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Old 01-25-2013, 02:20 PM   #1
Helmarocka
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Freaky! Ukemi problems

Hello, I'm a begginer at Aikido and currently ungraded, so i have a lot to learn, but recently i've had particular trouble with Forward and Backward Ukemi (i'm not sure of the correct names forgive me :L ) as whenever i lean foward on with my right arm foward when i go to roll my arm gives in and i faceplant the ground or the side of my back hits the mats, and i do the same thing with my backwards, i'm also left handed so i find performing ukemi fro this side unnatural (not to mention it hurts ) i'm not sure how to go about fixing this,could someone help me please??
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:47 PM   #2
Krystal Locke
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Re: Ukemi problems

What does sensei say? Are you trying for too much too soon?
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Old 01-25-2013, 03:13 PM   #3
Helmarocka
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Re: Ukemi problems

He says i need to practice them more so i'm not apprehensive about it, though that is probably part of it, but a lot of the techniques we use require the Uke to correctly breakfall so it's best if i get to a point where i'm not bruising my back every time i try it.
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Old 01-25-2013, 03:22 PM   #4
Dave de Vos
 
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Re: Ukemi problems

There are some nice videos on YouTube with good instructions that might help. Like this one:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kPmpJWOZpM the first part shows how to practise low forward rolls.

Last edited by Dave de Vos : 01-25-2013 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 01-25-2013, 03:32 PM   #5
Helmarocka
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Re: Ukemi problems

Thanks for the link i'll check it out later when i can get to a computer with flash.
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Old 01-25-2013, 03:42 PM   #6
Conrad Gus
 
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Re: Ukemi problems

Quote:
Gabriel Walton wrote: View Post
Hello, I'm a begginer at Aikido and currently ungraded, so i have a lot to learn, but recently i've had particular trouble with Forward and Backward Ukemi (i'm not sure of the correct names forgive me :L ) as whenever i lean foward on with my right arm foward when i go to roll my arm gives in and i faceplant the ground or the side of my back hits the mats, and i do the same thing with my backwards, i'm also left handed so i find performing ukemi fro this side unnatural (not to mention it hurts ) i'm not sure how to go about fixing this,could someone help me please??
Gabriel,

If you're putting a lot of weight on your arm, such that it is collapsing under you, you're not ready to roll from standing. Practice rolling from a kneeling position, tucking your head and arm and connecting with your arm and shoulder together. Then make sure you go over the top (legs up, not to the side). The arm shouldn't have to do a lot of work.

I'm a fan of having beginners doing this from a kneeling position before rolling from a standing position.

I can't seem to visualize how you manage to mess up a backward ukemi in the same way, as there is no point in backward ukemi where your weight could go onto your arm.

Hope that helps a bit. If not, just ignore!

Cheers,

Conrad
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Old 01-25-2013, 04:21 PM   #7
ChrisHein
 
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Re: Ukemi problems

It sounds to me like you need to push off more and go down less. Lot's of times beginners think of falling straight to the ground. This can cause your forward arm to "give". Instead of thinking of falling down, push yourself out- forward. This will make your downward progression smoother, as you can distribute the weight as you fall. Remember rolling is about rolling forward or backward, not about dropping straight down. If you throw a wheel straight down, you might damage the wheel, but if you throw it forward, it will start rolling the second it comes into contact with the ground, making the transition smoother.

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Old 01-25-2013, 04:35 PM   #8
Belt_Up
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Re: Ukemi problems

Welcome to aikido! :-D

Quote:
whenever i lean foward on with my right arm foward when i go to roll my arm gives in and i faceplant the ground or the side of my back hits the mats,
You'll be glad to know this is a fairly common starting problem. I went through this, and it's not difficult to overcome. I second Chris Hein's post strongly; your ukemi is a level change, it is still mostly horizontal movement, not vertical. Your arm is there as a guide, not to rest your full weight on.
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:45 PM   #9
odudog
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Re: Ukemi problems

You need to stiffen your arm but just a little. If the arm is too relaxed, it can't carry your body weight and you fall on your face.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:21 PM   #10
ronin_10562
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Re: Ukemi problems

I like Chris Hein 's explanation and to that I would add don't reach to far forward with your right hand. The placing of your hand depends on your forward momentum, the slower you are moving the hand is placed closer to your foot.
I am assuming the second fall is a back fall in which both hands are placed on the mat and you flip over your head and arch your back while slapping with your arms and feet. The only suggestion I have for that is to tuck your chin to your chest use your arms to maintain a straight direction with out supporting your weight. Use your legs to project only your hips over your head.

Good luck

Walter Kopitov
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:32 PM   #11
ronin_10562
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Re: Ukemi problems

Moderators delete this if it is offensive.

