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Old 11-25-2006, 04:04 PM   #26
Charlie
 
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Re: Aikido: The learning of natural movement

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote:
Sorry, Charlie, everyone is a "kid" to me at my age. If you'd like, I can just call you "sonny." Just kidding. In fact, anyone my age or older will remember what television commercial "Sorry, Charlie" came from. ...
And people wonder why I don't like tuna...

Charles Burmeister
Aikido Yoshinkan Yoseikai

"Calmness is trust in action"
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Old 11-25-2006, 04:54 PM   #27
Cady Goldfield
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Re: To Slap the Ground or Not

Heh. Bet you got a lot of "Sorry, Charlie..." and everyone who said it thought he was being clever.
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Old 11-25-2006, 05:17 PM   #28
Rupert Atkinson
 
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Attack the Ground!

There's nothing wrong with slapping hard - personaly, Iove it. However, you also have to learn to fall without slapping at all, and something in-between the two. Learn in the dojo, try it on the grass, try it on a hard floor and you will naturally find yourself moving from a hard slap to none at all. The problem is if you only train it one way. In the dojo I whack the mat quite hard, purposefully, and then when I do irimi-nage I kinda hit them - in my mind - with that same mat-slapping power (without really hitting them of course, but I could if I wanted to). I love it and have been doing it that way for years. I have been criticised, but basically, I don't listen as I have my own reasons. What I want is to be able to fall with a hard slap, a soft slap, and none at all. I also like to fall and hit the mat with uraken, hard, so every time I fall I get a bit of extra conditioning. Try it, you might like it

Last edited by Rupert Atkinson : 11-25-2006 at 05:21 PM.

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Old 11-25-2006, 05:48 PM   #29
Charlie
 
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Re: Aikido: The learning of natural movement

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote:
I've taken more falls on concrete, rocks, ground, and hard surfaces than I ever have taken in a fight. I've had my legs go out from under me at a bowling alley when I accidentally went past the line, I've tripped and rolled over/onto rocks, I've fallen on an iced concrete parking lot, etc. So, there can be a lot of times where one gets to that type of condition. It doesn't necessarily mean that quite a few things have gone Kapooy.

Mark
Exactly...but something did go Kapooy because you lost your center. Look...we all have these stories. Gozo Shioda sensei has written about his accounts of using "Aikido" when he was almost struck by a car. Kiyoyuki Terada sensei [Yoshinkan] talks of using his "Aikido" when he was riding his bicycle and was thrown off. I have millions of quaint little antidotes of falling and slipping and tripping and using my "Aikido" both in the dojo, on the street --- really, whatever.

To focus on the slap is to miss everything else and is the only reason I offered up my rebuttal to statements that are automatically dismissive of pretty much the complete history and development of ukemi skills and what they are for and what they develop.

Quote:
...The trouble is, once this initial exercise is conditioned into the student, it is hard to break them of it. Then they take it on the streets with them. Falling on mats and falling on pavement or rocks are very different matters. Why not teach people correctly from the start...
Maybe ukemi training doesn't stop at these lower level skill sets. Maybe there is more to learn.

Quote:
...It's just staggering that, surrounded by good data on physics, body mechanics and physiological data derived from good scientific method, so many people in Western post-industrial society still buy into pseudoscience. But, the papers still run astrology columns, so that's a good barometer for the state of public knowledge.

Just because a system has been taught a certain way for a while, doesn't mean it's right. Tradition sometimes is BAD tradition.
Are you suggesting that the ukemi skill sets of Judo - Jujitsu - Aikijujitsu are incorrect? I cannot speak for any other methods other than the Yoshinkan system which is basically derivative of the before mentioned forms and what I am talking about.

Either way, IMO there is more to ukemi then just protecting yourself from falling. Precisely because of this, I was hoping that this part of the conversation wasn't going to be split from the rest of the thread on Aikido: The learning of natural movement because I see this being very much in tune with some of the debate found there [as well as in some of the other threads involving ki and kokyu].

Mark Murray started to touch on this as well. There is much more to ukemi then just learning to fall correctly. This directly ties into statements made by Dan Harden about the only way his students will be able to throw him is if he is the one that brakes his posture [I'm assuming this means if they have not developed the skill level to do it themselves] which brings us right around to things Ellis Amdur has written about concerning what he views as the backwardness of how much of [if not all] Aikido in the world is taught compared to schools of the koryu. This of course refers to the defined roles of Uke and Nage and how techniques are taught.

