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Old 04-29-2010, 02:55 AM   #26
bulevardi
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Re: Is Ukemi Destroying our bodies?

I think that all the wrist/elbow/shoulder locks aren't that healthy for the body.

About the falling and rolling, I still need to do it better. I need more practice in those things because rolling is so important.
I roll rectangular instead of circular

And so remember: be there or be square !

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Old 04-29-2010, 04:55 AM   #27
grondahl
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Re: Is Ukemi Destroying our bodies?

An unbalanced training regimen will destroy your body.
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Old 04-29-2010, 05:44 AM   #28
sorokod
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Re: Is Ukemi Destroying our bodies?

Life will destroy your body.

Seriously, whats the point of dying of "old age" with body in a pristine condition? The body is there to be used, it will acquire wear and tear and this is as it should be.

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Old 04-29-2010, 06:43 AM   #29
lbb
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Re: Is Ukemi Destroying our bodies?

Quote:
Maggie Schill wrote: View Post
I was asked this question recently and I have no real answer for it.
The question was: Does ukemi, even good low ukemi, gradually cause irreversibly damage to your body?
Of course it does. Driving a car wears it out over time, too, no matter how carefully you drive it.
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Old 04-29-2010, 06:56 AM   #30
MM
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Re: Is Ukemi Destroying our bodies?

Quote:
Maggie Schill wrote: View Post
I was asked this question recently and I have no real answer for it.
The question was: Does ukemi, even good low ukemi, gradually cause irreversibly damage to your body?

My only thought was, I don't think so, but I'm not a doctor.

There is an old rule of thumb I'm aware of however: Every sound your body makes against the mat is your body being damaged.

We use this old saying to try and get our ukemi softer, more powerful and fluid. I know we can reduce the force we put on any one point of the body by spreading our force out, distribute the force across a large area. We can get low before rolling, we can take wide legged ukemi.
Even so, I'm not a doctor, thus I can't say without a shadow of a doubt if damage is being done.
It would appear that you are referring to a small portion of the overall definition of ukemi. Are you referring only to rolling, falling, break falls, etc? Because if you view ukemi as to receive energy, then it really makes a difference in what you're asking.

Learning how to "properly" receive energy and change it within one's body can (notice I say can, not does) have healthy benefits throughout one's life. In other words, learning internal arts can aid in longevity and a healthy body. There's no scientific proof (so I say "can").

When one's ability to receive and change energy internally (ukemi) from an attack is not up to the level of incoming energy, then one is affected and must physically move. In aikido and judo, this then becomes a roll or a fall.

In essence, what people think of as "ukemi" in aikido really is the failure of properly working ukemi. And since we all fail at trying to accomplish whatever martial art we are working on, we definitely need to know how to roll and fall safely. But, we should be working way more on ukemi as the properly defined model, not "ukemi" as the failure.

Ukemi does not destroy bodies, no. "Ukemi" as the failure model in most aikido ... ? Sure seems like there are lots of injured aikido people out there, doesn't it? Knees, backs, hips, etc.
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Old 04-29-2010, 07:33 AM   #31
phitruong
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Re: Is Ukemi Destroying our bodies?

Quote:
Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
Systema made me rethink this entire area. I just had Kaizen Taki (systema instructor from seattle) teach an entire weekend on ukemi. He made some points that we all should keep in mind:
1) The mats are an unrealistic environment. In nature, what is usually flat is hard and what is typically an uneven surface is soft.
2) The ground is usually harder than our bodies, so why would want to keep any tension, stiffness in our bodies.

Marc Abrams
would love to know how he deal with break falls. my judo habits is killing me.
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Old 04-29-2010, 07:48 AM   #32
C. David Henderson
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Re: Is Ukemi Destroying our bodies?

About ten days ago I took a fall at a fairly fast speed from my mountain bike; reflexively I went into a roll, but the ground cover consisted of smallish but fairly jagged rocks. It kinda hurt, but it left only some minor scratches and bruises, and I was able to practice two days later (breakfalls were stimulating on one side).

Its certainly possible I would have come out fine if I'd never taken Aikido, but I tend to think in this instance ukemi -- in the sense of knowing how to fall -- preserved my body.

OTOH, I've certainly banged myself up learning...

David Henderson
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Old 04-29-2010, 08:07 AM   #33
Keith Larman
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Re: Is Ukemi Destroying our bodies?

