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Old 05-30-2003, 03:17 PM   #26
Goye
 
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Hi Ken and all the Aiki-people!!....

Donovan Waite Sensei was here in Colombia this week directing a great seminar and he went today to Venezuela,... I have seen the videos. I have been also in seminars with him three times,... believe me,... if you want to improve your ukemi,.. see his videos and most important,,.. try to be in class with him,.. is amazing!!!

If you were impressed with the videos and the ukemi of people that has trained with him,… you will enjoy a lot a seminar with him!

Ahh ,.. Charles,… the second tape is about some other very important things you must keep in mind while being uke,…. It is also a very good video.

Regards,..

Last edited by Goye : 05-30-2003 at 03:21 PM.

César Martínez
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Old 06-01-2003, 12:43 AM   #27
Bogeyman
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I am not sure if this is quite the same as everyone is talking about but Elliott Freeman Sensei taught soft breakfalls at a seminar I attended recently. You flip in the air and land in a seated position just as in a forward tumble so that you can quickly get to your feet and get away. The impact was very soft and sometimes you could gently land on your feet. I do find myself wanting to do the big, loud breakfalls most of the time still.

E
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Old 06-01-2003, 07:21 AM   #28
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Half a year ago, I stayed for 3 weeks at the NY Aikikai Dojo, and what I saw there was amazing.
The breakfalls they've done were smooth and soundless, even though the throw was fast and powerful.
After practice I used to worked on my breakfalls with the Deshis (many thanx - Toshi, Simon and Saar!), but I guess I'm not much of a learner cause I still don't do it right...
Another tip for you, Ken - you should lower your body as much as you can toward the mat before turning over (which will reduce the speed of the throw and allow you to land softly).
We've also done the same drill John wrote (it's easier to practice when you're in control and at low velocity).
My current problem is that for some reason I still get a nasty hit on the shoulder (of the reached arm) when I try to "softly" breakfall.
Any ideas why?

Last edited by Fminor : 06-01-2003 at 07:31 AM.
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Old 06-01-2003, 08:44 AM   #29
aikidoc
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Efrat-you may be somewhere in between a slap or not fully laid out to the ground-i.e., parallel. I know whe I do it wrong it does the same thing.
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Old 06-01-2003, 10:59 AM   #30
Abasan
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Eric, in that breakfall do you land on your bottom? Isn't that dangerous as you can break your tailbone?

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 06-01-2003, 03:33 PM   #31
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Yes you do land on your bottom but not square so I don't think that it a risk. Just like on a forward roll you go accross one side of your bottom and somewhat on your upper hamstring where there is more padding. I think that having the extended leg bent also helps you get the propper orientation. Also there wasn't really a slap with the hand. I hope that this makes sense.

E
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Old 06-02-2003, 06:41 PM   #32
aikidoc
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I know it is padded but I'm having trouble visualizing a high fall where you land on your bottom and it is soft. The usual idea is to distribute the impact over a large surface area and absorb some of it with your arm slap. A smaller area like the buttocks (in most cases) would seem to be like landing on your elbow.
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Old 06-02-2003, 09:38 PM   #33
Bronson
 
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Do you actually land on your bottom or end up on your bottom? When I watched Waite sensei's first ukemi video that was one thing I noticed that was different than our ukemi. His backfalls had him sitting on his butt at one point in the fall but he by no means landed on his butt.

Bronson

p.s. We don't land on our butt either

"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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Old 06-02-2003, 10:20 PM   #34
Charles Hill
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I was at the Elliot Freeman seminar with Eric. The way I understood the ukemi was that there was much more forward motion than down. The ukemi I originally learned is like Eric wrote, big and with a loud slap. This is as John wrote, distributing the shock over a large area with a lot of force going straight down into the mat.

Freeman Sensei's style is lighter because a lot of the force is going forward. This allows uke to stand up quicker and if thrown high (or if the uke is short,) to be able to land on his/her feet. If I remember correctly, Freeman Sensei talked about tightening the abdominal muscles to help this forward motion.

Elliot Freeman had a lot of great ideas about ukemi, and he was excellent at conveying them simply.

Charles
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Old 06-02-2003, 10:26 PM   #35
PeterR
 
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Quote:
Charles Hill wrote:
I was at the Elliot Freeman seminar with Eric. The way I understood the ukemi was that there was much more forward motion than down.
Curious about this - how much choice does uke have for the way he is thrown. I keep getting the feeling that much of the speciallized ukemi requires a bit of anticiptation of technique.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 06-02-2003, 10:33 PM   #36
akiy
 
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Quote:
Peter Rehse (PeterR) wrote:
Curious about this - how much choice does uke have for the way he is thrown. I keep getting the feeling that much of the speciallized ukemi requires a bit of anticiptation of technique.
From what I've experienced of different ukemi approaches, the "stylistic" differences are often impingent upon a certain "style" of throwing.

