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Old 07-29-2010, 04:48 AM   #26
niall
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Re: Foot position in a back roll

I just saw Ellis's comment about classic judo ukemi with a few variations. I agree that a judo-style ukemi is the safest and most logical ukemi. You can use it in any situation.

It's interesting that in this thread there are more people advocating using toes than folding the leg under. In Japan you almost never see aikikai style aikidoka using their toes - probably less than 1%.

There was another thread not long ago that covered some of the same points: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=18031

I think the main point was crossing the legs. It's OK to cross your legs if you take the ukemi on your own but if you go down from a judo-style technique with a 100kg aite on top of you drilling you into the mat you really don't want them crossed. While you can be pretty confident noone will be doing that in normal aikido keiko it still seems to be illogical and dangerous to base an ukemi in budo on trust.

If you go into ushiro ukemi using toes and with your legs not crossed then to keep a consistency in your body movements logically you shouldn't fold your leg in mae ukemi either. But aikidoka who haven't trained in judo almost invariably do.

One more point about judo-style ukemi is that the ukemi from a hip throw is not difficult or painful even for relative beginners.

Last edited by niall : 07-29-2010 at 05:03 AM.

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Old 07-29-2010, 10:20 AM   #27
Lyle Laizure
 
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Re: Foot position in a back roll

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Conrad Gustafson wrote: View Post
Yes! You've trained with him? I get to see him next month at the seven shihans seminar at my old dojo. Should be great as always.
Have I trained with him? lol Yes. He is pretty awesome! He visits Omaha once a year for an annual seminar. His iriminage is something to aspire too not to mention his nikkyo, kotegaeshi and several other things. I wish I could make the August seminar in Canada. There will be a few folks from Omaha there though. You all have fun.

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Old 07-29-2010, 02:08 PM   #28
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Re: Foot position in a back roll

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Conrad Gustafson wrote: View Post
So in your dojos you only throw into mae ukemi? Or do you always go real slow so you can turn around and face the front?
We take backwards ukemi, but just backfalls. Chiba sensei doesn't really advocate backward rolls since he broke his back. Since my sensei was his student, I guess he adopted that ukemi. If we are going backwards and want to roll, we turn our body and go into a forward roll. A bit hard to do until you get the hang of it and I wouldn't use it with all techniques! In fact, I rarely use it unless my body naturally turns that far during ukemi. Most of the time, I just take regular backwards ukemi.

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Old 07-29-2010, 03:49 PM   #29
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Re: Foot position in a back roll

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Ashley Carter wrote: View Post
We take backwards ukemi, but just backfalls. Chiba sensei doesn't really advocate backward rolls since he broke his back. Since my sensei was his student, I guess he adopted that ukemi. If we are going backwards and want to roll, we turn our body and go into a forward roll. A bit hard to do until you get the hang of it and I wouldn't use it with all techniques! In fact, I rarely use it unless my body naturally turns that far during ukemi. Most of the time, I just take regular backwards ukemi.
honestly, i find it easier to get up from forward ukemi,(whether it is soft or standard). So yeah, and chance I can find to roll forward, or take a low break fall I do.

MM
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Old 07-29-2010, 05:29 PM   #30
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Re: Foot position in a back roll

Our sensei also likes to point out that when you do a backward roll, you lose sight of your opponent as well. Not to mention you are pretty vulerable with your neck and all. With a forward roll, you can keep looking behind you and keep an eye on them the entire time.

The bad thing about not doing backward rolls is that I can barely do one. HAHA. It sure isn't very graceful and I feel like I have to push myself up instead of just rolling up.

~Look into the eyes of your opponent & steal his spirit.
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Old 07-30-2010, 12:54 PM   #31
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Re: Foot position in a back roll

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Ashley Carter wrote: View Post
Our sensei also likes to point out that when you do a backward roll, you lose sight of your opponent as well. Not to mention you are pretty vulerable with your neck and all. With a forward roll, you can keep looking behind you and keep an eye on them the entire time.

The bad thing about not doing backward rolls is that I can barely do one. HAHA. It sure isn't very graceful and I feel like I have to push myself up instead of just rolling up.
I think your neck is only in danger if you are rolling straight up the spine. Which is not part of the back rolling techniques we are taught where I train. We roll more horizontally across the back and onto the soldiers. Never straight back. We often land diagonally away from nage, never in a straight line in front of nage because of this. It is sort of like forward rolls reversed. We don't go straight over the head/shoulder either in a forward roll typically. A little more horizontal than that. Not quite barrel rolls, but not straight down the spine either.

