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Old 01-14-2005, 04:58 PM   #1
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"Ukemi From the Ground Up" DVD by Ellis Amdur

Posted 2005-01-14 16:54:28 by
News URL: http://www.ellisamdur.com/ukemidvd.htm

"Ukemi From the Ground Up", a DVD on learning ukemi by Ellis Amdur, has just been released. The description of the DVD states, "This DVD offers a step-by-step procedure to learn and/or instruct safe aikido ukemi. Whether entirely new to the art, or desiring to retool one's skills, the methods here will enable any reasonably fit practitioner to be able to take falls in aikido (and other similar arms-length grappling systems) safely. The methods here are definitely not merely to assist in learning how to collude with the person executing the technique these methods enable one to be prepared and able to gracefully manage both the malevolent and the inept as well as skilled practitioner executing ordinary technique." The DVD is also now in the reviews section of this website here.
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Old 01-17-2005, 09:20 PM   #2
Bronson
 
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Re: "Ukemi From the Ground Up" DVD by Ellis Amdur

Anyone know the run-time for the DVD?

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 01-18-2005, 12:28 AM   #3
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Re: "Ukemi From the Ground Up" DVD by Ellis Amdur

having taken his workshop on ukemi at the Aiki Expo, I expect this will be a worthwhile addition to one's video library.

I didn't agree with everything he said but it is certainly worth discussion.
Like his argument about sitting down on your butt like they do in systema rather than tucking the knee like many are taught in aikido.

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Old 01-18-2005, 05:57 AM   #4
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Re: "Ukemi From the Ground Up" DVD by Ellis Amdur

Quote:
Craig Hocker wrote:
having taken his workshop on ukemi at the Aiki Expo, I expect this will be a worthwhile addition to one's video library.

I didn't agree with everything he said but it is certainly worth discussion.
Like his argument about sitting down on your butt like they do in systema rather than tucking the knee like many are taught in aikido.
Craig,

What did he say about this?

Cheers

D
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Old 01-18-2005, 03:56 PM   #5
Don_Modesto
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Re: "Ukemi From the Ground Up" DVD by Ellis Amdur

Me, too: 1) I think it'll be a good investment judging by his seminars and, 2) I'd like to know the runtime.

Quote:
Craig Hocker wrote:
....sitting down on your butt like they do in systema rather than tucking the knee like many are taught in aikido.
I do this in my own UKEMI, but found myself teaching the leg-behind-leg method in my classes. Finding students frequently tucking the wrong leg (and thus endangering their arms unnecesarily in SHIHO NAGE, e.g.), I've come around to teaching them directly to drop to butt.

What do you do, Craig?

Don J. Modesto
St. Petersburg, Florida
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Old 02-01-2005, 03:19 PM   #6
Ellis Amdur
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Re: "Ukemi From the Ground Up" DVD by Ellis Amdur

The run time is approximately 80 minutes.

Best

Ellis

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Old 02-01-2005, 05:22 PM   #7
kironin
 
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Re: "Ukemi From the Ground Up" DVD by Ellis Amdur

Quote:
Don J. Modesto wrote:

I do this in my own UKEMI, but found myself teaching the leg-behind-leg method in my classes. Finding students frequently tucking the wrong leg (and thus endangering their arms unnecesarily in SHIHO NAGE, e.g.), I've come around to teaching them directly to drop to butt.

What do you do, Craig?

Actually, after watching the video last night (just got it yesterday), I saw something a little different from what I remember from Aiki-Expo. Either Ellis Amdur changed it a bit or my poor brain just overloaded from the expo and confused memories.

what he shows on the tapes is different than what the Systema guys teach. In the Systema the back roll exercise is to squat and then sit down at the heels on your butt and roll back and then back up.

What Ellis is doing is shifting one foot back and sitting on the heel of the foot almost and rolling back. I noticed his foot shifted closer to a more conventional postion when coming back up.


