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Old 07-28-2010, 01:51 PM   #1
Peter Wong
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Foot position in a back roll

I was always taught when doing a back roll, the leg you step back on should come down on live toes and not on your instep. With live toes you have more control. Going down on instep one could injury toes and/or ankle. Well last month I was in Southern Cal. and I visited several dojos and went to see a seminar and everyone was going down on their instep. How do you do it?
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Old 07-28-2010, 01:56 PM   #2
ninjaqutie
 
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Re: Foot position

Our dojo wants you to use "live toes". The theory behind that in our dojo is that you can change your mind and come back up a lot easier then you could if you had your instep on the ground instead. Not to mention the other reasons you mentioned. HOWEVER, we don't do backward rolls in our dojo. We just do that for taking backwards ukemi.

~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.
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Old 07-28-2010, 02:04 PM   #3
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Re: Foot position

Mr Wong,

I have performed it both ways. It would depend on the individual, the way they were taught and/or the circumstances relevant to the situation. I prefer " live toes " as you have called it.

Out of curiousity, 17 posts in almost ten years of training, how is this perplexing? I am sure you have observed many more thought provoking ukemi styles.

Train well,

Mickey
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Old 07-28-2010, 02:08 PM   #4
RED
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Re: Foot position

I go back and forth. Depending on how and at what speed I'm thrown. If the throw is fast, and I'm not quite in a good position for it, I'll avoid live toes to avoid hyper extending the arch. But typically I like live toes, for a controlled fall. Live toes gives you options, like you can get back up and pivot.

MM
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Old 07-28-2010, 02:26 PM   #5
Peter Wong
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Re: Foot position

You're right Mr. Gelum I have alot of ukemi mostly as an observer. For some reason the instep thing caught my eye and I couldn't get it out of my head. For alot reasons I only train for about a month every three or four years and I'm about due so I'm trying to get pumped.
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Old 07-28-2010, 05:20 PM   #6
Flintstone
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Re: Foot position in a back roll

Live toes. As seen in Ellis Amdur's DVD, of course.
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Old 07-28-2010, 05:51 PM   #7
ninjaqutie
 
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Re: Foot position

Quote:
Peter Wong wrote: View Post
For a lot reasons I only train for about a month every three or four years.....
Wow. That is a huge gap between training!!! I wouldn't even bother with it if I were in that situation. I do hope your training opportunities increase in the future though!

~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.
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Old 07-28-2010, 06:30 PM   #8
Janet Rosen
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Re: Foot position in a back roll

I've trained long periods in dojos that do it each way & have been equally comfortable doing either...but now that I think about it my own default is definitely not "live toes" and in pondering why that is, like Maggie I think there's a visceral concern about arch issues that has probably been exacerbated by by longstanding knee issues...in general I'd say best practice is to be able to do either and follow a "when in Rome" policy since *usually* ukemi conventions within a dojo are suitable matches for throwing angle conventions.

Janet Rosen
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Old 07-28-2010, 07:08 PM   #9
Ketsan
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Re: Foot position in a back roll

Instep. In my dojo you never get the time or opportunity to do the live toes thing.
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Old 07-28-2010, 07:23 PM   #10
RED
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Re: Foot position

Quote:
Ashley Carter wrote: View Post
Wow. That is a huge gap between training!!! I wouldn't even bother with it if I were in that situation. I do hope your training opportunities increase in the future though!
I agree, and personally would hate to train that little. But if he really loves Aikido, and that's the only times he can physically train I understand why he still bothers with it.

MM
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Old 07-28-2010, 07:31 PM   #11
JO
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Re: Foot position in a back roll

Quote:
Alex Lawrence wrote: View Post
Instep. In my dojo you never get the time or opportunity to do the live toes thing.
Why would live toes take more time. You go straight down without having to move your foot or even take a step. Can't be faster. I would never put myself in a position that completely removes you ability to counter.

Jonathan Olson
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Old 07-28-2010, 08:08 PM   #12
Conrad Gus
 
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Re: Foot position in a back roll

I've tried the live toes thing and I have to say it feels weird and unsafe to me. I feel like if I create the live toes habit and someone crunches me straight down (the way Kubo Sensei throws iriminage, for example), my toes are going to be receiving my body weight.

Of course I have broken my toes in the past so maybe I favour them a bit more than I would have otherwise. Obviously this works for lots of people so it can't be "wrong".
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Old 07-28-2010, 08:27 PM   #13
Fred Little
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Re: Foot position in a back roll

I no longer believe in "back rolls."

