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Old 03-24-2006, 07:30 PM   #1
Saw Y. C. Naw
Location: San Jose, CA
Join Date: Mar 2006
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One-handed ukemi

Hi all,

I'm new to this forum, so...

*waves hands with big sheepish grin on face hoping they'll accept me*

I'm currently taking an Intermediate Aikido class (i.e. 2nd semester) at a university. I haven't been ranked for 5th kyu yet. (I'm not sure if this is true for all schools of Aikido, but in mine it's the lowest rank.) I talked to my sensei about whether real rolls should be done on just one arm. She and the assistant shodan said that I shouldn't worry about it and that it would come naturally. Right now, every time I try to roll by myself on one arm, I end up hurling myself onto my back or grinding my head onto the mat. Even two-hand rolls feel sloppy when I'm trying.

Thing is, when I'm called to be uke and I'm up there in the middle of the ring, I find it much easier to ukemi on one hand after sensei throws, and I find myself doing it consistently and comfortably on one arm! However, since I cannot consciously do a proper one-arm ukemi yet, it would mean I haven't really become proficient at it yet.

So my question is, how does one bring this skill up from unconscious to the conscious mind, so that I can say "Right, I'm going to do a roll on one arm now and it will feel right," and do good on that?
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Old 03-24-2006, 11:39 PM   #2
Lan Powers
Dojo: Aikido of Midland, Midland TX
Location: Midland Tx
Join Date: Oct 2002
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Re: One-handed ukemi

Hello Saw, welcome to aikiweb
My only advice is give it more practice / time on the mat. ...wish i had a smoother snappier, short-and-pithy answer
Just "Go with it" as you do when thrown by Sensei. ie: without thinking too much about the doing of it. (Just enough to stay safe)
Best wishes
Lan
.

Last edited by Lan Powers : 03-24-2006 at 11:42 PM.

Play nice, practice hard, but remember, this is a MARTIAL art!
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Old 03-25-2006, 06:21 AM   #3
Johan Nielsen
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Re: One-handed ukemi

Well, I don't think you should bother about taking it to a concious level. If you would try to walk and stay concious about your walking - thinking about when to move the left leg and keep your balance on your right leg and so on, you would find it very difficult to do all this conciously. If you just walk without thinking about how to walk, it easy to walk. Hope you got the idea.

So practice even more and you will do like a reflex, unconciously. You don't have to think about what you are doing - you will do it anyway.
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Old 03-25-2006, 06:48 AM   #4
Ronin007
Dojo: Shoshinkan
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Re: One-handed ukemi

Hi,

I rember when I started to Ukemi, I hated it, but now its one of my favorite part of training all sorts from yoko ukemi to the 'flip'.

The key, for me was someone giving me the chance to practise my ukemi and in time ukemi became much more eaiser. Although i still tend to lose where the mat is in the middle of Ukemi
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Old 03-25-2006, 10:45 AM   #5
Dirk Hanss
 
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Re: One-handed ukemi

Hi Saw,
I have to admit, that I am not strong enough to do the roll on my arms, neither on one, nor on two. But yes, mostly I use my arms to get it somewhat round until my shoulder touches th mat.

So use as nuch as you can until you are good enough to take the next step. Very often, I am not able to get my arms to the mat before, so I have to roll over my shoulder without any arm support. That is not what you should do, but that is the goal.

My advice is to "roll over the arm", i.e. with the least force/pressure/weight on the arm you can do. As soon as your shoulder touches ground, it is much easier. Your body can hold your weight, your hands probably not.

It sounds strange, but that is how I think about it.

Dirk
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Old 03-25-2006, 11:21 PM   #6
Dillon
Location: Burlington, Vermont
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Re: One-handed ukemi

I don't think any particular part of your anatomy should have to "hold your weight" when taking ukemi. It should be a transition, no?
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Old 03-27-2006, 02:13 AM   #7
Dirk Hanss
 
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Re: One-handed ukemi

Quote:
Dillon Beyer wrote:
I don't think any particular part of your anatomy should have to "hold your weight" when taking ukemi. It should be a transition, no?
Yes, you are right.
No I have to rethink, how to explain, what I meant.

Unless someone else descibes a similar idea in better words.