I have serious concerns about an instructor who says practice more without giving proper guidance. There is a possibility of serious injury in any break fall if not done correctly and telling a student to figure it out on your own in my opinion is gross negligence.
In one of the old Aikido Journal there was a break down on serious injuries in Aikido in Japan. Some were the result of repeatedly falling poorly. The students suffered from headaches to paralysis to death.

Teachers should never just tell students they need more practice with out giving corrections or telling them to stop completely if a student may hurt themselves.

Walter Kopitov
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:39 PM   #12
Janet Rosen
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Re: Ukemi problems

Walter, I agree with you. Practicing over and over without specific guidance, even if injury is avoided, only adds to tension and fear. And many newbies do end up with shoulder separations (AC joint at top of shoulder) from landing on it.
There is another recent thread talking about alternate paths to rolling and citing Ellis Amdur's method - worth searching for. His DVD is well worth the price.

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:24 AM   #13
Helmarocka
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Re: Ukemi problems

Hi all,

Thanks for all your advice and help i'll try to implement them at my next session, thanks alot
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Old 01-26-2013, 01:32 AM   #14
robin_jet_alt
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Re: Ukemi problems

Quote:
Mike Braxton wrote: View Post
You need to stiffen your arm but just a little. If the arm is too relaxed, it can't carry your body weight and you fall on your face.
Not this.

Quote:
ChrisHein wrote:
It sounds to me like you need to push off more and go down less. Lot's of times beginners think of falling straight to the ground. This can cause your forward arm to "give". Instead of thinking of falling down, push yourself out- forward. This will make your downward progression smoother, as you can distribute the weight as you fall. Remember rolling is about rolling forward or backward, not about dropping straight down. If you throw a wheel straight down, you might damage the wheel, but if you throw it forward, it will start rolling the second it comes into contact with the ground, making the transition smoother.
Not this either. While I agree that you need less down and more forward, pushing off does not fix inherent structural issues, and often leads to them not being rectified in the long term.

When it comes to rolls and break falls, I find the methods in the following videos to be helpful. Firstly, try the rolling method in this vid:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=Tnv4-83HmgI

This is how I teach rolling these days, and I like to do it as slowly as possible, without kicking off. Just allow your weight to come forward until you go over naturally. Daniel demonstrates this well in the video. When you move on to standing, try to get the same feeling, so that you bend your legs to get close to the mat and don't kick off. Notice that you will roll at an angle, not straight ahead. Let this happen. It is more natural.

The next video is more to do with break falls than rolls, but I really like the approach:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMpBpM38TMg

Just make sure you don't try to do it all at once, and get comfortable with the early exercises before you move on. The first exercise where he rolls in a circle is very good for getting comfortable with touching the mat. Also, the exercise where he flips off someone's back is easier when you use a soft(ish) object like a big punching bag. My wife still doesn't have the courage to do a standing forward roll, but she is happy to do a flip off a punching bag. It is surprisingly easy.

Anyway, don't try to jump into it. Try to relax and get comfortable with touching the mat. Start low and slow and build up from there.
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Old 01-26-2013, 04:07 AM   #15
Belt_Up
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Re: Ukemi problems

Quote:
Walter Kopitov wrote: View Post
Moderators delete this if it is offensive.

I have serious concerns about an instructor who says practice more without giving proper guidance. There is a possibility of serious injury in any break fall if not done correctly and telling a student to figure it out on your own in my opinion is gross negligence.
In one of the old Aikido Journal there was a break down on serious injuries in Aikido in Japan. Some were the result of repeatedly falling poorly. The students suffered from headaches to paralysis to death.

Teachers should never just tell students they need more practice with out giving corrections or telling them to stop completely if a student may hurt themselves.
Assuming a little too much, I feel. He's been told he needs to practise more, which he does. Nothing there to indicate he's been told that and left to get on with it and injure himself.

The article in AJ, IIRC, talked about deaths due to excessive training as a kind of hazing, not poor ukemi.
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:15 PM   #16
ronin_10562
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Re: Ukemi problems

In the article in Aikido Journal , yes some were due to hazing but not all. Some were due to repetitive bad ukemi.

Walter Kopitov
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:27 AM   #17
Mario Tobias
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Re: Ukemi problems

The faceplant is happening because the arm is collapsing from the elbow.

The solution to this is to apply the "unbendable arm" technique.

It's not stiff nor too relaxed either. it's just firm and relaxed but the arm shouldn't collapse from the elbow when it hits the mat.

The arm shouldn't also be too straight, just following the normal curve of the arm.

