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Old 03-25-2009, 02:28 PM   #1
dalen7
 
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Very {Extremely} frustrated with Koshinage Ukemi

I still have 3 more months to get this...that is if I want to keep to my testing schedule.

But Koshinage, ohhhh, the ukemi - point...Im too afraid of landing.
The guy I train with does it without second thought. (Though he is in his teens and Im in my 30s...something about being young and agile.)

For me it seems there is only one way to actually take proper ukemi for this...jump up in the air like a monkey and roll. Otherwise you get what I do...trying to escape the technique.

Some concerns and issues I have is:
a) landing on my shoulder which was hurt in my teen years weight lifting. (its extremely sensitive even doing regular ukemi)
b) I get the wind knocked out of my side sometimes on landing
c) if the above doesnt happen, then my elbow is hurt. (Trying to catch myself with my hands and arms as not to get the wind knocked out of me.

Yes...my ukemi sucks unfortunately, and Im not really sure how to get better at it unless I buy my own mats and practice day and night.

If any of you have any tips, it would be welcome and very much appreciated.

My kids, Im sure, could do it without second thought as well - especially my 4 years old.

Peace

dAlen

Last edited by dalen7 : 03-25-2009 at 02:30 PM.

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Old 03-25-2009, 03:07 PM   #2
Russ Q
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Re: Very {Extremely} frustrated with Koshinage

Hi Dalen,

Koshinage fear factor! My advice would be to make sure you have a piece of nage when you go over (shoulder, obi, lapel - this depends on the attack) and make sure your hand touches the mat first upon landing (tobu ukemi style). Also, I personally think it easier for ukemi when you are doing koshinage at a decent speed. Doing it slow is more difficult than doing it fast. Of course, don't forget the ubiquitous advice "...relaaaaax...":-)

Good luck!

Russ
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Old 03-25-2009, 03:23 PM   #3
dalen7
 
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Re: Very {Extremely} frustrated with Koshinage

Thanks Russ,

Your post helps a lot - ready to give it another shot.
I was more approaching it like a deer 'jumping' over a car. (We all know how well that turns out. lol).

So:
1) grab Uke, and instead of jumping over, it would be more of a 'roll over'.
2) upon landing dont land on the 'side' but have the hand out before you get to the ground.
(To take off shock from the body? Thats where the relax bit comes in as I want to catch myself with my hand and forearm. Same way I got hurt when I slid on the ice this past winter...would have been great to have done some proper ukemi then.)

Peace

dAlen


Quote:
Russ Qureshi wrote: View Post
Hi Dalen,

Koshinage fear factor! My advice would be to make sure you have a piece of nage when you go over (shoulder, obi, lapel - this depends on the attack) and make sure your hand touches the mat first upon landing (tobu ukemi style). Also, I personally think it easier for ukemi when you are doing koshinage at a decent speed. Doing it slow is more difficult than doing it fast. Of course, don't forget the ubiquitous advice "...relaaaaax...":-)

Good luck!

Russ

Last edited by dalen7 : 03-25-2009 at 03:27 PM.

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Old 03-25-2009, 04:06 PM   #4
Marc Abrams
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Re: Very {Extremely} frustrated with Koshinage

Dalen:

A good primer to get to the point of grabbing the label and relaxing through the roll is to have somebody get down on their knees and hands with a straight back. Take the arm on your forward side (the foot that is forward) and reach over the torso and underneath towards the stomach and back towards you. Try and roll your body over his torso so that your head is actually underneath the person's stomach. You will find that you have to relax and "contour" to your roll in order to arrive at the proper destination smoothly.

Good Luck!

Marc Abrams
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Old 03-25-2009, 04:13 PM   #5
Jonathan
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Re: Very {Extremely} frustrated with Koshinage

Dalen:

Koshinage, when it is done well, should feel to uke rather like he/she is tripping over nage. If nage is loading you onto his/her back and then dumping you off, they aren't doing koshinage properly. When nage is throwing like this, koshinage is always rougher on uke.

I would recommend turning your head toward nage and looking at him/her as you fall over his/her back. Do NOT look at the floor.