The truth of the matter is that there really is no Ukemi to take when many of the techniques are applied to there full potential. Many of the techniques are so devastating on multiple levels that the only way for Uke to be able to receive the technique is if Nage allows them to retain some semblance of center so that they can take the fall safely.

At any rate, for me ukemi training is right up there in importance as aiki taiso is for others. I don't see a difference in what they teach and what they strengthen.

Cheers,

Charlie

Charles Burmeister
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Old 11-25-2006, 05:55 PM   #30
mathewjgano
 
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Re: To Slap the Ground or Not

I think when people consider it as increasing the surface area of impact or absorbing some force for the sake of other impact points, "slapping" the mat makes perfect sense.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 11-25-2006, 06:06 PM   #31
MM
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Re: Aikido: The learning of natural movement

Quote:
Charles Burmeister wrote:

At any rate, for me ukemi training is right up there in importance as aiki taiso is for others. I don't see a difference in what they teach and what they strengthen.

Cheers,

Charlie
Good post, Charlie. (I snipped most to keep things short)
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Old 11-26-2006, 10:25 PM   #32
Cady Goldfield
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Re: To Slap the Ground or Not

Kevin,
For the record and to stay on topic, slapping in a breakfall is still silly. And, I'll say again, it's absurd. Just relaxedly extend your arms, fleshy side to absorb part of the impact, keep your ankles and heels from slamming the ground, and use your butt too (what do you think it's there for?).
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Old 11-26-2006, 10:41 PM   #33
Haole
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Re: To Slap the Ground or Not

I thought the inital teaching of slapping the mat was to teach new students not to brace for impact by extending their hand?

Isnt a bad habit that takes some re-tooling later on down the road better then broken beginners?
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Old 11-26-2006, 10:43 PM   #34
Cady Goldfield
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Re: To Slap the Ground or Not

That's what mats are for...
Teach correct technique from the get-go, and you don't have to worry about bad habits (and dangerous ones) later.
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Old 11-26-2006, 10:54 PM   #35
Kevin Wilbanks
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Re: To Slap the Ground or Not

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote:
Kevin,
For the record and to stay on topic, slapping in a breakfall is still silly. And, I'll say again, it's absurd. Just relaxedly extend your arms, fleshy side to absorb part of the impact, keep your ankles and heels from slamming the ground, and use your butt too (what do you think it's there for?).
My primary teachers agree, and taught traditional-style falls, but never outright slapping, though many of their students somehow end up doing it anyway. A few sound like they have been dropped from a plane some of the time.

My current interest is the Waite-style wide leg falling, which involves using different body mechanics and a different use of the arm in most falls. The end result is falls that are nearly silent and very soft. In the 'breakfall', the arm actually reaches for the mat, sticks, and deccelerates the body, immediately transitioning to pushing off to get back up. The ankle and heel are protected by the sidewards trajectory of the fall and the fact that the leg is abducted and the ankle dorsiflexed and springy - allowing one to land softly on the ball of the foot instead. However, learning to do it right has involved some pretty extensive heel and ankle whacking for me... which is what the mat is there for.
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Old 11-26-2006, 11:29 PM   #36
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Re: To Slap the Ground or Not

SLAP mat hard...GOOD!

SLAP mat hard; get strong forearm... in addition to Ken/Jo suburi works, make aikido-ka give good shomen/yokomen uchi... no more excuse for weak pussified sissy attacks. OSSU!

Boon.

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Old 11-27-2006, 02:51 AM   #37
sullivanw
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Re: To Slap the Ground or Not

I don't train to fall down. I train to protect my body. But I'm not good at that so I fall down a lot. And yes I slap the mat, and I've also slapped out on concrete. It really hurt.

What makes sense to me is that if we are going to be thrown hard then we need to be able to deal with that. And gradually our skills develop to the point where it is very difficult to really throw us, and when we are really thrown we can absorb the impact efficiently.

Another 2 cents for y'all,

-Will
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Old 11-27-2006, 07:13 AM   #38
Cady Goldfield
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Re: To Slap the Ground or Not

Quote:
Xu Wenfung wrote:
SLAP mat hard...GOOD!

