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Old 12-28-2016, 01:08 PM   #1
tarik
 
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Ushiro Ukemi

When you teach ushiro ukemi, do you teach back falls or back rolls?

When you practice on the mat, do you allow uke to do back falls or back rolls?

Why or why not?

Tarik Ghbeish
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Old 12-28-2016, 01:28 PM   #2
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Re: Ushiro Ukemi

oooooo a hot button issue

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 12-28-2016, 02:55 PM   #3
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Re: Ushiro Ukemi

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Peter Rehse wrote: View Post
oooooo a hot button issue
Does everything have to be a hot button? I think we've been having a decent (maybe it's the holidays) discussion on the FB aikido boards where people have been able to disagree respectfully.

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Old 12-28-2016, 03:06 PM   #4
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Re: Ushiro Ukemi

Quote:
Tarik Ghbeish wrote: View Post
Does everything have to be a hot button? I think we've been having a decent (maybe it's the holidays) discussion on the FB aikido boards where people have been able to disagree respectfully.
Hot button as you should get responses - no one said anything about disrespectful.

In my opinion the backward role exposes you to attack and should be avoided at all costs.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 12-28-2016, 03:08 PM   #5
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Re: Ushiro Ukemi

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Hot button as you should get responses - no one said anything about disrespectful.

In my opinion the backward role exposes you to attack and should be avoided at all costs.
Well, considering our backgrounds, it's no surprise that we agree. I like the backward roll as an exercise when my back is feeling stiff, but that's about it.

Tarik Ghbeish
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Old 12-28-2016, 03:59 PM   #6
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Re: Ushiro Ukemi

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Tarik Ghbeish wrote: View Post
Well, considering our backgrounds, it's no surprise that we agree. I like the backward roll as an exercise when my back is feeling stiff, but that's about it.
I agree with you. It's a great exercise for teaching body awareness, but I never do it when I'm receiving technique, and I never teach it as anything other than an exercise. Quite apart from issues of leaving yourself exposed, etc., I feel like it is very difficult to do a backwards roll if you are actually thrown. It requires a certain amount of pre-emption from uke, which hinders nage's learning.
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Old 12-28-2016, 04:38 PM   #7
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Re: Ushiro Ukemi

I am fascinated by this brief discussion...

I find backward rolls fast and easy and I don't see why a backward roll would leave you exposed anymore than any alternative ukemi. Can one or more folks explain what you mean? It seems to me that a backward roll allows you come right back up compared to just falling down and lying there...

Mind you, I typically use yoko-style rolls for the majority of my ukemi. In certain cases, to keep from kicking the nage in the face, a backward roll is better. Of course, if you don't have room to roll - an alternative would be required as well.

All paths lead to death. I strongly recommend taking one of the scenic routes.
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Old 12-28-2016, 05:27 PM   #8
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Re: Ushiro Ukemi

There seems to be three main types of ushiro falls, and they all depend on the forces received. There are several versions of rolls (step back and sit, sit on the supporting leg, kick the non-supporting leg out or fold it under, come out by stepping forward or backward or staying kneeling) moving across the spine diagonally, what I was told was more of a Judo ushiro ukemi but what I had to go with any straight down vertical throw or anything that interfered with my legs (flat across the shoulders, hands wide, no momentum going away, just down) making contact on the shoulder blades equally, and a "teddy bear roll" which goes from one hand to the other across the shoulders. Momentum is more sideways, and can result in getting up to either side with a vertical spiral.

There isn't any perfect one for all movement. I learned rolls, then I slipped on the ice and landed straight down. Each style of ukemi has a different style of impact, counter attack and purpose I.e. Leg out to the side stops me rolling on my face but means I get up in the opposite hip.

I encourage all three types.
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Old 12-28-2016, 05:28 PM   #9
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Re: Ushiro Ukemi

I think it depends on what you are doing. Since I was taught by, e.g., K Chiba and M Kanai that ukemi (in the broadest sense) was crucial in aikido, in our dojo we teach three ways, generally depending on what happens to you -- what waza is in question. The main aim is to avoid getting hurt.

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Old 12-28-2016, 05:43 PM   #10
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Re: Ushiro Ukemi

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Robin Johnson wrote: View Post
I find backward rolls fast and easy and I don't see why a backward roll would leave you exposed anymore than any alternative ukemi. Can one or more folks explain what you mean? It seems to me that a backward roll allows you come right back up compared to just falling down and lying there.
Its dangerous to talk in absolutes but ...... the techniques that put you on your back which could develop into the backward role have tori moving in the same direction. I have yet to see a back role that can escape a determined tori. A role just leaves your back way to exposed.