FWIW I constantly remind myself and those I teach to try to take ukemi as quietly as possible. Sound is nature's way of telling you you're not rolling smoothly. With the kids I make it a sort of game -- who can roll across the mat the quietest.

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Old 04-29-2010, 09:06 AM   #34
Marc Abrams
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Re: Is Ukemi Destroying our bodies?

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
would love to know how he deal with break falls. my judo habits is killing me.
Phil:

These guys do some AMAZING stuff. Kicked down stairs, thrown on concrete..... No bruising. They look like a body made of gel. They train by allowing their bodies to conform to the energy. I am bringing Kaizen Taki back to my school next year. If you can't attend that, see if you can find a Systema school nearby and ask them to work with you on ukemi. I am seriously reworking my ukemi yet again! Trying to become softer and softer at receiving energy so that I can allow my body to not hold onto force and impact upon hard surfaces.

Marc Abrams
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Old 04-29-2010, 09:38 AM   #35
RED
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Re: Is Ukemi Destroying our bodies?

Quote:
Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Dear Nafis/All,
Donovan is a relatively young man as I suspect most of you are.
Wow, I'm gonna give my age away. My initial reaction was "nah-huh" Donovan's old... Then I realized how old he actually was in comparison to most of the other Shihan in the USAF... then it occurred to me, he's not old I'm just a baby!

MM
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Old 04-29-2010, 09:45 AM   #36
RED
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Re: Is Ukemi Destroying our bodies?

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
It would appear that you are referring to a small portion of the overall definition of ukemi. Are you referring only to rolling, falling, break falls, etc? Because if you view ukemi as to receive energy, then it really makes a difference in what you're asking.

Learning how to "properly" receive energy and change it within one's body can (notice I say can, not does) have healthy benefits throughout one's life. In other words, learning internal arts can aid in longevity and a healthy body. There's no scientific proof (so I say "can").

When one's ability to receive and change energy internally (ukemi) from an attack is not up to the level of incoming energy, then one is affected and must physically move. In aikido and judo, this then becomes a roll or a fall.

In essence, what people think of as "ukemi" in aikido really is the failure of properly working ukemi. And since we all fail at trying to accomplish whatever martial art we are working on, we definitely need to know how to roll and fall safely. But, we should be working way more on ukemi as the properly defined model, not "ukemi" as the failure.

Ukemi does not destroy bodies, no. "Ukemi" as the failure model in most aikido ... ? Sure seems like there are lots of injured aikido people out there, doesn't it? Knees, backs, hips, etc.
This is actually my suspicion; that injury occurs when something 'goes wrong' with ukemi. I think it is unrealistic to think one will NEVER-ever be injured doing Aikido, especially ukemi. The trials and error of trying to master ukemi by itself will cause mistakes and possible injuries while you are developing an ukemi that is safer for the body. I have memories of 7th kyu falling on their shoulders, one 7th kyu recently tore something around his trapezius muscle while trying to extend into a basic forward roll.

MM
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Old 04-29-2010, 09:47 AM   #37
RED
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Re: Is Ukemi Destroying our bodies?

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Of course it does. Driving a car wears it out over time, too, no matter how carefully you drive it.
And like a car, I'm of the opinion you should drive your body into the ground.

Might as well get some use out of it before you die.

MM
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Old 04-29-2010, 10:40 AM   #38
Keith Larman
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Re: Is Ukemi Destroying our bodies?

Quote:
Maggie Schill wrote: View Post
And like a car, I'm of the opinion you should drive your body into the ground.

Might as well get some use out of it before you die.
Great in theory, difficult to time right in practice... Now where's that ibuprofen bottle...

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Old 04-29-2010, 10:47 AM   #39
Marc Abrams
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Re: Is Ukemi Destroying our bodies?

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
Great in theory, difficult to time right in practice... Now where's that ibuprofen bottle...
Keith:

I prefer my analgesic in the liquid, red form ! Actually safer on the liver when taken in moderation.

Marc Abrams
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Old 04-29-2010, 10:55 AM   #40
G Sinclair
 
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Re: Is Ukemi Destroying our bodies?

