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Old 12-09-2006, 10:26 PM   #76
natasha cebek
 
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Re: Aikido: The learning of natural movement

Quote:
Charles Burmeister wrote:
Oh brother!!! Falling on concrete and such is detrimental in and of itself. I get a chuckle out of reasoning like this because why would I be falling on concrete and rocks? If I get to a point where I have to be taking falls in these types of conditions probably means that quite a few more important things have gone Kapooy!

During this thread and many others on this site, there has been a vibrant debate as to the basic components of Aikido and whether or not people know or have been practicing them correctly. What makes ukemi any different? First off, if ukemi training is viewed simply as an additive to what constitutes a complete understanding of the basics then you pretty much have your answer right there.

Falling and slapping is a beginner's stage of understanding and execution. Ukemi is like any other part of a martial art…it is adaptive. If you think that there is just a singular response to a given situation is just incomplete.

That being said, however, to think that there is no strengthening measures to be found in the art of falling is incomplete as well. Falling and slapping strengthens the body so that one can take the falls outside of the dojo without harm being caused to oneself. It is no different than thrusting your fists into a giant pot of sand or punching water or even punching a thick wooden board wrapped in rope!

In fact, the quickest way to judge the quality of your ukemi is to get off the mat and do them on a hard surface. You will very quickly find the faults in your techniques. That's what we used to do. When the mats where too full in the Yokosuka dojo...beginners on the mats - seniors on the wood floor. And remember…boxes don't roll!

Regards,

Charlie
Charlie,
Thank you for your post. Sometimes it just amazes me at how "boxed in" people seem to be in regard to their training. I love how you start the post with "Oh Brother", how apropos in fact after reading all the posts(until I got to yours), I was thinking almost word for word, what you had posted.. I concur with your statement "there is absolutely no singular response to every situation." Form is important, but as martial artists, we must be adaptable.

Respectfully,

Natasha

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Old 12-11-2006, 07:20 AM   #77
billybob
 
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Re: To Slap the Ground or Not

Natasha I agree that 'dogma' bad, adaptability good.

I tried the 'cross the leg over and slap with foot' mode of ukemi during a recent class. I had no problem with genitals getting smashed by thighs, and the ukemi felt good. It was during a normal aikido kokyu or sumi otoshi type fall; don't remember. The motion was typically aiki - downward, with a twist. Slapping the foot in crossover made a lot of sense.

I don't know if you read my comments about blasting the sacro iliac out of joint or kidney damage - if you take force through the body other than square on the hip and ankle while taking a strongly executed, guided, high fall. It's crucial to why I argue that slapping in the (classic) way is valid and can be valuable.

But, I had no idea when I started judo that the high falls with uke applying force all the way through - was an esoteric form of training. It was my first training, and when pressured sometimes we all 'run home to mama' technically.

I'll keep the training about slapping, but I won't apply it to all situations. In fact, it is very infrequent that I take that kind of high falls anymore (dammit!).

dave

Last edited by billybob : 12-11-2006 at 07:22 AM.
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Old 12-11-2006, 07:56 AM   #78
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Re: Aikido: The learning of natural movement

Quote:
The Chinese training involves using breath pressure to train the body over time so that the body can absorb heavy falls; the hand/arm is used to cup and protect the back of the head.
I wonder if anyone who trains using the hand/arm to cup and protect the back of the head and uses these techniques in matches is on top of the world in Judo competitions, for example?

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 12-11-2006, 10:09 AM   #79
L. Camejo
 
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Re: To Slap the Ground or Not

Interesting topic.

Fell hard on concrete while washing my car a while back (soap water on painted concrete surface=very slippery). Fell backwards, heels over head (like a Tom and Jerry Cartoon), instinctively extended arms outward (handblade downwards), hood of car got in the way of my hand on the way down. Did not break my neck or crack the back of my head (which would have been very probable without ukemi training the way my body was oriented), the hood of the car still shows the dent left by my hand, besides a light stinging the hand was fine. All in all it was fun, I got up laughing and marvelling at how ukemi works. The "slap" did save me from getting a concussion or worse (since my head would have taken the entire impact otherwise). I believe in that situation slapping or "extending" was critical to regain some semblance of balance before my head and torso hit and to distribute the force away from critical areas of my body that were not so susceptible to impact. But I also know that I would not be trying that sort of fall on a jagged, uneven surface covered in glass as well. It depends on the environment imho.

Regarding rolls though I can see how slapping is entirely unnecessary.

LC

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
http://www.tntaikido.org
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Old 12-11-2006, 10:17 AM   #80
Ron Tisdale
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Re: To Slap the Ground or Not

I remember once wondering why in the heck we were practicing sliding breakfalls in the dojo. I was getting mat burns in the dojo...did not want to find out what road rash would be like outside the dojo. Then, when we went up to the poconos to train once, I took a forward fall while working on footwork with the bokken, rushing through bushes, across rocks, etc. Instinctively did a forward sliding breakfall. Stunned, got up and checked the forward arm, thinking, oh no, this is going to be a bloody mess...