MM
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Old 07-30-2010, 01:52 PM   #32
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Re: Foot position in a back roll

I believe the lack of a backward roll in Birankai may reflect a neck injury that occured when someone was doing a backwards roll and another person fell into them, in roughly the late 1990's.

It is also possible to do a "reverse forward roll," from leading arm (curled in a backwards direction), diagonally across the back to the opposite hip, and then up. To inititate, turn slightly towards the side you'll be leading with, but not so much that its just a forward roll where you've turned at the last minute (although you may want to start that way). I find it easier to come back to my feet with this roll, as it preserves more momentum.

FWIW

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Old 07-30-2010, 02:16 PM   #33
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Re: Foot position in a back roll

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Charles David Henderson wrote: View Post
I believe the lack of a backward roll in Birankai may reflect a neck injury that occured when someone was doing a backwards roll and another person fell into them, in roughly the late 1990's.

It is also possible to do a "reverse forward roll," from leading arm (curled in a backwards direction), diagonally across the back to the opposite hip, and then up. To inititate, turn slightly towards the side you'll be leading with, but not so much that its just a forward roll where you've turned at the last minute (although you may want to start that way). I find it easier to come back to my feet with this roll, as it preserves more momentum.

FWIW
In general anything that is initiated by the lead arm I find easy to get up from. Forward rolls, soft rolls, barrel rolls, low break falls. They are easier to get back up from in comparison to plain old back ukemi. Back rolls are easier to get up from then just back ukemi in my opinion. I hate the old "fall back, rock and pop" back ukemi, unless the mat is crowded.
When the mat is crowded my ukemi style is best described as "fetal position"

MM
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Old 07-30-2010, 02:21 PM   #34
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Re: Foot position in a back roll

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I think your neck is only in danger if you are rolling straight up the spine. Which is not part of the back rolling techniques we are taught where I train.
It is my understanding from the times it has been discussed in our dojo that it is vulnerable to being kicked or head being stepped on more then injuring yourself.

David also brought up a point about backward rolls. I have been told that Birankai members do ukemi slightly differently because of how Chiba had to adapt after he broke his spine and also do to people getting injured from backward rolls (I believe it happened at a seminar). It just really isn't advocated, but I am sure it is done in some Birankai dojo.

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Old 07-30-2010, 02:34 PM   #35
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Re: Foot position in a back roll

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It is my understanding from the times it has been discussed in our dojo that it is vulnerable to being kicked or head being stepped on more then injuring yourself.

David also brought up a point about backward rolls. I have been told that Birankai members do ukemi slightly differently because of how Chiba had to adapt after he broke his spine and also do to people getting injured from backward rolls (I believe it happened at a seminar). It just really isn't advocated, but I am sure it is done in some Birankai dojo.
When I was a 5th kyu I was thrown into a back roll into Sugano Sensei. So yeah I can see what you are saying about having that blind spot.
I'd like to think my ukemi has progressed since then.

I've been working on eliminating standard back ukemi in favor of soft back falls. The wide-leg fall allows you to see where you are going and almost all angles. And it allows you to really make a quick stop at any point in the throw. The only down side is I can't pop back up as fast with wide-leg ukemi

The habit of standard back falls dies hard. But I'd like to use it less because it is harder on the body and I need my body to keep up with me in the future.

MM
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Old 07-30-2010, 04:59 PM   #36
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Re: Foot position in a back roll

Passive / aggressive partners who decide to crank or slam at the last minute

There seem to me to be a lot of things that are done by default in today's aikikai ukemi that presume no need to defend against someone who becomes malicious at the moment their partner becomes vulnerable as they take ukemi. I suppose this is because we all want to have an implicit trust for our training partners and to buy in to the idea that we are training in a harmonious way. Unfortunately the fact that aikido has a disproportionally higher rate of injuries than many other arts (which are not cooperative in their training methods) betrays this mindset. It is my opinion that this implicit trust actually invites that sort of behavior. There is an old saying that goes something like "fool me once, shame on you... fool me twice, shame on me." It is my impression that Ellis' method is intended to address this situation by closing up those openings.

When in the course of practice do you decide it's okay to trust your partner?

