Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

aikido articles


dojo search
image gallery
links directory

book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews


rss feeds

Follow us on

Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > General

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Thread Tools
Old 05-11-2008, 11:07 AM   #1
Fred L
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 29
Who "invented" aikido's ukemi

I know that ours is not the only martial art with falls. I'm also aware that our falls often appear similar to those in other arts like hapkido. so....

Did O Sensei develop the falls used in aikido, or did students basically just use falls from other styles?

  Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2008, 01:09 PM   #2
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,238
Re: Who "invented" aikido's ukemi

Fred LaVan wrote: View Post
I know that ours is not the only martial art with falls. I'm also aware that our falls often appear similar to those in other arts like hapkido. so....

Did O Sensei develop the falls used in aikido, or did students basically just use falls from other styles?

My guess is they came from Daito Ryu, but if you look at a variety of styles you'll see a small variety of responses to the same throws so i figure there must be multiple sources involved (Osensei; Shihan; etc.).

  Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2008, 05:07 PM   #3
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Connecticut
Location: East Haven, CT
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,402
Re: Who "invented" aikido's ukemi

I believe that mainline DR thows people down at their feet, and some variants - aikido among them - switched to throw people away.

In terms of "who" invented ukemi specifically. Well, in a sense, I did. I didn't invent it first for sure. But I've been throw in such random and unpredictable ways. No one can prepare you for every throw. I am now reminiscing about a time when I had to make 3 different grabs to finally have some sort of "hold" to be able to survive a morotetori koshinage. (It was like hook from under neath with the inside arm, then then that didn't seem to have any more support, hook on by wrapping from over nage's arm with my out-side arm, then when that was losing connection due to the whip of the thing, slide down with my inside arm to make a final grab on nage's forearm so I didn't splatter onto the mat unsupported. That was my own ukemi. I made it up in the moment. And the point here, is that I assume that is how most of them were "invented".

  Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2008, 07:28 PM   #4
dps's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,356
Re: Who "invented" aikido's ukemi

From http://www.judoinfo.com/lee.htm
Origin of Ukemi

"Another point which Gerald Lafon fails to realize is that the original ukemi methods are not restricted to falling on one’s back and that the Judo techniques are not some overnight products. First, mae ukemi does not require falling on one’s back. In mae-ukemi, one falls forward on his forearms and the palms of the hands. It is, without a second thought, the most strenuous ukemi. After five times of this, the skin of the elbow will become red and ten repetitions of it will relocate, at least, some of the skin to the judogi. It requires strong upper body muscles, especially shoulder, back and stomach muscles. It is certainly not for beginners and taught at the advanced stage of ukemi learning. Second, falling on one’s back and rolling over the back in Judo as well as in other martial arts is not without reason. It is not a guess work nor accidental. It is human instinct and experience. The history of Judo spans some one hundred twenty years, but Judo techniques which derived from jujitsu are much older than that. The Judo techniques that are practiced today are at least one thousand years of accmulation of knowledge and experience, and over the centuries has evolved into a science."


Last edited by dps : 05-11-2008 at 07:31 PM.

Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events not of words. Trust movement. --Alfred Adler
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2008, 08:16 PM   #5
raul rodrigo
Location: Quezon City
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 777
Re: Who "invented" aikido's ukemi

Tamura shihan said: "In the old days, we did not learn how to take ukemi like people do now. Ukemi was something you learned by being thrown. What you picked up naturally by being thrown was considered as true ukemi."
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2008, 09:56 PM   #6
Chuck Clark
Chuck Clark's Avatar
Dojo: Jiyushinkan
Location: Monroe, Washington
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 1,134
Re: Who "invented" aikido's ukemi

Ukemi isn't just about falling... it means to "receive with your body", input that is received as sensory stimuli ... force that is received which affects our structure for example and we adjust and/or recover our structural integrity. If that necessitates falling then we should do that in as natural and efficient way as possible so that we can survive and recover our ability to continue. When we learn ukemi properly it leads to learning kaeshi principles.

I have seen only a few teachers that teach this sort of ukemi as a skill set that is included as a tool for learning budo. Most people see ukemi as falling only which leads to many people seeing it as "losing" or "taking" a certain type of fall that should fit a specific waza. It is much more.