Surprise! No issues at all...all that practice of doing the breakfall on the mats equalled...no injuries outside the dojo. I was shocked! I looked up to see my teacher watching me and smiling...

Best,
Ron (no slapping on that one...)

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 12-11-2006, 11:06 AM   #81
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Re: To Slap the Ground or Not

I want to contribute, but I am not exactly sure where this thread is/was going...

1. Ukemi is protection of the body. To artificially slap the mat during sutemi without need is poor ukemi. To refuse to slap the mat during sutemi when slapping is needed is poor ukemi. Ukemi is an appropriate response to protect the body from injury.
2. Many older shihan have expressed disappointement in the ukemi of today's aikido. We are unresponsive to our partners and uneducated about the purpose of ukemi. I think Ushiro sensei may have been directly addressing the danger of ukemi in a situation when falling is not appropriate, or when a studeent falls in ignorance of a better reaction.
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Old 12-11-2006, 12:57 PM   #82
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Re: To Slap the Ground or Not

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote:
I want to contribute, but I am not exactly sure where this thread is/was going...

1. Ukemi is protection of the body. To artificially slap the mat during sutemi without need is poor ukemi. To refuse to slap the mat during sutemi when slapping is needed is poor ukemi. Ukemi is an appropriate response to protect the body from injury.
2. Many older shihan have expressed disappointement in the ukemi of today's aikido. We are unresponsive to our partners and uneducated about the purpose of ukemi. I think Ushiro sensei may have been directly addressing the danger of ukemi in a situation when falling is not appropriate, or when a studeent falls in ignorance of a better reaction.
Hmm.... Sutemi ukemi?

Not sure where you're going with this but if I fall taking ukemi and I do sutemi waza my focus is in my legs and feet and dropping and drilling between and through Tori's feet. Tori gets ripped over the top by the body drop. It is non-compliant Ukemi without a slap as my intent is on other things when the guy goes boom!

No slapping the mat needed..........by Uke. Hell of a break fall for tori.

Non compliant and focused on fighting back changes the Ukemi.
Dan
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Old 12-11-2006, 02:12 PM   #83
billybob
 
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Re: To Slap the Ground or Not

Quote:
Non compliant and focused on fighting back changes the Ukemi.
- Dan Harden.

Sensei - agreed.

From your perspective does slapping the mat help if one is taking a high break fall - from a classic judo style throw such as Ippon Seoi-Nage, and is engaged in kihon waza at the time?

David
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Old 12-11-2006, 02:58 PM   #84
Luc X Saroufim
 
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Re: To Slap the Ground or Not

just so you guys know, F=ma is for one direction only and does not take into account rotation. so if you're doing a forward roll, that formula is null and void. and since we're trained to slap the mat in two directions (horizontal and vertical component), that formula is voided again.

i still agree that in a breakfall situation, it helps dissipate impact. in a forward roll i'm not so sure, because the roll, by definition, dissipates the impact.
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Old 12-11-2006, 10:24 PM   #85
Cady Goldfield
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Re: To Slap the Ground or Not

Again, it's not the slap action, it's the spreading open of the arms to increase the total body surface area over which the force of landing is dissipated, that is the operating principle of a basic breakfall. Slapping -- actively adding force (accelerated mass) to the fall -- is...not...beneficial. Physics is fun, but it doesn't take into consideration the nature of organic tissue and cells, nor the and limitations of organisms under certain stresses within and outside their natural boundaries of stress application.

And, the only "benefit" one is getting from actively making percussive impact of one's limbs against hard objects, whether concrete floors, brick walls, makiwara, or pots of sand, is that you are destroying the nerves in those limbs and thus inurring yourself to pain. That is it. You are not "toughening" or "conditioning" anything.

Is there a doctor in the forum? Anyone with a biology background besides me, who studied basic physiology, anatomy, vascular tissue/neural generation and all that good stuff? Oi moi moi.

Last edited by Cady Goldfield : 12-11-2006 at 10:28 PM.
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Old 12-12-2006, 12:10 AM   #86
Kevin Wilbanks
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Re: To Slap the Ground or Not

Slapping could help if it was timed just right and it somehow directly counteracted the descent of your body as it headed for the ground. It might serve this way if you slapped BEFORE you hit the ground, but probably not much. If it was lined up properly, it could provide a classic counter thrust, although it is still questionable whether concentrating all that impact into your small hand to slightly reduce the velocity of your large body would be worth it in the larger scheme. If the slap hits about the same time as your body, and off to the side, it's going to be more like cracking a bullwhip where your hand and lower arm are just like the end of the whip snapping against the ground. If anything, the hand's impact will be accelerated by your body's descent - the opposite of the intended effect on the opposite part of the body.