Last edited by PeterR : 12-28-2016 at 05:48 PM.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 12-28-2016, 07:25 PM   #11
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Re: Ushiro Ukemi

I agree that the goal is safety. I learned to roll, so I was forced to learn I couldn't always roll courtesy of ice.

Rolling is the easiest way for me to cover ground - it might be my comfort level as I did it the most. I guess it's also what I get thrown for. It is easiest to roll when nage is projecting me anyway.

I have seen guys in the early UFC days that tried to keep contact and just fall straight down. In a multiple attacker randori, the one got stepped on by the other three. I've seen people try to stick a landing who looked like skipping stones on the mat.

I guess in terms of a dedicated attacker chasing me down, I would look at how some ushiro ukemi is close to the movements for Mae Sutemi and some more for Yoko Sutemi, the body movement lends itself to different types of kicks, or maybe brings the hands into play faster. Rolling also seems easier to do without my hands or using my hands less (leaving them for other stuff) compared to the other methods but again that might be my comfort level with rolling.
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Old 12-28-2016, 08:28 PM   #12
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Re: Ushiro Ukemi

Quote:
Peter Rehse wrote: View Post
Its dangerous to talk in absolutes but ...... the techniques that put you on your back which could develop into the backward roll have tori moving in the same direction. I have yet to see a back roll that can escape a determined tori. A roll just leaves your back way too exposed.
I would typically use a yoko-style when being "pressed" by an attacker rather than a back roll although my back roll is very fast and I'll be coming right back into the attacker with hands free. So I dunno. I will definitely try some tests on the mat and see what really works.

I mostly use back rolls and double-slap rolls (old man fall) from a variety of techniques to take painless, safe and soft ukemi. But that is for receiving technique rather than 'combat'.

All paths lead to death. I strongly recommend taking one of the scenic routes.
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Old 12-29-2016, 08:06 AM   #13
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Re: Ushiro Ukemi

Another reason to practice backrolls is their utility in non-defense situations. A well-executed backroll could save a head injury.

All paths lead to death. I strongly recommend taking one of the scenic routes.
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Old 12-29-2016, 08:09 AM   #14
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Re: Ushiro Ukemi

This elephant is like a wall.
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Old 12-29-2016, 10:40 AM   #15
Janet Rosen
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Re: Ushiro Ukemi

When my knee blew out, I could no longer do the rock back, rock forward, stand up kind of back fall. I also could no longer do a backroll.

I can do a nice fast hard fall if I'm thrown straight down, and I find it very easy to do (and don't feel at all compromised by doing) the kind of backfalling that circular like a breakfall and generates the momentum to bring me up into a horse stance using my arms and legs to rise in a circular direction.

It is noted that IRL I am not overly concerned with needing to get up to deal with multiple attackers while I am quite concerned with surviving falls on pavement, which I have done very well over the years.

In truth, were I to have to design a curriculum from scratch, I"m not sure why I would include backrolls when the repertoire of other back falls run the gamut from hard to soft and cover all angles of projection. Curious to read why backrolls are considered important.

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Old 12-29-2016, 11:53 AM   #16
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Re: Ushiro Ukemi

Quote:
Robin Johnson wrote: View Post
Another reason to practice backrolls is their utility in non-defense situations. A well-executed backroll could save a head injury.
Not really part of my argument for or against but I am curious, and I am not sure you mean it that way, but do you mean that the non-rolling back break fall would be more likely to result in a head injury?

A counter argument is that a backward role can put the neck in a non-safe position especially if your body has been projected at speed. I certainly don't consider it safer.

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Old 12-29-2016, 12:13 PM   #17
jurasketu
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Re: Ushiro Ukemi

Years ago, before I ever took Aikido, I was painting the exterior of my house. I had worked construction for a number of years before I got married and was very comfortable on ladders and would routinely do "stunt" ladder stuff...

In this particular instance, I was on a 16-foot extension ladder where I was standing on a step, ten feet above the grass. I was using a roller on a pole and needed to reach out laterally to finish painting the gable, so instead of moving the ladder, I just balanced on my right foot, extending my left leg out horizontally while holding on the ladder with me left hand. I finished painting and leaned back vertical to admire my work without placing my left foot back on the ladder.

Happy that I was done I failed to account for the overhead phone cable and inadvertently pushed the pole against it. This created a weird redirection of forces that caused the right side of the ladder to twist away from the house. The "solution" for this situation is to discard anything in hand and slam the ladder back against the building. Protip: It is important to throw the item a good distance away so that if a fall does occur anyway - you don't land on the discarded item.