SLAP mat hard; get strong forearm... in addition to Ken/Jo suburi works, make aikido-ka give good shomen/yokomen uchi... no more excuse for weak pussified sissy attacks. OSSU!

Boon.
SLAP mat hard = Old Wives' Tale

Simple studies in exercise physiology may reveal the falacity of the belief that slapping things, plunging hands into sand, and all that stuff does anything other than kill nerves so you can't feel pain from the damage you are doing.

Proper form is what prevents harm to limbs. Slapping and pseudo-conditioning HARMS limbs. Period.

But then again, people do weird stuff with their diets, and take herbs whose shape looks like a human liver, in the belief that an herb "shaped like a liver" must somehow do things to strengthen a liver! This is superstition, not knowledge.
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Old 11-28-2006, 11:38 AM   #39
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Re: To Slap the Ground or Not

The posts on the topic of "Non-Compliant Ukemi" has been moved here:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11368

Once again, I would very much appreciate it if people could take the time and effort to start a new thread if and when a new subject arises. Thank you.

-- Jun

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Old 11-28-2006, 11:41 AM   #40
akiy
 
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Re: To Slap the Ground or Not

PS: On topic, Ushiro sensei advocates not slapping with the hand when taking ukemi as that may lead to injury of the hand and arm. Rather, he has shown how to take ukemi by tucking the arms in close to the body (kind of like a boxing guard) and "stomping" on the ground with the foot/leg further from the ground. So, when falling on the right side, the left foot crosses over in front of the right knee/thigh and the sole of the left foot absorbs the falling impact.

-- Jun

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Old 11-28-2006, 11:47 AM   #41
Cady Goldfield
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Re: To Slap the Ground or Not

Quote:
Jun Akiyama wrote:
PS: On topic, Ushiro sensei advocates not slapping with the hand when taking ukemi as that may lead to injury of the hand and arm. Rather, he has shown how to take ukemi by tucking the arms in close to the body (kind of like a boxing guard) and "stomping" on the ground with the foot/leg further from the ground. So, when falling on the right side, the left foot crosses over in front of the right knee/thigh and the sole of the left foot absorbs the falling impact.

-- Jun
Thank you for that, Jun (who babysits the play behavior on AikiWeb with the patience of a daycare worker!). I believe that over time, aikidoka, judoka and others come to realize that adding force to a breakfall is counterproductive. Odd how common sense ain't so common (tip of the hat to Mark Twain).
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Old 11-28-2006, 12:02 PM   #42
Dennis Hooker
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Re: To Slap the Ground or Not

Not everyone uses the rolls and brake falls common to Hombu Aikido. Chuck Clark Sensei and Ellis Amdur Sensei have very unique, effective and realistic ways do taking falls an very valid reasons for doing them that way.

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Old 11-28-2006, 12:04 PM   #43
billybob
 
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Re: To Slap the Ground or Not

Cady Goldfield said
Quote:
Thank you for that, Jun (who babysits the play behavior on AikiWeb with the patience of a daycare worker!). I believe that over time, aikidoka, judoka and others come to realize that adding force to a breakfall is counterproductive. Odd how common sense ain't so common (tip of the hat to Mark Twain).
Cady, I'm not sure you undertand the physics of active and reactive forces. Force = mass times acceleration. Slapping the mat hard and fast is a countering force and lessens the fall. I was trained to break fall in a judo class where ground work was minimally taught. Most of the falls we took were high, hard falls.

I respect the opinion of Ushiro Sensei, but would add that the falls I took in judo were guided all the way to the ground - this means maximum force delivered by my body to the ground. I was taught that slapping was to protect the internal organs and spine, not keep my hand from stinging. Crossing the feet as Sensei suggests might work where there was less force, but in a highly forceful break fall - landing on the edge of the hip bone And the ankle is preferable to having the sacrum blown out of joint, or risk damage to kidneys.