I would also second Russ's advice about grabbing hold of nage's shoulder or lapel as you take the fall and reaching for the mat with your free hand. I use the word "reaching" on purpose, mind you, as opposed to slapping. Feel for the mat after the manner of feeling for a wall in the dark instead of just blindly whipping your hand over and down toward the ground. Doing this, I find, lessens the impact of ukemi a fair bit.

Regards,

Jon.

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Old 03-25-2009, 04:26 PM   #6
dalen7
 
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Re: Very {Extremely} frustrated with Koshinage

Quote:
Jonathan Hay wrote: View Post
Dalen:

If nage is loading you onto his/her back and then dumping you off, they aren't doing koshinage properly. When nage is throwing like this, koshinage is always rougher on uke.

I would recommend turning your head toward nage and looking at him/her as you fall over his/her back. Do NOT look at the floor.

Feel for the mat after the manner of feeling for a wall in the dark instead of just blindly whipping your hand over and down toward the ground.

Jon.
Ill try to keep the first point in mind, as I know Im guilty of that.

And good tip on the reaching part, as the slapping inevitably leads to my trying to catch myself with forearm and hand. (Typically catching the elbow.)

Thanks for the tips...

dAlen

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Old 03-25-2009, 04:27 PM   #7
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Re: Very {Extremely} frustrated with Koshinage

Thanks Marc, I will try this.

Peace

dAlen

Quote:
Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
Dalen:

A good primer to get to the point of grabbing the label and relaxing through the roll is to have somebody get down on their knees and hands with a straight back. Take the arm on your forward side (the foot that is forward) and reach over the torso and underneath towards the stomach and back towards you. Try and roll your body over his torso so that your head is actually underneath the person's stomach. You will find that you have to relax and "contour" to your roll in order to arrive at the proper destination smoothly.

Good Luck!

Marc Abrams

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Old 03-26-2009, 04:42 AM   #8
chuunen baka
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Re: Very {Extremely} frustrated with Koshinage Ukemi

Quote:
Dalen Johnson wrote: View Post
Some concerns and issues I have is:
a) landing on my shoulder which was hurt in my teen years weight lifting. (its extremely sensitive even doing regular ukemi)
b) I get the wind knocked out of my side sometimes on landing
c) if the above doesnt happen, then my elbow is hurt. (Trying to catch myself with my hands and arms as not to get the wind knocked out of me.
In my juijitsu days we did lots of high impact hip throws. We were taught to exhale when being thrown so you don't get winded. I think it also braces the core muscles for the impact.

You shouldn't be landing on your shoulder - that's a dislocation waiting to happen. If you look at this video you'll see how the impact is evenly spread. The 45 degree angle of the arm is important as that reduces strain on the shoulder.

Last edited by chuunen baka : 03-26-2009 at 04:42 AM. Reason: missing word
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Old 03-26-2009, 09:15 AM   #9
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Re: Very {Extremely} frustrated with Koshinage Ukemi

You need a systematical preparation of your body for high flying break falls.
First step is to learn the correct shape of the body when you land. To do it, you can start with a simple roll forward, but this roll you finish slapping tatami with all you power with one hand and your knees wide open. The feet should touch the tatami in the end of the roll gently. In this form of ukemi, in the end, you don't get up, but stay flat on the tatmi. Only one shoulder and feet should be in contact with tatami.To do it, push your hips up.

Second step Marc described correctly, only when you land, you have to apply the shape of body you learned in previous step. This step you must repeat until your body is conditioned and you have no fear at all. Body inside you must become very soft to redirect as much impact as possible with flexibility.This must be practice EVERY time you are in the dojo 500 times minimum.

Third step is to do break falls by somebody who stands but has his upper body 90 degree to his legs. In this exercise you use everything you learned previously. First you start very statically, lift yourself over your partner body with your hands and go down the other side with your head as close as possible to the tatami.
After the while you can learn how to use your legs to jump over his body.

I know it is not very clear, but it should only give you a general idea. You instructor should have a system to teach high flying break falls...

Last edited by NagaBaba : 03-26-2009 at 09:17 AM.

