Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

aikido articles


dojo search
image gallery
links directory

book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews


rss feeds

Follow us on

Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > General

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Thread Tools
Old 11-06-2002, 04:26 PM   #1
Amin Basri
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 16
Back roll


I am definately very new to aikido as i had been practising for only 2 months now.I had no problem with my forward roll but i definately have a huge problem doing back rolls.2 weeks ago i was practising back rolls and i had some sort of an accident as i roll on my head and my neck and the bone below my neck{i do not know what it's called} hurts and it still hurts a bit now.Now i have a phobia doing back rolls.Could any of you out there offer some advice or suggestions on doing back rolls or how to outgrow the fear of doing rolling.Thanks really appreciated it

  Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2002, 04:48 PM   #2
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 237

Something that I pass along to my students who are learning backward rolls is to use your arms/hands to form a "frame" that keeps your head/neck from contacting the mat while rolling.

I'm not very good at describing how you do it in writing, but here goes. If you're in a left hanmi stance (left foot forward), as you begin the backward roll, hold your left arm out like you're making the "left turn" symbol (left arm out to the side, elbow bent at 90 degrees with hand pointing up). Then position your right arm so that your forearm crosses in front of your face with your right and left hands touching. This will result in a square shape if done properly. Keep your arms in this position as you roll, and in doing so, your head will not touch the mat, preventing damage to your neck/shoulders.

If your right foot is in front, your right arm would make the "left turn" symbol and your left arm would cross in front of your face.

Like I said, it's tough to describe in words.

Last edited by lt-rentaroo : 11-06-2002 at 04:50 PM.

  Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2002, 07:36 PM   #3
Kevin Wilbanks
Location: Seattle/Southern Wisconsin
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 788
I think an important thing to consider regarding backward rolls is that you probably never really have to do them in Aikido practice if you don't want to. I know that some sensei are categorically against them, as some very serious injuries are reputed to have resulted from them, especially in crowded training situations.

Personally, I'm not sure if I have ever taken a backward roll from an actual throw in over five years of Aikido practice. In the vast majority of back falls, the energy is mostly downward, and nowhere near as horizontally directed and near enough to the ground to necessitate them.

Learning how to do a backward roll may have some utility, in that the body position is virtually identical to a forward roll, and it might be a good movent pattern to have available for a rainy day - like if you fall out of a moving car or off of a motorcycle- but, for the most part, I think they are an overemphasized beginner practice.

Last edited by Kevin Wilbanks : 11-06-2002 at 07:39 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2002, 09:00 PM   #4
Dojo: Multnomah Aikikai
Location: Portland, Oregon
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 39
I agree with kevin. I always cringe whenever the "newer" students start trying to take backward roles from throws. It can get ugly.....

  • Like a rotten log half burried in the ground.
  • My Life which has not flowered.
  • Comes to this sad end.
-Minamoto Yorimasa
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2002, 12:27 AM   #5
Location: Australia
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 641
Re: Back roll

Amin Basri wrote:

phobia doing back rolls.Could any of you out there offer some advice or suggestions on doing back rolls or how to outgrow the fear of doing rolling.Thanks really appreciated it


Two short pieces of advice.

(1) Look at you belt knot when you fall - keep head off floor as long as possible

(2)"Open the door". As an experiment, lay flat on you back. Now try to *gently* roll over you right shoulder - that is, diagonally backwards, not over the top of your head. Pretty hard, huh? This time, as you roll right, shift your head/neck to the left (like trying to put your left ear on left shoulder). More room (open door) / easier to roll this way.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2002, 05:49 AM   #6
ian's Avatar
Dojo: University of Ulster, Coleriane
Location: Northern Ireland
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,654
Sounds like you are being thrown too hard! Once your balance is taken your nage should be able to throw you at whatever speed they want. Always breath out when being thrown; practise rolls on your own and make sure you roll over your shoulder and not your neck. Make sure you are putting the appropriate foot back when rolling to prevent an awkward twist.

I generally do forward ukemis wherever possible, but learning to fall backwards I would consider imperative. With irimi-nage uke very often falls onto their back, often too fast to turn into it (in fact the throw is different really). If ukes have time to turn I would consider that there is a large part missing from the training (examine Ueshiba doing irimi-nage).


---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2002, 07:27 AM   #7
Creature_of_the_id's Avatar
Dojo: Alnwick aikido club (UKAU)
Location: Newcastle, England
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 217
I get my students to start backfalling by sitting on the floor, legs out stretched.

You then bend one of your legs at the knee and fold it under the other leg. (make sense??).

I then ask the student to take hold of their outstretched leg at the ankle, and 'throw' that leg over (or wide of) the same shoulder. (left leg thrown over left shoulder, right over right).

Getting them to grab their ankle bends the body forward slightly before backward rolling and curls the back more than they usually would before attempting it.

