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Old 04-06-2011, 01:39 PM   #1
dapidmini
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slap or silent in ukemi?

do you slap the mat when doing ukemi? in my previous dojo and many videos I see people always slap the mat when doing ukemi. I was also told that it helps dissipating the force. but in my current dojo, we are told not to make many noises including slapping the mat. I guess the reason is that they don't want to disturb the neighborhood and because the slapping make so much noise when falling that it may scare the would-be student.. but doesn't that make the practice incorrect?
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Old 04-06-2011, 01:44 PM   #2
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: slap or silent in ukemi?

IMO knowing both (slapping and silent rolling) are useful for safe landing. Depends on how you are being thrown.

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Old 04-06-2011, 02:18 PM   #3
Marc Abrams
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Re: slap or silent in ukemi?

David:

I like to always run thing by the "Concrete Test." Don't practice an ukemi that you cannot do when being thrown on concrete. I think that Systema has a more realistic approach toward receiving energy (ukemi) in that you should conform to matter that is harder than yours.

The slapping habit can be dangerous when you are only practicing on soft surfaces. Hard surfaces allow you to discover how to reacquaint yourself safely with the ground. Although Ushiro Sensei is a karateka, we train on hard wood floors and I have had no problem doing ukemi and even full-force, sacrifice throws on the ground with no bruising. I thank the influence of Systema in learning how to better my ukemi skills.

Good Luck finding out what works for you.

Regards,

marc abrams
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:28 PM   #4
Hellis
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Re: slap or silent in ukemi?

In the 1950s I was training in both Judo and Aikido. In Judo we had to slap the mat as your opponent never lets you go, often throwing you into the mat...Early Aikido was always silent throws as if you were being thrown on concrete as Marc has said...I am surprised to see that many Aikido dojos do a lot of mat slapping, maybe they like the sound ?

Henry Ellis
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:33 PM   #5
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: slap or silent in ukemi?

Hi Marc,

I agree with Systema style ukemi being useful, but I can't figure how it is better than slapping for when you're being nailed to the ground by nage as in, for instance, judo makikomi throws or wresting high amplitude double leg or suplexes.

Could you ellaborate?

Last edited by Demetrio Cereijo : 04-06-2011 at 02:34 PM. Reason: typo

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Old 04-06-2011, 02:59 PM   #6
James Edwards
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Re: slap or silent in ukemi?

I'd say learn both but when you're in the dojo, do the one everyone else does.

When I first started I was taught a slapping breakfall. Later on I learnt a few different ways as well. Depends really.

And of course you don't slap if you're thrown on concrete but as most of us train on the mats, it's alright to slap too. I find that in big crowded seminars, slapping helps to show your presence in the vicinity. In case some unaware guy throws someone onto you or steps on you while you're down.
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Old 04-06-2011, 03:27 PM   #7
Marc Abrams
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Re: slap or silent in ukemi?

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Hi Marc,

I agree with Systema style ukemi being useful, but I can't figure how it is better than slapping for when you're being nailed to the ground by nage as in, for instance, judo makikomi throws or wresting high amplitude double leg or suplexes.

Could you ellaborate?
Demetrio:

The traditional Aikido breakfall and judo ukemi is taught by having you displace the downward force outward through arms in a slapping motion. The very limited Systema work that I have done made me rethink my approach. I still emphasize a soft body and round shape as a great way of minimizing the "corners" impacting with the ground. By remaining soft (and still connected to the nage), I allow force dispersion to occur throughout most of my body (leaving the head out of that idea of course). Depending how I am approaching a solid surface and the makeup of the solid surface dictates how my body is actually dispersing the force outward. It might look like I am doing the same ukemi when I am doing a sacrifice throw or being taken down, but it sounds different to other people and it feels a lot better to me! Does that help at all?

Regards,

Marc Abrams
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Old 04-06-2011, 04:17 PM   #8
Janet Rosen
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Re: slap or silent in ukemi?

I sometimes slap but mostly don't and since it's never a conscious premeditated decision either way and it never hurts I figure my instincts are good.

Janet Rosen
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Old 04-06-2011, 05:05 PM   #9
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: slap or silent in ukemi?

Hi Marc,

It helped, but I still think (withouth having formal training in Systema), judo ukemi is safer for some throws, aikido "silent" rolling for others.

Look how Furman lands when thrown by Secours O Goshi in this clip. Looks standard judo ukemi to me.