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Old 03-26-2009, 12:29 PM   #10
Walter Martindale
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Re: Very {Extremely} frustrated with Koshinage Ukemi

Jonathan and Szczepan have given good suggestions. I'd also suggest asking for some ukemi training with judo people. Although I'm 30 years out of judo practice, many of their throws are koshinage-like - and when well done they're a lot like tilting over a pivot point.
A major difference between judo throws and aikido throws, though, is that in training, aikido people usually let their uke go and they have to fend for themselves (they take the fall) and judo people usually track uke all the way to the ground because uke will do what they can to avoid landing on their back and giving up ippon. Our practice was to try to throw the opponent through the mat in part by trying to power him downwards. Ukemi had to be pretty good, or you got hurt.
I'm not suggesting you go join a judo club - but see if you can find someone to help you with some judo-like ukemi training. You learn to shape your body to distribute the shock, and the timing for an arm and leg slap to the mats to keep you from getting mashed.
HTH
Walter
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Old 03-26-2009, 12:34 PM   #11
Lyle Laizure
 
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Re: Very {Extremely} frustrated with Koshinage Ukemi

Don't rush. Taking ukemi you are not prepared for will cause injury and injury will definately slow your training. Would it be so bad to test later? I'm sure that testing isn't your primary goal here though, I understand how frustrating it is when you try to get something and it eludes you for some reason. I would suggest going to your sensei and asking his/her reccomendation. Good luck.

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Old 03-26-2009, 02:14 PM   #12
Marc Abrams
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Re: Very {Extremely} frustrated with Koshinage Ukemi

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
You need a systematical preparation of your body for high flying break falls.
First step is to learn the correct shape of the body when you land. To do it, you can start with a simple roll forward, but this roll you finish slapping tatami with all you power with one hand and your knees wide open. The feet should touch the tatami in the end of the roll gently. In this form of ukemi, in the end, you don't get up, but stay flat on the tatmi. Only one shoulder and feet should be in contact with tatami.To do it, push your hips up.

Second step Marc described correctly, only when you land, you have to apply the shape of body you learned in previous step. This step you must repeat until your body is conditioned and you have no fear at all. Body inside you must become very soft to redirect as much impact as possible with flexibility.This must be practice EVERY time you are in the dojo 500 times minimum.

Third step is to do break falls by somebody who stands but has his upper body 90 degree to his legs. In this exercise you use everything you learned previously. First you start very statically, lift yourself over your partner body with your hands and go down the other side with your head as close as possible to the tatami.
After the while you can learn how to use your legs to jump over his body.

I know it is not very clear, but it should only give you a general idea. You instructor should have a system to teach high flying break falls...
Szczepan makes some good points! I sometimes approach things from the perspective of rectum side first By that I mean that I like to teach the end of the roll first and then work my way up. I actually start with people starting on their backs and getting comfortable with the ground. Most of the problems are from deep-seated fear of hitting the ground. This fear is literally encapsulated into our body/muscle memory. It has been my experience that when people can learn to "love" the ground and their bodies no longer tense up with old fear-based responses, that moving to more complex ukemi becomes a lot easier. When the person starts to bodily react with fear again, I have them repeat the process (on a much quicker time frame each time) from the ground up again. I believe in helping the body to "rewire" the fear out of itself.

Marc Abrams
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Old 03-26-2009, 05:58 PM   #13
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Re: Very {Extremely} frustrated with Koshinage Ukemi

I agree with Marc... both on rewiring (and short-circuiting) the instinctive fear-based response, and a "bottom-up" approach.

I'd also start with the end position on the ground, then work up to side-breakfalls from sitting, squatting, and then standing.

Ignatius
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Old 03-26-2009, 06:33 PM   #14
raul rodrigo
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Re: Very {Extremely} frustrated with Koshinage Ukemi

Ellis Amdur has an Ukemi dvd that you might find helpful. Try http://www.ellisamdur.com/buy.html.



R
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Old 03-27-2009, 03:18 AM   #15
Eva Antonia
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Re: Very {Extremely} frustrated with Koshinage Ukemi

Hi Dalen,

I thought when you test you'd throw uke for koshi nage and not vice versa (much more difficult in my opinion...)?
Anyway, in Belgium koshi nage comes compulsorily only at 1st kyu, which is reassuring because it leaves some time to learn it conveniently.