Being already on the floor takes out the height of the fall and so alot of the danger, it also puts the momentum in the hands of the person practicing.

I then get them to slowly increase the height by getting them to go up on one knee.

When they first start out, the person training with them will take them to the point of throw and help them, by either letting go and allowing them to take the roll to the height and level they are comfortable with, or by controling them and talking them through the rounding of the back.

In our association back falling is very important for beggining students, we teach it in around week 3 and build it up from there.

  Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2002, 07:28 AM   #8
Alphete's Avatar
Dojo: Shuren Dojo
Location: Buenos Aires
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 25
Thumbs down Re: Re: Back roll

Bob Strahinjevich (bob_stra) wrote:
Two short pieces of advice.

(2)"Open the door". As an experiment, lay flat on you back. Now try to *gently* roll over you right shoulder - that is, diagonally backwards, not over the top of your head. Pretty hard, huh? This time, as you roll right, shift your head/neck to the left (like trying to put your left ear on left shoulder). More room (open door) / easier to roll this way.
That's exactly how I am beeing teached how to do back rolls (is it called ushiro ukemi?)

Since I'm a complete begginner, I start doing them even seated.

For example, you want to make a back roll to your left.

Then, you sit with your left leg straight, your right leg crossed below your left leg (as you were drawing a "4" if somebody saw you standing in front of you)

Left arm straight to the left, with your palm on the tatami.

Head shifted to the Right (oposite position of the roll direction)

Now you pull yourself back and make your legs/body pass over your left arm...You should see how easily you complete your roll without even touching the head with the mat.

You can aid yourself also by puting your right arm as you were carrying a tray like a waiter...(put your right arm as you were taking and oath, but turn your hand backwards, as you were holding a tray)

So when you are rolling back, you're actually with both hands in the tatami...

Kind of difficult to explain, but give it a try.

It's the same for a back roll to your right, invert everything. Always you cross your leg and extend your arm to the direction you're going.

Hope this helps. I've received several techniques, but none of them with enough intensity (yet) to make a back roll.

But I believe is a must know.

Regards and safe training.

  Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2002, 08:18 AM   #9
Kevin Wilbanks
Location: Seattle/Southern Wisconsin
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 788
It sounds like some of you aren't making a distinction between backward rolls and backward falls. My comments were directed toward back falls where one actually rolls over.

In the vast majority of back falls, this is unnecessary, and often unnecessarily dangerous, as the neck is involved, and one is traveling further backward into an area where one might get kicked or landed on. Almost any throw into a back fall that doesn't have enourmous, low horizontal push/energy can be taken as a slap fall, or merely as a rock-back with a less curved body than a back roll.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2002, 09:01 AM   #10
Bruce Baker
Dojo: LBI Aikikai/LBI ,NJ
Location: Barnegaat, NJ
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 893
You should practice back rolls with a lower 'X" across your back.

Just like front rolls, shoulder to opposite hip, back rolls employ the same technique, unless you are doing gymnastic rolls over your head with both shoulders and both hips making contact, then that effort needs a strong neck and well rounded body.

But ... do what is called a bad back roll by rolling across your back until you can strengthen your neck, or your neck heals sufficiently. This method will also allow your self confidence to return as you mentally remember you are not doing the best rolls while you heal ... physically and mentally.

Good luck. Good practice.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2002, 10:13 AM   #11
Dojo: Seattle Ki Society
Location: Seattle
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 49
I had the same problem with back rolls. I hurt a muscle in my neck doing them, but I can do front rolls without pain (I wouldn't say they're "good" yet, though). I practiced on my bed, just trying to turn my head to the opposite side of the one I was rolling on, and going over really slow. This little page helped me out quite a bit.

  Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2002, 03:36 PM   #12
Dojo: Aikido Philippines
Location: Manila
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 70
one hand goes behind the neck. this hand touches the mat and later as you progress you use this to gently push yourself into a standing position at the end of the roll.

Never roll across the back of the neck, always roll diagonally.

from a seated position, imagine that you're throwing your legs over an outstretched arm. That arm will serve as the "axle" to your roll. take away that arm and you flop to one side. Learn to relax and keep the arm there. Kick or throw your legs over that arm while looking the other way.
  Reply With Quote


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Back Problems Abasan Training 30 08-24-2006 09:48 PM
landing on my back in forward roll Michelle Heer Training 20 07-08-2006 05:01 PM
Rolling out ot kaitennage Kat.C Training 24 01-27-2004 01:29 PM
Aiki Expo Thoughts (Long!) akiy Seminars 5 09-29-2003 11:15 PM
Systema Seminar with Vladimir Vasiliev, Part 1 aikibaka131 Seminars 2 07-22-2003 01:45 PM

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:13 AM.

vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2023 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
Copyright 1997-2023 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate