video and think this kind of approach would work well with a lot of youngsters in particular. The video game segment would appeal to kids too.

Michael
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Old 12-24-2009, 11:22 AM   #5
thisisnotreal
 
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Re: Ueno Chimp Rolls

That is pretty cool. Thanks for posting.

Frankly; when I saw the title of the thread, I thought it was about a new kind of sushi roll...and i was all ready to call PETA on you guys.
whew. glad it didn't come to that. : ]
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Old 12-24-2009, 11:39 AM   #6
Janet Rosen
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Re: Ueno Chimp Rolls

Quote:
Josh Phillipson wrote: View Post
Frankly; when I saw the title of the thread, I thought it was about a new kind of sushi roll...and i was all ready to call PETA on you guys. : ]
LOL!!!
Going briefly OT... I am reminded of a banner at a (now departed, gee, wonder why?) Chinese restaurant on Judah Street in San Francisco proudly proclaiming their special on "baby dumplings". mmmm.

Janet Rosen
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Old 12-24-2009, 02:49 PM   #7
Charles Hill
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Re: Ueno Chimp Rolls

Thanks for posting guys!

What do you think of the basic idea; rolling lower on the back, less diagonally when the surface is hard?

Merry Christmas!
Charles
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Old 12-24-2009, 04:25 PM   #8
Ellis Amdur
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Re: Ueno Chimp Rolls

The main idea is that one shouldn't roll over a joint, so that, even momentarily, the body weight goes directly thru either the rotator cuff or the hip. Therefore, one rolls from shoulder blade across in a shallower diagonal thru small of back.
This is the track of a roll in both judo and sumo, btw. It does not make one any less "ready" - one can stand up whether the leg is tucked or not.
In judo, one extends both legs - not total extension, btw - because one is usually taking a breakfall, on a flat surface
In sumo, one tucks the legs, much like aikido, because one is very likely going to fall across the raised rope at the edge of the ring - which is about 6-8 inches high - you could break a shin if you came down hard in a judo ukemi.
In either case, however, the track across the torso is the same - and I believe it should be in aikido as well.
Among my judoka friends, the only complaints regarding shoulder injuries are a) if one took BAD ukemi, took a makikomi fall or got pile-driven - in other words, one inescapably fell on the shoulder b) cranked too hard in a lock. But I never heard people complaining about chronic shoulder problems due to rolling, which is quite common in aikido.
Aikidoka have simply been taught wrong. It looks good to fall with the fingers in line with the lead foot toe - one goes in a big arch like a hoop. And if you are a young person - with significant athletic talent and thick flexible tendons - you'll have no trouble. But if you are not that - welcome to chronic, unnecessary injuries. Hence, Ukemi from the Ground Up. It is not a pretty ukemi - but it should keep you safe at just about any age or physical condition.
Once one has mastered the basics and really wants to get into the art of aikido ukemi at the highest level, then I'd go to Bruce Bookman's Ukemi: The Art of Falling (and a 2nd advanced video) are fantastic.

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Old 12-24-2009, 06:46 PM   #9
phitruong
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Re: Ueno Chimp Rolls

Quote:
Charles Hill wrote: View Post
Thanks for posting guys!

What do you think of the basic idea; rolling lower on the back, less diagonally when the surface is hard?

Merry Christmas!
Charles
worked for me. save your truly's rear-end when i laid down my motorcycle and flew across the intersection. rolled like a monkey, got rips on the jacket to prove it (not a scratch on the helmet). walked away from the crash. one bad thing was my judo reflex kicked in and i slapped the pavement with the hands first. padded gloves save the hands but hurt for weeks.
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Old 01-19-2010, 09:19 AM   #10
Basia Halliop
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Re: Ueno Chimp Rolls

I watched the first video and I'm not sure about what was meant by rolling lower across the back -- it looked to me like the majority of the rolls were very nice 'normal' Aikido rolls, but a few on grass were summersaults instead of mai ukemi? I didn't see any that looked lower across the back than what I think of as Aikido mai ukemi... Do some dojos do rolls that are further in the 'summersault' direction than this? Also, I'm curious what the advantage is supposed to be of sometimes doing a summersault (i.e., not going diagonally or barely at all) -- although maybe they explain that in the tutorial -- I don't have sound now but maybe later I'll watch it.
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Old 01-19-2010, 12:15 PM   #11
Walter Martindale
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Re: Ueno Chimp Rolls

Quote:
Josh Phillipson wrote: View Post
That is pretty cool. Thanks for posting.

