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Old 08-16-2002, 12:27 PM   #1
jaxonbrown
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When do you know you are good at ukemi?

Some guys I see just come off the mat and go up, over, and down effortlessly while my fat ass is still doing rolls in lieu of breakfalls (after about 1yr training). I can do breakfalls but I have to prepare and tell nage what I plan to do. I can't just 'flow with it' like some other ukes. How long does it take to be 'goooooood' if you know what I mean?

also, what's the hardest ukemi to take? i saw a movie on some aikido site where uke strikes, nage enters and picks up uke and lifts him over his head - it looked like a human capital 'T' and then uke comes down and lands on his side. damn, a breakfall from six feet whoa. i wonder if it hurt the first time he did it
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Old 08-16-2002, 12:37 PM   #2
Guest5678
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You know you're good at ukemi when, while fixing the roof, you fall off backward, do a double gainer with a 3/4 twist land on your feet, looking you kids straight in the eyes and saying

"I meant to do that".

-Mongo
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Old 08-16-2002, 01:17 PM   #3
Bruce Baker
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Everytime you can take a throw, breakfall, or any other technique ... stand up when it is done without pain or injury.

That is the only test for good ukemi.

Beyond that ... you need the judges with those silly flip numbers and decimals.
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Old 08-16-2002, 02:15 PM   #4
The Wrenster
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My first attempt at fast forward rolling ukemi gave me trapped nerves in the shoulder, and a severly bruised 'acromio-clavicula' joint!! still suffering when things like that stop, your improving!!

ADAM

When you decide to cause harm, you are breaking the harmony of the Universe, and thus you are already defeated.
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Old 08-16-2002, 02:23 PM   #5
erikmenzel
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Well,

for me it dawned to me that my ukemi might be at least ok when teachers at seminars where choosing me as uke.

Still I think there is much to improve in my ukemi.

BTW I observed that people that want to do ukemi because the really want to be a good and valuable uke improved faster and further than people that wanted to look good.

Seeing yourself on video also helps judging your abilities.

Erik Jurrien Menzel
kokoro o makuru taisanmen ni hirake
Personal:www.kuipers-menzel.com
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Old 08-16-2002, 02:53 PM   #6
guest1234
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I'm sure my ukemi looks terrible, but for one forearm to the face I missed last week, I usualy can get out of harm's way and not get hurt in the fall, so I'm not too upset about mine...just lots of room to improve. My first dojo taught me to breakfall because someone had to practice the throw you describe, and wanted a light uke to do it with...it has remained my favorite fall.

I was discussing what makes ukemi fun and easy to learn the other day with someone, and I think trust has a lot to do with it. I could trust my first dojo partners to always have my safety in mind above all else (including looking good to sensei, and making something work) and so from my first roll onward I had total trust. That goes a long way to relaxing, which I think is the secret to easy ukemi; it let me just concentrate on connecting to and moving with nage, and let him decide the timing and when he saw a spot to put me, the throw.
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Old 08-16-2002, 08:57 PM   #7
faramos
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Ukemi over time

Recently, a new aikidoka asked me this question "How to I learn to take Ukemi?" My answer, "I can't really tell you, it just kinda happens". That was about the best answer I could give.

Ukemi I've learned is something that involves how well one connects with their partner, and more importantly, themselves. Good ukemi, if I understand correctly, is about being able to adapt to any situation to the the best of our abilities. So to get better at ukemi then, I guess the one thing that has helped everyone I've talked to, is having watched other people take ukemi. And then, only after you try it time after time, it becomes much more apparent. To think of it analogically, its kinda like learning to roll. Sure it doesn't happen overnight, but if you pay attention to a sensei or sempai, it comes to you. Also, it a matter of your limits physically and mentally.

So, as far as I understand, you know you are good at taking ukemi, when you focus more on your connection with you partner than on what position you will end up in or how you can break the hold. Someone who is good at ukemi then, is someone who give their partner all their energy and trust as to execute technique with them. Everything else, like all aikido, will come with time.
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Old 08-17-2002, 07:53 AM   #8
Drewpal
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Hi!