If you're not training with zanshin (which doesn't just happen when nage maintains attention at the end of the waza), you're missing out on a lot of training. So some may consider it incorrect training to ever disconnect and "just take the fall".

Ellis' method shows how to go all the way into a back roll without ever turning the foot over. Can this be overkill? Maybe. But you can choose to turn the foot over at any point as you are going down, from before the first knee touches, to when it touches, to as your sit bones move toward your heel, or not at all. This is how I prefer to think of it -- it is your choice as uke whether or when to turn the foot over. And that's if you let yourself get into the situation of lowering down that way to begin with. To Fred's point, why not continue to turn into your partner (looking for an opportunity for kaeshi) and roll forward. ...Or do a back fall as a setup for sutemi by putting one leg forward instead of back.

Further, while one certainly has more control in the ability to come back up with "live toes" it is also good to develop the control and ability to do the same with the top of the foot turned down touching the mat. It's not the case that once you turn the foot over, that all is lost. In fact there are specific waza in MJER iaido that specifically train the ability to rise in a stable fashion with the foot in such a position.

Consistency in movement

For folks who are fortunate enough to be exposed to a number of different methods, it's tempting to take bits and pieces and put them into your own training. Doing this is difficult though because it can cause body confusion due to lack of consistency in movements. In real time, there is no opportunity for analytical decision making as to which way to fall. So how you move into a forward or backward roll/fall has to match how you breakfall or initiate sutemi.

Re-tooling one's ukemi

I see a lot of folks who learn basic sit-falls in the beginning, and get it ingrained in their body, who subsequently have a hard time learning not to step away from their partner as they are being thrown. So basically they are taught right from the beginning to disconnect as they are being thrown. Initially it is under the auspices of staying in control of their own fall but later it becomes counter productive because you cannot assume you will be in control of the direction of the throw. Is it not better to teach folks right from the beginning to absorb their partners energy in such a way that they can stay connected and safe as they receive with their bodies?

Sorry for all the random thoughts but this is the stuff that keeps me up at night... and many thanks to the several teachers I have had who have made me think about these things.

Last edited by cguzik : 07-30-2010 at 05:05 PM.
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Old 07-31-2010, 12:41 AM   #37
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Re: Foot position in a back roll

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Maggie Schill wrote: View Post
I've been working on eliminating standard back ukemi in favor of soft back falls. The wide-leg fall allows you to see where you are going and almost all angles. And it allows you to really make a quick stop at any point in the throw. The only down side is I can't pop back up as fast with wide-leg ukemi.
I tend to do softer backfalls like what you mentioned as well. I feel they are much more gentle on my body, you can see where you are going and you can like you said stop it by tightening your center and keeping your legs up or pull them in if needed. Like you said, I can't pop up quite as quick, but sometimes that is a good thing because it gives me a quick breather. HAHA.

I started working on these a while ago after sensei told me to get softer ukemi. Before that, I thought ukemi was soft and didn't really understand what he was talking about. Then I saw a guy in our dojo take ukemi like that and I thought to myself "I should try that!" Been doing it pretty much ever since. Once you get the hang of rolling across your body, it is no big deal. I still have a long way to go with my ukemi though, but that is what practice is for.

~Look into the eyes of your opponent & steal his spirit.
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Old 07-31-2010, 04:34 PM   #38
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Re: Foot position in a back roll

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I tend to do softer backfalls like what you mentioned as well. I feel they are much more gentle on my body, you can see where you are going and you can like you said stop it by tightening your center and keeping your legs up or pull them in if needed. Like you said, I can't pop up quite as quick, but sometimes that is a good thing because it gives me a quick breather. HAHA.

I started working on these a while ago after sensei told me to get softer ukemi. Before that, I thought ukemi was soft and didn't really understand what he was talking about. Then I saw a guy in our dojo take ukemi like that and I thought to myself "I should try that!" Been doing it pretty much ever since. Once you get the hang of rolling across your body, it is no big deal. I still have a long way to go with my ukemi though, but that is what practice is for.
I think it all the natural progression of things. I've changed the way I approach ukemi maybe 4 or 5 times already. I've must of altered things in my ukemi an uncountable amount of times.

I like how incestuous it all is. When I found an issue with my ukemi, and fixed it in my ukemi, usually I find my nage improving. I've become a believer that what ever is lacking in uke is also lacking in nage.

MM
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