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Old 04-09-2012, 01:37 PM   #26
Basia Halliop
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 711
Canada
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Re: Should obese aikidoka do break falls?

I'm not convinced that the slapping hand really is taking most of the impact, even when it's the first thing that makes contact and even when it feels like it's taking a lot of impact. I just think given the forces involved (gravity to start with, let alone additional the additional force of a throw), we would be seeing far more hand and arm injuries if that were the case, and many serious ones.

I slipped once skating as a teenager and put out my hand to stop myself -- immediate broken wrist. And I was going very slowly (basically stopped, stepped onto the snow at the side of the pond, didn't realize there was ice under the snow) and there was no force other than gravity. Sure a different angle would have made a difference, but that's just a lot of force for the small bones of the hand to take in a direct impact.

Personally, it feels and looks to me as if proper body position (and change of position throughout a breakfall) allows the body to be (comparatively) very gradually decelerated without putting large forces on any part of the body... I.e., either more like an 'elastic' collision, with significant deformation of the 'object', or with transformation of the linear momentum into rotation. Certainly friction is a part too...

I suspect that's what slapping with the arm actually does... allows the whole body to act more like a spring and change shape over the course of the fall

I know that I rarely feel like there's a lot of impact on my body when I fall... not sure what precisely is happening, though.
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Old 04-09-2012, 01:53 PM   #27
jackie adams
Location: CA
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Re: Should obese aikidoka do break falls?

My apologies, I hope everyone's day is a pleasant one. I would like to continue.

As I see it there is no elevated risk to obese students over other students. You gauge their activity based on what they can physical do. You don't have new students taking hard ukemi on day one. Students not dealing with obesity will of course progress faster in taking ukemi. Body fat does limit physical activity, it also cushions the body. Very thin people with low body fat are at a higher risk of injuring a bone if the fall incorrectly.

People with body fat do have padding in places muscles don't protect. As far as people at risk of heart attack, thin people get heart attacks too. Some months ago, a well known runner died of a heart attack while running. If genetics control your cholesterol and blood pressure, and a clot breaks lose from taking a fall, you are in trouble, fat or not. Or if that artery is clogged, and you didn't properly hydrate, fat or not your in trouble.

Obesity is "a" contributing factor. Not the only one. If I had my druthers being fat or genetics, I wouldn't want both, I would take Obesity to a point. Obesity does cause other serious health issues, and does increase the risk. Unlike genetics, obesity can be better managed. You can't, yet, change your genetics.

Aikido can also start or be a part of a person weight loss program. To overly caution obese people against Aikido may be taking an opportunity away from them.

Thank you to everyone who provides me the opportunity to express myself here. Good health to all.
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Old 04-09-2012, 05:16 PM   #28
Chuck Clark
 
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Dojo: Jiyushinkan
Location: Monroe, Washington
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Re: Should obese aikidoka do break falls?

FWIW... I've been falling in judo, and other martial practices since I was six years old and that adds up to 59 years now. I've started 17 dojo in different parts of the globe, one of 'em without mats of any kind where we fell on a wooden floor that gave just a bit. I've never used thick spongy mats because in my view I've never liked falling on them in other people's dojo. They don't give you a chance to distribute the weight properly when they're that soft. I've use regular sport tatami on concrete, hardwood floors, or sprung floors for many years since they were invented in the early sixties. The first time I was on them was in the Budokan and Kodokan a couple of years after they appeared in the Olympics for judo. I've also built three really nice mats out of compressed sawdust enclosed in a heavy plastic bladder in a four inch frame with a layer of half inch foam on top of that with a stretched heavy canvas cover that was custom made. Paint the canvas (tatami greyish green is best in my view). Let it dry, which stretches the canvas, and then sand it lightly without cutting into the canvas and it's a fine mat.

Many people think soft mats make better falls... not true. I've seen many injuries that were attributable to soft mats over the years. Probably more happened but weren't understood to be because of the soft mats. Firm mats that absorb shock well and distribute it safely are the best. Tatami or sport tatami on a floating sprung floor that just barely gives when you jump up and down are the best in my opinion.

These types of mats have served me and my dojo well over the years without any reported injuries or conditions attributed to the mats.

Regards,

Chuck Clark
Jiyushinkai Aikibudo
www.jiyushinkai.org
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Old 04-09-2012, 06:59 PM   #29
Lyle Laizure
 
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Dojo: Hinode Dojo LLC
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Re: Should obese aikidoka do break falls?

Too much to read, though what I have read is interesting.

My opinion. Breakfalls, the flipping kind, should be done in moderation and should be built up to regarldess of the practitioners weight. I have been taking those breakfalls for some time now and have had no ill effect. And I am almost 500lbs.

Lyle Laizure
www.hinodedojo.com
Deru kugi wa uta reru
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:39 AM   #30
G Sinclair
 
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Dojo: Bushikan Aikido
Location: New England
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Re: Should obese aikidoka do break falls?

Whoops, didn’t mean to create a controversy, just trying to help. People ask me all the time what the secret to my ukemi is. Thought I would share it on a broader scale.

Good luck and keep rolling!

Last edited by G Sinclair : 04-10-2012 at 03:51 AM. Reason: Forgot the closing

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Old 04-10-2012, 08:25 AM   #31
Basia Halliop
Join Date: Jun 2006
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Re: Should obese aikidoka do break falls?

My own personal experience is that it's the practice of learning to fall that's harder on the body... when you 'sort of' know how to fall, enough to be willing and able to try, but are still not using the body effectively and consistently enough to make the landing reliably soft.
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