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Old 01-28-2009, 05:14 PM   #1
Chantal
 
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Forward Breakfalls

I have been practicing Aikido 3 days a week for slightly over 5 months. What I find intimidating is forward breakfalls. My mind cannot grasp the "I am going to willingly launch my body through the air and roll and get up again". It is as though I hesitate and put too much thought in to it. Then, when it is my turn to do a forward breakfall I kinda think too much and end up screwing something up. Luckily, I have not done anything too "poorly" to be labeled as something I will never forget. Although, I do laugh to myself as I am upside down and think "holy crap here I go"

I guess what I am asking is ... how did any of you get over that feeling of intimidation (if I should call it that) about forward breakfalls? I wish I could do it without thinking so much. Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Chantal
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Old 01-29-2009, 06:57 AM   #2
Amir Krause
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Re: Forward Breakfalls

When I started I was younger, so it was not a real problem.

However, the best solution I found so far was to practice a lot, but over softer and more forgiving surface (additional mats) than the normal one. Until you reduce your fear to a level in which you can stat improve the technique and return to the regular mats.

Amir
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Old 01-29-2009, 09:31 AM   #3
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Forward Breakfalls

Practice just rolling back and kicking your feet up, then coming down left side, then roll back, come down right side, and keep practicing the landing that way. Very low impact, pay strict attention to details, ask your instructors and seniors about form. When you get the form exact this way, then go to one knee down, one knee up. Then go to standing, or having someone hold one arm as in sumi otoshi, and you do the actual throw to yourself, then they hold the arm and actually throw but continue to support you by holding the arm, then last they throw and release.

Best,
Ron (since you're a yoshin-orc, someone at the dojo should be able to show you exactly what I'm talking about...with whom do you train?)

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
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Old 01-29-2009, 03:08 PM   #4
Chantal
 
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Re: Forward Breakfalls

back breakfalls are not difficult at all ... so help me a little to understand what you are suggesting Ron. You are explaining that I practice "rolling back and kicking your feet up .. left side and right side" ... my intimidation/fear is forward ... not backwards. I know that I think too much when I am about to roll. Do you think about your roll before you do it ... or is it natural now?? I want to clear my mind before I roll because I think that focusing on all the details is what is holding me back.

I am 30 and I suppose that age makes fear more real. I just want to break through that barrier and move forward ...lol ... literally I guess.

I train in a small dojo (a good day means there are 6 ppl on the mat including the sensei) ... my sensei is Pierre Senecal.
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Old 01-29-2009, 03:12 PM   #5
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Re: Forward Breakfalls

I should add that my sensei is 2nd Dan and all the other students are either 5th or 4th Kyu.

Thanks
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Old 01-29-2009, 03:30 PM   #6
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Forward Breakfalls

Hi Chantal (I love that name, it is my Fiance's middle name),

Quote:
Chantal Amyotte wrote: View Post
back breakfalls are not difficult at all ... so help me a little to understand what you are suggesting Ron. You are explaining that I practice "rolling back and kicking your feet up .. left side and right side" ... my intimidation/fear is forward ... not backwards.
I know, that is why I suggest this. Sit down on the floor with your legs out in front. Bend the right knee. Rock back like you are practicing a back roll, but shoot your legs up in the air, pause then as you come down left hand touches first, ball of the right foot next (leg bent), left leg (straight) last. Then rock back, and come down right hand, left leg (bent, ball of foot), right leg (straight). The 2nd dan will probably have seen this exercise before. Basically, you practice the landing over and over and over until it is second nature. With none of the pain or fear of doing a break fall.

Then you put back knee down, front knee up, tuck the head, go over, slap with the hand that matches the straight leg.

Then you do it from standing with a partner as I described, you throwing yourself, then them actually throwing but holding on, then them throwing and letting go.

After all that, if you're still afraid ... I don't know what to do!

Quote:
I know that I think too much when I am about to roll. Do you think about your roll before you do it ... or is it natural now??
It's pretty much natural now, which is not to say that I don't still hurt my self. Or that I am particularly good at it...

Quote:
I want to clear my mind before I roll because I think that focusing on all the details is what is holding me back.
Training is where you focus on the details...that's why I suggest the progression that I do. Then when someone throws, proper reaction is ingrained...

Quote:
I am 30 and I suppose that age makes fear more real. I just want to break through that barrier and move forward ...lol ... literally I guess.
47 here...and yeah, I don't heal so fast, so I am more carefull now. Another reason to start at ground level.

Quote:
I train in a small dojo (a good day means there are 6 ppl on the mat including the sensei) ... my sensei is Pierre Senecal.
Some small dojo have been the places where I enjoyed training the most! Best wishes!

Ron

Last edited by Ron Tisdale : 01-29-2009 at 03:32 PM.