Just an additon to what faramos said, He's right, try to blend and follow your nage. With that you'll have an idea what technique nage will do. But you have to wait for the application before you do a fall. Don't do a sidefall(breakfall) unless nage applies the technique. In my experience it is less painfull when you do a surprised sidefall than planning one.

Hope this helps!
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Old 08-17-2002, 09:24 AM   #9
mike lee
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Cool don't try this yourself

Come home blind drunk. Fall down a flight of concrete stairs at least several times. Go to bed. Completely forget the experience. While taking a shower the next day, notice a minor scrape and a small bruise on upper arm. Think nothing of it. Rush out the door and down the stairs on the way to work. About half-way down, notice a hat. Begin to have a vague memory of coming home the night before. About 4 hours later, begin to recall having trouble getting up the stairs. About 6 hours later, recall the fall. Oh! That's how I got that little bump on my arm.

P.S. Have since cut way back on heavy drinking. Don't like being dehydrated during practice.

Last edited by mike lee : 08-17-2002 at 09:27 AM.
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Old 08-17-2002, 10:47 AM   #10
wanderingwriath
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I'm not sure how relevant it is to Aikido, but once upon a time I was taking Ninjutsu and the sensei was both a practical man and a humorous one. We learned a lot of rolls and breakfalls in those classes because of the nature of the art, and one of our little challenges was to do diving forward rolls over a broom stick held four feet in the air. The floor was concrete though and many of us had reservations about diving head first at concrete. The sensei was appalled that his students were afraid. (An act he frequently put on for us. ) He had the oldest guy in class run down to the 7/11 and get him a 40 oz. beer, while the rest of us went about regular training. When he had his hand on the beer opened it, took one drink, and the proceeded to show us that he could do the diving roll over the broomstick: without spilling the beer. That was the most impressive fall I had ever seen. Here's the hitch: though the man could fall without ever worrying about injury, that wouldn't make his ukemi good for Aikido. He had no concept of CONNECTION.
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Old 08-17-2002, 10:57 AM   #11
akiy
 
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Re: Ukemi over time

Quote:
Frank A. Ramos (faramos) wrote:
Recently, a new aikidoka asked me this question "How to I learn to take Ukemi?" My answer, "I can't really tell you, it just kinda happens". That was about the best answer I could give.
I think learning how to take "good" ukemi (whatever that may be where you train) shouldn't just be relegated to "something that happens." Ukemi, I think, should be approached in the same manner as the rest of aikido.
Quote:
Ukemi I've learned is something that involves how well one connects with their partner, and more importantly, themselves. Good ukemi, if I understand correctly, is about being able to adapt to any situation to the the best of our abilities.
My line of thinking these days is that the same exact principles which makes one a good nage translate directly into ukemi. You could substitute "nage" for all instances of "ukemi" in what I just quoted above and it would still be a good statement (to me, at least).
Quote:
So to get better at ukemi then, I guess the one thing that has helped everyone I've talked to, is having watched other people take ukemi.
Yes -- watching how other people take ukemi, especially the "naturals," is a great way -- just like watching someone good at nage.

However, I think it's also very important to start becoming aware of what you're doing during ukemi. When do I stop my motion? How tense are my shoulders? Are my feet always moving? Is my center always connected with nage? And so on.

This sort of awareness is sometimes difficult in a "regular" class situation as nage is often applying their technique faster than uke is comfortable taking ukemi while thinking about those things. It's often a good exercise, I think, to have nage slow things down to a point where uke can think about those things while taking ukemi -- just like nage sometimes slows things down to think about their movements and such.

To me, the point of ukemi is twofold. One (and I think this is the primary) is to stay safe. As someone once said, "Ukemi isn't the art of falling, but the art of being able to get back up." This includes things like being able to fall safely, reacting in a fluid manner, being aware of your surroundings (walls, edge o the mat, other people training), and so on.

Secondly, as George Simcox sensei said, "Ukemi is the art of allowing your partner to learn aikido techniques." THis includes things like providing a good attack, maintaining good connection all throughout, creating and holding a center-to-center connection, being aware of nage's openings and taking advantage of them when appropriate, remaining resilient in your movements, and so on.

That's my thoughts on ukemi in a nutshell...

-- Jun, off to do the ukemi class at the dojo in about an hour...