Frankly; when I saw the title of the thread, I thought it was about a new kind of sushi roll...and i was all ready to call PETA on you guys.
whew. glad it didn't come to that. : ]
Why would People Eating Tasty Animals be interested?

Walter

btw: Good tutorial on ukemi in postings above.
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Old 01-19-2010, 02:36 PM   #12
Russ Q
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Re: Ueno Chimp Rolls

Have you seen Kuroda Sensei's front roll "in place"...doesn't move forward at all....pretty amazing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_Ubb...layer_embedded

Cheers,

Russ
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Old 01-19-2010, 06:03 PM   #13
JW
 
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Re: Ueno Chimp Rolls

This is interesting especially from the point of view of "Aikidoka have simply been taught wrong." My initial thought was that our rolls are designed to spread the impulse of the landing across a large time window and large area across the back-- thus the diagonal I was taught was from shoulder to opposite hip, point-of-contact making a pretty straight diagonal, and spreading the impact evenly through that diagonal.
So, if the point of contact dwells in the shoulder region (like in a "barrel-roll" like the one that broke my friend's collar-bone-- there, the point-of-contact does not make it all the way down the back, so all the impulse is delivered in the upper back/shoulder area) it is bad for the shoulder region.
Conversely-- if the point of contact dwells too long in the lower back area, wouldn't that be dangerous for the hips?

The video guys and Ellis Amdur are supporting the idea of impulse being delivered more heavily to the lower back I think, because it sounds like the point-of-contact would spend more time there:
Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
Therefore, one rolls from shoulder blade across in a shallower diagonal thru small of back.
(I'm still confused because my aikido-roll description fits the description of a shallow diagonal. The difference is my diagonal would go through the midline a little higher on the back than the lumbar, I think... I'll have to try it out later)

So, if more impulse is delivered in the lower back, why is it not bad for the lower back? (Because the pelvis is sturdy, unlike the shoulder area?)
--Jonathan Wong
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Old 01-20-2010, 12:45 AM   #14
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Re: Ueno Chimp Rolls

Quote:
Jonathan Wong wrote: View Post
So, if more impulse is delivered in the lower back, why is it not bad for the lower back? (Because the pelvis is sturdy, unlike the shoulder area?)
I don't think more impulse is delivered there. The initial point of contact will take the most impact: it needs to absorb the force from falling (i.e. vertical velocity; unless you can place this point on the mat before you roll, of course). All the other points you just roll over, so they take your body weight and the force generated by rounding out your horizontal velocity along your back. (Does that make sense? ) Your back should easily be able to take that.
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Old 01-20-2010, 05:27 AM   #15
Charles Hill
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Re: Ueno Chimp Rolls

Here is a clip of front rolling that is very different from the normal Aikido way. This is Aleksey Kadochnikov, a teacher of Russian Martial Arts. He is speaking Russian but I think you can get the idea, especially when he uses a stick to show the point of never crossing on the spine.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fbpC...eature=related
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Old 01-20-2010, 06:00 AM   #16
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: Ueno Chimp Rolls

Quote:
Charles Hill wrote: View Post
Here is a clip of front rolling that is very different from the normal Aikido way.
I've seen this being taught in several aikido dojo.
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Old 01-20-2010, 06:15 AM   #17
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: Ueno Chimp Rolls

I don't see the differences to "normal" aikido rolls?
Could please be so kind and describe what you think is a "normal" aikido roll?
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Old 01-20-2010, 09:29 AM   #18
Basia Halliop
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Re: Ueno Chimp Rolls

I agree with Carsten. What this discussion is showing me is that there seems to be more variation than I had realized in the forward rolls considered 'standard' in different styles or dojos. Which is interesting, because I thought it was one of the few things that was almost universal. (I mean, everyone teaches them differently and there are variations in what the hands do especially when first learning, but I assumed the trajectory across the back was basically the same).

I am curious to those who normally roll higher up on the back than this -- how much higher up the back do you go? and do you still find most people are able to take rolls safely if pushed with a lot of force? We normally try to correct beginners or children who initially roll 'too close to the head' or 'too near along the spine' and when doing techniques, we often throw them a bit more gently than usual until they learn to do it more diagonally, neither 'summersault' nor 'log roll'. But perhaps it's one of those things where if you learn to do it well more than one way can be done safely?
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Old 01-20-2010, 02:49 PM   #19
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Re: Ueno Chimp Rolls

Quote:
Joep Schuurkes wrote: View Post
I don't think more impulse is delivered there. The initial point of contact will take the most impact: it needs to absorb the force from falling
Hm, I've thought about it and I still think the vertical impulse is distributed across the roll rather than localized to the initial point of contact. (it's a glancing contact) For instance those parkour guys off the roof-- there is no way their vertical momentum is being handled mainly by the initial point of contact (that would be a "hit" followed by a roll, rather than a nice smooth roll, right?).

