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Old 05-07-2009, 03:34 PM   #26
Suru
Location: Miami, FL
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Re: Officially done with mat-slapping forever

Slapping may slightly soften a fall due primarily to the placebo effect, but I believe that when it all comes down to it, uke slaps to concede the altercation to nage.

Drew
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Old 05-18-2009, 10:06 PM   #27
Dan Richards
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Re: Officially done with mat-slapping forever

Quote:
Conrad Gustafson wrote: View Post
Hi all,
She threw me off the mats and I decided mid-throw to just go with it, throwing in an impressive mat-slap (partially from instinct).

OW MY THUMB!!!
It sounds like you haven't been taught, or haven't learned, how to do an effective breakfall.

Training on other surfaces, such as grass, wood, and concrete, can prove to be a valuable learning tool.

My 2.
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Old 05-19-2009, 02:27 PM   #28
DonMagee
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Re: Officially done with mat-slapping forever

I was playing with this more in judo. When throw very hard I can feel no difference from slapping on my breakfall and not. So for practice it does not matter. And in competition (or a fight) I do not let go of the person throwing me, but rather bring him with me. So my hands don't slap because they are already busy setting up my next attack.

So the only reason i can see for teaching slapping is to prevent noobies from reaching out and breaking their wrists when being thrown.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 05-19-2009, 02:37 PM   #29
Maarten De Queecker
Dojo: Aikikai Gent, Brugse Aikido Vereniging
Location: Bruges
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Belgium
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Re: Officially done with mat-slapping forever

Interesting, albeit old article about slapping:
http://www.asbweb.org/conferences/19.../33/index.html

Apparently it does help but with increased risk of wrist damage.
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Old 05-27-2009, 03:12 PM   #30
Robert Cowham
Dojo: East Sheen Aikido and Kashima No Tachi
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Re: Officially done with mat-slapping forever

See Ellis Amdur's DVD on ukemi - he recommends not slapping, but admits to his own bad habits inculcated over many years!

DVD is seriously worth getting...
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Old 04-02-2016, 01:21 AM   #31
jamesf
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Re: Officially done with mat-slapping forever

My sensei teaches that slapping can sometimes help soften your fall, but that we shouldn't build it as a strong habit ("what if you slip and fall on the asphalt parking lot?"). As if to emphasize this, sometimes he slaps, sometimes he doesn't. I attempt to follow this, slapping at times when it feels appropriate, and other times, not at all.

In my own experience, I've noticed that slapping can help you change the speed, direction, and rotation of your fall slightly, giving a finer degree of control (when I use it appropriately, which admittedly isn't always the case).

Finally, one thing slapping does that no one has mentioned yet: it tells others in a crowded dojo, "Hey, I'm right here next to you on the ground right now, please don't land on top of me!"
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Old 04-03-2016, 07:47 AM   #32
rugwithlegs
Dojo: Open Sky Aikikai
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Re: Officially done with mat-slapping forever

Quote:
Walter Martindale wrote: View Post
When practicing judo we were taught to have the arm slap the mat shortly before the body so that we could transfer momentum to the slap and reduce the impact of the body. The act of accelerating the arm towards the mat from takes some of the momentum out of the body (the muscles need something against which to accelerate the arm, that happens to be the body).
My hands are getting a bit arthritic now - I half think that the right hand's a bit worse off than the left one - most of my mat-slapping was done when being bashed around by a left-throwing sempai..
There MAY (not for sure, but there MAY) be long term consequences of banging mats for years and years.
W
I agree with the timing Walter mentions here. Otherwise the practice is a waste IMO.

Slapping can hurt, so can skidding on gravel with your forearm.

We used to talk about the first few years of rolling as "breaking off the corners." When I saw a Shihan roll completely soundlessly, I realized he had no corners to break off and all his momentum was just rolling through. This same man had us doing front breakfalls and occasionally back breakfalls, and then the arm frame is all the protects vital organs, faces, ribs, etc.

Same with flaring the leg out to the side - sometimes the outrigger stops me from rolling on my face mid fall, some sutemi waza work better with the outrigger effect, and sometimes I just want to keep rolling so I keep the legs in. Sometimes, I need to change direction but I use the outrigger arm and leg to wedge/slide into a new direction rather than try to crash into a new direction.

Years later after starting Aikido, a Chinese martial arts teacher offers to show me Iron Palm training for striking. Mandatory warm up exercises of wrist stretching and shaking the hands vigorously, followed by repeatedly relaxing the arm as I slapped first the air, and then a bean bag a hundred times a day. Let's just say it felt familiar.

Like with anything else in anything, it's rare there is one rule, one always correct approach, for the entirety of what is possible. Dogma is wrong.
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Old 04-17-2016, 04:35 PM   #33
JP3
 
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Re: Officially done with mat-slapping forever

It always struck me that slapping the mat, for the sake of slapping the mat, during a rolling breakfall was adding kinetic energy INTO the math equation which is the fall, rather than properly dispersing it. But, hey... that' sjust me. I don't slap mats either. I did do the thing that we talk about in class, about you are far more likely to fall because you slipped and save your life or protect yourself from injury than you are to use it in a self-defense situation. BT/DT. Stepped off a curb, heel of the new shoe I was wearing first caught, then the slick sloe just flew out from under me and I dropped straight back wards and would have whacked the back of my grape on the curb. I think that would have ended badly. But, instead, the body, on the way to the ground, reached into the muscle memory vault and contoured itself properly and ll that happened was to get a ugly stain from the street on my suit coat.

I find it interesting that the kanji character for kuzushi illustrates a mountain falling on a house.
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Old 04-28-2016, 07:59 AM   #34
sswam
Dojo: Aikido Shudokan
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Re: Officially done with mat-slapping forever

I think it's a good idea to make sure that your breakfalls and rolls work well on cement or some other hard surface before you really need them. If we do slap the ground, we should slap with the meaty part of the arm and hand, not where bone is close to the surface, and definitely not with the ankle. I can do various falls on cement with slapping, and it shouldn't hurt much if you do it right... but I guess it's better to avoid any hard impact if you can. Feather falls are awesome, but I can't do them very well yet. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6Mj8Xli2iw https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrEYQV-3aDY

Last edited by sswam : 04-28-2016 at 08:10 AM.
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Old 04-28-2016, 08:28 AM   #35
Walter Martindale
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Re: Officially done with mat-slapping forever

Had a few occasions to use rolls "outside"... Bike out from under due to gravel (ready for it) then more traction than ready for... abandon ship, roll, stand up, mount bike, carry on.
Running for phone call at rowing club (from the docks to the boathouse) - trip over a loose, exposed root, roll, keep running...only afterwards realize that I had done it..
No slap needed on rolls
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Old 04-29-2016, 03:40 PM   #36
JP3
 
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Re: Officially done with mat-slapping forever

Quote:
Walter Martindale wrote: View Post
Had a few occasions to use rolls "outside"... Bike out from under due to gravel (ready for it) then more traction than ready for... abandon ship, roll, stand up, mount bike, carry on.
Running for phone call at rowing club (from the docks to the boathouse) - trip over a loose, exposed root, roll, keep running...only afterwards realize that I had done it..
No slap needed on rolls
Good stuff, Walter. My buddy/student has a great story after he'd been at OSU's aikido group for about 3 years. He was walking towards Disneyworld with his folks, and he was carrying their family mini-cam. on his shoulder -- admittedly fooling around with it when he really should have been paying attention to where he was walking.

So, he is going along and here comes a short flight of a couple steps down, he misses his step and over he goes, headfirst ... and he tells the story great. His first throught was, "Oh.... my dad is going to kill me when I break his camera!" But, his body pulled tape from the muscle-memory bank, arm (not holding cam) goes into position and he somehow eexecuted the big fall roll with the am in place, rolls and comes right up, cam intact. He takes a couple more steps, stops and turns around to look at the steps...

His dad comes over and asks first if he's all right (cool dad), then they both check on the camera... not a mark on it. Good on him. No battered body syndrome, either.

I find it interesting that the kanji character for kuzushi illustrates a mountain falling on a house.
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Old 04-29-2016, 07:29 PM   #37
Janet Rosen
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Re: Officially done with mat-slapping forever

When I teach my seniors How To Fall it is totally round and relaxed. Of course they have no need to be martially aware or get right back up. In truth when we fall in the world in an accident, we generally don't either....

Janet Rosen
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"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 05-17-2016, 08:28 AM   #38
erikmenzel
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Re: Officially done with mat-slapping forever

As a sidenote:
Slapping the mat works great for having children and/or beginners gain confidence. (Me, big guy in hakama, slapping the mat when they do the technique that is).

Erik Jurrien Menzel
kokoro o makuru taisanmen ni hirake
Personal:www.kuipers-menzel.com
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Old 05-20-2016, 03:33 PM   #39
jdostie
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Re: Officially done with mat-slapping forever

"Slapping" when you can roll seems a waste. However, break falls that simulate - and sometime are - a result of inability to roll or round off the corners should be practiced. What if you are falling on your face and your feet are trapped, have you practiced a technique for absorbing that impact? Same falling back, or what about juji-nage if Nage doesn't let go?

I've had a few falls where something was in my path and rolling wasn't an option, yes, I scraped up my forearms, but my head was in tact... A break fall on concrete is going to hurt, but it's going to hurt less than a face-plant on concrete. So I say teach it - in context, and use it on the mat - in context.

(I've also had a bicycle crash where years of rolling probably saved me from a trip to the hospital, had I attempted to slap on that one, something would have gotten badly hurt). Fill the tool box with tools, and choose the right tool for the job.
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Old 05-21-2016, 05:13 AM   #40
robin_jet_alt
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Re: Officially done with mat-slapping forever

Quote:
Joseph Dostie wrote: View Post
"Slapping" when you can roll seems a waste. However, break falls that simulate - and sometime are - a result of inability to roll or round off the corners should be practiced. What if you are falling on your face and your feet are trapped, have you practiced a technique for absorbing that impact? Same falling back, or what about juji-nage if Nage doesn't let go?

I've had a few falls where something was in my path and rolling wasn't an option, yes, I scraped up my forearms, but my head was in tact... A break fall on concrete is going to hurt, but it's going to hurt less than a face-plant on concrete. So I say teach it - in context, and use it on the mat - in context.

(I've also had a bicycle crash where years of rolling probably saved me from a trip to the hospital, had I attempted to slap on that one, something would have gotten badly hurt). Fill the tool box with tools, and choose the right tool for the job.
I'm not sure that you understand the OP here. I can break fall out of Juji-nage, Koshinage and whatever else without slapping. I don't think he was advocating not break falling out of these techniques.
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