I did this solution. Worked fine - the ladder was repositioned against the house and stayed right there...

But the violence of the slam caused by right boot to slip toward the house and OFF the ladder step. If I had been standing on both feet - this would not have happened and even then a single foot slip would probably have been no issue. However, in this case, I now had two hands on the ladder but one foot on either side of the step with neither on it. This is generally not regarded as a good orientation.

I did not want to simply fall onto the step (racking myself) and more importantly be awkwardly tangled up with the ladder as it fell most likely sideways into a large bush - the result most certainly would have been serious injuries.

So in a moment of apparent madness, I pushed myself hard backwards away from the ladder. As I went over backwards I noticed that my boot wasn't going to clear the step straight on and would get hung injuring my knee and tangling my leg with the ladder creating an even worse fall, but I managed to turn my foot at an angle and clear the step. I tucked my head and deliberately landed on my back right shoulder and managed to execute a perfect back shoulder roll to avoid a serious head or back injury.

I would have been completely unhurt but I rolled over the paint tray (circumstances being what they were I can't complain). As it was, I was merely covered in paint with slightly sore ribs from a head-first backwards fall from the height of ten feet. I was tough and muscled and the fall was onto thick grass slightly sloping away from the house both of which contributed to the lack of injury, but I am certain the roll most certainly prevented a serious injury.

The good news was the painting was done and I didn't have to explain to my dearest love that I needed to go to the hospital after she specifically told me to be careful and not get hurt (she knows me well).

In conclusion, if you ask me, good rolling skills are vital to surviving awkward falls.

All paths lead to death. I strongly recommend taking one of the scenic routes.
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Old 12-29-2016, 12:24 PM   #18
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Re: Ushiro Ukemi

Quote:
Peter Rehse wrote: View Post
Not really part of my argument for or against but I am curious, and I am not sure you mean it that way, but do you mean that the non-rolling back break fall would be more likely to result in a head injury?

A counter argument is that a backward role can put the neck in a non-safe position especially if your body has been projected at speed. I certainly don't consider it safer.
Well... I see folks slam the back of their head on back breakfalls a lot risking a concussion (failure to tuck the head to side and land on one shoulder then rock to the other). I see it happen watching American Football, too.

A properly learned backward roll goes to the shoulder and keeps the head and neck safe automatically and off the ground the entire time. Indeed, poor backward rolls are dangerous to the neck and so should not be done at speed until learned properly.

In other words, poorly executed ukemi is no good in any circumstance...

In a combat situation a breakfall doesn't seem safer to me - I would just be lying there to get stomped or kicked unless I immediately rolled away or kicked back successfully.

All paths lead to death. I strongly recommend taking one of the scenic routes.
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Old 12-29-2016, 01:10 PM   #19
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Re: Ushiro Ukemi

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Robin Boyd wrote: View Post
I agree with you. It's a great exercise for teaching body awareness, but I never do it when I'm receiving technique, and I never teach it as anything other than an exercise. Quite apart from issues of leaving yourself exposed, etc., I feel like it is very difficult to do a backwards roll if you are actually thrown. It requires a certain amount of pre-emption from uke, which hinders nage's learning.
IME, a back roll is impossible if you're thrown for real, but never say never, I guess.

I do think a back roll makes lots of sense in non-budo applications, but I haven't figured out the budo application for it yet although I've played around with it.. one can bail out of a technique early and do.a back roll and be ready for an incoming attack, but it's rather like a spinning strike.. all about timing and if your partner isn't prepared to handle it. If they are prepared, giving up your back is the worst thing you can do.

Tarik Ghbeish
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Old 12-29-2016, 01:13 PM   #20
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Re: Ushiro Ukemi

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In a combat situation a breakfall doesn't seem safer to me - I would just be lying there to get stomped or kicked unless I immediately rolled away or kicked back successfully.
Have you ever done groundwork (judo or bjj type groundwork)?

Being on your back is definitely not a great place to be if you have multiple attackers, but if you have a single attacker, it can be VERY difficult for them to stomp or kick you effectively.

Tarik Ghbeish
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Old 12-29-2016, 01:40 PM   #21
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Re: Ushiro Ukemi

Quote:
Tarik Ghbeish wrote: View Post
IME, a back roll is impossible if you're thrown for real, but never say never, I guess.
What do you mean by thrown for real? (Not just being argumentative - I think a back roll is easy and natural at fast speed - so maybe you and I aren't talking about the same thing.)

All paths lead to death. I strongly recommend taking one of the scenic routes.
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Old 12-29-2016, 02:13 PM   #22
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Re: Ushiro Ukemi

Quote:
Tarik Ghbeish wrote: View Post
Have you ever done groundwork (judo or bjj type groundwork)?