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Old 04-06-2011, 05:15 PM   #10
Marc Abrams
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Re: slap or silent in ukemi?

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Hi Marc,

It helped, but I still think (withouth having formal training in Systema), judo ukemi is safer for some throws, aikido "silent" rolling for others.

Look how Furman lands when thrown by Secours O Goshi in this clip. Looks standard judo ukemi to me.
Demetrio:

Furman looks like he is doing a judo ukemi but he is not absorbing the force that you typically would judo style. One of the areas that I am working very hard at is trying to get rid of excess tension in my body. We typically do not even realize how much is there and where the tension is until it is pointed out to us, then we suddenly seem to move faster, easier, with more power and use less energy. I am trying to replace muscle tension with the feeling of being like a gravity-loaded spring. This keeps me in a state of potential energy release without wasting any energy in keeping excess muscle tension in my body. The feeling that you have when doing ukemi in that state is so different, although it might look no different than the way other people are taking ukemi.

Regards,

Marc

ps- thanks for that clip. I have been working privately with some wrestlers over the past year and I have been working on similar stuff with them.
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Old 04-06-2011, 11:15 PM   #11
Rabih Shanshiry
 
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Re: slap or silent in ukemi?

Quote:
Henry Ellis wrote: View Post
Early Aikido was always silent throws as if you were being thrown on concrete as Marc has said...I am surprised to see that many Aikido dojos do a lot of mat slapping, maybe they like the sound ?
You'll find a lot of slapping ukemi in the pre-war footage of Ueshiba. Not saying it's better or worse (because I don't know)...only that slapping was certainly a part of early, traditional aikido. The Yoshinkan still follows this method. I'm guessing that not slapping was likely a post-war convention.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98yRuBkUBGQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22BL4ierNJA
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Old 04-07-2011, 03:23 AM   #12
Jeff Sodeman
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Re: slap or silent in ukemi?

I'm in the don't slap camp. And as for Furman in the Systema clip, remember that both of the guys have extensive backgrounds in other fighting styles and especially competition on mats - slapping is an incredibly hard habit to break.

At times you may have to fast-touch the mat during a fall to adjust your rotation, but it's not the same thing as the energy dispersing slap that's more common.
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Old 04-07-2011, 04:05 AM   #13
dps
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Re: slap or silent in ukemi?

Quote:
David Santana wrote: View Post
do you slap the mat when doing ukemi? in my previous dojo and many videos I see people always slap the mat when doing ukemi. I was also told that it helps dissipating the force. but in my current dojo, we are told not to make many noises including slapping the mat. I guess the reason is that they don't want to disturb the neighborhood and because the slapping make so much noise when falling that it may scare the would-be student.. but doesn't that make the practice incorrect?
The placement of the hand on the mat before the body touches the mat in a throw lets you know the orientation of your body in reference to the floor. This lets the body decide how to land on the floor.

It does no good to slap the mat after the body hits the floor.

I have taken falls on mats, hardwood floors, asphalt, concrete and the ground in my backyard, whether you slap soft, hard ( without tension in your body) or don't slap at all is like Janet says, it is not a conscious premeditated decision ( except when training to do so ) as it happens too fast.

Slapping to disperse energy may happen but it is not the primary reason to do a slap.

dps

Last edited by dps : 04-07-2011 at 04:12 AM.
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Old 04-07-2011, 05:05 AM   #14
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: slap or silent in ukemi?

Quote:
David Santana wrote: View Post
... we are told not to make many noises including slapping the mat. I guess the reason is that they don't want to disturb the neighborhood .. but doesn't that make the practice incorrect?
Long time ago I used to practice in a dojo where from a certain moment on it was forbidden to make noise because of the neighbours. And because of that there was no slapping any more.
I noticed that after some time the techniques changed, so the students could fall them without making some noise.

I don't know about correct or incorrect but waza changed, became different.
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Old 04-07-2011, 08:02 AM   #15
john.burn
 
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Re: slap or silent in ukemi?

I'm definitely in the silent camp, whether rolling or taking a break-fall. My thinking is that why would you also not want to blend with the floor and adsorb it as opposed to whacking it...

I was talking to a guy from France last year who recounted a tale of a jodo guy in his club with a lot of experience who slipped over going up some stairs and his muscle memory kicked in... two broken hands / arms later and he began to wonder if slapping was such a good idea!

When we get visitors it's nearly always obvious who they study with depending on how they move and fall. Guess it's the same with us mind you.

Best Regards,
John

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Old 04-07-2011, 09:04 AM   #16
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Re: slap or silent in ukemi?

I remember when I first went to the dojo, wondering why these people were so noisy about hitting the floor and, thinking I will never slap the mat because I don't like making a lot of noise when I move. But after a while I found myself actually doing so when I am taking particularly fast ukemi and that it does seem to help dissipate large amounts of energy. And sometimes it's just plain fun.

Of course a lot of the time loud slaps are just not necessary and as has been pointed out sometimes it's not desirable to slap even when taking a fast fall.

So... I practice both and I practice being mindful enough to decide when and whether to slap the mat.
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Old 04-24-2011, 04:42 PM   #17
Mario Tobias
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Re: slap or silent in ukemi?

Practice BOTH.

I used to do a lot of top ukemi with slapping and there was one incident where ukemi saved my a$$.

I was at home and I needed to grab something from a cabinet near the ceiling. To get there, since I didn't have a ladder, I used a small table, a very dodgy table at that since I was in a rush. Once I was reaching for stuff, the table legs gave way. It happened very fast.

There was a very large thud (the one we had were wooden floors) after the table gave way.....that was my body crashing on the floor. From a vertical position, I was at the floor at my side with my arm extended. This happened like a split second. (Imagine a tree being cut, that was how it would have looked. I also know how it would have felt :-)).

I know it was a very large thud since I heard my neighbors say "WHAT WAS THAT???"

I was at lying there stunned and didn't move for a few seconds. I tried to probe if I damaged any body part but didn't feel any pain whatsoever. Was I lucky? Don't know but I think my ukemi saved me.

Moral of the story: buy a ladder :-)

Seriously, slapping or silent ukemi depends on how you fall. If it is a quick one, like a jerked technique or similar to the one I've experienced above, there's no way you can do a nice silent roll.

I cant explain it fully but the thing is it may not be the slapping but you react better no matter what situation is given to you. Good luck.

cheers,
Mario
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Old 04-25-2011, 03:52 PM   #18
Conrad Gus
 
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Re: slap or silent in ukemi?

I started a thread on the same topic last year: Officially done with mat-slapping forever

I'm firmly in the "no slapping except in breakfalls" camp.

Quote:
Hi all,

I know this has been discussed in depth, but I would just like to announce that I am officially DONE WITH MAT SLAPPING.

Over the past 14 years I have trained with many teachers, half of whom expect students to roll quietly and half of whom want to hear the thunder after every single throw. I've been flip-flopping back and forth to please whichever teacher is in charge.

Well, now I have my own club and we don't have very many mats. It was crowded and I was demonstrating something to a student during keiko. She threw me off the mats and I decided mid-throw to just go with it, throwing in an impressive mat-slap (partially from instinct).

OW MY THUMB!!!

Okay, so nothing got broken. Okay, so maybe after all these years my mat-slapping technique is all wrong (somebody send Donovan Waite Sensei to my dojo for a free seminar please). But all I can think about is that it is a good thing we were not outside and there happened to be a root or rock or piece of glass where my hand came down. That would have been bad.

Seriously though, my Sensei says my breakfalls are fine. I don't smash the mat as hard as I can when I breakfall, why would I do it during a roll? My students will be learning nice gentle rolls and elegant absorptive breakfalls from now on (assuming I have the skill to teach them). If mat-slappers at seminars think I am wimpy they are absolutely welcome to their opinion.

</mat-slapping-rant>

Conrad Gustafson
Victoria Family Aikido
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Old 04-27-2011, 09:52 AM   #19
Amir Krause
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Re: slap or silent in ukemi?

do Ukemi - let your body adjust to the specific situation and act in accordance to it.

Slapping is very efficient and even neccessery in some fast and hard falls, in such cases, it can be done on hard surfaces too (concrete, asphalt, etc. been there, done that), a broken hand is better then a broken head/neck.
Yet, slapping is not a must have, it is a chiocc. I would not slap if the fall is does not require it (speed, angle,surface, ...). And I would be even less likly to slap during a roll.

Practice both and let your body make the choices for you.

Amir
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Old 05-01-2011, 05:39 PM   #20
ninjaqutie
 
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Re: slap or silent in ukemi?

I do whatever feels right for the fall. The faster I am thrown, or the higher I am thrown- like koshi, the more likely I am to slap, but really I don't have a preconceived thought either way. Whatever feels right or comes out naturally is what happens.....

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