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Old 04-08-2002, 11:17 AM   #1
Dojo: Eagle Rock Aikido, Ammon, ID
Location: Ammon, ID
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 120
Real life falls

I believe that there was a thread like this previously but I couldn't find it.

Yesterday, on a nice sunny Sunday, I was playing in the back yard with my 7 yr old son. Long story short, I had a serious run in with one of those big funky plastic balls. I got caught on it in the wrong way and it upended me very fast sideways.

Needless to say, I hit the ground very very hard. I did as good a breakfall as possible from a very bad angle and protected myself from serious injury. Still, I cracked two ribs, one in front and one in back.

This was a split second occurence and my only saving grace was that I was so used to falling, that I instinctively reacted. Training is actually good for something, even if it's protecting us from ourselves.

Looks like I'll be out of physical training for a while..
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Old 04-08-2002, 11:39 AM   #2
akiy's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 5,999
Ouch! Two cracked ribs!

I'm glad to hear that your ukemi saved you from a more serious injury. I hope your ribs heal well and completely soon, Brandon.

-- Jun

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Old 04-08-2002, 12:28 PM   #3
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 915
Proving a small plastic ball can overcome a larger opponent through circular movement... I'm glad you ukemi kicked in when it did.

I hope you are doing better, and are back on the mat soon.
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Old 04-08-2002, 07:06 PM   #4
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 50
real life falls

For those who doubt the value of training, this is just one more reason why one should begin or continue their training in Aikido, eh? (Very good testimonial, by the way!)
janet dtantirojanarat

janet dtantirojanarat
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Old 04-08-2002, 11:08 PM   #5
Bronson's Avatar
Dojo: Seiwa Dojo and Southside Dojo
Location: Battle Creek & Kalamazoo, MI
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,677
From The National Safety Council, Accident Facts, 1996 data. As printed in "Aikido exercises for teaching and training", by C.M. Shifflett.

Deaths due to: # of deaths

Motor vehicles: 43,300
Falls: 14,100
Poisoning (solids, liquids): 9,800
Drowning: 3,900
Fires & Burns: 3,200
Firearms: 1,400
Poison gases: 600

My sensei always tells us that ukemi shouldn't be second nature...it should be first nature. When we are working on ukemi in my classes and one of the students complains I ask them how many knife wielding attackers they encountered that day, then I ask them how many stairs they encountered. They usually get the point. In my opinion good falling is one of, if not, the most important self defense (self protection) skill you can learn. I may be attacked on the street but at some point in my life I will fall (it's already happened a couple of times )


"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 04-09-2002, 12:25 AM   #6
Dojo: Aikikai Dobunkan/ Icho Ryu Aikijujutsu
Location: Indiana
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 247
Nice stats...reminds me of a figure I saw about the most dangerous animal in North America. The common deer kills more people than bears, snakes, sharks, etc., just by wandering into roads and subsequent accidents.
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Old 05-02-2002, 11:00 PM   #7
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 130
Blush! Canadian Aikidoka Vs Ice

I slipped on some ice and did a good back fall, I never got injured I just did what I learned in class.

Kept it round and my head never hit the ground. No injurys.

If i dident know how i probably would have landed wrong and hurt myself.

Yep, this ukemi stuff works great.
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Old 05-03-2002, 03:41 AM   #8
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erikmenzel's Avatar
Dojo: Koshinkai Leeuwarden
Location: Leeuwarden
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 594
I was riding with my bike down the road very fast. (Bikes are a very very common means of transportation in the Netherlands). At one point a parked car opened its door directly in front of me, which sent me flying through the air doing a perfect forward roll on asphaltus. Ukemi works!!

Erik Jurrien Menzel
kokoro o makuru taisanmen ni hirake
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Old 05-03-2002, 09:00 AM   #9
Dojo: El Cerrito, CA
Location: Poughkeepsie, NY
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 28
I've had one fall from icy wooden steps onto icy wooden steps while walking down them, my legs slipped out from under me and I just reached back towards the stairs and put my body in breakfall position. Doing a slap would've probably broken an arm but this way I just spread out and did a silent fall. No pain, no injury.

Last summer I was in Venice (yey for backpacking around Europe when you havn't been there for years) and I slipped twice on wet stone stairs.. again it wasn't a standard fall: my feet slipped out from under me sideways while walking up the stairs. I made hoop out of my arms like for a roll except straight in front of me... when I hit the ground it was so slippery that the hoop spun in place and threw me back up to standing!

Alas your ukemi will only take you so far and two sundays ago I was sparring with a karateka... stupid me I let one of my feet come off the ground when I wasn't thinking about kicking (didn't bring my toes out of the way) and I smacked my toes into his knee and broke a toe.... No more Aikido for a while 'cause I can't walk yet and the people in my dojo have a habit of stepping on toes so I don't want to risk it.

Lastly, I've been practicing this but haven't really pulled it off: playing ultimate frisbee, instead of diving when you need to catch a low throw, ROLL and catch it... much less painful, much harder, and so much prettier.

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Old 05-03-2002, 09:27 AM   #10
Dojo: Muhu Dojo
Location: Middle of nowhere in California 14 miles from Buellton
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 238

Once I was riding a bike down a hill.. ( I live on a ranch) and there was a gopher hole and I just flew over my bike and did a roll on the rocky surface, i was fine no injuries and wanted to do it again but never had the chance!

Dallas Adolphsen
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Old 05-08-2002, 05:49 AM   #11
Olivier Uyttenh
Dojo: Aikikai gent
Location: Ghent, Belgium
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 10
Once my brother and I were riding our bikes and we were fooling when all of the sudden I lost control of my bike. We were going really fast and I was thrown over my bike and landed smoothly on the asphalt. It took me some time te realise that if it wasn't for my aikido training, I would have had serious injury.
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Old 05-08-2002, 06:24 AM   #12
Jim ashby
Dojo: Phoenix Coventry
Location: Coventry, England
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 303
Can't remember if I replied to this in a previous thread. However, I fell from the back of a lorry (moving) on to a concrete surface. Could have been fatal but I rolled in mid-air and landed on my side with a slap. Only broke one bone in my arm, better than my skull!!.
Have fun.

Vir Obesus Stola Saeptus
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Old 05-08-2002, 09:55 AM   #13
Dojo: TC Aikido Center
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 34
As others have pointed out, ukemi is definitely an important part of aikido. I have almost never used my aikido(and when I have, its mostly been in play fights or sparring), except for ukemi. I play in an Ultimate Frisbee team, and I am regularly falling, being knocked over, diving, etc. The other day, I was being covered by an uncourteous player, and when we both dived for the frisbee, he seemed to intentionally land on top of me. I rolled, and in during the roll, I used my back arm and the motion of my hips to roll him off from on top of me(very similar motion, in some ways, to the counter to quarter nelson in Judo, where you just continue the motion of the turnover and pull the other person over you). It was a very nifty combination of a roll and a hip throw, and I think it helped prevent what could have been a serious injury.

I have probably used my ukemi skills at least 5 times per game this frisbee season, and every time I am infinitely glad that I have them. Usually, it just keeps me from getting winded, but my instinct to keep from using my hands to break my falls has definitely saved me from a few possible broken arms and wrists.

Ukemi rock!
Alex Magidow

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind
-- Gandhi
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Old 05-08-2002, 01:00 PM   #14
Doug Mathieu
Dojo: Aikido Bozankan
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 64
real life falls


Before I started Aikido but after I had done Judo I went to a roller rink to try roller skating.

Silly me the 1st time I tried to stop I turned my skate sideways like you would do for ice skating.

Well...instant forward fall, no warning.

According to a friend who was there he said it looked very neat. I made a forward roll no slapping and stood back up stumbling somewhat to recover my balance.

I didn't remember doing anything so I guess reflexes worked well. Don't remember any bumps or bruises and the floor was a neoprene hard plastic sort of floor.

As per everyone else these stories all prove to us how much value in everyday life ukemi is.
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