Chuck Clark
Jiyushinkai Aikibudo
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2008, 12:57 AM   #7
bkedelen's Avatar
Dojo: Boulder Aikikai
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 450
Re: Who "invented" aikido's ukemi

My understanding is that Aikido ukemi is primarily absorbed from Kodokan Judo. From what I have seen of Daito Ryu ukemi, it has little in common with Aikido ukemi.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2008, 04:23 AM   #8
Josh Reyer
Josh Reyer's Avatar
Location: Aichi-ken, Nagoya-shi
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 644
Re: Who "invented" aikido's ukemi


Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
- Chaucer
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2008, 07:34 AM   #9
Dojo: Charlotte Aikikai Agatsu Dojo
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,943
Re: Who "invented" aikido's ukemi

it probably started out with a bunch of guys on horse back, screaming, charging down a bunch of other guys intended to stay well and alive and sufficiently arms. The guys on horse back probably got their horses shot from under them and screaming something along the line of "oohhhh shhiiittt" (in various local dialects). Some of them just tucked and roll then came backup and swinging. Some came up and said "cool" (also in local dialects) and admired their techniques at which times the enemies (the other group of guys waiting with various sharpen kitchen knifes) hacked them to death then said "cool" (in the other local dialects). Of course, the ones that didn't performed the tuck-and-roll got their head planted into the mud, in which case, never got the chance to pass on the techniques to the next generations or even had the chance to say "cool" (in their local dialects).

This is one of the reason when you made a spectacular ukemi, you usually bounced back up and said "cool" (in your local dialects).
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2008, 08:44 AM   #10
Location: NJ
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 241
Re: Who "invented" aikido's ukemi

My understanding of rolling over the shoulder had something to do with armor that was worn. If you did the forward somersault in armor you would be flat on your back and an easy dispatch. The over the shoulder roll would allow the combatant to regain his feet and come in hanmi.

Dont make me, make you, grab my wrist.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2008, 10:49 AM   #11
Lan Powers
Dojo: Aikido of Midland, Midland TX
Location: Midland Tx
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 660
Re: Who "invented" aikido's ukemi

That's cool......in my local dialect.

Play nice, practice hard, but remember, this is a MARTIAL art!
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2008, 11:04 AM   #12
Dojo: Kiburn, London, UK
Location: London
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 899
United Kingdom
Re: Who "invented" aikido's ukemi

It's a little known fact (backed up by totally anecdotal focus groups) that it was actually the hakama that invented aikido's ukemi. Following many ignomious demonstrations where several leading aikido practitioners were viciously attacked by their own hakama whilst attempting a standard judo-esque breakfall, the leading aikido researchers of the time found (through trial and error using stunt kyu of course) that a flowing ukemi led to fewer teachers being disabled during practice.

The willow-like crack of the hakama in mid-flight leant added texture to the demonstrations and the "modern" ukemi was born along with the new mantra of not throwing someone into your kicking distance as they could grab your leg (assuming they could disentangle themselves in time).

[insert badly translated smug admonishment here]
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2008, 12:40 PM   #13
Dojo: TNBBC (Icho Ryu Aiki Budo), Shinto Ryu IaiBattojutsu
Location: Seattle, WA
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 927
Re: Who "invented" aikido's ukemi

According to one of the interviews in "Aikido Masters" it was the early female practitioners who modified/invented the ukemi in aikido to be less abrasive. In other words, they began rolling out of throws instead of being thrown more forcefully into judo/jujutsu like break falls. I don't have the book with me here at work, so can't give you a direct quote or page reference. If memory serves it came up in the interview with the woman who illustrated Budo Renshu.

/ man my brain has some really useless facts stuck in it...

Chris Moses
TNBBC, "Putting the ME in MEdiocre!"
Budo Tanren at Seattle School of Aikido
Shinto Ryu Iai-Battojutsu
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2008, 10:33 PM   #14
Rocky Izumi
Dojo: GUST Aikido Club
Location: Salwa, Kuwait
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 381
Re: Who "invented" aikido's ukemi

Watch a chimp take a fall. Or a young child try and do a roll.

  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Ueshiba taking Ukemi Ellis Amdur General 200 03-27-2007 05:40 PM
What is good ukemi? Jerb Training 7 01-06-2007 06:29 AM
Personal Views on Ukemi mjchip Training 15 12-21-2006 08:25 PM
"Silent" Ukemi Jerb Training 11 12-20-2005 05:37 PM
The poll!!!!!!! Matt Banks General 17 04-25-2001 04:30 PM

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:18 AM.

vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2019 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
Copyright 1997-2019 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate