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Old 07-02-2006, 11:58 AM   #1
Michelle Heer
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landing on my back in forward roll

Hello,
I'm new to Aikido (2 months) and I really like it.However like alot of people I'm finding I have trouble with my rolls, mostly forward. I hear alot of people have trouble falling on their shoulder. I seem to go crooked and then hit my back. People at my dojo say I'm coming untucked but I'm not aware how to fix it. All I do know is not being able to roll properly is causing me to dread going to class. I try practicing at home but it really hurts and I'm afraid if I continue doing it wrong I'll fear the pain and then have to deal with that.If anyone has any suggestions for me I would really appreciate it.

Thanks so much, Michelle Heer
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Old 07-02-2006, 02:27 PM   #2
Jess McDonald
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Lightbulb Re: landing on my back in forward roll

Hi Michelle! I always try to remember to really tuck my chin in and look at my belly button when I roll. For some reason or another I keep nice and tucked; the tail follows the head. Also, make sure your making a good wheel with your lead arm and keep your momentum. Don't worry you'll get better. Just go slow and easy and you won't too hurt- a little pain lets us know were alive' right? And especiallly don't let it make you dread class. Gosh, how long do you guys roll for? We roll for like five minutes or so and move on. Just keep working at it and enjoy your favorite parts of class instead of thinking about the worst. Anyway, BYE!!
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Old 07-02-2006, 03:49 PM   #3
Michelle Heer
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Re: landing on my back in forward roll

Thanks for the reply, I'll try to remember that. We do a few rolls at the beginning of class and I do ok. But sometimes like last Fri. we did a technique that required I roll out of a throw. I was working with a new guy with alot of muscle and when he threw me I seemed to flip over and smack my back or sometimes my lower back closer to my hip. I'll have to believe I'll get better. Just think of how great I'll be at horsebackriding if I can learn to go with the movements of Aikido. Thanks again, Michelle
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Old 07-02-2006, 03:56 PM   #4
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: landing on my back in forward roll

Is it also a problem when you train with one of the advanced people? If someone throws you so hard that you have trouble rolling out of it, you can tell them to take it easy. Especially new people sometimes don't realize how hard they are throwing, it's a favor you do them by saying something.

Your rolls will keep improving I'm sure, and one day you'll get to where it doesn't matter how you're thrown and you'll just be able to adjust to anything. But until you get there (and that takes years, not months) you need to communicate with your training partners and train in a safe way!

Good luck.
kvaak
Pauliina
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Old 07-03-2006, 12:23 AM   #5
sullivanw
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Re: landing on my back in forward roll

Probably the best thing you can do is to either arrive at the dojo early or stay late and very slowly and carefully practice your forward rolls and back rolls from kneeling, or seated if necessary. Just be patient and careful, let nage know you have trouble with certain ukemi, and things should get better before too long. Maybe one of the senior students has some specific advice on how you can maintain good form?
Good luck,

-Will
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Old 07-03-2006, 05:21 AM   #6
justin
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Re: landing on my back in forward roll

this might sound a bit strange advise but if i was you i would look for a more advanced student who can read very quickly if you are having trouble with a movement or ukemi i found this a great help when i struggle with something, they have nothing to prove and often enjoy helping and more important can spot if your doing something that might cause injury.
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Old 07-04-2006, 01:35 AM   #7
alex padilla
Dojo: Manila Aikido Club, Philippines
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Re: landing on my back in forward roll

hi Michelle,

another thing you could do is when doing the rolls, you could also visualize yourself as a ball. if you think that you are rolling as a ball then there is no point of impact, everytime the ball rolls the weight of your body is evenly distributed so that you can roll freely or with ease. i myself try to picture out the wheel of a car that perfectly glides the street.
another thing to remember is that if you start in a right hanmi position while kneeling, after you completed your forward roll is you'll end up exactly the same position as if you are starting again, this is to remind you that while you roll you wont slam your lower back but instead put your feet under you to get up to the position as if you are just beginning again.
also start low or kneeling so that you are not farther from the ground to fear ukemi, once you've controlled that standing roll will be a breeze.
don't fear ukemi and take every bit of information you can gather to integrate or disregard in your Aikido practice.
happy practicing and enjoy your ukemi.
bye.
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Old 07-04-2006, 06:14 AM   #8
RossT
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Re: landing on my back in forward roll

Hi Michelle

You might find it helpful to see your very first movement towards attacking nage as being the begining of your ukemi roll.
Although there will often be some time between this point and the momment that you actually start to tumble, you may feel safer (like when practising alone at the start of the class) in the knowledge that you have a degree of control in the process. You will hopefully begin to notice the direction that nage is leading you in more quickly and precisely, and therefore be able to guage for yourself when the best time to tumble is. As your confidence grows, I'm sure you will begin to notice more and more, the times that you are rolling too early, too late and just right. As well as having a bit of natural uncertainty about the physical aspects of falling, it sounds like you may be waiting to be thrown, which is leaving you with less time and fewer options as ukemi than you'd need to feel entirely confident.

