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Old 09-12-2002, 07:17 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 2
Beginning question...

HI everyone, Ive just decided to enroll in an aikido class in my area. I have only had very very limited training in kenpo. Anyways my question is about the rolls. In kenpo we called them ukemi rolls and I never really got a chance to practice. I know for aikido learning how to fall and roll is very important. Does anyone have any tips to help a begginer out in this area?? I just feel like iam going to hesitate and be a lil afraid to do the roll.
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Old 09-13-2002, 12:24 AM   #2
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 117
don't worry too much. Ukemi aren't that terrible, though they seemed to me in the beginning to be. Most likely, nobody is going to expect you to know how to roll at once. First, figure out how the sensei/whoever is instructing you wants you to do it and then try it carefully, under supervision if you wish it'll be ok
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Old 09-13-2002, 02:02 AM   #3
Jason Tonks
Dojo: Bracknell Ellis School of Traditonal Aikido
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 71
Hello there Joseph. When I first started learning Ukemi I was taught from a kneeling position intitially. This entails one knee forward and the other leg tucked around at a 90 degree angle if you can visualise what I mean. The good thing about this I feel is it takes the pressure off beginners to breakfall from standing. You start by rolling forward from kneeling and once you feel comfortable with that then you can gradually bring your body up higher and higher until eventually you are breakfalling from standing. This method I feel takes the pressure off a beginner who may be wary of breakfalling from a standing height. Good luck in your training Joseph.
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Old 09-13-2002, 08:47 AM   #4
Bruce Baker
Dojo: LBI Aikikai/LBI ,NJ
Location: Barnegaat, NJ
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 893
Never let you head hit the mat, always tuck in your chin as if you were looking into your belly button. Gives your body a round shape for rolling.

Always fall on your shoulder or backside, even if you don't roll. Remember, shoulder to opposite hip as if an 'X' was drawn on your back.

Learn to go with the flow so that you will have some balance, and be aware of what your body is doing in relation to your fall or surroundings.

I am sure everyone will be very helpful in teaching you the details of proper ukemi so Aikido becomes very enjoyable.
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Old 09-13-2002, 09:41 AM   #5
SeiserL's Avatar
Location: Florida Gulf coast
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,902
Yep, you started. Rleax, breath, and think in circles (stay round). It just take practice. IMHO, we all had that problem in the beginning.

Until again,


Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 09-13-2002, 10:04 AM   #6
Genex's Avatar
Dojo: Warrington Seishin Kai
Location: Warrington, England
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 155

When we started doing breakfalls the first one we learned was backwards falling.

This is unbeleivably easy, all you need to do is stand upright confortably legs apart about shoulder width take your foot and place it behind you toes pointed behind (top of foot to mat) lower yourself to your knee, then to your bum (basicaly sat here) then roll backwards to the OPPOSITE shoulder to the foot you started the technique with, when you come over you should be able to stand up with ease, and dont forget to Tuck your chin to your chest.

Its really that simple for a backwards Ukemi, try practacing, slowly at first then as you build up confidence faster.

(WARNING) One important thing to remember whenever your doing a technique and your going to go down backwards ALWAYS, always fall with the foot NEAREST your apponant.

you must remember that, then again if you dont you'll know about it

As for forward breakfalls, it is perhaps good to learn your Shikko (Knee walking/Samurai walking) before you do them.

I'd also rather not describe them to you here, just incase you misunderstood and do yourself an injury, suffice to say i imagine my body as a hula hoop (for those who remember them) going from my hip to my hand then the back of my arm and then my back itself finaly arriving back at my hip.

It helps to think your not a weeble (they wobble but they dont fall down) do forward Ukemi with your instructor, i'm sure they'll make you take a whole class of it. (mwuhuhahahahahaha)

Actualy our kid mentioned this the other day,

she came to a class to watch us and saw us all doing what she thought was training to be in the circus. (lesson on breakfalling)

she was very amused.

btw. our kid is a manchester euthomism<sp?> for sibling.



like having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick. - The hitchhikers guide to the galaxy on the Pan-galactic Gargleblaster!
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Old 09-13-2002, 08:57 PM   #7
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 2
Thanks everyone for the kind words and advice. Its just that when I see young kids 1st starting out they seem to be sooo much better at the rolls. It makes me feel old laff.
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Old 09-14-2002, 12:01 AM   #8
Bronson's Avatar
Dojo: Seiwa Dojo and Southside Dojo
Location: Battle Creek & Kalamazoo, MI
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,677
Does anyone have any tips to help a begginer out in this area??
Do what your instructor tells you to do. No more, no less. Be patient and listen carefully to the instruction. I see this with brand new people all the time. I say: "ok, lets have you kneel on one knee here and put your hands on the floor in this position." They say: "Ok", then kneel and immediately go into a roll. Go slowly and be patient. I've recenlty started using the phrase "if you can't do it slow, you've got no business doing it fast"


"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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