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.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > Techniques

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!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 10-17-2009, 03:05 PM   #1
Carrie Campbell
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 58
United_States
Offline
"Sensei... what's a 'hard' fall?"

Recently, I've begun to hear the word "hard" as a type of fall. (We don't use the term in practice.)

Example of context:
1. "Sensei should throw you harder next time." [Immediately after a seminar, while wearing a white belt]
2. "Not all ukemi needs to be hard." [Advice regarding ukemi.]

The first makes me worry a little; the second makes it seem like hard ukemi or a hard fall is something very common.

What would you consider a "hard" fall?

Just thoughts of a student
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2009, 03:22 PM   #2
Janet Rosen
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
Janet Rosen's Avatar
Location: Left Coast
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 3,933
Online
Re: "Sensei... what's a 'hard' fall?"

A hard fall is often used to describe a breakfall - either a forward fall in which the roll takes place airborn and the landing is into a breakfall position, or the back version of this in which the legs fly up and the landing is in the breakfall position.
Depending on style or instructor methods (including diverse things like approach toward the role of uke and direction of throws) these may be more or less common in various dojos.

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2009, 05:02 PM   #3
Shadowfax
 
Shadowfax's Avatar
Dojo: Allegheny Aikido, Pitsburgh PA
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 884
United_States
Offline
Re: "Sensei... what's a 'hard' fall?"

Along with what Janet said my first thought would be breakfalls. But considering the context you cited maybe what was meant was more energy in the fall? For instance I sometimes have a partner who throws me without a lot of energy, usually someone of higher rank who has not trained often with me, who does not know if I can handle a throw with more energy. Usually I don't need to even slap the mat let alone roll. I'd call that a soft fall. Other partners know I like to feel them move me and know I can take the ukemi ok and they put a lot of energy into their technique. I wind up going end over end or having to slap the mat to disperse the energy. To me that would be a hard fall.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2009, 01:12 PM   #4
ninjaqutie
 
ninjaqutie's Avatar
Dojo: Searching for a new home
Location: Delaware (<3 still in Oregon!)
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,003
United_States
Offline
Re: "Sensei... what's a 'hard' fall?"

I have to agree with the previous posters about a breakfall. That is what immediately came to mind.

For them to say sensei should throw you harder next time, maybe they meant it as a compliment. That you are capable of handling more then what was done to you and they didn't know you could take falls that way.

For them to say all ukemi doesn't have to be hard to me means that sometimes a breakfall is needed and other times a smooth, quiet fall is more appropriate. I believe everyone should be able to do both and it should be up to them to decide which they want to do/work on and think about which is more appropriate. If you are working slowly on katatedori kotegaeshi I would think a soft fall is more appropriate then turning back the other way and throwing yourself into a breakfall (unless you are wanting to work on them).

In my dojo:
Soft falls- are fairly quiet. You can just roll down your body or go into a roll. The decent is controlled and smooth.

Hard falls- usually loud from slapping. Usually you are airborn at one point or another and gravity is controlling your decent. You are still in control of your body and your position, but you aren't really in control of the speed of the throw (you are in the air after all!) Another way to look at a "hard fall" would be a beginner falling like a tree. They are stiff and aren't really relaxed enough to allow for a smoother landing

~Look into the eyes of your opponent & steal his spirit.
~To be a good martial artist is to be good thief; if you want my knowledge, you must take it from me.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2009, 03:24 PM   #5
Janet Rosen
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
Janet Rosen's Avatar
Location: Left Coast
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 3,933
Online
Re: "Sensei... what's a 'hard' fall?"

I should add that I have trained in dojos where it was assumed that with experience your seniors could and should "throw you harder." I have also trained in dojos that don't believe that "throwing hard" is what aikido is about. I have come round to the latter view.

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2009, 07:28 PM   #6
Carrie Campbell
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 58
United_States
Offline
Re: "Sensei... what's a 'hard' fall?"

Janet, Shadowfax, and ninjaqutie, thank you explaining what a hard fall means to you. With the second context, "Not all ukemi needs to be hard," my initial thought was also breakfalls. The way it was said makes me think that breakfalls are common at this instructor's dojo.

It also made me think about hard vs soft. I'm thinking rolls, either forward or backward, or backfalls would be considered soft, and everything else hard?

Just thoughts of a student
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2009, 07:30 PM   #7
Carrie Campbell
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 58
United_States
Offline
Re: "Sensei... what's a 'hard' fall?"

