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Old 12-06-2001, 04:56 AM   #51
unsound000
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Quote:
Originally posted by PeterR

Jon I am sure you just slipped up but the whole point of the slap is to dissipate energy and thereby save the body from the full impact. Seems a bit silly to slap the hand after the body has landed.
Steve answers this better than I could.
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Old 12-06-2001, 05:04 AM   #52
unsound000
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Quote:
Originally posted by Steve


Perhaps, though, slapping the mat helps stabilze your body by controling the angle at which your leg-hip-side-shoulder all roll across the ground. This probably has real value.
The best way to control the angle of your fall is to watch tori's eyes the whole way through the throw from start to finish. Believe it or not the rest of your body will follow what your head is doing. We all want to look at the mat. Do not look at the mat. Train yourself to avoid looking at it like its the arc of the convenant from Indiana Jones Also, if you are landing on uke's feet then swing your leg more.
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Old 12-06-2001, 06:33 AM   #53
deepsoup
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Quote:
Originally posted by unsound000
You want your whole body to be like a wet noodle. If you reach/slap early then you are putting out a little stick to the ground and its going to break.
If you reach out for the floor, in such a way that your arm is like a 'stick' (ie, more perpendicular than parallel to the ground) it is indeed dangerous, but thats because you're doing it wrong.

My judo sensei used to say the arm should slap the mat like a wet rope. (I guess thats not a million miles from the 'wet noodle' you mention.)

Speaking of which, judo involves uke taking some very forceful falls.
As aikidoka talking about dealing with 'high' breakfalls, and dealing with being thrown strongly downward, I think we could learn a thing or two from the way they do things at the Kodokan.

Sean
x
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Old 12-06-2001, 10:10 AM   #54
akiy
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by unsound000
Basically, I am saying what Steve and Mona are saying. The slap hitting first is going to damage you on a real surface.
I don't think I said that I slap before my body hits the ground; I slap, hopefully, at the same time. As I said before, I've taken some breakfalls (self-propelled) on hardwood floors and all I got out of it was that my hands stung for a bit. Just my limited experience...

As far as the soft breakfall goes, the hand does "reach" over and down to the ground before the rest of the body. It's hard to describe unless you've seen it, but students of Mitsunari Kanai sensei (8th dan, New England Aikikai) do this breakfall pretty regularly. There's also the basic equivalent of a soft breakfall for back breakfalls, too in which one arm "reaches" toward the ground to soften the blow. When done, these soft breakfalls are very much silent.

Quote:
Your vital organs are protected when you arch. This protects your kidneys.
Can you explain this, please?
Quote:
If you dropped your car from a great height, then would you want the car to land on all 4 wheels at the same time or just one wheel and then the rest of the car? The second way your car is going to bounce, break a wheel, and angle off. Slapping is fine but it comes at the same time as the rest of the body. Don't reach for the mat.
What if a giant balloon became inflated a fraction of a second before the impact (like an airbag in a car)? In a soft breakfall, that's what the arm reaching over is doing -- softening the fall to allow for the body to land softly. Another thing I've noticed with the soft breakfall is that the body doesn't land all in one piece but gradually starting from the hand, the arm, the shoulder, the torse, the hips, then the legs...

I guess you have to see it for yourself.

-- Jun

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Old 12-06-2001, 11:55 PM   #55
Mares
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Well for me the most important part is keeping my legs apart throughout the high fall. Especially on landing.
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Old 12-07-2001, 01:02 AM   #56
Speireag
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Quote:
Originally posted by Abasan
And oh.. about that one foot swinging the baseball bat thing... I'm pretty sure I've read about this famous japanese baseball player who was once called the 'babe ruth' of Japan who uses that technique. His name starts with an S or something and his coach was a student of OSensei... or rather he attended OSensei's classes. It was quite effective apparently and even though he swung the bat, his balance was impeccable.
The player's name was Sadaharu O, if I remember correctly. There was an article by him in _Aikido and the New Warrior_, in which he describes how his coach would take instruction from O'Sensei and pass it along to O, because it was deemed too dangerous by the coach for Sadaharu to practice Aikido. Very amusing story. At one point, O'Sensei tells the coach, "You know, you're a lousy teacher!" or words to that effect.

-Speireag.

