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Old 11-02-2011, 11:51 AM   #1
dapidmini
Dojo: Surabaya Aikido Dojo
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high breakfalls?

do you teach students how to do high breakfalls as a part of taisho or do you teach it individually?
when do you think student will be able to do them safely enough? at what rank?
when you started to learn to do high breakfalls, do you get a lot failed attempts that hurts or is it just me?
do you think high breakfalls are a mandatory skill?
how many kinds of high breakfalls are there? how many of them do you teach?

I'm sorry if I'm asking too many questions but I'd really like to know... and please don't tell me that I should ask Sensei. I want to know about Your training methods..

Last edited by dapidmini : 11-02-2011 at 11:53 AM.
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Old 11-02-2011, 12:23 PM   #2
kewms
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Re: high breakfalls?

High breakfalls are a mandatory skill. One goal of ukemi is to be able to protect yourself even if nage is trying to hurt you.

By the time a student is comfortable with normal rolls, it's appropriate to start teaching "easy" breakfalls, such as the "sliding into home" breakfall where you simply breakfall out of a normal roll. Once they can do that, you can start raising the pivot point by having them roll over a partner's hand. Start with the hand at ankle level and raise it as they become comfortable.

Failed attempts are something to avoid in any kind of ukemi. That's a good way to get hurt. If you're getting lots of failed attempts, you might step back to an easier progression (lower support point, more carefully supported falls, etc.) for a while.

Judoka learn breakfalls from the first day they step on the mat. I think the perception that they are an "advanced" skill may do more harm than good.

Katherine
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Old 11-02-2011, 12:41 PM   #3
Shadowfax
 
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Re: high breakfalls?

I started learning breakfalls some time just after I had taken 6th kyu. I think everyone is ready at a different rate depending on how well they take to the easier ukemi. In my dojo we will sometimes have a breakfall clinic after the first class has ended where anyone who would like to will be taught individually by sensei how to take them. We do not usually work on them as a class because not everyone is ready for that at the same time as we have people of all levels in the classes. After that it really becomes a matter of choosing to take that ukemi during regular training when the opportunity presents.

I did have some soreness in the initial attempts because of not knowing how to arrange my body properly and there is a sort of body shock that causes muscles to be really sore from all of the impact if you do a lot of them but eventually you learn how to land so that this is minimal.

At least that has been my experience.
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Old 11-02-2011, 01:10 PM   #4
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: high breakfalls?

We don't do break falls.

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Old 11-02-2011, 01:52 PM   #5
Lyle Laizure
 
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Re: high breakfalls?

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
High breakfalls are a mandatory skill. One goal of ukemi is to be able to protect yourself even if nage is trying to hurt you.

By the time a student is comfortable with normal rolls, it's appropriate to start teaching "easy" breakfalls, such as the "sliding into home" breakfall where you simply breakfall out of a normal roll. Once they can do that, you can start raising the pivot point by having them roll over a partner's hand. Start with the hand at ankle level and raise it as they become comfortable.

Failed attempts are something to avoid in any kind of ukemi. That's a good way to get hurt. If you're getting lots of failed attempts, you might step back to an easier progression (lower support point, more carefully supported falls, etc.) for a while.

Judoka learn breakfalls from the first day they step on the mat. I think the perception that they are an "advanced" skill may do more harm than good.

Katherine
I don't know that they are mandatory as in you have to be able to perform a high breakfall in order to progress in the art but they are mandatory in order to protect yourself.

If a student can do a good forward roll they are ready for breakfalls. This can happen after only a few minutes of training though under strict supervision.

Lots of failed attempts means you don't have the basics down and you need to go back to square one.

Ok so Katherine covered everything, I just said the same thing slightly differently.

Lyle Laizure
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Old 11-02-2011, 01:59 PM   #6
Janet Rosen
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Re: high breakfalls?

I agree that they are not the "big deal" some aikido dojos make them out to be - as noted, judo teaches them right off the bat - but they should not be painful.
If you are not relaxing and exhaling, or not landing in proper position, it means you should back off, do more of the slow and easy prep work - for instance doing "lay out" forward rolls where you simply end your forward roll in breakfall landing position, doing the entire roll sloooooowly, making sure to extend, exhale, relax, hold the position to check it, etc.
If you are having pain, you will build fear and tension into the process, which is counterproductive.