As to the breakfall I suppose it's intimidating because you cannot really see or imagine the direction where you fall. So either you are not afraid and do it dynamically and just land safely before you are even aware of having been thrown, or you learn it step by step.

In our club, we do a two-person exercise to train tobu ukemi. You stand in ai hanmi kata te dori, then you turn your stomach to the arm of your partner and look down. You try to touch your knees with your head, and try to reach with your free arm over your shoulder to the floor. In the last moment you withdraw the knee of your front leg, and then you land safely and without any sound on the mat (just write "tobu ukemi" or "ushiro otoshi" in you tube, and you find lots of lessons how to learn it progressively).

Besides videos and exercises etc - there are lots of falls on which you can do tobu ukemi quite easily. It works quite easily on kote gaeshi and kaiten nage. It works on shiho nage and kokyu nage even if it's not exactly the same way as you'd do it on koshi nage.

Nearest to the fall you experience when been thrown in koshi nage is the breakfall you do when thrown a certain way in tenshi nage. If it's done slowly, then you do a backwards roll. But you can also turn a bit and to mae ukemi. If you get acquainted to mae ukemi on tenshi nage, tori can just, when advancing and making you fall, step a bit behind you so that you have to fall over his hips (and he can, just for the fun of it, make a circular movement with his upper arm to turn your head). This last version is NEARLY like the fall on koshi nage, and you could ask someone to vary his tenshi nage successively until you do that fall. Once it works, it also works on koshi nage.

Long text for 4th kyu...but as falls are the only thing I have the feeling to do conveniently, I took the liberty to write what I know.

Wish you much luck,

Eva
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Old 03-27-2009, 05:08 AM   #16
dalen7
 
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Re: Very {Extremely} frustrated with Koshinage Ukemi

First, thank you all for your detailed and quite helpful responses.

Quote:
Alastair Rae wrote: View Post
In my juijitsu days we did lots of high impact hip throws. We were taught to exhale when being thrown so you don't get winded. I think it also braces the core muscles for the impact.

The 45 degree angle of the arm is important as that reduces strain on the shoulder.
Thanks Alastair, I will try to keep the breathing in mind the next time. Makes perfect sense actually now you mention it. - As for the angle, something I have to get a better feel of for sure.

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
You need a systematical preparation of your body for high flying break falls.

I know it is not very clear, but it should only give you a general idea. You instructor should have a system to teach high flying break falls...
Szczepan, thanks for the detailed description - this goes a long way in helping me better understand the technique. {we really dont practice ukemi much to be honest with you.}

Quote:
Walter Martindale wrote: View Post
I'd also suggest asking for some ukemi training with judo people.
Walter
Walter, you have an excellent point - and if we had Judo here I probably would sign up. Our Exam Instructor (we see twice a year) is proficient in Judo...would be nice to get some of that knowledge passed down.

Quote:
Lyle Laizure wrote: View Post
Don't rush. Taking ukemi you are not prepared for will cause injury and injury will definately slow your training. Would it be so bad to test later? I'm sure that testing isn't your primary goal here though...Good luck.
True, I spent last night in, involuntary, tears from pain in my neck & spine. It acts up sometimes from a car accident I had a few years back. - Koshinage hasnt helped it. (And Im sure some would question my even trying to attempt the technique.)

As far as testing, its just a personal thing with me of goals I have set for myself and where I feel I should be at. Im not sure how much longer I will live in Hungary and wanted to get a basic foundation for the feel of why Aikido works and how it works before I move on...so far Im very mixed at this. - As mentioned before I have the disposition of a Thai fighter, but Aikido has been both a physical & spiritual challenge, so to speak, for me. (Again, I have chosen to pursue it from a philosophical aspect as well.)

Thanks for the best wishes.

Quote:
Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
I believe in helping the body to "rewire" the fear out of itself.

Marc Abrams
Yes, and I have a lot of fear unfortunately - this fear of the physical realm reflects that deeper within I suppose. - {Time to listen to some more Eckhart Tolle.

Thanks again for your reply Marc.