This normal curve would then act as a "wheel", the side of the pinky finger or tegatana would hit the mat first, then the side of the forearm, then the elbow, and so on until the shoulder in a wheel-like motion. You are doing correct ukemi if there is no part of the arm that hasn't touched the mat.

if you faceplant and you're elbows give way then you are not using your arm like a wheel much more like a pick.

if your back is hitting the mat, then most likely you are jumping. you need to contact the mat with your pinky or tegatana first otherwise you will be too high and start jumping.

Last edited by Mario Tobias : 01-27-2013 at 02:40 AM.
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:05 AM   #18
Walter Martindale
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Re: Ukemi problems

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
Walter, I agree with you. Practicing over and over without specific guidance, even if injury is avoided, only adds to tension and fear. And many newbies do end up with shoulder separations (AC joint at top of shoulder) from landing on it.
There is another recent thread talking about alternate paths to rolling and citing Ellis Amdur's method - worth searching for. His DVD is well worth the price.
Yes... Practice makes permanent. "perfect" practice makes "perfect", permanently..
A bit of an exaggeration but the school of hard knocks has a high failure rate.
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Old 01-27-2013, 03:44 PM   #19
lbb
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Re: Ukemi problems

It's the Anna Karenina principle: all good forward rolls are the same, but each bad forward roll is bad in its own way

For those who don't get the literary allusion, please, take the time to look it up before you jump all over this. The point is that there are many things that can be wrong with a roll (and in giving advice, people tend to focus on what was wrong with their rolls as being The Key for everyone else's forward rolls), and they all have to come right for the roll to be good.
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Old 01-28-2013, 02:17 AM   #20
Helmarocka
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Re: Ukemi problems

Quote:
Mario Tobias wrote: View Post
The faceplant is happening because the arm is collapsing from the elbow.

The solution to this is to apply the "unbendable arm" technique.

It's not stiff nor too relaxed either. it's just firm and relaxed but the arm shouldn't collapse from the elbow when it hits the mat.

The arm shouldn't also be too straight, just following the normal curve of the arm.

This normal curve would then act as a "wheel", the side of the pinky finger or tegatana would hit the mat first, then the side of the forearm, then the elbow, and so on until the shoulder in a wheel-like motion. You are doing correct ukemi if there is no part of the arm that hasn't touched the mat.

if you faceplant and you're elbows give way then you are not using your arm like a wheel much more like a pick.

if your back is hitting the mat, then most likely you are jumping. you need to contact the mat with your pinky or tegatana first otherwise you will be too high and start jumping.
Hi all, thanks for the advice, this might sound silly, but ho9w do I do the unvendable arm technique, we've talked about it in session but i'm not sure i get it
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:08 AM   #21
Janet Rosen
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Re: Ukemi problems

Quote:
Gabriel Walton wrote: View Post
Hi all, thanks for the advice, this might sound silly, but ho9w do I do the unvendable arm technique, we've talked about it in session but i'm not sure i get it
This is why some folks advise learning to roll by starting with the shoulder or upper back on the mat...it can be pretty hard to to do something (a roll) if it is fully based on a skill one doesn't have the ability to do (unbendable arm)

Janet Rosen
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:31 AM   #22
Belt_Up
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Re: Ukemi problems

I second Janet's suggestion. Start on one knee, and roll from there. Progress to standing afterwards.
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Old 01-28-2013, 02:41 PM   #23
sakumeikan
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Re: Ukemi problems

Quote:
Gabriel Walton wrote: View Post
Hi all, thanks for the advice, this might sound silly, but ho9w do I do the unvendable arm technique, we've talked about it in session but i'm not sure i get it
Gabriel,
Just form both arms into a circular shape /manner.Like holding a ball between your arms., Tuck your chin in and have some confidence in you actions.Use your imagination to activate a positive response.Dont get too caught up in the unbendable arm.As long as you do not break/dislocate your shoulderscollar bone/bang you head /or damage your tail bone I guess you will survive.Cheers, Joe.
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Old 01-28-2013, 03:12 PM   #24
Janet Rosen
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Re: Ukemi problems

Quote:
Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Gabriel,
Just form both arms into a circular shape /manner.Like holding a ball between your arms., Tuck your chin in and have some confidence in you actions.Use your imagination to activate a positive response.Dont get too caught up in the unbendable arm.As long as you do not break/dislocate your shoulderscollar bone/bang you head /or damage your tail bone I guess you will survive.Cheers, Joe.
Too many of us HAVE had shoulder separations and had to deal with the chronic repercussions or have seen newbies not come back after incurring shoulder separations for me to endorse this, Joe

Janet Rosen
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:24 PM   #25
robin_jet_alt
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Re: Ukemi problems

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
Too many of us HAVE had shoulder separations and had to deal with the chronic repercussions or have seen newbies not come back after incurring shoulder separations for me to endorse this, Joe
I agree. Please look at the first video I posted a link to. Once you have mastered those rolls, then start thinking about the more advanced ones.
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