Speireag Alden
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Old 12-07-2001, 01:26 AM   #57
Speireag
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Quote:
Originally posted by akiy
I've actually taken self-propelled breakfalls onto hardwood floors -- it stung like crazy, but my arm was fine. Sure, it's not a concrete surface and, sure, it's not a "real" throw, but it let me know that it's not too horrible. Besides, if I were to get thrown onto concrete, I'd rather impact with my arm and break it if it's necessary to protect my "vital" organs...
I second your opinion, Jun. I've also done self-propelled breakfalls onto hardwood, and onto pavement. Once or twice even when I was an adult, but I remember clearly doing them on the sidewalk outside of my grade school just after Judo class.

I took about four years of Judo, from fourth grade into eighth grade.

When I was about fourteen, and somewhat out of practice when it came to high-falls, I was riding an old barrel-chested horse with a friend. We were galloping, and that poor horse was carrying two teenagers, galumphing along. He was a bit stiff, not in his prime, and when he changed leads on a corner I nearly lost my seat, since I was sitting behind and didn't have the withers to grab with my hands or hold with my knees. I started to go off to the left, trying to hold on to what was essentially a round, living barrel. My riding partner reined him in, which made sense under the circumstances, but he didn't decelerate smoothly. With each decelerating bump I lost my balance a little more, until, just as we crossed over a driveway, I went off, head-over-heels, forward over my partner's left knee.

I landed in a high fall on pavement, from about five or six feet up, while doing around ten miles per hour. I picked myself up, dusted myself off, and examined my left palm, which stung a bit. There was a slight amount of scraping, but no blood. And I was fine; once the stinging stopped there were no ill effects at all.

About two years later I went off again, at a full gallop, when I was riding a stubborn fireball who unexpectedly turned ninety degrees in one stride. Head-over-heels onto packed sandy clay. I landed in a high fall, slid a little way, and walked away without injury. Onlookers said that I was as white as a ghost, though.

I think that everyone should learn to high fall at an early age, to prepare for later adventures. I had no thought, on either occasion, of what I intended to do. I just did it and figured it out afterward.

Now, I'd consider those to be "real" throws: unexpected, sudden, no conscious intent, and a five foot drop, at least. So I don't worry too much about whether high falls work. As long as your form is good, they work fine.

I think that sometimes we over-analyze in an attempt to figure out how things work, and handicap ourselves in the process. Based on my limited experience, a well-executed high fall won't result in a broken arm.

-Speireag.

Speireag Alden
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Old 12-07-2001, 03:06 AM   #58
unsound000
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I visited a Shodokan school once and they would ootz a lot. I remember reading that some people use ootz as a kiai and this is wrong. I think it explained that the use of "ootz" was more about proper etiquette, like walking into the dojo or something. You should kiai to get the air out of your lungs before you hit.


Quote:
Originally posted by michaelkvance


Er? Do some dojos teach this? How interesting.

We had some fellows come to one of our intensives once, and whenever I would throw them (irimi-nage, tenchi-nage), they'd utter in a low, raspy voice, "uuuttzzzz". I kept thinking I had hurt them or something, very strange!

m.
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Old 12-07-2001, 03:21 AM   #59
unsound000
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Quote:
Originally posted by deepsoup


Speaking of which, judo involves uke taking some very forceful falls.
As aikidoka talking about dealing with 'high' breakfalls, and dealing with being thrown strongly downward, I think we could learn a thing or two from the way they do things at the Kodokan.

Sean
x
I do Kodenkan Jujitsu which has close ties to Kodokan. Okazaki and Kano were good friends, I believe. We have some crazy throws (that's teh technical word for them)and a lot of the higher ranks did Judo prior to joining. All I have to say is that if someone is trying to slam you into the mat then kiai for all your worth and relax. All the Judo guys say that they learned how to throw people hard but they never learned how to take a hard throw and consequently, got hurt a lot.
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Old 12-07-2001, 03:45 AM   #60
unsound000
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If just your hands sting then that's a good fall in my book. Only your left hand should have got it though, I think because the right hand does not need to slap. If you always hold on to uke with the right hand on throws then it should not really do anything when you do your breakfall.
I have no idea how you do a silent backfall. We fall/jump backwards onto our shoulder blades. That can be silent?
I do understand what you are saying about the soft breakfall though, I think. (Good descripton). I see them as the kind of side falls we do, very soft and rolling along the body. When thrown we practice taking a complete straight over so we're not trained to land silent like that. I see now that it is safe. We do the straight over so eventually we learn to counter throw from uke's throw. I'm not sure you can do that from a soft breakfall, can you?
When beginners do a breakfall, they tend to fetal or bend at the waist and hold their breath. This is a natural "safety" position we're programmed to go into but when you do fall this way you put too much force on your lower back. If you arch the back and let out the air in your lungs, then you are protecting the kidneys from anything protruding on the ground and by a kiai you protect your lungs from getting the force of the fall. When you lie flat and arch your back then you will notice that there is a space along your lower back. We do this because no muscles protect the kidneys.