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote: View Post
I'd also start with the end position on the ground, then work up to side-breakfalls from sitting, squatting, and then standing.
Ignatius, I could benefit from this for sure. My main issue is not having pads to practice ukemi at home as we dont practice it much in the dojo. {That is exercises concentrating on correct form and landing.}
Though I have a video tape I did of my teacher doing basic Ukemi...so I have a better grasp of what that should look like. Maybe I can come up with something creative as far as practice is concerned.

Quote:
Raul Rodrigo wrote: View Post
Ellis Amdur has an Ukemi dvd that you might find helpful. Try http://www.ellisamdur.com/buy.html.

R
Ill have a look, thanks Raul.

Quote:
Eva Röben wrote: View Post
Hi Dalen,

I thought when you test you'd throw uke for koshi nage and not vice versa (much more difficult in my opinion...)?
Anyway, in Belgium koshi nage comes compulsorily only at 1st kyu, which is reassuring because it leaves some time to learn it conveniently.

Long text for 4th kyu...but as falls are the only thing I have the feeling to do conveniently, I took the liberty to write what I know.

Wish you much luck,

Eva
Hello Eva,

No problems, Im always open to advice...not limited by what level you may be at.
{Besides, it seems we are both at the same level - unfortunately Koshinage is for our 3rd kyu test, which surprised me a bit...been at this Aikido bit for 2 years come June. }

Thanks for your post. {And for everyone else who responded}

Peace

dAlen

Last edited by dalen7 : 03-27-2009 at 05:12 AM.

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Old 03-27-2009, 11:17 PM   #17
Nafis Zahir
 
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Re: Very {Extremely} frustrated with Koshinage Ukemi

Dalen, see if you can find someone who can help you and try these steps.

1) Have the person do koshinage to you, but let them balance you on their back. You should have your body somewhat stiff, meaning not hanging on them with a limp body like a fireman's carry. This will help you get use to the height. This fall is easy to take because you have a whole person as your platform.

2) Next, have the person slowly take you over, but not actually throw you. Have them place your hand on the floor and allow you to "roll" down to the floor and down your side. Obviously this is not the free form koshi throw, but the one where your hand is being held.

3) As you get use to that, have the person slowly start to take you over and keep you hand further away from the mat. As your hand gets further away from the mat, place your other arm either around their waist or grab onto the gi and some point. When you start to do that, ask the person to let your other go as you go over, and then reach for the mat as soon as possible. This will absorb the shock and make your fall a lot softer.

I hope that you can visualize this and that it helps you. Other than that, just try and relax.

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Old 03-28-2009, 12:04 AM   #18
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Re: Very {Extremely} frustrated with Koshinage Ukemi

Quote:
Nafis Zahir wrote: View Post
Dalen, see if you can find someone who can help you and try these steps.

I hope that you can visualize this and that it helps you. Other than that, just try and relax.
Thanks Nafis for the good visualization walk through...I appreciate the tip.

Peace

dAlen

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Old 03-30-2009, 01:50 PM   #19
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Re: Very {Extremely} frustrated with Koshinage Ukemi

Update:

Well, today we didnt do Koshinage...
However, we did practice taking Ukemi by rolling over a flat stool.

I specifically tried the reaching out with my hand to touch the mat first, and... unbelievable the difference it makes.

Dont know why, but in my mind it just always seemed that I would have to catch myself with my forearm and hand, etc.
But by reaching and touching the mat with my hand, the rest of the fall was like nothing. (Now, grant it, this was not with koshinage, but jumping over a stool has given me similar issues.)

Its always nice when these things come together, and I appreciate everyones response here.

Peace

dAlen

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Old 03-31-2009, 11:18 PM   #20
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Re: Very {Extremely} frustrated with Koshinage Ukemi

Quote:
Dalen Johnson wrote: View Post
Update:

Well, today we didnt do Koshinage...
However, we did practice taking Ukemi by rolling over a flat stool.

I specifically tried the reaching out with my hand to touch the mat first, and... unbelievable the difference it makes.

Dont know why, but in my mind it just always seemed that I would have to catch myself with my forearm and hand, etc.
But by reaching and touching the mat with my hand, the rest of the fall was like nothing. (Now, grant it, this was not with koshinage, but jumping over a stool has given me similar issues.)