Quote:
Nafis Zahir wrote: View Post
Going back to breakfalls, if you reach for the mat with your slapping hand and make contact as soon as possible, your breakfall will be much softer.
This is spot on. This is the way I breakfall and the way I teach it. Done properly the only place you should feel impact is on the palm of the slapping hand. If you hurt anywhere else, your hand was too slow.
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Old 04-29-2010, 11:22 AM   #41
RED
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Re: Is Ukemi Destroying our bodies?

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
Great in theory, difficult to time right in practice... Now where's that ibuprofen bottle...
Wine is a natural muscle relaxer... I'm not suggesting it before class... but before bed..

MM
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Old 04-29-2010, 12:54 PM   #42
Lulu
 
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Re: Is Ukemi Destroying our bodies?

I like to think that all Aikido training including ukemi is keeping me healthy and hopefully young!
I rarely - if ever - do hard breakfalls anymore, I try to be softer in my ukemi.
But I never do shikko at all. Not because of the knees, but I have an ongoing ball of the foot injury and just can't take it anymore!
That is so true that shikko when done properly isn't about the knees - but the ball of the foot.
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Old 04-29-2010, 01:27 PM   #43
lbb
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Re: Is Ukemi Destroying our bodies?

Quote:
Maggie Schill wrote: View Post
Wine is a natural muscle relaxer... I'm not suggesting it before class... but before bed..
And turmeric is a great anti-inflammatory that doesn't tear up your stomach or liver or anything else. If you take a bunch of it, though, you may feel a little flushed, but that's about it. I carry a bottle of it around (in capsule form) in case I tweak something.
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Old 04-29-2010, 01:30 PM   #44
SeiserL
 
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Re: Is Ukemi Destroying our bodies?

Oh no, I destroyed it by falling down in other ways long before learning to fall down in Aikido.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 04-29-2010, 02:03 PM   #45
Basia Halliop
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Re: Is Ukemi Destroying our bodies?

Quote:
Also in judo the thrower sometimes takes you to the mat as part of a dynamic throw so an aikido-style ukemi crossing your legs could be very dangerous (imagine hitting the tatami legs crossed with a 100kg tori landing hard on top of you).
I don't think I've ever seen a style of breakfall where a person's legs are crossed... I'm not sure how to visualize that.
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Old 04-29-2010, 08:15 PM   #46
Gregory Pinkerton
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Re: Is Ukemi Destroying our bodies?

Quote:
David Soroko wrote: View Post
Seriously, whats the point of dying of "old age" with body in a pristine condition? The body is there to be used, it will acquire wear and tear and this is as it should be.
Yea, but people getting knee injuries semi-commonly, I think deserves an examination into what's causing them and how training can be adjusted so it doesn't happen.

Quote:
Basia Halliop wrote: View Post
I don't think I've ever seen a style of breakfall where a person's legs are crossed... I'm not sure how to visualize that.
I think he meant like when you roll how you typically tuck one leg under the other. Do it long enough and this can happen, unintentionally, when you need to breakfall quickly. When I switched from Aikido to Judo I had this problem. (When I learned Aikido I think generally we practiced using rolls more often than breakfalls (with an extended leg). When it came time for me to 'breakfall' from some talented Judo players, my body simply did what it had done most often. Tuck the leg to try a roll, roll can't be done, switch to breakfall. At which point I didn't have time to conciously extend my leg. So it stayed tucked, and this really makes throws aimed directly downwards a pain.)

I think we tend to over use rolls in Aikido.
I think it really depends on how you were taught to breakfall or roll.

What I believe causes the injuries to the knees is not the roll/breakfalls themselves. (Although it probably contributes having to bend/straighten the knee repeatedly.) But the transition from the roll to a standing position. Especially when turning. Or even just how one is getting up from a pin position or seiza to standing.

Last edited by Gregory Pinkerton : 04-29-2010 at 08:24 PM. Reason: clarification
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Old 04-29-2010, 08:15 PM   #47
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Re: Is Ukemi Destroying our bodies?

Imho bone, tendon and ligament density can benefit from regular impact with the mat (calcium release from the bloodstream to the bone is it?) so I'm hard pressed to say that ukemi is destroying my body. If anything its made it stronger.

I agree a lot with what Mark Murray said as well - there is so much more to ukemi than falling and the other aspects also help to train and strengthen the neck, spine, torso and leg musculature in ways that will probably not be happen if ukemi were not practiced.