I find it interesting if the idea behind something like a soft slap really is spreading out of the body's surface area to reduce stress at any specific point. If true, this might be preferable to just crashing heedlessly onto a 'corner' or particular vulnerable point on your body, but it still seems like the equivalent of aspiring to belly flop onto the ground. The properties of a water and solid surface are sort of opposite, but it seems awfully odd that the worst, most painful way to land on water is supposed to be the best you can hope for on the ground.

I think the idea behind soft ukemi is that you are still looking for a softer dynamic than the solid-on-solid of traditional breakfalls. Since the ground is solid, you strive to make your body behave more like a liquid spilling onto the ground, rather than something hard smacking into it. In general, you lower yourself rather than fall, rotate more before tipping over, and spill over an obstacle rather than tripping over it. The body stays much more relaxed, as relaxation is what gives it its liquid-like properties. The aim is deliberately the opposite of the kind of breakfall everyone is talking about here - the body hits in a segmented rather than consolidated fashion, and each part that "hits" immediately contributes to dampening the fall and redirecting the body's path....

At least these are my current thoughts on it as I log in the hours of taking experimental "hard falls" over various items of furniture.

Last edited by Kevin Wilbanks : 12-12-2006 at 12:14 AM.
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Old 12-12-2006, 02:02 AM   #87
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Re: To Slap the Ground or Not

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote:
And, the only "benefit" one is getting from actively making percussive impact of one's limbs against hard objects, whether concrete floors, brick walls, makiwara, or pots of sand, is that you are destroying the nerves in those limbs and thus inurring yourself to pain. That is it. You are not "toughening" or "conditioning" anything.
Well, there is WOLFF'S LAW

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 12-12-2006, 06:08 AM   #88
Luc X Saroufim
 
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Re: To Slap the Ground or Not

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote:
Again, it's not the slap action, it's the spreading open of the arms to increase the total body surface area over which the force of landing is dissipated
i can definitely imagine this. reminds me of a spread foundation for bridge abutments.
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Old 12-12-2006, 06:55 AM   #89
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Re: To Slap the Ground or Not

Cady,

Find a good judoka. Take some ukemi from shoulder throws. Please be careful!!!

Soft is great, but if you misalign your body during a good hard throw - you are going to hurt yourself. As Dan and Mike preach -- you got to feel this stuff.

So, try what you say under the conditions I suggest.

David

ps. - I helped my buddy learn koshi nage last night and took some classic breakfalls. felt great, and my spine feels more limber today for it. dk
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Old 12-12-2006, 07:05 AM   #90
Cady Goldfield
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Re: To Slap the Ground or Not

Done judo with good judoka, taken hard throws. Some you can't breakfall from to save your life (literally). But judo is on mats. Impulse power on mats or even wood floors with camber, springs you back up. Try it on pavement though!
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Old 12-12-2006, 07:09 AM   #91
Cady Goldfield
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Re: To Slap the Ground or Not

Quote:
Bronson Diffin wrote:
Well, there is WOLFF'S LAW

Bronson
Bronson,
We addressed weight-bearing/stress-bearing exercise, as compared to percussive/concussive impact earlier. The former is done in a low-impact way that results in even-buildup of bone tissue density over time without causing ruptures or nerve damage. The latter kills nerves, causes edema and bone spurs, and ruptures blood vessels.
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Old 12-12-2006, 08:02 AM   #92
billybob
 
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Re: To Slap the Ground or Not

Oh Cady! Now you've done it!

Let's see how you deal with this: I agree.

Your last two posts make perfect sense to me, and agree with my experience. So there! :P

David
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Old 12-12-2006, 09:01 AM   #93
Cady Goldfield
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Re: To Slap the Ground or Not

"Norman, please co-ordinate!"
-- logic-frazzled androids in the Star Trek episode "I, Mudd"


Last edited by Cady Goldfield : 12-12-2006 at 09:04 AM.
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Old 12-12-2006, 10:20 AM   #94
billybob
 
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Re: To Slap the Ground or Not

ha! you win. I love a good fight as much as you do.

dave
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Old 12-12-2006, 08:54 PM   #95
natasha cebek
 
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Freaky! Re: To Slap the Ground or Not

I have found that the most important thing about Ukemi is that I don't get injured. Sometimes I slap, sometimes I don't..sometimes on a good day I can float..wow!! and then sometimes it's just plain fun to slap that ground nice and hard, just for fun. What it really boils down to is that I decide how I am going to hit the ground,floor or whatever. I have always been taught that I am solely responsible for the outcome of my own fall.
Ukemi is what it is-The art of falling.
And in an ideal "martial arts" world, we eventually learn to fly.
I was also always told by my Sensei to "be quiet and train", so I did.
When I stopped analyzing and questioning every single movement in the Dojo, then I was finally able to learn. If I have a pressing question, I'll think about it for a while and then ask on another day.
Slap the mat or don't...What matters, is the option to do so.

Respectfully,
Natasha

Last edited by natasha cebek : 12-12-2006 at 08:59 PM.

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