Quote:
Carrie Campbell wrote: View Post
The second context, "Not all ukemi needs to be hard," ...made me think about hard vs soft. I'm thinking rolls, either forward or backward, or backfalls would be considered soft, and everything else hard?
What about side falls? Examples might be sumi otoshi or another we did recently was a sort of kokyunage where nage's forward knee was up and behind nage (back knee down), and uke started to fall back as usual, but couldn't because of the knee and had to fall backward over the knee, ending on the side like you do for a breakfall... but it doesn't seem like the typical breakfall where your body follows over your head.

Just thoughts of a student
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2009, 07:33 PM   #8
Carrie Campbell
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 58
United_States
Offline
Re: "Sensei... what's a 'hard' fall?"

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
I should add that I have trained in dojos where it was assumed that with experience your seniors could and should "throw you harder." I have also trained in dojos that don't believe that "throwing hard" is what aikido is about. I have come round to the latter view.
Janet, I think the first context might be along these lines. It was from a 4th dan (or so) from another school suggesting that the guest seminar instructor (7th dan) should throw me harder next time. He was *probably* just teasing me, but I can't tell. I don't know if he would actually try it himself, but I wanted to know what he meant without asking directly and thereby inviting someone to "show" me, if that makes sense.

Last edited by Carrie Campbell : 10-19-2009 at 07:37 PM.

Just thoughts of a student
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2009, 11:38 AM   #9
jonreading
 
jonreading's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido South (formerly Emory Aikikai)
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 887
United_States
Offline
Re: "Sensei... what's a 'hard' fall?"

Quote:
Carrie Campbell wrote: View Post
Recently, I've begun to hear the word "hard" as a type of fall. (We don't use the term in practice.)

Example of context:
1. "Sensei should throw you harder next time." [Immediately after a seminar, while wearing a white belt]
2. "Not all ukemi needs to be hard." [Advice regarding ukemi.]

The first makes me worry a little; the second makes it seem like hard ukemi or a hard fall is something very common.

What would you consider a "hard" fall?
1. There is a difference between throwing hard and taking sutemi (breakfall). Barring a language barrier (confusing "hard fall" with "break fall"), I believe you are describing one of two measurements: density or complexity.
2. Uke determines how "hard" a fall to take in response to nage. I think the advice here is that you can position your body to better take ukemi and nage can reduce the energy used to execute the technique.

The difficulty of ukemi and sutemi is protecting your body from injury, not the speed with which the throw is executed or [to some extent] the force used to execute the throw. Good uke are capable of taking forceful and fast ukemi (or sutemi) with little risk.

A measure of density ("soft" v. "hard") [throws] may not be the best terminology to describe the level of difficulty in ukemi or sutemi. Density may better describe the feeling of the impact from the fall - "I fell [softly] to the ground," "I fell [hard] on the mat." Generally we strive to fall as softly as possible.

Or, you are assessing the complexity of the throw ("easy" v. "hard"). Complexity may better describe the execution of the throw - "That was an easy roll," "Shihonage sutemi is a hard sutemi [to take]." This may be more relevant to your comment; the observer who made the comment possibly feels you are capable of taking more complex [read difficult] ukemi (or sutemi).

Water is soft...unless you fall into it from 3000 feet. The density thing...? I have seen soft aikido that resulted in nothing remotely resembling "soft" falls.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2009, 02:02 PM   #10
ramenboy
Dojo: midwest aikido center
Location: chicago
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 328
Offline
Re: "Sensei... what's a 'hard' fall?"

Quote:
Carrie Campbell wrote: View Post
1. "Sensei should throw you harder next time." [Immediately after a seminar, while wearing a white belt]
2. "Not all ukemi needs to be hard." [Advice regarding ukemi.]
...What would you consider a "hard" fall?
hey carrie, in my experience the first statement seems like your partner is noticing that your ukemi is starting to get better, or at least you're becoming confident in your ukemi; you're maybe staying connected longer and not bailing out of a technique. that's a good thing. your partner can now throw you at, say, close to normal speed without worrying that you might get hurt.

2nd statement ... maybe by 'hard' the person means 'big' or 'fancy.' we don't always have to do a breakfall.

one of my sempai wrote an article posted here a while back. take a look at it. that is exactly what ukemi is.
http://www.aikiweb.com/training/tomoleoni1.html

as chiba sensei says, be able to absorb the technique with your whole body.

hope to see you guys this weekend!
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2009, 04:32 PM   #11
Carrie Campbell
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 58
United_States
Offline
Re: "Sensei... what's a 'hard' fall?"

