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Old 10-31-2014, 09:12 AM   #26
lifestylemanoz
Dojo: Aikido Kobukai
Location: Perth
Join Date: Feb 2014
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Re: Ukemi 101

Just watched some of your videos Janet. I appreciate some of the methods of practice for side breakfalls could be handy for beginners.

But if you're going to demonstrate what is essentially a judo fall then you should also focus on having the other shoulder come around so you essentially finish on your side and not on your back. That is continue with your shoulder coming around in the movements.

Many students when practicing side flat fall backwards into the movement causing a whiplash effect on the spine. Good side ukemi involves falling FORWARD into the side flat. In this way we have a slap and a foot on the floor before our hip lands with head tucked.

When I first started learning side flats, we started from a crouch position and slid one foot across our body and picked a spot on the mat in front to slap. Also, for hashi ukemi, we practice a headstand and kick our feet over to land on toes so as not to have our hips land on the floor.

When you do get a good sweep, you are required to fall pretty much directly down, so it essential to to make contact with the hand on the mat with a slap, before your hip gets there. Essentially the slap is to take off momentum from the fall.

Also, when you are doing your circular movement you have a massive flat spot in your back. Practice rocking backwards and forwards like a rocking chair keeping an arch in your back or again your faced with whiplash in the neck area and its hard to keep you neck tucked and control the momentum.

Crap, I just watched more of your videos and well, ....ummmm. Please check out something like Donovan Waite, meeting the mat or something like that.

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Old 11-01-2014, 07:40 PM   #27
Janet Rosen
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Re: Ukemi 101

Thank you for your feedback on how my rolls and falls look; it is appreciated.
You do not seem to be aware of the purpose of the videos. They are for the older people attending my classes who have no interest in martial arts but want to learn how to survive the falls they are already having. My own falls and rolls do not look like this. After they have had a couple of classes, and have built up trust in what we are doing, I do demonstrate proper aikido rolls and breakfalls and explain WHY they are not being taught those.

I have watched Donovan Waite Sensei videos and taken a seminar on ukemi with him. I also have DVD on, and prefer, Ellis Amdur's ukemi methods as I think they are more practical for everyday beginners.

My latest series included older people with severe arthritis and other issues. An gentleman with joint replacements and severe peripheral neuropathy of his feet came to tell me that within two weeks of our last class he erred and took a shortcut across a narrow area of larger-than-he-realized rocks and lost his footing. He registered he was falling, he remembered to exhale and relax and the next thing he knew he was on his back on the sidewalk, having executed a simple to learn roll and not touching the rocks at all.

I know what I am teaching is not pretty. It is meant to quickly build "muscle memory" to reduce injury in otherwise untrained people. I am purposely NOT teaching hand slap, but hand/forearm contact in order to avoid the common wrist fractures untrained people sustain when reaching with a hand improperly. We are not sweeping. We are not jumping. We are not even worried about how we get up. We are falling on the street and trying to avoid bone breaks.

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 11-02-2014, 01:21 AM   #28
lifestylemanoz
Dojo: Aikido Kobukai
Location: Perth
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Re: Ukemi 101

Very cool. I think the success lies in the fact that if someone loses their balance and can turn in to a rag doll they have a better chance of collapsing on the spot and doing less damage. The problem with falls is the whoops factor (a bit like a foot sweep in Aikido) and the inevitable head whip. So there is definitely merit in what you are doing as you are essentially teaching them to sit down on their butt. I have often explained this to new students who are faced with a back fall and I literally fall like a rag doll, plop my butt on my feet and fall back to help them "de-tense" their bodies.

Good luck with your class.

PS. On the unbendable arm for forward roll it definitely should not be taught to beginners as like fine wine should be an acquired taste, something that comes out naturally in time. We can def agree on that. I do have a couple of people who train who still have a dangerous bend in the arm when falling and I remind them to shove the arm through to keep it safe. I do remember seeing a Japanese sensei demonstrating a forward roll with the arm in a sort of Ballet style, so he didn't use the outside of the arm and used a sort of cupping motion as he roll. His explanation was the for the same reason of not hurting the arm.

PPS. I'm not a fan of using balls and the like. People tend to end up falling on their hips. But I guess if youre faced with no other alternative or its easier for older people then I will keep it in mind. I can't imagine learn to fall without the fun of training Aikido. How do you get them motivated to practice over and over?

PPPS. You will be pleased to hear that your videos actually have inspired a new thought for falling practice. I always enjoy new methods of falling (I started yoseikan which has much break falling) and now enjoy practicing feather falling as well, but I am going to use something you did in your side to side rolling with foot swap (side fall) in class to help people with difficulty getting the Judo style fall down. So thank you...

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Old 11-02-2014, 01:08 PM   #29
Janet Rosen
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Re: Ukemi 101

Thank you :-) I too am always interested in seeing and learning new methods because so many people do have different interests not to mention "natural" body styles or shapes they favor or disabilities...the more tools in the toolkit the better.
If you are ever in California, give me a holler and we can get some mat time in swapping experience and ideas!

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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