David
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Old 11-28-2006, 01:07 PM   #44
Mike Sigman
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Re: To Slap the Ground or Not

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote:
Thank you for that, Jun (who babysits the play behavior on AikiWeb with the patience of a daycare worker!). I believe that over time, aikidoka, judoka and others come to realize that adding force to a breakfall is counterproductive. Odd how common sense ain't so common (tip of the hat to Mark Twain).
Cady, in case you didn't read Jun's post about Ushiro's method, the method involves a *stomp*. You may continue to not understand additive forces (which are sometimes subtractive), but the *stomp* does the same thing that a slap does. The real problem is that the hand is fragile and can be injured in off-mat situations, not that the slap doesn't help remove *some* of the falling force.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 11-28-2006, 01:20 PM   #45
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Re: To Slap the Ground or Not

Mike,
The human foot and leg structure is designed to take hundreds of pounds of pressure from impact, while the arms and hands are not. Thus, I don't have as hard a time with Ushiro's substitution as I do the arm version. I still don't buy the addition of a stomp or any added force -- it really does NOT distribute better the body's falling weight, and is the vestige of old traditional beliefs not grounded in physics or physiology.

Even some of the top people in various disciplines hold onto old bubbe meises because they're too hard to let go of.
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Old 11-28-2006, 01:23 PM   #46
Cady Goldfield
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Re: To Slap the Ground or Not

David,
I understand Force = Mass X Acceleration pretty well, having put that principle to use for decades in my studies of projectile punching and striking. If the arms were -penetrating- the floor, as a fist penetrates a concrete block in projectile punching, then it would make sense. But this principle does not apply to the spreading out of impact by a relaxed, falling body.

Since mats are usually nice and squishy, you likely won't do too much harm to yourself slapping them. Just don't be doing the hard slap if you are falling on hard ground! Stick to doing all your falling on mats.
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Old 11-28-2006, 01:26 PM   #47
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Re: To Slap the Ground or Not

Quote:
Jun Akiyama wrote:
PS: On topic, Ushiro sensei advocates not slapping with the hand when taking ukemi as that may lead to injury of the hand and arm. Rather, he has shown how to take ukemi by tucking the arms in close to the body (kind of like a boxing guard) and "stomping" on the ground with the foot/leg further from the ground. So, when falling on the right side, the left foot crosses over in front of the right knee/thigh and the sole of the left foot absorbs the falling impact.

-- Jun
That sounds dangerous from a groin perspective. I've had enough accidents with my legs crossing over each other.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 11-28-2006, 01:45 PM   #48
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Re: To Slap the Ground or Not

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote:
Simple studies in exercise physiology may reveal the falacity of the belief that slapping things, plunging hands into sand, and all that stuff does anything other than kill nerves so you can't feel pain from the damage you are doing.

Proper form is what prevents harm to limbs. Slapping and pseudo-conditioning HARMS limbs. Period.
I'm confused about your remarks. You're saying "simple studies may reveal..." Are there actual studies you're refering to which do prove what you're saying or are you guessing at the truth of the matter? My understanding, highly limited though it may be, is that there is a natural benefit to impact conditioning with regard to strengthening things like bone and skin. I think I share your esteem for the power of sensitivity which is why I don't do a lot of heavy impact training, but I wouldn't call it pseudo conditioning to develop callouses or add bone density through impact-oriented training. Conditioning of the body includes more than developing the neurological system (coordinating system) so we can respond accurately and smoothly. For me, at least, it also includes a modicum of "toughening up." Impact is a way to improve this. It's not any different than lifting weights to improve power. When you stimulate the muscle, it responds (I've heard this refered to as a shock to the muscle). If you stimulate it too much, you injure it. If you don't stimulate it enough, it atrophes. Conditioning other elements of the body, like bone, is similar.....I think, anyway. Hope you can shed some light on it for me.
Take care,
Matt

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Old 11-28-2006, 02:24 PM   #49
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Re: To Slap the Ground or Not

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote:
I still don't buy the addition of a stomp or any added force -- it really does NOT distribute better the body's falling weight, and is the vestige of old traditional beliefs not grounded in physics or physiology.
Oh I dunno. Maybe physics works differently where you are, Cady, but if you'll do a simple calculation of the Impulse forces and what happens when you factor in a slap, I think you'll find it's no big mystery. But whatever. You do it your way.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 11-28-2006, 02:42 PM   #50
Ron Tisdale
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Re: To Slap the Ground or Not

I love the way intelligent, experienced folks can have completely different perspectives on such a simple thing.

Best,
Ron (hey, that's what keeps me thinkin'...)

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