Thanks, good post.
Jon
~no more car metaphors plz


Quote:
Originally posted by akiy

I don't think I said that I slap before my body hits the ground; I slap, hopefully, at the same time. As I said before, I've taken some breakfalls (self-propelled) on hardwood floors and all I got out of it was that my hands stung for a bit. Just my limited experience...

As far as the soft breakfall goes, the hand does "reach" over and down to the ground before the rest of the body. It's hard to describe unless you've seen it, but students of Mitsunari Kanai sensei (8th dan, New England Aikikai) do this breakfall pretty regularly. There's also the basic equivalent of a soft breakfall for back breakfalls, too in which one arm "reaches" toward the ground to soften the blow. When done, these soft breakfalls are very much silent.


Can you explain this, please?

What if a giant balloon became inflated a fraction of a second before the impact (like an airbag in a car)? In a soft breakfall, that's what the arm reaching over is doing -- softening the fall to allow for the body to land softly. Another thing I've noticed with the soft breakfall is that the body doesn't land all in one piece but gradually starting from the hand, the arm, the shoulder, the torse, the hips, then the legs...

I guess you have to see it for yourself.

-- Jun
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Old 12-07-2001, 05:34 AM   #61
Greg Jennings
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mona


Where to exactly?

To a bookstore. Buy and read a book about the Founder. You'll find that he had a mighty kiai and urged his students to develop one also.

Your comments were quite disrespectful to those of us who try to follow his advice.

Best,

Greg Jennings

Greg Jennings
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Old 12-07-2001, 09:06 AM   #62
Edward
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Quote:
Originally posted by unsound000


I do Kodenkan Jujitsu which has close ties to Kodokan. Okazaki and Kano were good friends, I believe. We have some crazy throws (that's teh technical word for them)and a lot of the higher ranks did Judo prior to joining. All I have to say is that if someone is trying to slam you into the mat then kiai for all your worth and relax. All the Judo guys say that they learned how to throw people hard but they never learned how to take a hard throw and consequently, got hurt a lot.
I have done myself over 7 years judo and I can assure you of the following: Judo throws are designed to be safe. You whip Uke to the mat with a circular motion and you pull him up with the sleeve. The result: the body doesn't touch the mat like a dead weight, and the hand which is not pulled by Tori slaps the mat automatically because of the whipping action. As for Aikido, I have experienced the most painful falls so far. Aikido throws are deigned to hurt. Moreover, Aikidokas are never taught how to throw Uke safely. Falling safely is considered Uke's responsibility. I have been thrown so many time by Nage without controlling my fall, sometimes just leaving me hanging in the air so that I fall flat on my back. I think there is something to be improved in this respect.
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Old 12-07-2001, 11:02 AM   #63
Andy
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Quote:
Originally posted by Edward
Moreover, Aikidokas are never taught how to throw Uke safely.
Never?
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Old 12-07-2001, 12:55 PM   #64
PeterR
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Andy

Never?
Edward falls into the trap of generalizations. I sure was taught to throw uke safely, in fact safety is emphasized.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 12-07-2001, 12:56 PM   #65
mj
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Quote:
Originally posted by Edward


I have done myself over 7 years judo and I can assure you of the following: Judo throws are designed to be safe. You whip Uke to the mat with a circular motion and you pull him up with the sleeve...
hmmm....I don't see how you can get him on his back with this description.

Also, it's very rare for a judoka to have an arm free for breakfall.

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Old 12-07-2001, 01:27 PM   #66
shihonage
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Quote:
Originally posted by Edward

As for Aikido, I have experienced the most painful falls so far. Aikido throws are deigned to hurt. Moreover, Aikidokas are never taught how to throw Uke safely. Falling safely is considered Uke's responsibility. I have been thrown so many time by Nage without controlling my fall, sometimes just leaving me hanging in the air so that I fall flat on my back. I think there is something to be improved in this respect.
If you aren't ready to take full-speed ukemi, then don't attack at full speed.
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Old 12-08-2001, 03:13 AM   #67
unsound000
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Quote:
Originally posted by Edward


I have done myself over 7 years judo and I can assure you of the following: Judo throws are designed to be safe.
They weren't saying that Judo was not safe overall but that there was some room for improvement. Specifically, they mentioned that uke usually tried to resist and counter to get the point or win. There was not as much focus on going with the flow and landing gently.
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Old 12-08-2001, 08:47 AM   #68
Andy
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Quote:
Originally posted by PeterR
Edward falls into the trap of generalizations. I sure was taught to throw uke safely, in fact safety is emphasized.
Same in some places where I've trained.
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Old 12-08-2001, 10:10 AM   #69
Edward
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Quote:
Originally posted by PeterR

Edward falls into the trap of generalizations. I sure was taught to throw uke safely, in fact safety is emphasized.
Hi Peter,

I apologize but it's just to raise an issue. I have to generalize. I am sure in some dojos they do teach that, but not in my experience. Perhaps because Shodokan has a strong Judo influence?