From my own interpretation, some dojo project outward in their throws, and certain kinds of ukemi is necessary for that. Others may step in deeply behind uke for a lot of throws, making certain types of backfalls (eg "outside" leg tucks under rather than the "inside" leg) mandatory. Some dojo may "drop" uke into a vacuum rather than projecting outward which also requires a different kind of ukemi.

I've seen folks from single approaches of ukemi who have trouble when they encounter people who throw differently. Just another "argument" for training with a lot of different approaches, I guess...

-- Jun

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Old 06-02-2003, 10:43 PM   #37
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I know you are right - just voicing a general feeling. Some of the ukemi we do require a lot of speciallized work so I really can not be calling any kettles black.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 06-02-2003, 11:08 PM   #38
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I want to thank you, Ken, for starting this thread and this is why:
As I mentioned before, I've been straggling with my soft breakfalls for the past few months with no success, till the point that last week I went back to do the regular "slapy" breakfalls.
After reading this thread I said to myself "no way!".
With that thought - last night I asked my friend to work with me after practice.
We've done the same exercise John wrote (extended arm) and I still landed hard and hit my shoulder blade.
Luckily, My Sensei was on the mat at the same time, folding his Hakama, and though he doesn't teach this way of Ukemi, he pointed out that my reaching hand is too close to my body.
I changed it and WOW! I was landing them easily (and most important - painlessly).
My friend started to put some acceleration to the grip and I still managed to land them OK.
That did the trick for me.
P.S I do stay on my butt at some point, though I never fall on it (ouch!).
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Old 06-03-2003, 08:53 AM   #39
Ron Tisdale
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I had the pleasure of attending a seminar with Waite Sensei recently. There is a review in my journal here, and at this address: http://65.119.177.201/cgi-bin/ubb/ul...c&f=9&t=001797

I like what Jun said...there are specific ukemi for specific methods and types of throws. While I always seem to return to the style we do at my home dojo, so far, learning a bit about other styles always seems to improve what I already do.

RT

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Old 06-03-2003, 09:06 AM   #40
Charles Hill
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Peter,

What is the difference between "specialized ukemi" and non(?), un(?) specialized ukemi?

Also, am I correct to think that you consider "specialized ukemi" as something negative?

Charles
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Old 06-03-2003, 02:09 PM   #41
Bronson
 
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Quote:
I've seen folks from single approaches of ukemi who have trouble when they encounter people who throw differently.
Yup, I've experienced it from both sides. We are a pretty breakfall light dojo and when I've visited other places I've gotten weird looks when I kind of slide out of kotegaeshi instead of taking the breakfall (I've since started practicing them though ). I've also seen visitors who come to our dojo and have some difficulty getting their style of ukemi to fit with our style of technique.

I have the same difficulty with the Waite style ukemi. While I think it's great that he's developed a way to take safe and soft high falls, it just doesn't fit well with how we normally do our throws.

Bronson

Last edited by Bronson : 06-03-2003 at 02:12 PM.

"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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Old 06-03-2003, 06:34 PM   #42
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Quote:
Charles Hill wrote:
Peter,

What is the difference between "specialized ukemi" and non(?), un(?) specialized ukemi?

Also, am I correct to think that you consider "specialized ukemi" as something negative?
Hi Charles - not negative at all but in context.

For example: last Saturday I was teaching a rash of beginners an oshitaoshi (ikkyo) technique from suwariwaza. This particular variation involves Tori initiating the strike. Shodokan folks will recognize this as the first technique in the Koryu Goshin (Old Style Self Defense) no kata others might from Budo Renshu. When done with full speed and power this particular technique is brutal even in suwariwaza - from tachi it will probably break your neck - the shoulder is driven almost straight down. To do that technique right uke has to know a particular ukemi which quite frankly looks like break dancing. The pair look seriously cool when doing this technique but the ukemi outside of the context is really not all that practical.

I think that one has to realize which ukemi are practical over a broad range of conditions and which go with a particular situation and, at least mentally, separate the two.

One of my most hated things is when uke launches themselves into ukemi and tori has not even had a chance to do the technique. I have noticed a correlation between fancy ukemi and this occuring.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 06-04-2003, 02:45 AM   #43
Duarh
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Quote:
John Riggs wrote:
I'm starting to get the "soft" high fall down-I hit it about 70 % of the time off a kotegaeshi. I have found a great exercise to practice it with. Have one of the class members provide an extended arm. The exercise involves walking or slowly running up and hooking the extended arm with the inside arm and kick the legs up high, then look for the ground to the outside and reach way down. As the hand touches the ground, you lower yourself like a stiff shock absorber by riding the arm down-downside leg should be straight. When done properly this is almost silent.
Is this the kind of ukemi everybody is referring to? We do these at our dojo, but only out of techniques like irimi-nage - ie, as back falls, not front falls. It's hard to imagine doing it from a heels-over-head kotegaeshi. . .*ponders* very interesting image, that.

