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Old 11-01-2011, 10:54 AM   #1
feck
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 39
United Kingdom
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Doing rolls/breakfalls at home

Hi people,

been a long time since i've got back into Aikido, been doing it again for around a month 3 days a week just to ease myself into it. As i dont have much practice time in the dojo for rolls forwards and backwards, i'm thinking of buying some sort of judo mat for home practice, foldable would be better. I'm wondering if you guys/gals had any advice on these, what size/dimensions to look for.

I live in a small flat so i'm looking for something small enough, and possibly foldable that will help with my solo ukemi practice.

feck

"Men occasionally stumble across the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."
Winston Churchill
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Old 11-01-2011, 11:01 AM   #2
RED
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 903
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Re: Doing rolls/breakfalls at home

8-10 feet I'd suggest. But be careful practicing without your instructor's supervision, especially if you are trying to get back into it. If you are trying to learn "proper form" while rolling, make sure your teacher teaches you the form until you have it good. Don't want to be practicing bad form at home by yourself and making it a habit. And when it comes to ukemi bad form leads to injuries. Be kind to yourself and good luck.

MM
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Old 11-01-2011, 03:24 PM   #3
kewms
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 993
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Re: Doing rolls/breakfalls at home

I'd suggest getting a mat at least double your own height. It's possible to roll in a smaller space than that, and you can roll "off the edges" or without a mat at all, but I wouldn't recommend it for beginners.

Much depends on how good your rolling skills were to begin with. Once you get good at it, it's like riding a bicycle: the muscle memory never completely goes away and the skill comes back pretty quickly. If you weren't comfortable to begin with, or if your time off was due to an injury, coming back might take more time and more coaching.

Katherine
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Old 11-01-2011, 06:28 PM   #4
robin_jet_alt
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 537
Australia
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Re: Doing rolls/breakfalls at home

I find lawn or sand works well. If you don't have a lawn at home and you don't mind people watching you and thinking you are weird, you can try practicing in the park, or at the beach.
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Old 11-01-2011, 07:25 PM   #5
hughrbeyer
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Boston
Location: Peterborough, NH
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Re: Doing rolls/breakfalls at home

A lawn works fine, and if you care more about people watching than about your practice, well, your practice will be limited.

But being able to take a roll fall is a pretty low-level skill. It is like riding a bike--you'll care about it until you get it, then you'll be done and on to more important stuff. So don't spend a whole bunch on a mat unless you have other plans for it.
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Old 11-01-2011, 08:00 PM   #6
kewms
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Re: Doing rolls/breakfalls at home

Quote:
Robin Boyd wrote: View Post
I find lawn or sand works well. If you don't have a lawn at home and you don't mind people watching you and thinking you are weird, you can try practicing in the park, or at the beach.
Although it's a good idea to carefully inspect the area first, to make sure it's free of debris that you'd rather not roll through.

Katherine
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Old 11-02-2011, 08:52 AM   #7
Adam Huss
 
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Re: Doing rolls/breakfalls at home

I am glad you want to work on ukemi at home...its always important to practice daily, even if not at the dojo. I am, however, slightly concerned that you aren't getting the ukemi practice you think you need at the dojo. Is it possible for newer students to go off apart from the regular class and work on ukemi (or other basics)? ...with the guidance of an instructor, of course.

Ichi Go, Ichi Ei!
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Old 11-02-2011, 07:25 PM   #8
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
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Re: Doing rolls/breakfalls at home

A snowbank works fine.

Okay, no, it actually doesn't, doing ukemi in a snowbank is a really stupid idea, but if it's what you got...

(if it's what you got, then the smart people do their rolling at the dojo and go outside to get a beer!)
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Old 11-02-2011, 08:26 PM   #9
Just Jamey
Dojo: Aikido of West Bend
Location: Wisconsin
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Re: Doing rolls/breakfalls at home

I've practiced ukemi from a kneeling position without mats around the house.

The first front roll and back roll demonstrated in this video shows from a kneeling position: http://youtu.be/SGw3FOc3Jus
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Old 11-04-2011, 09:20 AM   #10
Shadowfax
 
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Re: Doing rolls/breakfalls at home

I have practiced lower rolls some standing rolls and slow ukemi at home on the living room carpet and on grass, sometimes in the arena at the stables (results in sawdust in places sawdust ought not to be) and once on the concrete aisle in the barn. Breakfalls, I save for the dojo unless they are actually needed.
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Old 11-07-2011, 04:44 AM   #11
feck
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 39
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Re: Doing rolls/breakfalls at home

thanks people for the responses

"Men occasionally stumble across the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."
Winston Churchill
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Old 11-22-2011, 11:35 PM   #12
Aikironin21
Dojo: Aikido of Solano
Location: Vacaville California
Join Date: Aug 2011
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Re: Doing rolls/breakfalls at home

The lawn, or park is great, but I suggest getting a canvas tarp to lay down to roll on. Even if you have sand to to use, having the tarp on top of the grass or sand keeps you cleaner, less itchy, and provides a little more cushion than grass alone.
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Old 11-23-2011, 01:02 AM   #13
Michael Varin
Dojo: Aikido of Fresno
Join Date: May 2005
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Re: Doing rolls/breakfalls at home

Quote:
Darren Paul wrote:
been a long time since i've got back into Aikido, been doing it again for around a month 3 days a week just to ease myself into it. As i dont have much practice time in the dojo for rolls forwards and backwards, i'm thinking of buying some sort of judo mat for home practice, foldable would be better. I'm wondering if you guys/gals had any advice on these, what size/dimensions to look for.

I live in a small flat so i'm looking for something small enough, and possibly foldable that will help with my solo ukemi practice.
Hello Darren,

I don't think you need a mat to practice rolls, regardless of your level.

Upon considering my own practice, and watching numerous others at various levels over the years, I don't think learning rolls and falls on a soft surface is necessary or even positive. In fact, most of the bad habits I picked up in my ukemi were due to the soft mat.

A carpet is forgiving enough.

Just focus on making your rolls gentle and impactless.

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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