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Old 08-19-2002, 11:13 AM   #12
BC
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That's one heck of a nutshell!

Thanks, Jun.

Robert Cronin
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Old 06-17-2009, 08:53 PM   #13
Daniel Blanco
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Re: When do you know you are good at ukemi?

A person/student has good ukemi when he can roll with soft ukemi which means u dont hear me fall at all, or hard ukemi (breakfalls etc) a student should know both styles and take the falls he wishes,I practice both and decide which ukemi style i am going to use, its fun practicing both, i decide what i am going to use/practice prior to arrival at dojo.
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Old 06-17-2009, 11:00 PM   #14
dps
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Re: When do you know you are good at ukemi?

Quote:
Jaxon Brown wrote: View Post
. How long does it take to be 'goooooood' if you know what I mean?
It is believed that if you have a special wish, fold one thousand origami cranes. By the time you finish this task, your wish will be granted.

It is believed that if you want to be good at ukemi, fall one thousand time. By the time you finish this task, you will be good at it.

Quote:
Jaxon Brown wrote: View Post
also, what's the hardest ukemi to take? i saw a movie on some aikido site where uke strikes, nage enters and picks up uke and lifts him over his head - it looked like a human capital 'T' and then uke comes down and lands on his side. damn, a breakfall from six feet whoa. i wonder if it hurt the first time he did it
The hardest ukemi to take is the one you worry about before the ukemi starts.

David
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Old 06-18-2009, 02:56 AM   #15
Eva Antonia
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Re: When do you know you are good at ukemi?

Hi,

I always thought that I was good at ukemi, and now I've got a an additional indication: I dislocated my knee doing a bad irimi nage 10 days ago, and now it hurts and cannot bend. I don't even have to THINK about it during ukemi; no matter which ukemi it is I just land so that I get up with the good knee, don't hurt the bad one and most time still don't need a hand to get up.

So no seiza, no suwari waza, tai sabaki only with great caution, but ukemi works smoothly as usual.

Nice!

Best regards,

Eva
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Old 06-18-2009, 03:39 AM   #16
philippe willaume
 
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Re: When do you know you are good at ukemi?

I think ukemi is the hardest thing we do in aikido.

How long it takes is a combination of how smart and flexible you are and how much you can tank.
After a while you can be ippon seoi nague by a horse and landing on stairs made of compacted gravel without loosing the reins.

For me the worst ukemi to take is jije garame koshy, iriminague koshy and ganseki otoshi

phil

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Old 06-18-2009, 04:03 AM   #17
Mark Freeman
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Re: When do you know you are good at ukemi?

My ukemi started to improve drastically when it occured to me that the role of uke is where at least half of the 'art' of aikido is learnt. Learning how to follow the exercise from start to finish whilst maintaining connection and complete coordination throughout is in my opinion the best place to learn how to improve your aikido.
Jun's 7 year old post above sums it up neatly and is showing no signs of age

The speed of any technique/exercise should be governed by uke, so uke should only go as quickly as they can safely accomodate themselves. If nage is going faster than uke then they are doing something other than aikido.

Take things slowly and steadily, there is a long way to go

regards,

Mark

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Old 06-18-2009, 06:01 AM   #18
dps
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Re: When do you know you are good at ukemi?

Ukemi is fundamental, basic, part of your foundation to build your Aikido on. Know the basics like posture, balance, movement and ukemi before you allow yourself to advance.

No joke about taking a thousand falls. Get a mat at home ( one 4' by 8' mat will do) and make ukemi a part of your daily routine, practice rolling or falling as often as you can. Go slow and think about what is happening to your body.

You will know you are good when you can do a dedicated attack without worrying about how your going to fall.

If your injured, don't practice until you are fully healed. Injuries catch up with you when you get older.

David

Last edited by dps : 06-18-2009 at 06:05 AM.
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Old 06-18-2009, 06:24 AM   #19
Amir Krause
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Re: When do you know you are good at ukemi?

You are not asking about Ukemi, you are asking about break-falling.

The latter is only a minor part of Ukemi - recieving a technique correctly.

Which by itself is a only part of being a good Uke.

For the purpose of break-falling, there is one sure reciepe: Train it, and then a little more and again some more. After a few tens of thousands of rolls and breakfalls, you will become good enough to feel safe.