I think the roll turns some of the downward momentum into horizontal momentum, doesn't that sound right? in other words it does a lot of work, pushing on the ground in order to create some new horizontal motion out of the force of the downward "would-be-splat."

Well, if that is right, it would mean the line of the point of contact really does take a crunch. In which case, I still wonder why it is ok to have the lower back take so much of that. If it's not correct-- well, then I guess it is clear.
--JW
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Old 01-20-2010, 03:36 PM   #20
Charles Hill
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Re: Ueno Chimp Rolls

Hi Carsten,

I am not often described as "kind" but I will try to explain my understanding.

If we think of our mid body structure as a Roman numeral one, we can imagine our shoulders as the upper bar of the one, the lower bar as our hips, and the vertical bar as our spine. An "Aikido" roll is one that crosses the vertical bar. The "normal" aikido roll is one that crosses from the right or left point on the upper horizontal bar to the opposite point on the lower horizontal bar, crossing the vertical bar somewhere in the middle.

The Ueno chimp/parkour roll starts the crossing of the vertical bar below the upper horizontal bar and crosses lower than the middle point of the vertical bar.

The Russian roll does not cross the vertical bar at all. It crosses at the top on the upper horizontal bar, then comes down the opposite side bypassing the spine/vertical bar in its entirety. On the video, Kadochnikov demonstrates by holding a stick to a guy's back. First he holds it diagonally, from the right shoulder to the left hip. He is showing how NOT to do it. Then he holds the stick horizontally across the shoulders and then vertically down the left side of the guy's back. This is the Russian roll, very different to Aikido.
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Old 01-20-2010, 03:38 PM   #21
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Re: Ueno Chimp Rolls

I think rolling itself is better than splatting if you're worried about time spent at point of contact.. rolling is good if you can pull it off at whatever angle it'll save you from prolonged impact at any single point (while you're rolling)

But that doesn't mean the "minimal impact" you get on your bones , joints, carthilages etc is no damage.

In other words, roll, but over the softer tissues if you can

ps - you should be rolling before you hit (dont slam then roll)

ps2 - I dont see anything incompatible with Aikido in the "russian roll"
it's a roll ; and it can happen as a result of practice within an aikido dojo.

Last edited by Alfonso : 01-20-2010 at 03:47 PM.

Alfonso Adriasola
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Old 01-21-2010, 01:13 AM   #22
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: Ueno Chimp Rolls

Thank you very much Charles!

We do both version you describe (in a way I understand very good) sometimes in our training of aikido. That's why I asked.
But I think got your point.

Carsten
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Old 01-21-2010, 01:28 AM   #23
Charles Hill
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Re: Ueno Chimp Rolls

You are most welcome Carsten.

I highly recommend everyone checking out the youtube channel from where the Russian stuff came from. The channel has tons of stuff from the Kadochnikov style of systema and I think it will be very interesting for most of you who do Aikido.
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Old 01-21-2010, 02:50 AM   #24
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: Ueno Chimp Rolls

One thing that bugs me in your explanation Charles is that you overlook or omit the fact that the spine doesn't end at the shoulders. So rolling across your shoulders you will still be rolling across the spine, just in a different place. To be more exact about anatomical facts.

Personally I'm not convinced that it makes the roll any safer or less damaging. Maybe it depends on your build, some people do have more padding in the form of muscle in the shoulder area...

kvaak
Pauliina
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Old 01-21-2010, 09:22 PM   #25
Charles Hill
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Re: Ueno Chimp Rolls

Hi Pauliina,

Yes, good point.

Here's my answer. When I first started learning RMA, I was teaching Aikido in a typical Japanese dojo where half the room is tatami for Judo and the other half is hardwood for Kendo. I did a lot of rolling of various types on the hardwood and learned a lot.

What I learned about the Russian roll (and what I think anyone will learn if they try it) is that your body will naturally/instinctively scrunch the shoulder blades to avoid pressure to your spine. Our bodies have a natural drawbridge over the spine in the shoulder apparatus that the other areas do not.

A major idea in RMA (one quite opposite to Japanese/Aikido thinking) is that the body will instinctively protect itself and that one important goal in training is to work to take away that which interferes with this instinct.

Working with the various types of rolls on a hard surface is an excellent way to learn this.
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