I believe in forward rolls with an option to sit down and roll backwards at the last moment.

Best,

FL

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Old 07-28-2010, 08:42 PM   #14
Lyle Laizure
 
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Re: Foot position in a back roll

Quote:
Conrad Gustafson wrote: View Post
I've tried the live toes thing and I have to say it feels weird and unsafe to me. I feel like if I create the live toes habit and someone crunches me straight down (the way Kubo Sensei throws iriminage, for example), my toes are going to be receiving my body weight.
Hey Conrad, would this be Kubo Sensei of Aikido of Hawaii International?

Lyle Laizure
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Deru kugi wa uta reru
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Old 07-28-2010, 09:11 PM   #15
Ellis Amdur
 
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Re: Foot position in a back roll

Thanks Fred (referencing material from a certain DVD). One of the other core issues regarding "live toes vs. instep falls is that effective martial movement should be reversible. Go down 1/2 or even 3/4 of the way to the ground with "live toes" (the back foot is on the ball of the foot, actually). Now stand up. Easy, right?
Try the same thing with the back foot instep down.You've got to have the thighs of an in-line skater.
Best
Ellis Amdur

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Old 07-28-2010, 09:25 PM   #16
Fred Little
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Re: Foot position in a back roll

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
Thanks Fred (referencing material from a certain DVD).
And that's really the least of it. Once upon a time I wrote:

Quote:
Ellis Amdur's elegant, no-nonsense approach to ukemi training has been a huge positive for my aikido classes in NJIT's Phys Ed Department. I've found that new students taught using this method are typically able to safely execute both basic and advanced ukemi, including breakfalls, within one or two classes, rather than weeks, months, or years
That "one or two classes" is now down to forty-five minutes. If you folks would be kind enough to buy out the first run, I might get to edit my blurb.

Please pardon the digression. We now return you to your regularly scheduled social consensus.

FL

Last edited by Fred Little : 07-28-2010 at 09:31 PM. Reason: Repetition elision.

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Old 07-28-2010, 09:56 PM   #17
Ketsan
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Re: Foot position in a back roll

Quote:
Jonathan Olson wrote: View Post
Why would live toes take more time. You go straight down without having to move your foot or even take a step. Can't be faster. I would never put myself in a position that completely removes you ability to counter.
If I'm in a position that allows the possibility of counter attack, I don't take ukemi. Tori is doing something wrong. Unless I'm training with a beginer of course. If the technique is done properly then choice of ukemi style is purely academic.

I mean with irimi nage I consider myself lucky if there's a foot on the ground to tuck.
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Old 07-28-2010, 10:14 PM   #18
Conrad Gus
 
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Re: Foot position in a back roll

Quote:
Lyle Laizure wrote: View Post
Hey Conrad, would this be Kubo Sensei of Aikido of Hawaii International?
Yes! You've trained with him? I get to see him next month at the seven shihans seminar at my old dojo. Should be great as always.
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Old 07-28-2010, 10:17 PM   #19
Conrad Gus
 
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Re: Foot position in a back roll

Quote:
Fred Little wrote: View Post
I no longer believe in "back rolls."

I believe in forward rolls with an option to sit down and roll backwards at the last moment.

Best,

FL
So in your dojos you only throw into mae ukemi? Or do you always go real slow so you can turn around and face the front?

Sorry, but you'll have to show me on the mat some time how you can do mae ukemi from a whole bunch of throws that seem to me to require ushiro ukemi.
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Old 07-28-2010, 11:11 PM   #20
Fred Little
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Re: Foot position in a back roll

Quote:
Conrad Gustafson wrote: View Post
So in your dojos you only throw into mae ukemi? Or do you always go real slow so you can turn around and face the front?
No and no.

Quote:
Conrad Gustafson wrote: View Post
Sorry, but you'll have to show me on the mat some time how you can do mae ukemi from a whole bunch of throws that seem to me to require ushiro ukemi.
If you're ever passing through Newark Liberty Airport and have a layover while we're training, I'd be happy to show you -- NJIT is a short train ride from the airport, with only one change along the way. But inasmuch as Ellis has already gone to some effort to develop a means to teach what I'm referencing and documented a clear presentation of that approach on a certain DVD, you have an alternative almost immediately at hand.