Janet Rosen
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Old 11-02-2011, 02:11 PM   #7
Shadowfax
 
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Re: high breakfalls?

They certainly are not a big deal where I train. But the instructors have expressed that they feel it is important for us to at least know how to take a breakfall should we need to do so. Perhaps in our own dojo a breakfall is taken only because uke chooses to. (I happen to really like them) but when at a seminar or visiting another dojo one might end up training with someone used to taking and therefore throwing people so that a breakfall is necessary.

Personally I think its a handy skill to have on the off chance my horse sends me on an unscheduled dismount.
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Old 11-02-2011, 02:51 PM   #8
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: high breakfalls?

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
We don't do break falls.
Are you doing what is called ki-aikido?
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Old 11-02-2011, 03:14 PM   #9
grondahl
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Re: high breakfalls?

I try to introduce high breakfalls as soon as possible, not necessary the first class but asap. Just build up to it in small steps.

Usually something like this: During warmup: basic back and side breakfalls. Then drilling the end position for a high breakfall. Then start doing forward rolls that end in the same position. Then breakfalls over a kneeling partner where the beginner can grab the partners dogi and control the speed of the fall followed by breakfalls from a standing position grabbing each others wrists.
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Old 11-02-2011, 03:31 PM   #10
Marc Abrams
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Re: high breakfalls?

I am frankly not a fan of high break falls. Step outside and do a high break fall on the pavement. Besides the obvious results of such an adventure, the high break fall keeps me from staying connected to the nage so that I can continue my attack.

I teach students proper ukemi. Maintain a connection with the nage, Conform and dissipate the force so as to first, learn to change levels safely; secondly neutralize the incoming force; finally, return the force - all while maintaining your center and structure. If you are doing these things correctly and you are thrown in such a manner that you really do have to do a high fall, your body will conform to the forces so that you do not get injured.

Launching yourself into the air breaks the ki flow, which tends to increase the risk of injuries when being tossed on hard surfaces. I have done sacrifice throws and have been tossed on hard wood floors and pavement without bruises or injuries because of the above-mentioned factors. Not many people want to try practicing that way very often; I wonder why?

Marc Abrams
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Old 11-02-2011, 03:46 PM   #11
grondahl
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Re: high breakfalls?

Quote:
Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
I am frankly not a fan of high break falls. Step outside and do a high break fall on the pavement. Besides the obvious results of such an adventure, the high break fall keeps me from staying connected to the nage so that I can continue my attack.
I have done high breakfalls on hard surfaces without any "obvious" results (would I do a lot of breakfalls if we always trained on hard surfaces? no). Breaking away to do a high breakfall does not break contact more than breaking away to do a roll, actually most time less since I always want to maintain connection through the fall. Regardless if I´m being thrown with a koshinage, ippon seionage or hurled over the shoulder in a sanshou style double leg.
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Old 11-02-2011, 04:13 PM   #12
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: high breakfalls?

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
Are you doing what is called ki-aikido?
We are from that lineage.

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Old 11-02-2011, 08:46 PM   #13
hallsbayfisherman
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Re: high breakfalls?

During my years of Judo training.high breakfalls were the norm and got quite good at it as well BUT years of doing this on a consistent basis definitely took a toll on my body.Today in my day to day Aikido training i breakfall as necessary and as close to the ground as possible.

Regards
WJ
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Old 11-02-2011, 10:14 PM   #14
Ian Keane
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Re: high breakfalls?

Quote:
Wayne James wrote: View Post
During my years of Judo training.high breakfalls were the norm and got quite good at it as well BUT years of doing this on a consistent basis definitely took a toll on my body.Today in my day to day Aikido training i breakfall as necessary and as close to the ground as possible.

Regards
WJ
Amen. No matter how safe or comfortable your ukemi might seem after a high breakfall, each one jars your body a little bit, and you only have so many of those in you before they start to mount up. For the most part, they only serve to provide a bit of unnecessary flash in an instructor's demonstration (often delivered by an instructor who has long since ceased to take ukemi himself/herself). In my opinion, taking such falls serves no useful purpose for the student.

If a student is properly trained in ukemi, the decision as to whether or not to take a breakfall at all usually belongs to uke, not nage (the exceptions being those rather painful-looking throws that involve nage loading uke up on his shoulders and dropping him). If uke does elect to take a breakfall (such as in ukemi for shihonage and kotegaeshi), uke can learn how to properly position himself so that every breakfall occurs close to the mat.
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Old 11-03-2011, 04:40 AM   #15
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: high breakfalls?