Being on your back is definitely not a great place to be if you have multiple attackers, but if you have a single attacker, it can be VERY difficult for them to stomp or kick you effectively.
I have minimal wrestling experience... I believe groundfighting skills are very valuable but nothing I've seen or read by self-defense experts makes me believe that being on the ground like that will go well. Maybe your experience is different

I'm thinking the attacker(s) are not barefoot and instead they are wearing boots or shoes with intention to harm. Blocking or avoiding a heavy boot or shoe while on pavement is a different exercise than fighting someone bare foot that just wants to sport fight on a nice, soft mat.

All paths lead to death. I strongly recommend taking one of the scenic routes.
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Old 12-29-2016, 02:51 PM   #23
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Re: Ushiro Ukemi

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What do you mean by thrown for real? (Not just being argumentative - I think a back roll is easy and natural at fast speed - so maybe you and I aren't talking about the same thing.)
I'm not trying to be argumentative either; it's difficult to communicate about physicality fully in this medium.

If I am throwing into a backwards fall correctly, I will have locked my partners spine and cause their feet to suddenly thrust forward (as if stepping upon a roller skate). Either one foot or both feet. The fall that results will not be a back roll.

The only time that back rolls seem to work in technique is when uke chooses to go before the terminal point in their posture where their spine is still not locked and they can still take a step forwards or backwards.

In our system, if you can move like this as uke, you should not fall, you should take sente and reverse the technique, unless you're in kata training and you then wait for tori to figure out how to lock your spine and pin your feet to the ground or eventually recover to show tori that they missed the window for the technique depending upon where they are in their learning process.

Does that help explicate what I mean?

Tarik Ghbeish
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Old 12-29-2016, 02:58 PM   #24
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Re: Ushiro Ukemi

Quote:
Robin Johnson wrote: View Post
I have minimal wrestling experience... I believe groundfighting skills are very valuable but nothing I've seen or read by self-defense experts makes me believe that being on the ground like that will go well. Maybe your experience is different
I don't think being on the ground is a good idea at all, but I'm just saying that there's plenty that can be done from the ground if you end up there. I've been on the ground in a real fight with multiple attackers and my goal was to get up as soon as possible.

Quote:
I'm thinking the attacker(s) are not barefoot and instead they are wearing boots or shoes with intention to harm. Blocking or avoiding a heavy boot or shoe while on pavement is a different exercise than fighting someone bare foot that just wants to sport fight on a nice, soft mat.
Just like there's a shizen hontai standing, there's a shizen hontai on the ground where blocking kicks is not at all difficult and in fact can be very dangerous to the kicker if they aren't aware of what you can do. It's very easy to destroy a knee from this position.

Anyway, I certainly agree that lying on the ground is not the place to be in a self-defense situation especially with multiple attackers, but in testing in the dojo, I've always been able to easily attack the backs of people who use back rolls to try and get back into a good ma-ai.

Regards,

Tarik Ghbeish
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Old 12-29-2016, 03:21 PM   #25
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Re: Ushiro Ukemi

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Tarik Ghbeish wrote: View Post
I'm not trying to be argumentative either; it's difficult to communicate about physicality fully in this medium.

If I am throwing into a backwards fall correctly, I will have locked my partners spine and cause their feet to suddenly thrust forward (as if stepping upon a roller skate). Either one foot or both feet. The fall that results will not be a back roll.

The only time that back rolls seem to work in technique is when uke chooses to go before the terminal point in their posture where their spine is still not locked and they can still take a step forwards or backwards.

In our system, if you can move like this as uke, you should not fall, you should take sente and reverse the technique, unless you're in kata training and you then wait for tori to figure out how to lock your spine and pin your feet to the ground or eventually recover to show tori that they missed the window for the technique depending upon where they are in their learning process.

Does that help explicate what I mean?
I think I understand. This probably indicates mostly style differences caused by choice of techniques and methods. Straight down throws are generally hard to roll from - I tend to roll systema-style sideways and down across the shoulders for those situations - but that takes practice and agility. Most folks would just take a breakfall and roll sideways or try to kick/trip the opponent (in a confrontation).

If all of your *real* techniques are straight down throws from a locked position (nothing wrong with that at all), I can see where backward rolls would seem hard to execute and not worth trouble to practice that often.

In a confrontation though, you can get knocked over and pulled down in awkward non-technical ways, that would merit having a backward roll available in the toolbox. And certainly there are definitely non-budo reasons for having the backward roll in your toolkit.

All paths lead to death. I strongly recommend taking one of the scenic routes.
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