All the best
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Old 07-04-2006, 07:07 AM   #9
Michelle Heer
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Re: landing on my back in forward roll

Thanks so much for the info. I think you're absolutly right. My rolls from standing are improving, however the roll from throwing needs some improving. My sensei says my ukemi will improve as I get more controll over my body. I wish it would happen today (yea right). I guess all good things come to those who wait, and practice. How is the roll from standing different from the roll from being thrown?

I sure am glad I found this website, thanks!!!
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Old 07-04-2006, 08:57 AM   #10
wmreed
 
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Re: landing on my back in forward roll

Quote:
Michelle Heer wrote:
...How is the roll from standing different from the roll from being thrown?
Uke does not start with the same degree of control when being thrown by a partner. This is why I suggest that, as uke, you tell your partner to slow down "just before the roll" or something like that.

I'd tell my partner, "I'm working on my rolls, so can you stop the technique just before you throw me until I get the feel for it on this throw?"

I believe the primary goal of learning ukemi is to learn to protect myself.


Bill

William M. Reed
Columbus, OH USA
wmreed@columbus.rr.com
"I'm not the author William Reed -- yet."
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Old 07-05-2006, 06:50 AM   #11
Michelle Heer
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Re: landing on my back in forward roll

It's mostly one guy who throws really hard. He's only attended two classes. Aikido has a way of humbling people. I have a feeling once he's had a chance to feel some things for himself he'll ease up a bit.

Thanks, Michelle
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Old 07-05-2006, 07:31 AM   #12
statisticool
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Re: landing on my back in forward roll

Quote:
Michelle Heer wrote:
Just think of how great I'll be at horsebackriding if I can learn to go with the movements of Aikido. Thanks again, Michelle
I got a story.

A few months ago a lot of us from work we went out on a relaxing horseback ride in the country. My horse was fine for about half an hour, politely following the other horses and a nice walk, alternating with some brief and fast trots, and a few cantors(sp?).

All of a sudden, the horse dipped its head and started bucking violently. All I heard was "Hold on Justin! Hold on! Until I say it is OK to let go!" from the head stable guy.
(later on he tells me, since he was behind me, that he saw a bunch of bees and thinks that spooked the horse)

The horse bucked up and down, and of course spun in a circle at the same time. This lasted for about 15 seconds. I was just about to be forced to let go since I could not physically hold on any longer when the guy told me it was safe (ie. I wouldn't get trampled by this horse or the ones now exciting and running behind me) to let go. I did, and somehow landed on my feet.

The best part was that a lot of people from work saw it, and I did not scream like a little girl.

I wish I had practiced aikido then! It might have been a lot less scary and would have been easier to relax I'd imagine and take a fall if it came to that.

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 07-05-2006, 08:15 AM   #13
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: landing on my back in forward roll

Quote:
Michelle Heer wrote:
Hello,
I'm new to Aikido (2 months) and I really like it.However like alot of people I'm finding I have trouble with my rolls, mostly forward. I hear alot of people have trouble falling on their shoulder. I seem to go crooked and then hit my back. People at my dojo say I'm coming untucked but I'm not aware how to fix it. All I do know is not being able to roll properly is causing me to dread going to class. I try practicing at home but it really hurts and I'm afraid if I continue doing it wrong I'll fear the pain and then have to deal with that.If anyone has any suggestions for me I would really appreciate it.

Thanks so much, Michelle Heer
Hello Michelle,

In my own dojo, we take beginners aside and have a special 'ukemi corner' during every class. For example, last night the advanced students practised two-person attacks, but the beginners, slowly and in their own time, practised ukemi and techniques requiring basic ukemi. We simply do not allow beginners to practse techniques that require ukemi that we consider they are not ready for.

So I strongly suggest that you consult your immediate teacher.

Best wishes,

P A Goldsbury
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Old 07-05-2006, 08:50 AM   #14
Mario kassis
Dojo: Mont lasalle/ain saadé
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Re: landing on my back in forward roll

Hey michelle
just a quick hint
Always bend ur head backwards as if ur looking back and lift ur rear foot high
then don't think about it just do it ( not reffering to nike )
i figured out that "Aikido is as complicated as u make it"
please reply on that, members,
i wana hear comments lots of 'em
thanks.
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Old 07-06-2006, 06:00 AM   #15
Michelle Heer
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Re: landing on my back in forward roll

Justin, I loved your story. As for my ukemi I wish it were better. I know I'm improving and I also know I think too much. I love aikido but when I struggle with ukemi it makes me dought my abilities to learn this art. It's amazing to me you all don't even need to see me to know exactly what I'm doing wrong. I know this is a different subject but, I'm also having trouble coming up to standing from the rolling back exercise. I'm wondering if the fact I have a very straight back makes it harder.