Start training to fall without preliminary planin, just do it slowly.

Amir
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Old 06-18-2009, 04:55 PM   #20
Russ Q
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Re: When do you know you are good at ukemi?

Perhaps a little flippant here but....:

Getting good = doesn't hurt during rolling, tobu ukemi etc. Essentially, you can wake up the next morning without bruising or "unusual" stiffness.

Getting really good = as above and can spot your nage's tsuki (openings) during the technique.

Getting really, really good = as above and can take advantage of nage's tsuki with centered, well balanced reversals.....

As has been said, ukemi is more about the quality of your connection (and being able to maintain connection) throughout the technique, rather than how well you can fall over....

Cheers,

Russ
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Old 06-18-2009, 10:06 PM   #21
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Re: When do you know you are good at ukemi?

Uck. My ukemi isn't great at all. I was considered to have great ukemi in my old style, but in the world of aikido, my ukemi is.... sufficient enough to prevent injury, but I still need plenty of work. I do take it as a compliment though when sensei or another sempai uses me as their uke for demonstrating a technique. Especially when they purposely turn my fall into a breakfall instead.

I have to agree with others that those who have great ukemi are not afraid to take a fall and they actively work on it and try to improve. Anywho.. that is the opinion of the high and mighty 6th kyu with 3 1/2 months of aikido experience. LOL!
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Old 09-05-2009, 10:27 PM   #22
sammywhip
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Re: When do you know you are good at ukemi?

Mind you, I've just started aikido and am trying to branch out into other conversations on this forum, but I have enjoyed being uke so far. I've only done a little bit, and I'm still working on not falling before the technique is in more extreme effect, but its fun.
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Old 09-07-2009, 06:42 PM   #23
Kevin Lynch
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Re: When do you know you are good at ukemi?

Quote:
Jaxon Brown wrote: View Post
Some guys I see just come off the mat and go up, over, and down effortlessly while my fat ass is still doing rolls in lieu of breakfalls (after about 1yr training). I can do breakfalls but I have to prepare and tell nage what I plan to do. I can't just 'flow with it' like some other ukes. How long does it take to be 'goooooood' if you know what I mean?

also, what's the hardest ukemi to take? i saw a movie on some aikido site where uke strikes, nage enters and picks up uke and lifts him over his head - it looked like a human capital 'T' and then uke comes down and lands on his side. damn, a breakfall from six feet whoa. i wonder if it hurt the first time he did it
Ukemi from 6'? That's not so bad on a rubber mat if you know how to fall.

Some people pick up ukemi in no time at all. Other people take a long long time. I know one left hander who can ukemi on his left but can't ukemi on is his right side. It's nothing more than a mental block. His mistake is the same as your mistake. He has predetermined in his mind how he's going to ukemi.

That's a bad move. You don't know what nage/tori will do. You don't know exactly how you will be thrown. So tori/nage might decide to do something else. All the while you've put the blinkers on and set yourself up for the wrong ukemi. And I bet you'll do that ukemi no matter what. Which means your partner has to effectively abandon their technique so you don't get hurt.

The simple truth is you can't learn ukemi properly until you get through the pain barrier. Sometimes it will hurt. Even the guys that look so super smooth get hurt sometimes. They just don't show it very often.

Remember Aikido is a martial art and martial arts hurt.
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Old 09-07-2009, 07:33 PM   #24
Shadowfax
 
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Re: When do you know you are good at ukemi?

Ive fallen from much higher than 6 feet and hit solid earth...mats would have to be nicer.... horses can seriously teach you how to take ukemi. Crazy thing is the better you are at falling the less often you actually tend to fall.

Kevin great post I will be keeping this firmly in mind. I'm beginning to take Ukemi at higher speeds and need to remember to, not freeze up, and just go with it. I actually have found that the more energy Nage gives me in a throw the easier Ukemi is if I can stay relaxed.
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Old 10-11-2009, 10:16 PM   #25
Adam Huss
 
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Re: When do you know you are good at ukemi?

This doesn't necessarily have to be limited to ukemi, but what are peoples' balance between practice, practice, practice (like at home), and a concern for building bad habits?

Ichi Go, Ichi Ei!
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