Quote:
Ian Keane wrote: View Post
If a student is properly trained in ukemi, the decision as to whether or not to take a breakfall at all usually belongs to uke, not nage ...
I sometimes read this opinion in this forum. (Never heard it in one of the german forums I visit.) And everytime, it amazes me because this view doesn't seem to match my/our practice. Or I don't really understand something.

In our teaching there are just different versions of each throw. We teach how to throw in a way which allows uke to fall backward or to roll. And we teach a different version which doesn't allow this, but leads uke into a high fall. There is no jumping of uke, but uke is led into the movement by nage.

I'll try to explain my questions with the example of irimi nage:
You can throw "outwards", away from you. In thist version the throwing arm and the leg which is in front, are aligned in the same direction. So if uke is thrown with the left arm, this left arm and the left leg are kind of parallel and are direct "forward", teh arm also more or less down.
This is an exampel of what I mean.
Uke can mostly decide how to fall. Even if this version is executed sharper, uke may have the oportunity to decide how to fall.

The other version is shown here. The throwing leg is moving in the direction of ukes center, the throwing arm is moving in front of the center of tori. Arm and leg are no more parellel but are moving in different directions. The leg and hip of tori are blocking ukes way, so he can't roll (forward or backward) but is led by toris arm over the leg/hip. He has to somehow get over it. Also the throw doesn't lead uke away from tori, but the throwing arm ist closing in and uke is led right "between tori feet". He is led vertically down.

In every nage waza we have different ways of doing it which are comparable to the two different forms I tried to describe.

What am I getting wrong?
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Old 11-03-2011, 05:05 AM   #16
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: high breakfalls?

I think I didn't mark the links:

Video of the first version of irimi nage.

Video or the second version of irmi nage.
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Old 11-03-2011, 05:20 AM   #17
Tim Ruijs
 
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Re: high breakfalls?

High breakfalls can be a necessity depending on the style you are in. That much is clear.
I think that anything that can help you out to prevent injury is good. Remember first rule of Budo!
Off course in many cases executing breakfall is a choice of aite, not imposed by tori. However sometimes tori can be very determined and have (total) control over you and then you must do breakfall do protect yourself. I do not think there is a clear border here...

As a teacher I spent a fair amount of time on ukemi (during aiki taiso) because students learn to control their body, increases confidence. I start with suwari waza ushiro ukemi (backwards roll from seated position), then mae ukemi (forward roll). Next tachi waza mae ukemi (forward roll from standing position).
When standing you first may use your arms, next round cross your arms, third round keep your arms to the side of your body. This sequence forces you to stay more and more centered while doing the same movement.
Another very useful exercise is rolling over someone seated (on all fours) on the floor.

A nice crossover exercise from forward fall to breakfall/freefall is koshinage as tori has very much control over aite and can prevent mishap quite easily. Compare this to e.g. kotegaeshi: when aite falls poorly, tori cannot do anything about it ;-(

In a real fight:
* If you make a bad decision, you die.
* If you don't decide anything, you die.
Aikido teaches you how to decide.
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Old 11-03-2011, 05:37 AM   #18
Mario Tobias
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Re: high breakfalls?

breakfalls are a mandatory and necessary skill to protect yourself. some senseis/partners jerk techniques and you often don't really have enough time for a soft roll otherwise your wrist, elbow, shoulder gets left behind leading to serious injuries. it also saved me once after a table I was standing on gave way( I was reaching for something).

we got taught high breakfalls while we were still learning the softrolls. The thing with breakfalls is that confidence plays a large part in it before even trying. How I think we did it to learn it as beginners was that we had intensive front, back ukemi drills during warm up back then like 40 front rolls 40 back rolls non stop. Aside from these drills, we practiced a lot of ukemi by ourselves without nudging from sensei or anybody. I think its only when you get comfortable with basic ukemi that you start thinking taking more risks in starting to try breakfalls. no point in trying high falls if you're not yet competent with the basic rolls.
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Old 11-03-2011, 06:41 AM   #19
Walter Martindale
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Re: high breakfalls?