Sorry, Dirk
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Old 03-27-2006, 03:50 AM   #8
Nick Simpson
Dojo: White Rose Aikido - Durham University
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Re: One-handed ukemi

Practise, practise, practise. You can roll on two arms, one arm, no arms. Two arms is easiest and generally the safest and most correct form. Just listen to your sensei and dont worry about it.

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 03-27-2006, 07:53 AM   #9
ian
 
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Re: One-handed ukemi

For months I used to flip myself over too much during ukemi and land in the middle of my back. Just do lots of rolls and you'll get there eventually!

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 03-27-2006, 09:10 AM   #10
Amir Krause
Dojo: Shirokan Dojo / Tel Aviv Israel
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Re: One-handed ukemi

It is difficult without seeing you, but I have a technical suggestion:

When you are thrown, Nage is giving you momentum and your can use it. When you roll by yourself, you should generate the momentum. This is generated by your feet when you jump to the roll. The common problem is not too weak hands but rather lack of usage of your feet.

Check it. Try to jump more and throw your feet higher up (on proper mat and with a teacher).

Good luck

Amir
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Old 03-27-2006, 10:17 AM   #11
MaryKaye
Dojo: Seattle Ki Society
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Re: One-handed ukemi

When sensei throws you, your body is probably turned in exactly the right direction and the throw is easy. When you try a one arm roll on your own you turn your body differently--probably more sideways--because you're worried about that one arm, and this makes you roll poorly. (I can say this with some confidence because I do it too.)

I think the best solution to this is to practice the two-arm roll diligently until it happens on reflex and is correct every time. The body position for one-arm is the same, and if your body is used to that position you'll have more luck with the one-arm.

Having a partner throw you over and over with a very simple technique, so that you can focus on ukemi, may help here. We do forward roll from a cross-hand grab, just running back and forth past nage and being gently thrown, in sets of ten. When you are more confident you can use a kaitenage instead to force the one-arm version.

Mary Kaye
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Old 04-01-2006, 05:21 AM   #12
Raptus
Dojo: Dinamicna sfera (Realni aikido)
Location: Belgrade
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Serbia
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Re: One-handed ukemi

Hi there!

I agree with Amir. It's the momentum that relieves the pressure on arms, and causes you to do a correct forward roll.

Here are a few tips that helped me to get it better. Form a circle with your arms, edges of hands first, and keep them so as long as you don't finish the roll. This will ensure that you don't hit your shoulders, and turn your head sideways. Just before your hands touch the ground, 'generate' yourself the momentum by swinging your shoulders a bit. This will lead you naturally into the roll. You shouldn't feel any weight at all, and you should roll over your (slightly bent) arm. This way you should have no problem doing either a one arm, or both arms roll.
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Old 04-03-2006, 01:14 PM   #13
heyoka
 
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Re: One-handed ukemi

I'm in agreement with the other folks that are recommending to just get on the mat and train. My 2 cents is to keep 'the circle feeling' as much as possible. If you need to put two hands down to do it, then great. In fact my understanding is that if at all possible you shouldn't start relying on one arm whenever you have the option of two.

Paul Major
Dojo Secretary
Aikido Center of Los Angeles
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Old 04-03-2006, 01:52 PM   #14
Qatana
 
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Re: One-handed ukemi

A few dozen kaitenages should help with this! Its almost impossible to get your back arm into rolling position before the roll is through.
I think it Very Important to consider that many dojo do not "jump into"a forward roll, we certainly don't. Nor do we push off into it, we just let gravity do the work. I have seen jumping rolls and think they are very pretty to look at but wouldn't consider trying to actually do them, because I was taught differently and am comfortable with this.
And yeah, it took me about 2 1/2 years to be able to do one armed rolls...