Best,

FL

Last edited by akiy : 07-28-2010 at 11:49 PM. Reason: Fixed quote tag

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Old 07-28-2010, 11:54 PM   #21
Conrad Gus
 
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Re: Foot position in a back roll

Quote:
Fred Little wrote: View Post
No and no.

If you're ever passing through Newark Liberty Airport and have a layover while we're training, I'd be happy to show you -- NJIT is a short train ride from the airport, with only one change along the way. But inasmuch as Ellis has already gone to some effort to develop a means to teach what I'm referencing and documented a clear presentation of that approach on a certain DVD, you have an alternative almost immediately at hand.

Best,

FL
Shucks, I just came through Newark in March, but I doubt if my wife would have come along on an aikido adventure! I'll pick up the DVD, my interest is piqued.

One question though: how does this system differ or concur with that taught by Donovan Waite Sensei? I had a friend try to show me Waite Sensei's approach, but I found it aggravated my old back injury (sideways ukemi).
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Old 07-29-2010, 12:33 AM   #22
Janet Rosen
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Re: Foot position in a back roll

Ignore my reply...just realized OP + y'all are talking about back ROLLS, not back falls... I haven't done a back roll since my knee blow out... but yes, back when I did them, I learned both ways and basically went w/ a "when in Rome" approach

Janet Rosen
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Old 07-29-2010, 03:41 AM   #23
Ellis Amdur
 
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Re: Foot position in a back roll

Just my opinion, but D. Waite has developed a beautiful method of ukemi that is dependent, to some degree, on a particular style of aikido. It also requires some degree of flexibility and athletic talent. I am concerned with getting the person safely through the technique and onto the ground intact. Ugly but functional. And doable for just about anyone who is not physically damaged, or too physically weak for the impact of ukemi.
What my method has to offer is that one orients oneself in space and in regards to one's partner by "looking" (sensing, really) for counters/kaeshiwaza from the moment of contact. Thus, one always turns in towards tori. (hence Fred Little's comment that one doesn't do a "back fall or roll" - one sits out, at the last minute when, so to speak, uke and tori have already agreed that the technique will be over without slamming or cranking the person).
It is for non-athletes, for people who cannot somehow figure out a way to take ukemi that doesn't injure them; to create the ability to respond so that no one should be able to "cheap-shot" you; and to learn from day one a way of trainiing that "burns" into you a natural reaction to find the hole in the other's technique to counter them. It breaks things down in meticulous fashion so that one can learn all the small points one-by-one (like how to use your ankle to create the best tension in the arch of the foot so one experiences no pain when taking a hard judo-type fall).
From what I've seen of D. Waite's work, we disagree on some basic principals. There is no doubt that his style works for many people - but it is different.
I think it will be difficult for me to explain, in words, my method in any more detail. It's got to be seen (or better yet, worked).
Best
Ellis Amdur

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Old 07-29-2010, 03:49 AM   #24
raul rodrigo
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Re: Foot position in a back roll

Ellis, would you mind articulating for us what those differences in principles are? Where I come from, Waite's ukemi is held up by many as the ideal, because its beautiful, but I myself am wondering if its worth the effort for someone like me who frankly isnt all that coordinated. I have your ukemi DVD, so I know more or less where you are coming from. Waite says he developed this system to lessen the damage he was suffering taking so much ukemi from several shihan. So its supposed to be "practical"-- but practical from what perspective?
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Old 07-29-2010, 04:34 AM   #25
Ellis Amdur
 
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Re: Foot position in a back roll

Raul - I've only seen D. Waite in video.From that distance, it appears to me that Mr. Waite has developed an elegant way of smoothly take rolls and falls that fit perfectly with Aikikai style (2dai Doshu on down). He works from hanmi. A lot of his rolls seem to do from one shoulder to another, whereas my style goes from lats/shoulder blade to other side small of the back.
It appears to me that he focuses on the best way to roll/ukemi in response to the technique. I try to focus on the best way to counter the technique and, out of respect for the aikido form/practice, "willfully" go into ukemi. It appears to me that my method is more adaptable to other forms of grappling, be it judo or wrestling.

Beyond that, I cannot say. I've never tried his method. Therefore, my opinions regarding his method may be invalid.

And by the way, I use the term "my method" to refer to what I've adapted for aikidoka. Honestly, it's pretty classic judo ukemi, with only a few minor variations.
Best
Ellis Amdur

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