It's a nice exercise, yes. I'm far from getting it right, though. . .
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Old 06-04-2003, 05:54 AM   #44
Stefan Pisocki
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The way that Waite Sensei teaches it, you hook with the outside arm. That way, your inside hand touches first, and you roll away from Uke once you are on the mat. Sensei used me to demonstrate once, and my impression was that he put a lot of weight on my extended arm and went beyond parallel with me. I don't have the ukemi down yet, but I will open my pool in the next few days and plan to practice falling into the deep end ( I hope I don't pull Uke in with me!).
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Old 06-04-2003, 07:50 AM   #45
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The "soft breakfall" is from Donovan Waite's first video, not his second, but I beleive he calls it Mae Yoko Kaiten (front side roll). It is essentially the same thing as the rolling breakfall that is more standard in the USAF East expect the impact is much softer.

For people who have not seen it, the standard USAF-E rolling breakfall is done with both legs extended and hitting the mat sequentially, not with the entire body hitting the mat at the same time. You can see examples in the video clips at AikidoOnline. A more traditional flat judo-style breakfall is also used, but only for techniques which do not involve forward projection, like koshinage.

I have practiced with people who do the soft breakfall so well that there is almost no sound on impact, but I have found that there is always some resistance in thier ukemi which prevents me from delivering full power. While the soft breakfall is vast improvement in flexibility over a conventional forward roll, IMO, to be able to fully recieve any kind of technique without resistance, a hard breakfall is still neccesary.

The times when I do purposely use a soft breakfall are when I am thrown with enough spin to make a roll impractical but without enough power to neccesiate a hard breakfall. This doesn't happen very often, so I haven't spent enough time working on this to reach the level of extreme softness that others have acheived. When I do need to use it, I just adapt my standard rolling breakfall to reduce the impact of the leading leg.

For people who already can do the rolling breakfall and wish to soften it, my advice would be to touch the mat with your leading hand sooner and then use it to guide and position the rest of your body, particularly the leading leg, relative to the mat so that you will able to roll out of the fall more smoothly and with less impact.

Also, I have a short video clip of Donovan demonstrating this ukemi which was formerly available on CarbonEcho, a site which now seems to be defunct. I will be happy to share it with others, but I would prefer to upload it to a public page where everyone can find it. If anyone has suitable location for this, let me know.
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Old 06-04-2003, 09:54 AM   #46
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I believe John, I, and some others who are talking about the soft breakfall is more referring to the soft breakfall done out of a front breakfall (eg out of kotegaeshi). This breakfall is not on either of Donovan Waite's videos, although he does show a nice soft back breakfall.

I know that some Yoshinkan folks do a sort of variant on the soft front breakfall which is sometimes called the "fan" breakfall (since, from the side, it looks like a Japanese folding fan sort of opening up then closing again).

-- Jun

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Old 06-04-2003, 09:55 AM   #47
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The aikido section of e-budo might be a place to consider. Why not this site?
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Old 06-04-2003, 09:56 AM   #48
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Quote:
John Riggs wrote:
The aikido section of e-budo might be a place to consider. Why not this site?
If I remember correctly, at least some of the video clips on Carbon Echo were from copyrighted videos that were put out by USAF. I'd rather keep away from posting such things without permission...

-- Jun

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Old 06-04-2003, 12:09 PM   #49
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I am talking about the kind taken out of kotegaeshi. The old fashioned tobu ukemi. I have not seen Waite's videos. I have seen the fan type fall (although it did not seem very soft) when I lived in California-yoshinkan. Some of David Dye's people did it during a seminar. The high fall I'm referring to starts exactly like a traditional kotegaeshi high fall but instead of slapping you reach back and touch and release. I was working on it last night but am still wanting to do something in between-it really jars you when you do it wrong.
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Old 06-04-2003, 12:09 PM   #50
Charles Hill
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Thank you Giancarlo and Jun for talking about what is/is not on the Donovan Waite videos.

Jun,

Two questions;

By "back breakfall," do you mean where uke's legs "kip up" like off a clothesline type technique?

Does Donovan Waite just show it, or does he teach it clearly?

BTW, I really wish people would go to the video section here and clearly describe and comment on the videos listed. If it helps one, the videos are quite cheap, but if it is not what one needs, they are expensive.

Charles
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