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Old 11-03-2005, 01:35 PM   #26
MaryKaye
Dojo: Seattle Ki Society
Location: Seattle
Join Date: Dec 2003
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Re: Hard Floor

We recently changed from hard tatami to softer Zebra mats. The younger, hardier students may feel some ambivalence about this, but the older students are pretty unanimous in saying that the change will enable them to practice longer and harder without nasty physical repercussions. Since several of our higher-ranked members are in their fifties, this is important to us and I think it was a good change.

I bought a couple of the rejected tatami, though, and put them on concrete in my basement--wow! what a difference not having the sprung wood floor makes!--because I think practicing there will help keep my ukemi from getting sloppy. On Zebras I am a bit too willing to let my head touch the mat.

Mary Kaye
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Old 11-03-2005, 01:56 PM   #27
akiy
 
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Re: Hard Floor

Quote:
Ryan Coram wrote:
So, I beleve that the more experienced you are in Ukemi, the harder the falling surface should be.
I'm curious -- did you come to this conclusion through having done this through your own experience?

-- Jun

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Old 11-03-2005, 05:27 PM   #28
Rupert Atkinson
Dojo: Wherever I am
Location: New Zealand
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Re: Hard Floor

The no-mat option would certainly be cheaper. I prefer mats for safety but have trained on wodden floors from time to time. Once you are warmed up you get used to it pretty fast but one mis-breakfall and it'll hurt for days - reality check. Way back when I did TKD and Karate (just for a year or so) - they never used mats but did do takedowns -pretty easy really. Iaido was also done on a wooden floor - not exactly breakfalling, but shikko-ing around can take its toll on the legs. On the opposite side, in Korea, some places have mats that are way too soft - you sink in as you walk, like walking on peat.

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Old 11-03-2005, 09:24 PM   #29
Mike Fugate
Dojo: The School of Two Styles
Location: Ohio
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Smile Re: Hard Floor

Honestly when I am on a mat I feel as if I could be thrown all day long, because in the school we only have wood floors. All the break falls were done on hard wood floors,....and as goes for myself since I train one on one with my sifu we do alot at his house in the back yard, soo in all honestly grass in my opinion is great for building your self up to take better falls. And since we cover multiple styles sparring is very interesting for you get a chance to see and feel an Aikido/Kungfu technique on a realistic surface. But all and all, Sifus Gandmaster was training on the hard floors up till the day he died, and that was in his upper 90's......ANd it dint slow him down.

"When you cease to strive to understand, then you will know without understanding." -- Caine
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Old 11-04-2005, 02:10 AM   #30
Ian Upstone
Location: Sussex
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Re: Hard Floor

I still see no benefit from training on a hard surface...

The 'realism' aspect doesn't seem to make sense. The chances of being thrown by someone in the real world out there is tiny. The goal of developing smoother breakfalls at the higher risk of injury, is silly. It's the same mentality as using live blades in an otherwise highly artificial and safe environment. Why not line our dogi with broken glass while we're at it in case we have to fall on glass at some point?

Sloppy breakfalls are soon sorted out through regular training, and hard surfaces are going to limit the way in which we can throw uke. I for one would immediately have to remove from my repertoire any hip throws and techniques where you throw down and hang on to uke. Randori and jiyuwaza would either slow to a crawl or be an exercise in injury management.

I can see the argument made for it (and it certainly proves how tough people can be!), but the vague benefits put forward so far are hugely outweighed by the negative aspects.

I reserve the right to be wrong, but I'll need serious convincing
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Old 11-04-2005, 03:36 AM   #31
Paul Kerr
 
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Re: Hard Floor

Quote:
Ian Upstone wrote:
Regluar training on a hard surface will not add anything apart from increasing the risk of injury and forcing techniques to become less dynamic.
My own experience has been exactly the opposite. You need a heightened sense of awareness and sensitivity as both nage and uke to train on a hard or unpredictable surface. It always does wonders for my zanshin!

Quote:
Ian Upstone wrote:
The 'realism' aspect doesn't seem to make sense. The chances of being thrown by someone in the real world out there is tiny.
Very true. However, the chances of slipping, falling off a bicycle, tripping etc. are much more significant. In that case, you'd better know how to go gracefully to the ground.


Quote:
Ian Upstone wrote:
I can see the argument made for it (and it certainly proves how tough people can be!), but the vague benefits put forward so far are hugely outweighed by the negative aspects.
Not true. It has nothing to do with being 'tough'. Trying to out-tough concrete usually doesn't work so well. It has to do with developing your ukemi on surfaces other than mats - if you find that appropriate to your training goals.

Last edited by Paul Kerr : 11-04-2005 at 03:41 AM.

Paul Kerr
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Old 11-04-2005, 04:06 AM   #32
Ian Upstone
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Re: Hard Floor

Being an accident prone fool, I have a couple of times slipped, fallen or otherwise made unplanned landings onto concrete - and the falling skills have come in very handy.

The falls weren't 'graceful' by any means, but prevented any injury. Regular, habitual falling obviously helped me. I don't think training regularly on a hard floor would have altered my automatic response. In fact, my breakfalls would not be as they are, had I not developed the skill over time on a decent surface to practise on, where falling has become an automatic and relaxed response, and the fear of falling has been replaced by the confidence to not give it any thought.

My 'tough' comment was stated perhaps a little tongue-in-cheek. Being, as David Lynch has better put it, more a 'worrier' than a 'warrior' - I know I'd hold back on my attacks in the role of uke, because of the potential of injury on a hard service if nage decides to plow me into ..well, where a mat would be. My attacks would no longer be honest with my mind on my fall rather than my attack.

As for developing ukemi on surfaces other than mats, for why? For the sake of it? When am I going to be thrown 100s of times onto concrete? If my training goal was to land a lot on concrete then I'd probably practise that. It is not, and I don't suspect that for many others it is either.
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Old 11-04-2005, 04:38 AM   #33
Ian Upstone
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Re: Hard Floor

Quote:
Paul Kerr wrote:
My own experience has been exactly the opposite. You need a heightened sense of awareness and sensitivity as both nage and uke to train on a hard or unpredictable surface. It always does wonders for my zanshin!
Are suggesting that techniques become more dynamic and less prone to injury without mats?

I aggree you'll have a heightened sense of awareness and sensitivity, but it will be in the form of concern about how your uke will land - not your technique. Your technique suffers, as it does when training with a partner who cannot take ukemi - you have to limit the range of what you are doing.

There are enough hurdles in training and developing skill - a hard surface just adds another one in my opinion.
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Old 11-04-2005, 05:00 AM   #34
Dazzler
Dojo: Templegate Dojo, bristol & Bristol North Aikido Dojo
Location: Bristol
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Re: Hard Floor

Quote:
Paul Kerr wrote:
. It has to do with developing your ukemi on surfaces other than mats - if you find that appropriate to your training goals.
Like that statement. If you are going to do it - have a reason.


Quote:
Ian Upstone wrote:
.There are enough hurdles in training and developing skill - a hard surface just adds another one in my opinion..
And I agree fully with this.

My take on this is that if you are going to say use concrete etc because its more realistic, why then use unrealistic "techniques" and escapes ?

There is no big flowing ukemi from aikido when applied 'realistically'.

These escapes have been developed for safe practice...as has the use of tatami.

Look at the Dennis Hooker thread on how long is too long.

How long would anyone wish to practice on a dangerous surface?

Once in a blue moon can be an eye opener.

For me - There is far too much to work on in regular practice without having concerns about the mats or lack of them.

IMHO.

Cheers all

D
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Old 11-04-2005, 11:35 AM   #35
Paul Kerr
 
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Re: Hard Floor

Quote:
Ian Upstone wrote:
Are suggesting that techniques become more dynamic and less prone to injury without mats?
That has been my experience, yes. Not always, but certainly enough to have make it a useful practice. My first experience, in aikido, of training on a hard surface was when I was required to be uke at a demo with my sensei on a concrete floor - lots of big kokyu-nage, koshinage, kotegaeshi and tenchinage. The ground gives direct and immediate feedback, so the learning curve was short

Quote:
Ian Upstone wrote:
I aggree you'll have a heightened sense of awareness and sensitivity, but it will be in the form of concern about how your uke will land - not your technique.
I disagree. I'm already concerned with how uke will land, regardless of surface so whether it's gravel or feathers isn't a limitation on my technique, merely a factor.


Quote:
Ian Upstone wrote:
Your technique suffers, as it does when training with a partner who cannot take ukemi - you have to limit the range of what you are doing.
On the contrary, training with an inexperienced uke calls for your technique to be better. I don't see that as limiting.



Quote:
Ian Upstone wrote:
There are enough hurdles in training and developing skill - a hard surface just adds another one in my opinion.
I just don't perceive it as a hurdle - 'interesting variation' more like.

Paul Kerr
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Old 11-04-2005, 12:33 PM   #36
Avery Jenkins
 
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Re: Hard Floor

I'm 47. Gimme the mats. At this point, whomping some concrete everytime I fall doesn't give me any more street cred, it just gives me pain.
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Old 11-04-2005, 05:15 PM   #37
Mike Fugate
Dojo: The School of Two Styles
Location: Ohio
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Wink Re: Hard Floor

I honestly do not see any real draw backs to training on a mat. To me I like the extra conditioning, and hardening of the body tha hard surfaces provide. Just my opinion however...But I think regardless of what it is it must be a realistic surface. Regular gym mats will work fine,,,,but matts I have seen in some schools were more like mattresses/Trapolenes and footwork is almost impossible on them. So Im gonna go out on the limb and say if we training hard, traditionaly, and with the upmost of passion...hard floor or no hard floor when the time comes to use it in real life you will be satisfied.

"When you cease to strive to understand, then you will know without understanding." -- Caine
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