I have noticed that wherever I trained in Aikido, highfalls are painful, because my partners do not know how to control my falls, and I am talking about black belts. Coincidentally, my partners fall comfortably thanks to me taking the extra precaution of controlling their fall so that they land on their side.

Perhaps I am not good at falling yet as someone has suggested
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Old 12-08-2001, 10:24 AM   #70
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No worries Edward - I was just in a mood for a little dig.

I have noticed though that many Aikikai dojos strive for the big uke driven breakfalls. Tori's role is less important here but this is not good Aikido - it sure doen't help Tori develope skill. Proper control is not just a question of uke's safety but in Shodokan we ofen move directly into a pin - without good control that is very difficult.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 12-08-2001, 08:52 PM   #71
Edward
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Quote:
Originally posted by mj


hmmm....I don't see how you can get him on his back with this description.

Also, it's very rare for a judoka to have an arm free for breakfall.
So what can he be possibly doing with the other hand?
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Old 12-08-2001, 08:52 PM   #72
jimvance
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Quote:
Originally posted by unsound000
All I have to say is that if someone is trying to slam you into the mat then kiai for all your worth and relax.
I think you are onto something. My sensei talks about the body actually learning to dissipate shocks from falls by ultra-quick muscular contraction followed by relaxation. He says that the body develops this ability through practice and conditioning, much like resistance or endurance training. I know what he is talking about because it takes me a while to get "back into shape" if I have been out of the dojo for a week or two, but not much beyond that.

Jim Vance
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Old 12-08-2001, 08:58 PM   #73
Edward
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Quote:
Originally posted by unsound000


They weren't saying that Judo was not safe overall but that there was some room for improvement. Specifically, they mentioned that uke usually tried to resist and counter to get the point or win. There was not as much focus on going with the flow and landing gently.
I meant the training part. In competition, they will try to land in any possible position, even on their heads, but not on the back, so that they don't loose. Hence the injuries. But during practice, it's another story. Even during randori, you are supposed to fall for Tori if he executes a correct and well placed technique. However, Judo throws are not gentle. They are powerful and generate a lot of sound, yet they are not painful. Unless you land on someone else, that is
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Old 12-09-2001, 01:36 AM   #74
unsound000
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First, never try to control your partners fall. Just do the technique right and let uke do the rest. Trying to control where he lands is going to probably drive him into the mat and possibly at an angle because your "control" is adding momentum while he is in a fall. This is the same as someone slamming you into the mat with the hand holding your gi. Their hand should be pretty well relaxed or even limp at the end of the art.
As uke, you take care of falling by yourself. Tori can screw you up some but most of it you conrol. Swing your leg to get over and watch tori's eyes the whole time. Never, ever, ever, look at the mat. Looking, drives your body into it. Your right hand should never, (ever) let go of uke's lapel. Kiai and relax before hitting. By far, relaxation is the most important thing. Breathing deeply will help and the kiai will help a lot. Watch the most relaxed person in your dojo take falls, they should be bored getting up. This is what you want.
If these falls hurt, then you need to take care of yourself and try hard to do these things. Otherwise, you may ruin a perfectly good mat someday.




Quote:
Originally posted by Edward


I have noticed that wherever I trained in Aikido, highfalls are painful, because my partners do not know how to control my falls, and I am talking about black belts. Coincidentally, my partners fall comfortably thanks to me taking the extra precaution of controlling their fall so that they land on their side.

Perhaps I am not good at falling yet as someone has suggested
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Old 12-09-2001, 01:44 AM   #75
unsound000
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Actually, I can't take credit for the invention of the kiai
Sounds like you have a good sensei.

Quote:
Originally posted by jimvance


I think you are onto something. My sensei talks about the body actually learning to dissipate shocks from falls by ultra-quick muscular contraction followed by relaxation. He says that the body develops this ability through practice and conditioning, much like resistance or endurance training. I know what he is talking about because it takes me a while to get "back into shape" if I have been out of the dojo for a week or two, but not much beyond that.

Jim Vance
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