I told you I think too much!! Michelle
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Old 07-06-2006, 10:32 AM   #16
James Davis
 
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Re: landing on my back in forward roll

Maybe you could try sitting down on the floor, with your legs in the position that they would need to be in for a roll. Roll backwards onto your upper back/shoulders and then forward again to the previous position. As you get more comfortable, throw yourself forward with a little more force until you are able to send yourself into a standing position. Then, sit down and roll back onto your shoulders again.

You can do this by yourself, with little risk of injury. If all goes well, you'll train your legs to stay where they should be, and train your body to come up on one of your hips, instead of both.

Please let us know if any of this stuff works for you.

Enjoy your "rocking chair rolls". Good luck.

"The only difference between Congress and drunken sailors is that drunken sailors spend their own money." -Tom Feeney, representative from Florida
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Old 07-06-2006, 02:06 PM   #17
Eric Webber
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Re: landing on my back in forward roll

An exercise I use with new folks is to have them sit in ki-za (seiza but with "live toes"); I have them position one knee slightly forward to make hamni, then lean over to touch the leading shoulder on the ground, extending the arm across the line of the body; look up at the ceiling and point your other arm up in the air, extend your rear leg and stretch it up and out until you roll from your shoulder to the opposite hip. This exercise let's you feel a nice, safe line to roll (shoulder to opposite hip).

If you're having trouble from the standing position, try making sure that your front knee (in hamni) is bending as you push/launch into ukemi and you are projecting forward, not just trying to flip yourself over in mid-air .

If someone tries to hurl you across the mat into front ukemi, try sinking into your knees during the technique, should make the technique slow down and become heavy, which will give you a little time to prepare for the ukemi and also start to wear your partner down if he's muscling you, make him tired and less able to use so much muscle.

Lastly, grab a senior student who takes really nice ukemi and bribe him/her with beer for extra pointers on how to take safe ukemi. Observe and mimic the smoothest uki on the mat - remember, quiet ukemi is generally soft ukemi.
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Old 07-06-2006, 02:19 PM   #18
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: landing on my back in forward roll

Quote:
Michelle Heer wrote:
Justin, I loved your story. As for my ukemi I wish it were better. I know I'm improving and I also know I think too much. I love aikido but when I struggle with ukemi it makes me dought my abilities to learn this art. It's amazing to me you all don't even need to see me to know exactly what I'm doing wrong.
That's because you're not the first person to have this problem we've come across.

Quote:
I know this is a different subject but, I'm also having trouble coming up to standing from the rolling back exercise. I'm wondering if the fact I have a very straight back makes it harder.
Aha! It's probably not a different subject...I bet it's what makes you easily straighten out of a roll and flop onto your back.

I'll second the suggestion to do the rolling back exerise at home, but don't try to stand up from it, just rock back and forth on your back from sitting (not straight on your spine, down one side and back the other) and keep your back well rounded. You can do this in front of the telly you know.

kvaak
Pauliina
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Old 07-08-2006, 07:20 AM   #19
Michelle Heer
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Re: landing on my back in forward roll

Thanks so much for all your info . I'll give it a try. I bet you're right, I hope I can train my back to be round. My Chiropractor says my back is so straight I'd make a good master sargent.
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Old 07-08-2006, 07:43 AM   #20
shadowedge
 
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Re: landing on my back in forward roll

@ justin

dude that was amazing.... its good to see that you didn't get hurt... gud for you!

@ Mihelle,

hope this helps,

one of my sensei left me these pointers that kinda stuck:

*Remember Oscar Ratti's sketches of the forward roll? > when extending your leading arm, never let your palm face the floor during the roll, this'll put your wrist in danger,

*I let my lead arm guide the roll, this way it feels like a long borad (the ground) walks up my arm, travels to my back... then eventually to my... well my behind, then ends up at the balls of my feet...

*then up you go!


Think of it this way, from your lead arm, or lead shoulder, draw a line through your back, that connects with your... well your behind then straight to the balls of your feet... that line is the path of the floor on your body... or your rotation line....

redundant.. i know... sorry ...
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Old 07-08-2006, 04:01 PM   #21
Mike Hamer
 
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Re: landing on my back in forward roll

Hi Michelle, Im new to Aikido to. This thursday will be a month and a half. My sensei tells us to form a circle with our hands when rolling, make sure you wake up both hands (make contact with ground, and to look through that circle when your ready to roll. Hope that helped...I still gotta practice my rolling to!

To speak ill of anything is against the nature of Aikido
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