Quote:
Jerome Cervantes wrote: View Post
hey carrie, in my experience the first statement seems like your partner is noticing that your ukemi is starting to get better, or at least you're becoming confident in your ukemi; you're maybe staying connected longer and not bailing out of a technique. that's a good thing. your partner can now throw you at, say, close to normal speed without worrying that you might get hurt.
It's hard to say. This was the first seminar I partnered with him, so it would have had to been observation before... or randori...

Quote:
Jerome Cervantes wrote: View Post
2nd statement ... maybe by 'hard' the person means 'big' or 'fancy.' we don't always have to do a breakfall.
Perhaps. This gentleman and I do not know each other well. I had remarked how energetic he and his partner were, and how much fun they seemed to be having. It hadn't occurred to me 'til now, but inside the blur of motion, there were probably 'hard' falls.

Just thoughts of a student
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2009, 04:41 PM   #12
Carrie Campbell
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 58
United_States
Offline
Re: "Sensei... what's a 'hard' fall?"

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
1. There is a difference between throwing hard and taking sutemi (breakfall). Barring a language barrier (confusing "hard fall" with "break fall"), I believe you are describing one of two measurements: density or complexity.
2. Uke determines how "hard" a fall to take in response to nage. I think the advice here is that you can position your body to better take ukemi and nage can reduce the energy used to execute the technique.

The difficulty of ukemi and sutemi is protecting your body from injury, not the speed with which the throw is executed or [to some extent] the force used to execute the throw. Good uke are capable of taking forceful and fast ukemi (or sutemi) with little risk.

A measure of density ("soft" v. "hard") [throws] may not be the best terminology to describe the level of difficulty in ukemi or sutemi. Density may better describe the feeling of the impact from the fall - "I fell [softly] to the ground," "I fell [hard] on the mat." Generally we strive to fall as softly as possible.

Or, you are assessing the complexity of the throw ("easy" v. "hard"). Complexity may better describe the execution of the throw - "That was an easy roll," "Shihonage sutemi is a hard sutemi [to take]." This may be more relevant to your comment; the observer who made the comment possibly feels you are capable of taking more complex [read difficult] ukemi (or sutemi).

Water is soft...unless you fall into it from 3000 feet. The density thing...? I have seen soft aikido that resulted in nothing remotely resembling "soft" falls.
Jon, thanks. It seems the meaning of "hard" or "harder" is also rather complex. For me, the most difficult fall would be a side fall or following an unusual line.

Just thoughts of a student
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2009, 04:55 PM   #13
Carrie Campbell
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 58
United_States
Offline
Re: "Sensei... what's a 'hard' fall?"

Quote:
Jerome Cervantes wrote: View Post
one of my sempai wrote an article posted here a while back. take a look at it. that is exactly what ukemi is.
http://www.aikiweb.com/training/tomoleoni1.html

as chiba sensei says, be able to absorb the technique with your whole body.
Jerome, thanks for the link. It's a great description of ukemi. I hope you don't feel obligated to answer all of my questions; I have many. For your sake, I'll try to keep them to myself while practicing.

Quote:
Jerome Cervantes wrote: View Post
hope to see you guys this weekend!
I look forward to meeting you in person. Hope the Chicago seminar went well.

Just thoughts of a student
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2009, 09:08 PM   #14
L. Camejo
 
L. Camejo's Avatar
Dojo: Ontario Martial Arts
Location: Mississauga, Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,423
Canada
Offline
Re: "Sensei... what's a 'hard' fall?"

Quote:
Carrie Campbell wrote: View Post
What would you consider a "hard" fall?
A fall that leaves a permanent imprint of your body in the mat and carries a shockwave that shakes the building you are training in.

Best
LC

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
http://www.tntaikido.org
http://www.mushinkan.ca
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

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



Reply


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
Why is Easy So Hard to Learn? SeiserL Columns 27 09-11-2011 04:57 AM
The Nage/Uke Dynamic - Guidelines senshincenter General 47 02-20-2006 05:20 PM
intensity/violence Paula Lydon Training 27 11-15-2005 08:28 PM
Is modern Aikido skipping a stage of development? Jason Tonks General 34 10-27-2002 06:20 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:20 PM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 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