As regards falls on hard surfaces I think one would be an idiot not to adapt ones ukemi technique to ones environment. In our Aikido ukemi is not optional when one is thrown/pinned and one is more often collapsed on the spot instead of projected away - so "softness" in how one falls is often a rare luxury.

Best
LC

Last edited by L. Camejo : 04-29-2010 at 08:18 PM.

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Old 04-29-2010, 09:26 PM   #48
Janet Rosen
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Re: Is Ukemi Destroying our bodies?

Quote:
Gregory Pinkerton wrote: View Post
Yea, but people getting knee injuries semi-commonly, I think deserves an examination into what's causing them and how training can be adjusted so it doesn't happen..
I think 2 very common injuries are knee injuries and, among beginners learning forward rolls, shoulder separations from landing on the top of the shoulder.

Gregory, I did a preliminary survey of 101 dojos on knee injuries a number of years ago. The link to the summary page, which then links to the full write up is
http://www.zanshinart.com/Essays/AikiKnee.html
I did it during the yr off the mat in surgery/rehab. I've never again had that kind of concentrated time to do the second survey I wanted to. Someday....

Janet Rosen
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Old 04-29-2010, 11:34 PM   #49
Nafis Zahir
 
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Re: Is Ukemi Destroying our bodies?

Quote:
Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Dear Nafis/All,
I know both Waite Sensei and I am also familiar with Chiba Sensei and his methodology in relation to ukemi. Donovan is a relatively young man as I suspect most of you are.What I am saying here in this forum is this no matter how good you are at ukemi /shikko age gets you in the end.Of course you can find ways of delaying this but I feel that breakfalls take a toll on you eventually.
Chiba Sensei for example suffers from back problems due to earlier injuries sustained while training as an Uchi Deshi.
During my own 55 years of being bounced around[must have done thousands if not a million ukemi ] I now restrict my ukemi intake.My advice to any young guy in Aikido is this train smarter not harder.Find ways of absorbing the forces applied to you.The body can absorb a lot if one knows how to neutralise pressures on the body.This is the basic message in Chiba Sensei;s approach to ukemi. .Ukemi by the way is not just about falling .It is about cultivating a body which responds to any situation be it body art , weapons or whatever in a manner that protects the whole body.
In my opinion is easier to be Tori than it is to be Uke.Uke in my view has a harder task.Throwing someone is fairly easy , getting thrown can be hard on the body.Pinning someone is not as painful as being pinned.
On a personal note please pass my best wishes on to Mr Lyons.
He is an old pal of mine from San Diego Aikikai times.
Cheers, Joe.

Hey Joe! I will pass on the greeting to Sensei Lyons. I n reference to Chiba Sensei, he once told a story about how hard it was to take ukemi for O'Sensei. He also told us how he figured out how to do it. But as far as any injuries he may have gotten, we should remember that he was taking ukemi for O'Sensei! Add to the fact that they really didn't have nice mats to fall on like we do today, so he probably really took alot of "hard" falls.

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Old 04-30-2010, 01:58 AM   #50
Eva Antonia
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Re: Is Ukemi Destroying our bodies?

Hi all,

I have one answer and two questions.

First the answer, to the question about shikko and knee injuries: I tore my right ACL last year in June when performing a ROTTEN yokomen uchi irimi nage ura, I got it repaired in September, and I'm fully back on the mat since January. The knee never, ever hurts when doing shikko, but then 1) I was lucky because it never ever hurt during rehabilitation - the doctor must have done a great job, and 2) as many other posters stated, that what really hurts when doing shikko are the feet balls.

Second the question: Has anyone a link to videos of a) wide-legged and b) cross-legged breakfalls? I know the silent variant where you touch the floor first with your opposite hand (for example when receiving kote gaeshi), but I never heard of wide and cross legged falls.

As to hard falls...what on the body gets exactly the impact? The bones, the articulations, the flesh? I do them especially on shiho nage to protect my left wrist because it is too lax, and if the shiho nage is done dynamically, then it just turns 180 in the articulation, which hurts. So either I ask tori to perform shiho nage on my lower arm instead on my wrist or when I feel it approaching I jump over the arm, and that may result, if there is an arm block, in something so high that it approaches a salto. But if doing that sort of escape fall is as bad for the body as not doing it, what can I do when being uke for shiho nage? Always look for small and helpless toris?

I wish you all a nice day and a nice week-end,

Eva
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