What I do is what Ellis rails against, I tuck the foot as I was trained to do. I think the arguement he puts forth makes a lot of sense if you are going very slow. I think it's a highly debatable point if going full speed. It makes more sense if you are in a dojo where shihonage breakfalls are acceptable and there is no trust between students. I am sure this happens in some Aikikai dojos. Certainly this is a big concern of his given his experiences.

however, twisting someone into a breakfall from shihonage is completely unacceptable in Ki Society. This would absolutely get you chewed out.
We only do shihonage that lands them on their butt. It can be very quickly on their butt, but the whole proactive assumption of going forward until the last possible moment and then sitting on you butt arguement is pretty much moot. There is too much collusion in some of the most dramatic throws like shihonage breakfalls for my taste. For me shihonage is about taking their balance from the beginning and dropping them on their butt, never torquing the arm/should joint. It's about getting really good at leading them down by returning the hand to the shoulder where everything is really safe but they can't stand up. It's not really aikido if uke has to be trained well to keep their shoulder in the socket and their neck intact. The awareness he argues for here really is assuming the worst behavior - basically what can happen in dysfunctional dojos.

I do think his point of always be trying to face your opponent is pretty adaptable and something I actually have always been telling my students to do this. Some of the points he makes are pretty obvious but obviously need to be repeated.

I see of the things he rants against as being more Aikikai issues than general Aikido issues. I agree with his comments about the problem that ukemi sometimes is more about acrobatics than function. I think the most effective technique often results in some of the least interesting ukemi.

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Old 02-01-2005, 06:01 PM   #8
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Re: "Ukemi From the Ground Up" DVD by Ellis Amdur

Thanks for the detailed response. I agree and disagree on the same points, i.e., "on the one hand ---, but on the other hand ---":

Quote:
Craig Hocker wrote:
....I think the arguement [Ellis] puts forth makes a lot of sense if you are going very slow. I think it's a highly debatable point if going full speed. It makes more sense if you are in a dojo where shihonage breakfalls are acceptable and there is no trust between students…. It's not really aikido if uke has to be trained well to keep their shoulder in the socket and their neck intact. The awareness he argues for here really is assuming the worst behavior - basically what can happen in dysfunctional dojos.
Yes. Dojo ought to be safe. But it's certainly useful to be prepared for miscreants.

Also, many dojo train with the arm lockout as standard and those folks' UKEMI is quite responsive. It's good training even if riskier. I teach taking SHIHO NAGE to the shoulder for my beginners, but I also teach them to fly so they can when someone is not so nice or not so conscious (I used to do the lockout myself without even realizing the danger I was putting people in).

Take care.

Don J. Modesto
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Old 02-01-2005, 10:05 PM   #9
Ellis Amdur
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Re: "Ukemi From the Ground Up" DVD by Ellis Amdur

Craig -

The squat you refer to is the first level practice to teach pure falls backwards. Given, however, that most aikido throws are "asymetrical," working one arm, and given that to accomplish any counter, we have to turn to the nage, the next "level" is to step back (and turn towards nage) with one foot.

Best

Ellis

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Old 02-02-2005, 05:20 AM   #10
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: "Ukemi From the Ground Up" DVD by Ellis Amdur

Quote:
Craig Hocker wrote:
In the Systema the back roll exercise is to squat and then sit down at the heels on your butt and roll back and then back up.

What Ellis is doing is shifting one foot back and sitting on the heel of the foot almost and rolling back. I noticed his foot shifted closer to a more conventional postion when coming back up.
I do these two both, depending on the throw and where my feet are at the moment. We don't throw into breakfalls from shihonage, so that's not the reason for me. I just find that tucking one leg gives my balance away too soon, leaves me less control of my movement, takes more time, and stresses my knees more in a twisting sort of way.

kvaak
Pauliina
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Old 02-02-2005, 08:04 AM   #11
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Re: "Ukemi From the Ground Up" DVD by Ellis Amdur

Quote:
It's not really aikido if uke has to be trained well to keep their shoulder in the socket and their neck intact. The awareness he argues for here really is assuming the worst behavior - basically what can happen in dysfunctional dojos.
I have to agree with Don here...What one person sees as jujutsu, another may very well see as 'good aikido'. For instance, in the yoshinkan, shihonage kuzushi is standard (shiho with the arm straight) and not a symptom of bad behavior at all. Now, if I insisted on doing that throw in a ki society dojo while knowing better, you might be able to accuse me of malice...but otherwise...