Q
http://www.aikidopetaluma.com/
www.knot-working.com

"It is not wise to be incautious when confronting a little smiling bald man"'- Rule #1
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Old 04-03-2006, 07:36 PM   #15
James Kelly
Dojo: Glendale Aikikai
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Re: One-handed ukemi

Quote:
Paul Major wrote:
I'm in agreement with the other folks that are recommending to just get on the mat and train. My 2 cents is to keep 'the circle feeling' as much as possible. If you need to put two hands down to do it, then great. In fact my understanding is that if at all possible you shouldn't start relying on one arm whenever you have the option of two.
Early on in my aikido career, I developed a terrible pain in on of my wrists. I couldn't figure out what it was, but I knew it wasn't from nikyo or sankyo. Then someone threw me in a very fast roll and I realized it was from doing a two handed roll. I was rolling properly on my lead arm, but putting my second hand flat on the ground for extra support (which is a way I've seen some other martial arts styles teach, especially ones that don't do that much rolling). The repetitive bending back of the wrist with my body weight on it was damaging the joint. I started concentrating on just rolling on the lead arm (as I was taught to do in the first place) and the pain eventually subsided. So now when I teach someone to roll I emphasize just using the lead arm.
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Old 04-04-2006, 10:15 AM   #16
SmilingNage
Location: NJ
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Re: One-handed ukemi

For starts, always refer to your teacher/sempai when faced with a "problem." They are there for you, so make use of them. So use my comments and others here as concepts. Let your teacher be your guide.

The most common error with the "one handed ukemi" is that when the arm that is placed on the mat, uke's weight is transfered down thru the arm and into the mat and it becomes the fixed or focal point for all your weight to be accumulated. Then uke tends to pile drive his wrist or elbow and/or shoulder into the mat. Your energy/weight is transferred into the mat. Where as it should be transferred along the mat, not straight into the mat.

So instead of pushing your arm into the mat, let it slide along the mat. Much like the bottom of a ball as it rolls along the ground, keeping pushing thru with the arm, past its original contact point with the mat. This is will tend to make your rolls very "small" and compact. "Small" meaning you wont cover alot of distance with this type of roll. Later on you can practice opening up your rolls making them bigger.

I hope this helps and not hinders. I tried to be as brief as possible.

Bill

Dont make me, make you, grab my wrist.
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Old 04-04-2006, 04:18 PM   #17
Shakahl
Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
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Re: One-handed ukemi

First, Welcome!
I found the ball and circle references to be most helpful when I was learning ukemi. I believe that the reason we practice things over and over is so that the movements become reactionary (i.e. stemming from the subconscious). In real application we don't have the time to "think". I feel that it is better to accept that it will happen rather than trying to "make" it happen. Any time I have problems with a technique I have practiced, I take a deep breath and tell myself to "let it go" knowing that it will take place if I stop thinking about it.
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Old 04-04-2006, 06:27 PM   #18
Dajo251
Dojo: Aikido Downtown
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Re: One-handed ukemi

Some one once told me you have to roll 1000 times before you get it right....I dont know how true that is but I thought it sounded good and figured Id share

Dan Hulley
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Old 04-04-2006, 08:11 PM   #19
Amelia Smith
 
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Re: One-handed ukemi

Only 1000? I'm sure I've done many more than that, and I'm still working on mine. They do get better after the first few hundred, though.
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Old 04-05-2006, 11:59 AM   #20
merlynn
 
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Re: One-handed ukemi

Quote:
Saw Yae Chan Naw wrote:
Hi all,

I'm new to this forum, so...

*waves hands with big sheepish grin on face hoping they'll accept me*

I'm currently taking an Intermediate Aikido class (i.e. 2nd semester) at a university. I haven't been ranked for 5th kyu yet. (I'm not sure if this is true for all schools of Aikido, but in mine it's the lowest rank.) I talked to my sensei about whether real rolls should be done on just one arm. She and the assistant shodan said that I shouldn't worry about it and that it would come naturally. Right now, every time I try to roll by myself on one arm, I end up hurling myself onto my back or grinding my head onto the mat. Even two-hand rolls feel sloppy when I'm trying.

Thing is, when I'm called to be uke and I'm up there in the middle of the ring, I find it much easier to ukemi on one hand after sensei throws, and I find myself doing it consistently and comfortably on one arm! However, since I cannot consciously do a proper one-arm ukemi yet, it would mean I haven't really become proficient at it yet.

So my question is, how does one bring this skill up from unconscious to the conscious mind, so that I can say "Right, I'm going to do a roll on one arm now and it will feel right," and do good on that?
do you mean you find you can do better ukemis if you are being attacked? well my ukemis are really bad , but some how i find i can "do it" better from a technique

some things are so dear and so precious you have to let them go
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Old 04-05-2006, 11:01 PM   #21
Just Jamey
Dojo: Aikido of West Bend
Location: Wisconsin
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Re: One-handed ukemi

Quote:
Saw Yae Chan Naw wrote:
Hi all,

I'm new to this forum, so...

