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Old 01-27-2002, 12:01 AM   #1
AikiWeb System
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AikiWeb Poll for the week of January 27, 2002:

How many falls in an hour do you take in an average class at your aikido dojo?
  • I don't do aikido
  • 0
  • 1-10
  • 11-20
  • 21-30
  • 31-50
  • 51-70
  • 71-100
  • 101-150
  • 151-200
  • 201-300
  • 301-400
  • 401-500
  • 501+
Here are the current results.
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Old 01-27-2002, 12:13 PM   #2
guest1234
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Any of you in the 30-50 (or whatever) group wondering about the 500+ group, or the other way around? I think this is a poll that might end up with two peaks... I wander from place to place, so don't have an average dojo, let alone an average class, but I've been in both the 30-50 and the 500+ places (and yes, they both exist).

The higher number group probably has a 5-10 minute period during warm up for 'ukemi'. When the senior student at my first dojo would say that word during warm up, we'd start doing forward, backward rolls, side falls, break falls, etc, as quickly as possible (if you weren't in your first week, and were interested in eventually getting to uke for sensei, your rate was about 50 per minute). You were grateful to hear sensei shout 'shikko' (until the 6th time round the mat or so... ) Further, these number are probably more common in dojos that teach 'train don't talk'; ukes were expected to hit the mat and jump right back up to attack, none of this tug the gi, brush the hair, look around a bit action.And the only one teaching was sensei. On the other hand, older less agile more fragile students didn't last very long or come very often.

Another place I like has some slow paced some fast paced partners, so of course the count is lower, but you get more partner variation. They have some ukemi practice, but not a lot.

The 30-50 group is more like a place I spend time at now, where there is no ukemi practice during warm-up, and a lot of mat teaching going on. The mat teaching is good if you like it (not if you don't), but it cuts into training (and hence the falling count).
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Old 01-27-2002, 12:37 PM   #3
Jonathan
Dojo: North Winnipeg Aikikai
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
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As just part of the stretching warm-up we do about 80 falls. On alternate days we do what we call a rolling warm-up where the number of falls swells to about 120-140. Of this number about a third of the falls are of the high breakfall kind. During the remainder of class these numbers, for most students, typically come close to tripling.

We have a couple of fellows in their mid-fifties who participate almost entirely in these warm-ups. They appreciate the aerobic nature of this kind of warming-up process, as do all the students.

At local seminars you can certainly tell just from ukemi whose students are from which dojo. There's no hiding a lack of falling practice.

Its my view that poor falling skills limits the quality and intensity of practice. Why, then, would you skimp on ukemi?

"Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."
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Old 01-27-2002, 12:49 PM   #4
guest1234
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I agree entirely! I think students suffer in the long run when ukemi is an afterthought. I try to get some extra falls in if I can get to class early, but this pesky war business is cutting into my free time . I may need to take sweats to the office to roll around at lunch if I don't start to get out of the office earlier...

As for the older students...rolling is fine, but I tend to worry about high breakfalls and sidefalls with 80 year old bones . One 80+ shodan at my last dojo would complain when we worked together that he liked my breakfalls, and could no longer do them himself. I would reply that if he tried with me and didn't break his hip, I'd wring his neck... that I wasn't going to breakfall at 60, let alone 80. Common sense needs to used occassionally...
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Old 01-27-2002, 02:54 PM   #5
Arianah
Dojo: Aikido of Norwalk
Location: CT
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I interpreted it as how many falls you take from being thrown in an hour class. I never even thought about ukemi drills, which would make my number much higher. I just thought the ones who put 501+ were exaggerating (my number is still much less, even adding the ukemi drills and having a fast-paced class . . . sigh).

Last edited by Arianah : 01-27-2002 at 02:57 PM.
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Old 01-27-2002, 03:34 PM   #6
guest1234
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I think the absolute number doesn't matter after a point. Enough that you are getting good practice in falling, after that it is good for aerobic conditioning...but 500 doesn't necessarily make you better than 300...

I did a lot more my first month of training than I do now, for instance... I'd go to open practice and roll for an hour (you can get A LOT of falls in an hour that way ) but at that point I really wanted to improve my falling so I could get thrown more freely by seniors. The only time I'd only roll for an hour now is to loose a little weight, or if I was particularly unhappy with how my ukemi was that day... although I am sure plenty of my instructors would say my ukemi always needs more work

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Old 01-28-2002, 04:57 AM   #7
Jim ashby
Dojo: Phoenix Coventry
Location: Coventry, England
Join Date: Mar 2001
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500+!!!!!

500+ an hour? That's one every seven seconds or so.If you are in a pair that's one technique each every 3 1/2 seconds. Hmmmmmm. I've been in some pretty intense training sessions but I've never even seen a lesson like that. Perhaps that number is for the whole of the members of the class put together?

