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Old 07-10-2011, 10:55 PM   #51
Dojo: Aikido Terrey Hills
Location: Sydney
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 120
Re: Fear of Ukemi

Rolling was a huge mountain for me when I first started. I'd be so afraid and tense up which made it alot worse, for the rest of the lesson but especially for my headspace the next time. Most of my shoulder would be bruised and sore to move between classes, I don't think I could have stayed if the people weren't so lovely and supportive.

Towards the end of 4 months I fluked a roll a couple times and something felt right, I started getting the feel of what it was supposed to be like. It gradually dawned on me that maybe my focus was off. Each time I tensed I would fall straight downward while I tried to roll. It was like the only thing I wanted was to be able to fly gracefully like the people in hakama during demonstrations.

I decided to change the picture in my head, I started visualizing a seagull skimming the surface of the ocean as it flew. I imagined that the expanse of mat was the water and walls didn't exist. Momentum from other people throwing me helped me fly too. Eventually I started thinking 'out' rather than 'go down into a roll', and it worked! Beating gravity's brilliant fun!

Learning to roll was hell, but that's what makes it so much better now.

The world changes when you do.
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Old 07-11-2011, 10:27 AM   #52
Location: Australia
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 641
Re: Fear of Ukemi

I've skimmed through this thread, so pardon me if this has been mentioned -

Have you tried rolling with one of those big physioballs? It a great way to gain confidence from a low height, whilst minimizing impact. All you need to do is drape yourself over the ball and follow its contour

From: http://www.budovideos.com/shop/custo...roductid=16162

(There use to be a youtube vid of some of these types of rolls, but I can't seem to find them. If someone has a link, please post it)

Last edited by bob_stra : 07-11-2011 at 10:34 AM.
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Old 07-12-2011, 04:06 AM   #53
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 193
Re: Fear of Ukemi

As you have had lots of good advice here is something a little left of center. Download a free hypnosis tape of the Internet such as " improve your performance in sport". When prompted to visualize yourself, do so taking ukemi, left and right. There is no reason not to take a perfect fall in your imagination is there?
My ukemi is rubbish by the way, except in my head.

Enjoy the journey
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Old 07-12-2011, 10:44 AM   #54
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
Re: Fear of Ukemi

Hi Dave.
You may have overcome this by now but thought I'd add a little something.

I once had a student, also a friend, who when he told me in confidence that he was scared to break-fall my jaw dropped in disbelief. This guy was a pretty well known skydiver.

Thus I learned a new perspective and mention him because it was a mental barrier.

I did two things to get him through it. One was I gave him private help to remove any embarrassment

Secondly and more importantly I got hold of a really thick soft mat
and built up his confidence.

The embarrassment factor is something that in my experience is, for some, a major part of the problem.

Not so much the embarrassment in looking stupid to others but more to do with the feeling so in yourself. A person can feel like they're going back to infant school and therefore feel stupid.

Anyway hope you are back to confident now.

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