Ron Tisdale
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Old 01-29-2009, 05:14 PM   #7
Chantal
 
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Re: Forward Breakfalls

hahaha I love my name too ...

thanks a million for the very detailed tip Ron I think I will try that in class tomorrow night ... mention it to my sensei too. Also, I might go in to work on the weekend with a friend and practice this. ( I am a teacher so I have access to the gym and the mats there ... might help if I take some extra time to really focus on JUST the roll).

Salut,
Chantal
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Old 01-30-2009, 07:12 AM   #8
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Forward Breakfalls

No Problem, I hope it helps. If anyone from Kimeda Sensei's dojo comes by, they can probably show you how to do these. Remember to use your abs to roll back! The nice thing about these is you can do them pretty much anywhere...as long you don't have downstairs neighbors! They also make a good warm up before class starts.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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Old 02-04-2009, 05:25 AM   #9
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Re: Forward Breakfalls

Quote:
Chantal Amyotte wrote: View Post

I am 30 and I suppose that age makes fear more real. I just want to break through that barrier and move forward ...lol ... literally I guess.
*whistles*
Big three-zero.
Only in my 20's here, wonder what training will be like once I hit the top of the hill

When I tested I made myself angry. I psyched myself up. I didn't care if I hurt myself I was mad. I crouched a bit and sprang forward as far and hard as I could and rolled. Everyone commented on how great my rolls were, I was clearing a lot of matt space. Mind you by the end of my rolls I was exausted and ready to barf but I wasnt afraid of getting hurt or screwing up.

Quote:
If you look before you leap you might not jump

If you're hungry, keep moving.
If you're tired, keep moving.
If you value you're life, keep moving.

You don't own what you can't defend
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Old 02-04-2009, 01:05 PM   #10
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Re: Forward Breakfalls

very funny Grant .. you can let me know how "the top of the hill" feels in like 6 days :|

You are right behind me in age but your body is more worn than mine (you are physically more in shape than I am but that is due to the high physical stress of your job) ... your body has taken a beating and you get up for more ... it is what you live for ... adrenaline ... ha .. got you there friend!!

As far as training goes, my rolls were good for my test but now that I am learning a new one, I tend to revert to the old one .. like I have to re-train my body to roll in a different way ... man it is hard to make my body remember to do what I need it to do.

Looking forward to you returning to class ... see you soon enough bobo!!

Salut,
Chantal
p.s. yes, I agree that if i look before I leap I may not jump ... you might want to take that advice as well my friend.
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Old 02-06-2009, 02:31 AM   #11
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Re: Forward Breakfalls

Ron's advice is awesome. I'm going to have to use it when I get back.

Have you begun the front break falls where you're standing, grab your shirt and basically do a front flip onto the mat?

If you're hungry, keep moving.
If you're tired, keep moving.
If you value you're life, keep moving.

You don't own what you can't defend
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Old 02-06-2009, 10:19 AM   #12
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Forward Breakfalls

Hey Grant,

It's not really my idea, I stole it from Utada Sensei! Those are several of the ways he's trained us.

Best,
Ron (stay safe and well)

Ron Tisdale
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Old 02-07-2009, 05:06 PM   #13
Chantal
 
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Re: Forward Breakfalls

ummm ... no, I have not done that yet!! not officially anyways. We had one class of just rolling (on a giant mat) and I ended up doing that one ... although I am sure I did it wrong ... but at least the landing was soft

thanks for all the advice,

Chantal
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Old 02-08-2009, 01:15 AM   #14
Walter Martindale
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Re: Forward Breakfalls

Hmm. By forward breakfalls, I assume you mean the ones with the big bang slap on the mat, rather than rolls?

When in judo, we did one where we would grab a partner's lapel, fling ourselves in the air (feet first in front) and land, supporting one side with our partner's lapel, and slapping the mat with the other hand while trying to keep our legs from slapping together with the boys trapped between them. (ouch - you don't do that very often before you learn...)
Aikido - well, if you're not comfortable with mae ukemi from standing, try from kneeling - you'll find that a forward roll ukemi is pretty much the exact reverse of a backward roll ukemi.

Or - it was when I was more flexible - 55 has rolled around, and the hamstrings seem to take a lot more stretching than before..

For the bigger forward ukemi when you're going over your wrist in kotegaeshi, or having to go over your arm in shihonage, for example, a way to start is to have someone help - you grasp their wrist, they direct their hand leading you forward and then down so that you can roll out of it (a kokyu nage). Then as you handle that better, they can cut their hand (the one you're grabbing away, down, and then back to cause you to turn over more quickly - a sudden breakfall when you thought you were going to roll. As long as they let you know that they're progressing...
HTH (hard to say this without video - but I have a VERY slow connection even if I did have the appropriate clips).
Walter
(where in Ontario? - me Canuck too).
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Old 02-08-2009, 10:31 AM   #15
Chantal
 
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Re: Forward Breakfalls

lol ... Canadian eh!!