Rolls are best, of course, but if you're being sent vertically to the ground by someone who REALLY wants to slam you down (it happens, not often in practice, but it happens) OR when someone loses their balance while throwing you (it happens whether we want it to or not), it could be a valuable skill.
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Old 11-03-2011, 09:53 AM   #20
kewms
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Re: high breakfalls?

Quote:
Tim Ruijs wrote: View Post
A nice crossover exercise from forward fall to breakfall/freefall is koshinage as tori has very much control over aite and can prevent mishap quite easily.
*Provided* that tori actually knows what to do with that control and, ideally, is approximately the same size as aite. Breakfalling over the shoulder of someone taller than you is not something I'd recommend for beginners!

Which is a reason to recommend ukemi-focused classes and workshops. In most classes at most dojos, the focus is on the technique. But a vicious circle can develop: it's very difficult to learn how to do koshinage if your partner is afraid of the ukemi, but it's very difficult to develop confident ukemi if your partner is tentative about the throw.

Katherine
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Old 11-03-2011, 01:38 PM   #21
Andy Kazama
 
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Re: high breakfalls?

In my experience, the ONLY serious physical aikido-waza I have had to use outside of the dojo has been ukemi/breakfall in nature...literally. I have taken a decently high ukemi while mountain biking (I did an end-over my handle-bars); and I have taken a hard ushiro sutemi slipping on an icy staircase. Forget bar fights – Nature gives you enough opportunity to practice Aikido in real life.

On the other hand, I have probably averted having to take ukemi/sutemi in the first place by having relatively more body awareness as I walk through my environment; and this comes from not bailing at the first hint of danger, but instead trying to soak into the openings and counter. Either way, I always tell new students that they are more likely to use their ukemi-waza out in the street than any nage-waza.
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Old 11-03-2011, 02:37 PM   #22
Larry Feldman
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Re: high breakfalls?

Don't do them.

Learned how in Ju Jitsu, used to do them, but not anymore.

One of my students (and Judo Black belt) used to practice in a Dojo in a large Aikido organization. Someone observed that a large percentage of the older Sr. students were 'all busted up'. They concluded it must have been from the years of brakfalls. They no longer do them, and the latest explanation is that you can practice longer/harder without the breakfalls.

My student will occassionally launch himself in class, but totally unnecessary, except for keep ing the skill.
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Old 11-03-2011, 05:01 PM   #23
Lyle Laizure
 
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Re: high breakfalls?

Quote:
Larry Feldman wrote: View Post
Don't do them.
One of my students (and Judo Black belt) used to practice in a Dojo in a large Aikido organization. Someone observed that a large percentage of the older Sr. students were 'all busted up'. They concluded it must have been from the years of brakfalls. They no longer do them, and the latest explanation is that you can practice longer/harder without the breakfalls.
This is their conclusion, without much of a study it seems. That isn't to say that the statement isn't correct with the individuals mentioned. While I don't think it is necessary to train "high breakfalls" every class I think it is an important skill to keep up. I have been training Aikido for 19 years and while I don't take them all the time I do not suffer any ill effects from them. Why one gets 'all busted up' is more complicated than taking "high breakfalls." How they learned to do them to start with, whether or not they took the time to heal from any injury they may have sustained (whether from taking falls or from any other part of their life) as well as their mental well being and temperament when training. No, I don't believe that "high breakfalls" need to be or should be practiced every class but I also do not believe that we can say definitively that they will get you 'all busted up.'

Lyle Laizure
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Old 11-03-2011, 05:15 PM   #24
kewms
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Re: high breakfalls?

The older aikidoka I know (and know of) who are "all busted up" mostly attribute it to overly resistive training. High breakfalls with good landings don't mess you up nearly as badly as refusing to move while people torque on your joints.

Katherine
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Old 11-03-2011, 06:41 PM   #25
robin_jet_alt
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Re: high breakfalls?

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
The older aikidoka I know (and know of) who are "all busted up" mostly attribute it to overly resistive training. High breakfalls with good landings don't mess you up nearly as badly as refusing to move while people torque on your joints.

Katherine
I agree completely. High breakfalls can be done very softly, and when done well, they shouldn't cause undue wear and tear. It is when people can't do them very well that these sorts of misconceptions occur.

Case in point:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kItc4PJtCa4

Last edited by robin_jet_alt : 11-03-2011 at 06:43 PM. Reason: Wrong link
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