Its always nice when these things come together, and I appreciate everyones response here.

Peace

dAlen
I'm glad that it is working out for you. As time goes on, it'll become almost second nature. There will be times that you may be thrown so quickly and with such force that you don't have time to reach for the mat so early. But as long as you keep trying to do it that way, if it ever happens, you'll hardly notice the difference. Now take the feeling you have rolling over the stool and keep that same feeling as you get up higher and higher. Remember, koshinage allows you to use the nage's body as a platform. So you'll be "rolling" over a person as opposed to a stool. Keep us updated.

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Old 03-31-2009, 11:46 PM   #21
Aikibu
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Re: Very {Extremely} frustrated with Koshinage Ukemi

Everyone has given you excellent points Dalen and the only experiance the I can add is the more you pratice Ukemi the quicker your fear should disappear....

Try to do the exercises at a quick pace... Your fear has a tendency to make your body rigid and if you can get a few rolls out of the way before class starts it may help stop you from thinking about it too much... I try to do Koshinage towards the end of practice when the body is more relaxed and your mind is better focused on execution...

William Hazen
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Old 04-01-2009, 02:14 PM   #22
dalen7
 
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Re: Very {Extremely} frustrated with Koshinage Ukemi

Quote:
William Hazen wrote: View Post
... the only experiance the I can add is the more you pratice Ukemi the quicker your fear should disappear....

Try to do the exercises at a quick pace... Your fear has a tendency to make your body rigid...

William Hazen
Quote:
Nafis Zahir wrote: View Post
There will be times that you may be thrown so quickly and with such force that you don't have time to reach for the mat so early.
heheh...got a story about the above and speed.

Today I was in the neighboring city practicing Aikido at our satellite dojo, and the instructor there took me, and quickly had me on his back and flipped me over...

What did I do? The cat imitation.

The shear quickness of his movement took me by surprise, and like a cat, I tried to land on "all four legs". - landed on my forearm and hand, the one that was supposed to grab his gi, luckily no injury and I got right back up. (Basically I let go of his gi and tried to catch myself as my feet were in the air. Typically my feet are somewhat closer to the ground which is a bit more reassuring.)

However, I tried it again, same speed, and landed, ok.

It was a weird feeling being thrown so high...again, I was much like a cat who likes to have its legs firmly on the ground, which messed me up. But all this, in retrospect, drove home the point of needing to contour my roll, etc.

Again, many thanks to all of you...this move seems to be coming together. (Theres not anything else like this in Aikido is there...)

Peace

dAlen

Last edited by dalen7 : 04-01-2009 at 02:21 PM.

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Old 04-01-2009, 02:35 PM   #23
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Re: Very {Extremely} frustrated with Koshinage Ukemi

I am glad you have been working this out. I would like to suggest looking up the Turkish Get-Up and giving it a shot. The Turkish Get-Up is a movement which is extremely relevant to ukemi as well as generally stabilizing the shoulder and elbow structure. If you were to develop, for example, a 95lb bodyweight Turkish Get-Up, your shoulder and elbow problems would likely be at an end.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AWdpfbhCPI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_JlNGC1kk0
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Old 04-01-2009, 03:27 PM   #24
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Re: Very {Extremely} frustrated with Koshinage Ukemi

Thanks for the vid Benjamin, but what's a "95lb bodyweight" Turkish Get-Up ... the bloke with the disturbingly gaping shorts had a kettlebell.
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Old 04-02-2009, 01:27 AM   #25
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Re: Very {Extremely} frustrated with Koshinage Ukemi

Quote:
Benjamin Edelen wrote: View Post
I am glad you have been working this out. I would like to suggest looking up the Turkish Get-Up and giving it a shot. The Turkish Get-Up is a movement which is extremely relevant to ukemi as well as generally stabilizing the shoulder and elbow structure. If you were to develop, for example, a 95lb bodyweight Turkish Get-Up, your shoulder and elbow problems would likely be at an end.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AWdpfbhCPI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_JlNGC1kk0
Thats pretty cool what he did with his wife...

Peace

dAlen

dAlen [day•lynn]
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