The straight arm shiho is standard in daito ryu practice as well. It may not be someone else'
s cup of tea, but I certainly like it What scares the bejeasus out of me is the high fall with the arm folded...I just never learned it while in the aikikai, and in yosh, if the arm is folded, we throw for a pin and koho ukemi, typically. I've actually done the high fall with the arm folded once or twice when my shite was good enough and I had a high level of trust, and felt that my body could do it. Still don't like it, and probably wouldn't do it unless absolutely necessary. Ellis has a rather scary story on rec.martial-arts about that...I won't mention the 'name' invovled...

Ron

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Old 02-02-2005, 10:31 AM   #12
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Re: "Ukemi From the Ground Up" DVD by Ellis Amdur

Quote:
Don J. Modesto wrote:
(I used to do the lockout myself without even realizing the danger I was putting people in).
IMO you have to keep all the techniques in perspective! Every time we walk onto the mat holds the potential for danger. However, due to the AIKIDO lessons learned...you realized that.

The way "straight arm shihonage" was explained to me is when you attempt to apply a shihonage (arm folded to the shoulder) and you are "late" in getting there or uke is too strong and may be able to counter (usually from shite being "late" in getting there!). You proceed to the next possible application and that COULD be the straight arm, in-between a shihonage and a kotegaeshi that is mentioned.

Either way Nage has to feel uke throughout the throw and lead them properly.

I also agree with Ron in that the high falls from folded arm shihonage worry me more than flipping out of a straight arm shihonage.

I have not seen the DVD but it sounds like the ukemi described is similar to the system used in Yoshinkan as well.

Cheers

Charles Burmeister
Aikido Yoshinkan Yoseikai

"Calmness is trust in action"
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Old 02-02-2005, 11:15 AM   #13
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Re: "Ukemi From the Ground Up" DVD by Ellis Amdur

Quote:
I have not seen the DVD but it sounds like the ukemi described is similar to the system used in Yoshinkan as well.
From participating in one of Ellis's seminars, I'd say there are some remarkable similarities, as well as some differences. I will say this...from the work we did at the seminar I was able to go back to my yoshinkan school with some questions about my ukemi, and the answers I got finally stopped me bashing my shoulders into the mat periodically. My safety when taking ukemi went up a LOT after Ellis's seminar. And I don't necessarily agree with the entire perspective, but it really highlighted some of my personal weaknesses (and some interesting problems with certain approaches to aikido that I had taken for granted).

Ron

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Old 03-01-2012, 02:12 PM   #14
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Re: "Ukemi From the Ground Up" DVD by Ellis Amdur

NecroBump!

I recently got a chance to view this DVD (thanks Jeremy) and wanted to say how much I enjoyed it. I've started playing with some of the drills and concepts with some of our newer students and am hopeful that it will help them get over getting over.

I too have always taught the stepping-back back fall/roll, but have been using the disclaimer, "I don't actually do it this way, I just sit down" for almost a decade. Ah, validation.

I don't think you have to agree with 100% of what's on the video to find a LOT that you can use, well worth the price, so check it out.

Finally, since this thread is 7 years old now (OMG we're getting old), Ellis, is there anything you'd do differently now or is this still basically how you're approaching ukemi?

Chris Moses
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Old 03-01-2012, 06:46 PM   #15
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Re: "Ukemi From the Ground Up" DVD by Ellis Amdur

Chris - wow, has it been seven years!

