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Old 08-18-2021, 12:33 AM   #1
Location: Devon
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 4
United Kingdom
Ukemi what it means to you

Hello all,

I am a new writer at martialjournal.com and am hoping to do an article or possible series about ukemi. With that in mind I want to try and find wide reflections and views on the topic.

What does Ukemi mean to you?

Why is it important in your practice?

What does it feel like?

When has it helped you?

Also any links to helpful articles or books would be greatly appreciated.


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Old 08-19-2021, 11:21 AM   #2
Amir Krause
Dojo: Shirokan Dojo / Tel Aviv Israel
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 692
Re: Ukemi what it means to you

Ukemi is the reception of technique.

There are two common interpretations:

a) how to fall and roll safely, when a technique is being applied on you. - This has obvious usage in real life, when you sumble or fall, and I have heard of and had muself numerous cases of falling down (a hole in the sidewalk, walking at dark, running down stairs, bicycle crush ....)

b) some consider this more advanced interpretation of a: when a technique is applied on you, how to move and react with all body in order to neutralize it and counter it
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Old 08-20-2021, 03:58 AM   #3
Rupert Atkinson
Rupert Atkinson's Avatar
Dojo: Wherever I am.
Location: New Zealand
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,013
United Kingdom
Re: Ukemi what it means to you

This is my take on it:

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Old 08-20-2021, 08:31 AM   #4
Location: Prague
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 79
Re: Ukemi what it means to you

AFAIK ukemi means 'receiving body'. To me it's exercises to form body that able receive any attack.
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Old 08-23-2021, 04:10 PM   #5
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,276
Re: Ukemi what it means to you

Dane Manson wrote: View Post
What does Ukemi mean to you?

Why is it important in your practice?

What does it feel like?

When has it helped you?

Also any links to helpful articles or books would be greatly appreciated.


To my mind ukemi refers to a process of receiving; in that sense it's also about how to apply yourself. So from my limited understanding it's tied deeply to how to throw/pin/etc. safely.
In my practice its importance comes from the beneficial effect on my body and mind. My body feels more supple after receiving gently applied techniques (especially when I'm engaging more or less well), and less sore on average when less gently applied techniques are done on me, and my attention/awareness is focused when I actively consider how to not get hurt; how to safely apply effort while effort is being applied to me.
It feels somewhat different based on the different people I've trained with and how well I'm focusing and engaging myself.

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Old 10-02-2021, 02:41 AM   #6
Location: CA
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 70
Re: Ukemi what it means to you

"It is a love based of giving and receiving as well as having and sharing. And the love that they give and have is shared and received. And through this having and giving and sharing and receiving, we too can share and love and have... and receive." - Joey Tribiani, "Friends"
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Old 10-09-2021, 03:17 AM   #7
Dojo: Yuishinkai Aus
Location: Australia
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 22
Re: Ukemi what it means to you

Master Shinjuro Narita, Soke- Korindo Aikido on Ukemi-

“No matter how good the sensei is, if the person who is attacking is not honest, it is difficult to handle the situation as freely as he would like.

If you are honest and give your body and soul to the teacher, he will give you everything.

If you resist even only a little bit, it means that you are disobeying the teacher's will and are not following his ki.

If your body and mind are able to adapt to what the teacher is doing without any resistance, then the essence of the teacher's both physical and mental teaching has been transmitted to you as it is. There is no other way to learn the essence of the teacher. It is not knowledge, but an unconscious intrinsic ability that is stored in the body itself.

In any case, in order to receive what emanates from the heart of the teacher, you have to empty yourself. If there is any self-consciousness such as doubt, desire, discrimination, judgment, etc. left, it is like putting a stopper at the entrance of the vessel, and you will never be able to receive his will. It's not that a part of it overflows, but the whole thing refuses to enter, not even a drop.

This is the important part, and we must keep it in mind.

One of the last words from my teacher is, "When there is nothing, it is transmitted from the master to the deshi (student).

I believe this means that it is essential for the transmission of the michi (道) that the mind of the master and the mind of the deshi (student) be united in an unobstructed fusion, that they be able to communicate with each other.”

We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have virtue or excellence because we have acted rightly.
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Old 10-10-2021, 04:40 AM   #8
dps's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,415
Re: Ukemi what it means to you

"..... falling with style." Woody from Toy Story


Go ahead, tread on me.
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