Walter, I am from a small town called Cornwall, Ontario .. near Ottawa ... off the St.Lawrence river. Population here is about 49thousand. My dojo is the only one around for about 115kms.

ok, it is a forward roll ...where you start in a standing Kamae position and then you roll across your arm and land upright on your feet again ... can do left side pretty good but still rusty on right. But yes, the other one where you do the big slap on the mat is definately causing me to think too much before I leap.

How long have you been doing aikido ... and did you face the same difficulties as I am describing??

Salut,
Chantal
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Old 02-08-2009, 10:41 AM   #16
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Re: Forward Breakfalls

Quote:
Chantal Amyotte wrote: View Post
ok, it is a forward roll ...where you start in a standing Kamae position and then you roll across your arm and land upright on your feet again ... can do left side pretty good but still rusty on right. But yes, the other one where you do the big slap on the mat is definately causing me to think too much before I leap.
I'm getting confused. What exactly is a breakfall? It seems like it's a lot more than just a forward roll with a big ol' slap, no?
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Old 02-08-2009, 05:13 PM   #17
Chantal
 
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Re: Forward Breakfalls

Mary .. guess I should have been a slight more specific. What I am referring to is the forward roll (zenpo kaiten ukemi ichi, ni and san) . Keep in mind that I stared aikido in September 2008 and this idea of allowing your body to go "ass over tea kettle" is slightly intimidating. I have been practicing on weekends (where I work) and I am losing that fear of landing on my face. I know that it is not a complicated thing to do but as a beginner, I am having to get over that fear. Things are improving.

thanks everyone for the valuable feedback

Chantal
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Old 02-09-2009, 12:48 AM   #18
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Re: Forward Breakfalls

Quote:
Chantal Amyotte wrote: View Post
this idea of allowing your body to go "ass over tea kettle" is slightly intimidating.
I think this is a natural reaction from anyone, especially those of us without martial arts experience when they are younger or even just not used to physical activity like this growing up.

I've been trying to teach myself how to do a front and back flip from the standing position. I had a really big aversion to landing on my head- as soon as I would go upside down I'd loose focus. I did two things to inoculate myself against this.

1. I practiced doing forward and backward flips into a pool &
2. did the same off of a hunting cabin roof into the snow.

In the latter I landed upside down a few times but with practice I got over the fear of crashing and became more comfortable in the air. My tunnel vision went away too.

If you can get over feeling silly maybe you can do something like this? Find a way to practice your rolls into a softer medium.

(others) would this cause someone to learn bad habits when it comes to rolling?

If you're hungry, keep moving.
If you're tired, keep moving.
If you value you're life, keep moving.

You don't own what you can't defend
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Old 02-10-2009, 01:09 PM   #19
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Re: Forward Breakfalls

hahaha .. I have done the flip in the pool thing ... but as a child though. Used to love to see if I could make it back around to a standing position ... lol ... sometimes waaaayyyyy around and land face first in the water. not sure I accomplished much that way but it way fun. Never considered it from a roof top though ... think that would spell disaster... geeze Grant, what are you trying to get me to do ?? lol

ok ok ... enough of the silly talk, my rolls are improving. I have been going to the gym (at the school where I teach) on Saturday's and practicing rolls, and basic techniques... I am proud of my improvements so far ... still a lot of work ahead but took some of the tips from here and applied them and they are working. Thanks to all for your wonderful contributions.

(Grant) ... Pete said no about the hakama .. but were you really expecting otherwise

Chantal
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Old 02-10-2009, 02:59 PM   #20
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Forward Breakfalls

zenpo kaiten ukemi ichi, ni and san

one is a roll without slapping, two a roll with slapping, 3 considered a breakfall, slapping, one leg straight, the other bent.

Best,
Ron (no clue if non-yosh folks use that particular Japanese or not)

Ron Tisdale
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Old 02-10-2009, 03:03 PM   #21
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Re: Forward Breakfalls

yes those are the ones I am practicing ... exactly as you said them...

lol ... kinda funny when I tell my body to keep my leg straight (for san) and when I am airborne, I somehow tuck it back in ... geeze... more muscle memory needed I suppose.

Salut,
Chantal
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Old 02-11-2009, 04:52 AM   #22
Walter Martindale
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Re: Forward Breakfalls

Quote:
Chantal Amyotte wrote: View Post
lol ... Canadian eh!!

Walter, I am from a small town called Cornwall, Ontario .. near Ottawa ... off the St.Lawrence river. Population here is about 49thousand. My dojo is the only one around for about 115kms.

ok, it is a forward roll ...where you start in a standing Kamae position and then you roll across your arm and land upright on your feet again ... can do left side pretty good but still rusty on right. But yes, the other one where you do the big slap on the mat is definately causing me to think too much before I leap.

How long have you been doing aikido ... and did you face the same difficulties as I am describing??

Salut,
Chantal
Hmm. I lived in that government hole (Ottawa) for a year, but it was before starting Aikido. You're just downstream from good ol' Brockville where, in 1989 I think, a bunch of idiots burned and stomped the Quebec flag. Merde. Maudites Blokes. tetes carees (sorry je parles francais comme une vache espanol, and I don't have a French keyboard).

Practice, practice, practice. You haven't been practicing for that long - it WILL come and in a year or so you'll wonder what was the problem.
I started Aikido at 40 in autumn 1993, in Saskatoon. At the end of 1994 moved to Regina - was one of Rocky Izumi's trainees at Regina when we started a dojo at the U of Regina. 1997-2000 here in New Zealand, but didn't get much practice. Edmonton from 2000 to 2004, and Calgary from then until shifting to Cambridge NZ in Feb 2007 (hey, I've been here two years!)

But. I practiced Judo from 1972 to 1980. Well, to March 1979, to be exact, when I said "bye-bye" to my right anterior cruciate ligament at the BC Winter Games judo competition in the open weight category (when I really belonged in the 89 kg or whatever it was weight class - my weight class and the 95 kg weight class had national team guys representing us, and I "earned" the right to compete up two weight classes by being third best of the 89, 95, and open class candidates. Got a bronze medal by virtue of beating a nidan in my first match (I was ikkyu), and then lost the next match, and then lost the ligament in the third match.) The judo dojo I trained in had three yudansha who had spent 5 years or more, each, training in Tokyo. I understand that one of them was 5 times open weight champion of South Africa - at 70 kg body weight. He was TOUGH. Our dojo trained 3/week, but the SA guy and I met 3 other times a week for extra training. needless to say, either my ukemi got good, or I broke. My shodan came in 1980 when I got called up and told I had heaps and heaps of points and was eligible for a black belt, so.. I took the test and passed. While I was training in judo, I also practiced at the university of BC - where the sensei was Doug Rogers, godan, LARGE man, and silver medal in the 1964 (Tokyo) Olympics. When Doug threw you, if your ukemi wasn't up to it, you just didn't get up - well, you did, but slowly, and it sure hurt - partly because it was old-fashioned vinyl-covered rice straw judo mats laid out on concrete; partly because Doug threw very hard. Clean, but hard. I've been thrown that hard before and since, but only rarely.

It is possible to learn to fall with the (I guess Yoshinkan calls it ukemi #3) big over the top ukemi if you have someone who will help guide you through it. Perhaps if you're nervous about it you can ask your partners to work slowly and low so you can sort out where you need to arrange yourself with less distance to fall, and gradually speed up and move higher.

Hope this helps.
Best regards.
Walter

Last edited by Walter Martindale : 02-11-2009 at 04:55 AM.
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Old 02-11-2009, 01:17 PM   #23
Chantal
 
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Re: Forward Breakfalls

hey Walter .. I laughed sooo hard when you were swearing in French .. those are the words I use all the time ... (except for perhaps Blokes...not sure how that would be translated to English) .. I teach French sooo it was humorous.

As far as practicing low and slowly at first, I do plan on that soon. My training partner is coming back to the dojo soon and I am planning extra training time to really improve my skill. I am not being hard on myslef, Iknow in time it will come ... but I do believe that it will not come unless I put some conscious effort in it.

Thanks for the tips

Chantal
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Old 02-11-2009, 08:42 PM   #24
Walter Martindale
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Re: Forward Breakfalls

Quote:
Chantal Amyotte wrote: View Post
hey Walter .. I laughed sooo hard when you were swearing in French .. those are the words I use all the time ... (except for perhaps Blokes...not sure how that would be translated to English) .. I teach French sooo it was humorous.

Chantal
Learned THAT French mostly from une jolie quebequoise. when we both lived in Vancouver. I was her gros cauchon (sp?) she was my jolie petite pepsi...
You had to be there. but that was all in private.
The "Bloke" refers to what UK English call each other "bloke" It's already in English
Really must do some work.
W

Last edited by Walter Martindale : 02-11-2009 at 08:45 PM.
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Old 02-12-2009, 07:14 PM   #25
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Re: Forward Breakfalls

ya ya ... figured it was English when I read it ... but the French part of me cannot figure out what exactly "bloke" means ... is it like saying "hey buddy ... pal ...???"" guess i worded the question wrong... again .. it's the French

oh .. and it is spelled "gros cochon" ... hmmm ... big pig eh!!! that could mean a whole lot of things :| but I won't ask

et uh, jolie petite pepsi??? wow, c'est comme dire a un enfant "petite crotte" ... lol

a la prochaine

Chantal

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