*waves hands with big sheepish grin on face hoping they'll accept me*

I'm currently taking an Intermediate Aikido class (i.e. 2nd semester) at a university. I haven't been ranked for 5th kyu yet. (I'm not sure if this is true for all schools of Aikido, but in mine it's the lowest rank.) I talked to my sensei about whether real rolls should be done on just one arm. She and the assistant shodan said that I shouldn't worry about it and that it would come naturally. Right now, every time I try to roll by myself on one arm, I end up hurling myself onto my back or grinding my head onto the mat. Even two-hand rolls feel sloppy when I'm trying.

Thing is, when I'm called to be uke and I'm up there in the middle of the ring, I find it much easier to ukemi on one hand after sensei throws, and I find myself doing it consistently and comfortably on one arm! However, since I cannot consciously do a proper one-arm ukemi yet, it would mean I haven't really become proficient at it yet.

So my question is, how does one bring this skill up from unconscious to the conscious mind, so that I can say "Right, I'm going to do a roll on one arm now and it will feel right," and do good on that?
This is hard to articulate in a post, but don't think of the arm as "weight bearing". Think of it only as a guide to the shoulder, which is a guide to the back, which is a guide across to the hip, etc...

I also think of "reaching" through the roll behind me as the front hand makes contact with the mat, so that I cannot put any weight on the arm. When I practice this way I make sure I am really close to the mat so as not to bang the shoulder.
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Old 05-16-2006, 09:23 PM   #22
nmrmak
Dojo: Shin Ken (Aikikai)
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Re: One-handed ukemi

Have you tried turning your head sideways (it helps to look in the direction opposite to the rolling hand - if you're doing a front roll over your right shoulder, look to the left) and focusing on maintaining contact with the ground at all times, and not "skipping" one part of the arm, becase that will make you hit the next segment harder on the mats. As some people said, you're not supposed to support all your weight on only one arm. You should aim to keep the weight rolling, with the maximum force exerted just a little lower than your shoulder, on your back.
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Old 05-17-2006, 02:55 AM   #23
siwilson
Dojo: Kenshinkai Yoshinkan Aikido
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Learning Ukemi

Hi

It is hard, I know. I was lucky in that I was throwing my self around in a judo dojo at 12, and now, about to turn 35 it is the most natural thing, but I have had a lot of success teaching people to roll so I thought I would post my method!

The first stage is a forward roll. Feet together, both hands on the mat, both hands turned in, chin on chest. Get this as soft and QUIET as you can. Quiet Ukemi is the key to good Ukemi. Every sound is an impact, so to "roll" it must be quiet.

Second stage is to roll as above starting with one foot forward. This extends the body and has a different feel.

The next stage is to start with one foot forward and instead of having the hands pointed in, turn both of them out to the side away from the front foot. This brings the shoulder over the front foot forwards and gets the body in the correct position to roll roll shoulder to hip.

Remember all the time to keep strong but relaxed in the arms, like a spring. Always work at soft, smooth, QUIET Ukemi.

When you are ready (doing the above well - which should not take long) take the hand on the side of the back leg off the mat, roll over one hand (as in the last example - front hand turned in away from the front foot to turn the shoulder) and use the other hand to help yourself get up.

After this, when you are confident, you can start getting flashy.

I hope I have explained it clearly enough, but this is how I teach Ukemi to new students.

Let us know how you get on.

Last edited by siwilson : 05-17-2006 at 02:58 AM.

Osu!
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Old 05-17-2006, 04:25 AM   #24
Hanna B
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
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Re: One-handed ukemi

You could try training really really slow ukemi.Tt is difficult, but if you can maintain integrity in your arm structure when doing it slowly, you can do it also with one hand and in speed. Mainly I agree with "time and practise", though. It will come.
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Old 05-17-2006, 08:07 PM   #25
dps
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Re: One-handed ukemi

Rember to always, always, always tuck your chin to your chest to protect your neck when doing a forward roll.

Good Luck
David
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