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Old 04-18-2003, 03:29 AM   #1
Location: Australia
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 641
High Flying ukemi - gymnastic is better?

High Flying ukemi (falls over objects - chairs, partners etc) have always troubled me.

I was reading Girevik online the other day and they were extolling the virtues of gymnastic training for adults.

See - http://www.girevikmagazine.com/eight/gymnastics.htm

I got to thinking - the gymnastic "jumping front roll" seems much more natural for these sorts of things.

FYI It looks like this (170kb) - just imagine you've leapt over something and are coming into land.



Last edited by bob_stra : 04-18-2003 at 03:41 AM.
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Old 04-18-2003, 08:30 AM   #2
Dojo: Methuen Aikido
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 97
My biggest worry with that type of roll would be landing on my head if my arms were cut out from under me. I'm thinking specifically of sumi atoshi when you use your inside arm to cut under uke and prevent him from putting his lead hand down, forcing a breakfall. Whenever I've done ukemi over anything higher than waist level, I've gone over in Superman pose and then twisted into a right or left roll at the last second.

On the flip side (no pun intended), if you find it works well please let us know, I'm always looking for new ukemi tricks
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Old 04-18-2003, 10:16 AM   #3
akiy's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 6,003
In my mind, the gymnastics front roll (somersault) puts one's head at risk if, as Ken said, the arms become unavailable (due to nage holding on, etc). It also puts the spine at risk to injury as the roll goes directly down the spine. That's good and all on a padded floor/beam as in gymnastics, but I'd rather develop skills that work on a hard floor (if necessary).

-- Jun

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Old 04-18-2003, 10:52 AM   #4
Greg Jennings
Dojo: S&G BJJ
Location: Springboro, OH
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 1,125
It wouldn't fit into our system of ukemi wherein everything (OK, *most* everything) is some variation of a front roll.

BTW, the way I, personally, do sumi-otoshi, Uke has few options for ukemi other than a flat fall to his rear. I vary a lot of techniques that way. It's part of my idea that aikido should be about minimizing my own openings and possibly maximizing those of Uke.


Greg Jennings
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Old 04-18-2003, 11:07 AM   #5
Location: Australia
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 641
The problem I have with "flying ukemi" is that you sort of have to twist in mid air to get into the right landing position.

I had hoped that the gymnastics fall would eliminate that. (If you don't manage the twist, you kind of land in a flat, crumpled heap)

*Note that I'm specifically asking about falls over things, not out of throws per se.

Hopefully the Waite video (vol 1) will show me some options.

Ps: I was think "Sumi otoshi...you're complaing about sumi-otoshi?". Then I remembered that the aikido version is vastly different than the judo version.

Dang I hate aikido sumi-otoshi ;-) And that entagled arm throw where both your arms are crossed around the crooks of your elbows(jujinage?).

Last edited by bob_stra : 04-18-2003 at 11:10 AM.
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Old 04-18-2003, 11:23 AM   #6
Dojo: Aikido of Midland
Location: Midland Texas
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 1,652
Jun's comments on the spine are important. Doing a tumbling roll has a purpose-the completion of a different kind of maneuver. It exposes the entire length of the spine to potential trauma by rolling on it. The 3/4 aikido roll exposes the spine to one pass with the ground. Everything else is dissipated over soft tissue. The flying breakfall (tobu ukemi) if done properly should not require twisting mid air and as pointed out by Greg is an extension of the front roll-just a higher start point.

Personally, I cannot see a gymnast taking a high speed roll on a hard surface without a lot of pain. Whereas, an aikido roll should minimize any pain and trauma to the spine.
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Old 04-18-2003, 12:33 PM   #7
Location: Australia
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 641
Firstly, thanks for the vocab update (tobu ukemi)

Secondly, you mean this, right? (238kb)


I don't see how that would be applicable to jumping over someone. It ends in a slap out.

Maybe I'm just lacking in imagination right now ;-)
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