Vir Obesus Stola Saeptus
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Old 01-28-2002, 12:00 PM   #8
Jonathan
Dojo: North Winnipeg Aikikai
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
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Yeah, 500+ falls an hour would have everyone in my dojo vomiting or unconscious, I think. We have some who've thrown up at 250+ rolls! (By the way, never eat fast food just before a vigorous practice. This may seem obvious, but some people don't seem to recognize the danger...)

"Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."
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Old 01-28-2002, 09:53 PM   #9
Edward
Location: Bangkok
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Thailand
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One of my friends does reagularly 500 to 1000 zempo ukemi in a row as a training. He claims this improves his ukemi and endurance.

However, I've read an article in Aikido Journal (I'm too lazy to look it up) stating that too much ukemi can cause internal hemorragies and serious damage, and sometimes death.

Cheers,
Edward
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Old 01-29-2002, 07:47 AM   #10
Roger C. Marks
Dojo: Tetsushinkan London
Location: London
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United Kingdom
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Quote:
Originally posted by Arianah
I interpreted it as how many falls you take from being thrown in an hour class. I never even thought about ukemi drills, which would make my number much higher. I just thought the ones who put 501+ were exaggerating (my number is still much less, even adding the ukemi drills and having a fast-paced class . . . sigh).
My interpretation was number of falls from rei-on to rei-off and at my home dojo this includes 30 minutes warm up (minimum)with usually no practice ukemi and often some kenjutsu because my sensei emphasises kenjutsu as an aikido source. I also did not include what I consider truncated ukemi, for example from immobilisations, as I am from a judo background and anything less than a full emphatic breakfall is not seen as 'real' ukemi waza. On that basis, I calculated to average out 50 falls during a two hour session.
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Old 01-29-2002, 08:32 AM   #11
ian
 
ian's Avatar
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Though not necessarily indicative of good training, I'd note that Ueshibas training session seemed to have many, many ukemis. Do we now over-analyse things?

Ian
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Old 01-29-2002, 11:05 AM   #12
cbrf4zr2
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I'm in agreement with Jim that 501+ per hour is most likely exaggerated, or more likely the question was misread as to training session. If your training session is 3 hours, I could see 500+ for the session, but not per hour.

I answered in the 51-70/hour range, but I didn't count our warmups in the count. If I count that, we do probably 150% to 200% more...around 175-200 or so...but that's in 1.5 hours.

That's my 2 cents per hour.

************************
...then again, that's just me.
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Old 01-29-2002, 12:47 PM   #13
Johan Tibell
Dojo: Aikido Dojo Gamlestaden
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Join Date: Nov 2001
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jonathan
As just part of the stretching warm-up we do about 80 falls. On alternate days we do what we call a rolling warm-up where the number of falls swells to about 120-140. Of this number about a third of the falls are of the high breakfall kind. During the remainder of class these numbers, for most students, typically come close to tripling.

We have a couple of fellows in their mid-fifties who participate almost entirely in these warm-ups. They appreciate the aerobic nature of this kind of warming-up process, as do all the students.

At local seminars you can certainly tell just from ukemi whose students are from which dojo. There's no hiding a lack of falling practice.

Its my view that poor falling skills limits the quality and intensity of practice. Why, then, would you skimp on ukemi?
Agreed, as do poor throws...

Regards,

Johan Tibell
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Old 01-29-2002, 03:44 PM   #14
[Censored]
 
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Its my view that poor falling skills limits the quality and intensity of practice. Why, then, would you skimp on ukemi?

If class is only 60-90 minutes long, you gotta skimp on something.
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Old 01-29-2002, 05:46 PM   #15
Nick P.
 
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Dojo: Sukagawa Aikido Club of Montreal
Location: Montreal
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Wink

So,

Where can I buy one of these "Automatic Ukemi Counters", and how much do they cost? Guess I didn't look hard enough at the back of Aikido Today Magazine...

Just kidding.

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Old 01-30-2002, 04:55 PM   #16
Arianah
Dojo: Aikido of Norwalk
Location: CT
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Umm . . .
Could someone help me understand the poll answers of "0"? Are there dojo that don't have ukemi?
Sarah
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Old 01-30-2002, 10:28 PM   #17
guest1234
Join Date: Jun 2000
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Good question, is there a '0' answer? I guess I can think of one situation, I did two weeks of Aikido while deployed to the Balkans, we trained in a corner of the gym, a tent with a concrete floor, and had no mats. Needless to say, rolls/falls were not required.

As for exageration to 500+, perhaps...but if you do 10-15 minutes of rolls/falls for warmup, with a rate of 40 per minute (which is actually pretty leisurely) you have nearly that number before the first technique is done, with 45 minutes of class left to go. Throw in some extended periods of a basic kokyunage or kokyuho, when uke is expected to jump right back up and attack, then after 4 throws change roles, no talking allowed and energy expected...you can get a pretty good workout in one class...
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