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Old 11-03-2011, 08:39 PM   #26
graham christian
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Re: high breakfalls?

Quote:
Robin Boyd wrote: View Post
I agree completely. High breakfalls can be done very softly, and when done well, they shouldn't cause undue wear and tear. It is when people can't do them very well that these sorts of misconceptions occur.

Case in point:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kItc4PJtCa4
When you say 'done softly' I don't see your point. Sounds more like you mean the trhrow.

Regards.G.
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Old 11-03-2011, 08:47 PM   #27
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Re: high breakfalls?

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Graham Christian wrote: View Post
When you say 'done softly' I don't see your point. Sounds more like you mean the trhrow.

Regards.G.
Did you watch the video?
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Old 11-03-2011, 08:48 PM   #28
graham christian
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Re: high breakfalls?

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Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
We don't do break falls.
One question, why?

I understand not emphasizing them till later. I understand lots of people do them 'because you're meant to'. I understand people can have all manner of spurious reasons associated with them. But not doing them? I'm interested.

Regards.G.
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Old 11-03-2011, 08:59 PM   #29
graham christian
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Re: high breakfalls?

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Robin Boyd wrote: View Post
Did you watch the video?
Yes. I watched it. For me I would entitle it practising break-falls, that's all. All break-falls, or rather, good ones have certain things in common. They are strong, definite, technically perfect and completely relaxed. All at the same time. If that's what you mean by soft then fine.

However you were referring to high breakfalls. I take this to mean such as done in koshi nage or judo for example. Such as done from up/down/splatt.

Not shown in that video.

I think many forget what a break-fall is and from that comes all the various strange opinions.

Regards.G.
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Old 11-03-2011, 09:10 PM   #30
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Re: high breakfalls?

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Yes. I watched it. For me I would entitle it practising break-falls, that's all. All break-falls, or rather, good ones have certain things in common. They are strong, definite, technically perfect and completely relaxed. All at the same time. If that's what you mean by soft then fine.

However you were referring to high breakfalls. I take this to mean such as done in koshi nage or judo for example. Such as done from up/down/splatt.

Not shown in that video.

I think many forget what a break-fall is and from that comes all the various strange opinions.

Regards.G.
Those break falls can be done from a koshi-nage. I know at least 2 people who can do them from koshi-nage 100% of the time. Personally, I'm not that good, and I only get them right some of the time. Still, if you do a good break fall, regardless of whether you have a noisy slap, you shouldn't feel much impact in your body, and it shouldn't lead to physical degeneration later in life.

My understanding of why judo players in particular end up in poor condition later in their lives is that it is because in matches, they are actively trying NOT to break fall. I.e. If they break fall well, then the opponent wins (ippon) By not falling well, they damage their bodies, but they may win the match.
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Old 11-03-2011, 09:17 PM   #31
graham christian
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Re: high breakfalls?

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Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
I sometimes read this opinion in this forum. (Never heard it in one of the german forums I visit.) And everytime, it amazes me because this view doesn't seem to match my/our practice. Or I don't really understand something.

In our teaching there are just different versions of each throw. We teach how to throw in a way which allows uke to fall backward or to roll. And we teach a different version which doesn't allow this, but leads uke into a high fall. There is no jumping of uke, but uke is led into the movement by nage.

I'll try to explain my questions with the example of irimi nage:
You can throw "outwards", away from you. In thist version the throwing arm and the leg which is in front, are aligned in the same direction. So if uke is thrown with the left arm, this left arm and the left leg are kind of parallel and are direct "forward", teh arm also more or less down.
This is an exampel of what I mean.
Uke can mostly decide how to fall. Even if this version is executed sharper, uke may have the oportunity to decide how to fall.

The other version is shown here. The throwing leg is moving in the direction of ukes center, the throwing arm is moving in front of the center of tori. Arm and leg are no more parellel but are moving in different directions. The leg and hip of tori are blocking ukes way, so he can't roll (forward or backward) but is led by toris arm over the leg/hip. He has to somehow get over it. Also the throw doesn't lead uke away from tori, but the throwing arm ist closing in and uke is led right "between tori feet". He is led vertically down.

In every nage waza we have different ways of doing it which are comparable to the two different forms I tried to describe.

What am I getting wrong?
Hi Carsten.
Basically I would say the quote you are referring to is a bit meaningless as it's written and actually would go further personally and say it's nonsense. Taking it as sensible is where you're going wrong in my opinion.

Regards.G.
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Old 11-03-2011, 09:35 PM   #32
graham christian
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Re: high breakfalls?

Quote:
Robin Boyd wrote: View Post
Those break falls can be done from a koshi-nage. I know at least 2 people who can do them from koshi-nage 100% of the time. Personally, I'm not that good, and I only get them right some of the time. Still, if you do a good break fall, regardless of whether you have a noisy slap, you shouldn't feel much impact in your body, and it shouldn't lead to physical degeneration later in life.

My understanding of why judo players in particular end up in poor condition later in their lives is that it is because in matches, they are actively trying NOT to break fall. I.e. If they break fall well, then the opponent wins (ippon) By not falling well, they damage their bodies, but they may win the match.
Your conclusion on judo players and later in life damage sounds reasonable enough to me. Same goes for anything done not so well over a period of time. So I agree there. I don't think they are trying not to break-fall though, more not to be thrown.

Anyway, back to high break-falls. When you come to koshi nage and all the versions then some would befit as you describe but many wouldn't.

The point I'm making is if a person studies and understands fully what a break-fall is the they would see that a lot of these questions are nonsensical in the first place.

Do you know actually what a break-fall is? That might sound like a very insulting question but I believe the simplicity is lacking in most Aikidoka.

Regards.G.
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Old 11-03-2011, 10:18 PM   #33
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Re: high breakfalls?

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post

The point I'm making is if a person studies and understands fully what a break-fall is the they would see that a lot of these questions are nonsensical in the first place.

Regards.G.
agreed
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Old 11-03-2011, 11:11 PM   #34
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Re: high breakfalls?

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Andy Kazama wrote: View Post
In my experience, the ONLY serious physical aikido-waza I have had to use outside of the dojo has been ukemi/breakfall in nature...literally. I have taken a decently high ukemi while mountain biking (I did an end-over my handle-bars); and I have taken a hard ushiro sutemi slipping on an icy staircase. Forget bar fights -- Nature gives you enough opportunity to practice Aikido in real life.
Yup. All my aikido stories have to do with ukemi. All of my friends' aikido stories have to do with ukemi. And all the injury stories from my non-aikido friends have to do with failure of ukemi.

(Well, actually, I guess I have used Jedi mind tricks on drunks a couple of times. Those might count as ki projection, but not as physical applications of aikido.)

Katherine
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Old 11-04-2011, 02:14 AM   #35
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Re: high breakfalls?

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
*Provided* that tori actually knows what to do with that control and, ideally, is approximately the same size as aite. Breakfalling over the shoulder of someone taller than you is not something I'd recommend for beginners!

Which is a reason to recommend ukemi-focused classes and workshops. In most classes at most dojos, the focus is on the technique. But a vicious circle can develop: it's very difficult to learn how to do koshinage if your partner is afraid of the ukemi, but it's very difficult to develop confident ukemi if your partner is tentative about the throw.

Katherine
It was illustrative and must off course match the ability of the students involved. At times I myself throw each and every student to show proper technique (e.g. koshinage). Btw, koshinage does not require breakfall: with proper guiding aite can simply 'slide off' so they (both aite and tori) can familiarize themselves with the technique in a safe way. Next step is that tori takes full control and throws aite, but like you said that requires a bit more skill. :-)

Your last remark is actually my starting point: how can I make them feel safe and secure to try the technique that looks pretty impressive? What can I do to make the technique somewhat easier? Which techniques can you perform in preparation?

In a real fight:
* If you make a bad decision, you die.
* If you don't decide anything, you die.
Aikido teaches you how to decide.
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Old 11-04-2011, 03:51 AM   #36
Mario Tobias
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Re: high breakfalls?

Quote:
Larry Feldman wrote: View Post
Don't do them.

Learned how in Ju Jitsu, used to do them, but not anymore.

One of my students (and Judo Black belt) used to practice in a Dojo in a large Aikido organization. Someone observed that a large percentage of the older Sr. students were 'all busted up'. They concluded it must have been from the years of brakfalls. They no longer do them, and the latest explanation is that you can practice longer/harder without the breakfalls.

My student will occassionally launch himself in class, but totally unnecessary, except for keep ing the skill.
Probably when you do it every class yes.

The thing is some techniques require high falls like koshinage, juji garami, some iriminage and some kokyunage as proper ukemi. However, you feel like you are being cheated if they do proper breakfall ukemi when they're doing the technique on you while when its their turn they do soft rolls because they are afraid to do high falls, for me especially koshinage where I dont learn because uke is afraid.
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Old 11-04-2011, 05:58 AM   #37
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Re: high breakfalls?

@Larry
First off: Learning to do breakfalls should be done cautiously for obvious reasons.
Second: People think it is cool when you can do breakfalls, so everyone wants to do it all the time. That is simply bad practise. I think it is useful to be able to do (proper) breakfall, just do not do it all the time. On occassion I have not taken breakfall when my teacher threw me and I sensed he was going for exactly that. Still, no damage, no injury, just a little smile on his face.
But in the same breath I hasten to add that at times I ABSOLUTELY had to take breakfall to save my skin.

Only last summer a very experienced soto deshi injured his elbow (not too bad, but still), because he was a tad slow taking ukemi from my teacher. This was kote gaeshi where you might expect problems in the wrist area, but not this time. My teacher suddenly turned sideways and did not go for a hold/pin, but a throw. Aite was anticipating a pin and not the throw which caught him off guard and was late taking ukemi. Imagine someone floating mid air with a wrist lock being thrown sideways. The stress put in the elbow was simply too much. Pretty awesome sight, but also extremely hard to take the fall....

In a real fight:
* If you make a bad decision, you die.
* If you don't decide anything, you die.
Aikido teaches you how to decide.
www.aikido-makato.nl
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Old 11-04-2011, 10:40 AM   #38
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Re: high breakfalls?

I just watched the posted video on soft breakfalls and must say it is demonstrated very smooth ,soft and gentle and at a very slow controlled speed and the impact appeared quite gentle on the body,keeping in mind that this is an instructional video.

From my experience,being instructed on how to actually breakfall is always done at slow controlled speed as shown in the video.But once you get into full training and are thrown at full speed from full height shoulder throws such as Morote Seoi Naga or Ippon Seoi Naga, i at no time ever landed that slow and smooth.Being 6` ,220 lbs,the years of impact from these high breakfall throws did create a lot of wear and tear on my body.

I am certainly open to the fact that we may have been doing it wrong,whereas some suggest that if done correctly,high breakfalls should not cause any degree of wear and tear on the body.All i can say is i had my fair share of injury from doing it especially during randori.Thankfully now in my Aikido training these type of extreme breakfalls are not done.

Regards
WJ
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Old 11-04-2011, 03:41 PM   #39
Lyle Laizure
 
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Re: high breakfalls?

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Do you know actually what a break-fall is? That might sound like a very insulting question but I believe the simplicity is lacking in most Aikidoka.
Regards.G.
A break fall is nothing more than an advanced way of rolling. If uke focuses on the forward roll the break fall takes care of itself. In other words, if a student can do a splendid forward roll he/she should be able to do a splendid breakfall.

Lyle Laizure
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Old 11-04-2011, 05:09 PM   #40
Janet Rosen
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Re: high breakfalls?

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Lyle Laizure wrote: View Post
A break fall is nothing more than an advanced way of rolling. If uke focuses on the forward roll the break fall takes care of itself. In other words, if a student can do a splendid forward roll he/she should be able to do a splendid breakfall.
Lyle, I would disagree in the sense of the body's landing position. A person could have splendid forward rolls but always roll up to kneeling or to standing.
To me the single most important thing of a breakfall, whether one arrives at it via a fall from a height, via jumping forward over one's arm, or via going straight back/down with legs flying up in front of one's body, is having practiced via sheer repetition the proper landing position.

Janet Rosen
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Old 11-04-2011, 11:19 PM   #41
Mario Tobias
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Re: high breakfalls?

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Lyle Laizure wrote: View Post
A break fall is nothing more than an advanced way of rolling. If uke focuses on the forward roll the break fall takes care of itself. In other words, if a student can do a splendid forward roll he/she should be able to do a splendid breakfall.
I think a breakfall is also a way of "letting go". Did you encounter some practices that breakfalls just came naturally and they werent intentional?
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Old 11-05-2011, 12:30 AM   #42
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Re: high breakfalls?

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Mario Tobias wrote: View Post
I think a breakfall is also a way of "letting go". Did you encounter some practices that breakfalls just came naturally and they werent intentional?
To me that's the point of practicing a variety of things - when I've needed it either in the dojo when thrown how/where/when I didn't expect AND on the street when a slip on an oil spot or similar mishap has occurred, my body is on autopilot for what this far has been the right fall for the situation. And they generally have been breakfall landings, not rollouts.

Janet Rosen
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Old 11-05-2011, 08:23 AM   #43
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Re: high breakfalls?

The last two times I have come off a horse were breakfall landings. One was a straight over backwards landing flat on my back and the other, I am told, was a pretty cool triple somersault with a twist before landing on my back. This was back before I started training in aikido so my mind was unable to be as in control and aware of things during the event and I don't remember the details. But they sure beat that one 14 years ago when I went straight up and then straight down and landed on my head. I still don't remember that landing...

Of all of the falls I have taken off of horses I would say that most were breakfalls. The one time I took a forward roll off my horse, went over his shoulder when he stumbled in some mud, I dislocated a shoulder.... actually come to think of it Iv'e done that twice. Dislocated the same shoulder both times. Landed on my feet the first time. I think I prefer the breakfall.
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Old 11-05-2011, 07:43 PM   #44
graham christian
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Re: high breakfalls?

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Lyle Laizure wrote: View Post
A break fall is nothing more than an advanced way of rolling. If uke focuses on the forward roll the break fall takes care of itself. In other words, if a student can do a splendid forward roll he/she should be able to do a splendid breakfall.
Not so. It's how to break a fall. Better to break a fall than break yourself. How to harmonize with the ground.

Let me ask you this, where would you find experts on break-falling?

It would be a place where people need to harmonize with the ground because falling is part of the job. So outside of Aikido you can find stuntmen, comedy actors from charlie chaplin to jackie chan, etc.

They all learn how to connect with the ground properly when falling, no form, basic rules of such. Form comes later and rolls are later on that list.

So a break-fall is how to land comfortably. Most landings from falls you can't roll from so most break-falls do not include rolling.

Regards.G.
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Old 11-05-2011, 10:03 PM   #45
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Re: high breakfalls?

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Not so. It's how to break a fall. Better to break a fall than break yourself. How to harmonize with the ground.

Let me ask you this, where would you find experts on break-falling?

It would be a place where people need to harmonize with the ground because falling is part of the job. So outside of Aikido you can find stuntmen, comedy actors from charlie chaplin to jackie chan, etc.

They all learn how to connect with the ground properly when falling, no form, basic rules of such. Form comes later and rolls are later on that list.

So a break-fall is how to land comfortably. Most landings from falls you can't roll from so most break-falls do not include rolling.

Regards.G.
I know a stunt man or two actually. While I haven't taken stunt "classes" from what my friend tells me it isn't all that much different from what we do in Aikido.

If one is performing a roll correctly they are connecting with the ground properly!

If it is a breakfall then no, you are not rolling. The alignment of the body however is identical with the exception of a backwards fall.

Lyle Laizure
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Old 11-05-2011, 10:04 PM   #46
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Re: high breakfalls?

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Not so. It's how to break a fall. Better to break a fall than break yourself. How to harmonize with the ground.

Let me ask you this, where would you find experts on break-falling?

It would be a place where people need to harmonize with the ground because falling is part of the job. So outside of Aikido you can find stuntmen, comedy actors from charlie chaplin to jackie chan, etc.

They all learn how to connect with the ground properly when falling, no form, basic rules of such. Form comes later and rolls are later on that list.

So a break-fall is how to land comfortably. Most landings from falls you can't roll from so most break-falls do not include rolling.

Regards.G.
I know a stunt man or two actually. While I haven't taken stunt "classes" from what my friend tells me it isn't all that much different from what we do in Aikido.

If one is performing a roll correctly they are connecting with the ground properly!

If it is a breakfall then no, you are not rolling. The alignment of the body however is identical with the exception of a backwards fall.

Either way repeated practice is the only way to prepare.

Lyle Laizure
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Old 11-05-2011, 10:05 PM   #47
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Re: high breakfalls?

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Mario Tobias wrote: View Post
I think a breakfall is also a way of "letting go". Did you encounter some practices that breakfalls just came naturally and they werent intentional?
Hello Mario, I'm not sure I understand your question.

Lyle Laizure
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Old 11-05-2011, 10:07 PM   #48
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Re: high breakfalls?

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Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
Lyle, I would disagree in the sense of the body's landing position. A person could have splendid forward rolls but always roll up to kneeling or to standing.
To me the single most important thing of a breakfall, whether one arrives at it via a fall from a height, via jumping forward over one's arm, or via going straight back/down with legs flying up in front of one's body, is having practiced via sheer repetition the proper landing position.
Janet, I agree that repetition is key. We will disagree perhaps on the method of repetition.

Lyle Laizure
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Old 11-05-2011, 11:20 PM   #49
kewms
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Re: high breakfalls?

Clown training is another place to look for falling skills. If you can find it -- film festivals are your best bet -- Circus Dreams is a good documentary about circus training generally, and particularly mental aspects like handling fear. http://circusdreams.net/index.html

Systema falling skills are worth a look, too. They talk about formlessness generally, and when falling in particular. Anywhere you hold tension is a place that's vulnerable to both acute and chronic injury. Their advanced training includes stuff like getting shoved backwards down flights of stairs...

Katherine
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Old 11-06-2011, 12:37 AM   #50
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Re: high breakfalls?

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Lyle Laizure wrote: View Post
Janet, I agree that repetition is key. We will disagree perhaps on the method of repetition.
Hi Lyle, being older, working sometimes with older beginners, and believing that fear and pain create bad body habits, I am a big fan of Ellis Amdur's approach per his DVD "Ukemi From The Ground Up" because it builds on a simple low impact approach with repetitions of things that can be done in a very relaxed way. The very tiny exposure I've had to Systema has also reinforced my focus on relaxation and simple movement.

Janet Rosen
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