You ask is there "anything I would do differently?" I'm amazed how complex a question that turns out to be.

1. I set out to teach a class/do a video which paid absolute respect to modern aikido. I respect modern aikido, as practiced by mainstream organizations, on it's own terms. Despite my own passionate interest in internal strength training, I have no concerns whatsoever if aikido changes/revives/recovers the (alleged) paradigm and skills of Ueshiba Morihei. To use a really crude metaphor, the impetus for the development of the boxing hook, that consummate punch, was the elimination of the grappling (cross-buttock throws, etc) from boxing itself. No one thought to refine round-house punches when experience had taught everyone that if they didn't connect, one would end up thrown onto the mat. So what I'm saying is that along with what I believe is a significant loss of a body of knowledge, modern aikido has provoked other developments. So, on that basis, I wanted to adapt my understanding of judo/sumo ukemi into my understanding of aikido in such a way that people could train more safely and more powerfully within aikido. On that basis, I wouldn't change anything.
2. How about if one adds the internal strength paradigm. This answer, also, is difficult for me. First of all, almost all of my studies of IS are outside the aikido paradigm AND most of the ways I apply what I learn are also outside (in Araki-ryu, and Toda-ha Buko-ryu). However, IF a) my skills in IS continue to improve quite a bit above their present level AND b) I had a sense of mission to make an Amdur-based revision of aikido centered on the IS paradigm, I think my interpretation of ukemi would be radically different.

As it stands now, I think the best general DVD on aikido ukemi is that of Bruce Bookman's, reviewed in the "video" review (he has reissued it on DVD). Bruce's applications are more classical - may, in my opinion, leave the injured, less athletic, those purely survival minded with less tools than they perhaps need. I believe that my DVD is the best DVD anywhere to teach one how to survive on the mat - it isn't pretty, but it will do the job in keeping most people safe. And for most aikidoka, that is requisite as a first step.

Anyway, back to your question. Maybe it'll be something to ask again in about five years.

Ellis

Best
Ellis

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Old 03-02-2012, 10:48 AM   #16
Dan Rubin
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Re: "Ukemi From the Ground Up" DVD by Ellis Amdur

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
I respect modern aikido, as practiced by mainstream organizations, on it's own terms. Despite my own passionate interest in internal strength training, I have no concerns whatsoever if aikido changes/revives/recovers the (alleged) paradigm and skills of Ueshiba Morihei.
Thank you, Ellis.
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Old 03-02-2012, 12:35 PM   #17
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Re: "Ukemi From the Ground Up" DVD by Ellis Amdur

Played with this last night with some newer students and I was VERY pleased with the progress that they all made.

In particular we worked a lot on positioning and the slither-over-the-horse exercises. The partner drill slithering over is simply brilliant. It gives the student a very safe controlled environment to start building the movement chains that they will need as things go faster. It also really helps teach the proper relaxation needed for ukemi. If your back is stiff and tight, you will not be able to slither over and control your decent. But you can't be relaxed from head to toe, your arms do quite a bit of work, as do the muscles in the legs as they lead the legs up and over the body (rather than getting dragged around in a flat circle). It also really drives home how critical the movement and intention of the head is. We actually were able to do koshinage falls with some of our newer folks immediately after working on this drill and the difference was amazing.

Thanks again, I'll check back in five years.

Chris Moses
TNBBC, "Putting the ME in MEdiocre!"
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Old 03-02-2012, 12:52 PM   #18
Ellis Amdur
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Re: "Ukemi From the Ground Up" DVD by Ellis Amdur

Chris - Thank you! Your report of your work with the new students is exactly why I made the DVD.

Ellis

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Old 03-02-2012, 03:08 PM   #19
BWells
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Re: "Ukemi From the Ground Up" DVD by Ellis Amdur

Ellis, just to let you know, here at ADV we are still using the DVD. After being your horse in the DVD I felt obligated to use the approach including the horse

Thanks
Bruce
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