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Old 10-03-2003, 09:30 AM   #1
DaveO
Dojo: Great Wave Aikido
Location: Alberta, Canada
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Ukemi, the hard way.

'Allo, all!

One of the things I like best about Aikido is the ukemi - Dunno why; I'm just weird that way. Well; as we all know, rolling and breakfalling our way around the mat is great, but it takes on a whole new meaning when the surface is less than spongy. During my progression; I've been attempting to teach myself to roll on progressively harder surfaces - comfortably rolling on concrete being the ultimate goal. I started on the mat of course; moved to grass, then sod, then wood. Recently, I've started rolling on asphalt - still a fairly soft material under the summer sun. Whacked my ankle a couple of times but overall I'm pretty pleased with the results. Question: Is there anyone out there comfortable with rolling on hard surfaces and if so; how did you go about training yourself? Any particular practice techniques or ideas you've come up with? Anyone think it's a bad idea?
Just for myself; I think ukemi is extremely important, and learning to roll on hard surfaces is a valuable tool for aikido as Self Defence, since when an encounter happens; it's not likely to happen on two-inch tatami mats.
Comments?
Cheers!

Answers are only easy when they're incomplete.
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Old 10-03-2003, 10:19 AM   #2
ChristianBoddum
 
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Hi !

Rolling on asphalt and concrete is a great teacher since you instantly know when you are rolling on your bones !

Having trouble with a fractured shoulder I sometimes do it for checking if I'm doing it right,and I'll sometimes do it as a showstopper in traffic, I can't help it !
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Old 10-03-2003, 12:07 PM   #3
twilliams423
Dojo: Hacienda LaPuente Aikikai
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I once accidently took a header from about 5 ft. onto hard packed dirt. Half way thru I auto rotated into a breakfall. After seeing that I was OK and unembarassed (nobody saw me!) I wiped off a little dirt from my leg and went on my way.

Knowing my ukemi works is enough for me. I don't intend on laying my old bones down on the hard ground again if I don't have to. I prefer my wipeouts in the ocean.
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Old 10-03-2003, 12:23 PM   #4
Kensho Furuya
Dojo: Aikido Center of Los Angeles
Location: Los Angeles
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Excellent! Just don't "wipe-out" into the mouth of a hungry shark please. . . . .
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Old 10-03-2003, 12:45 PM   #5
twilliams423
Dojo: Hacienda LaPuente Aikikai
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Yikes !! Surfer sushi .....
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Old 10-03-2003, 02:26 PM   #6
Kensho Furuya
Dojo: Aikido Center of Los Angeles
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Nooooooo! I find that proposition extremely hard to swallow. Haha!
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Old 10-03-2003, 03:49 PM   #7
L. Camejo
 
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Re: Ukemi, the hard way.

Quote:
Dave Organ (DaveO) wrote:
Question: Is there anyone out there comfortable with rolling on hard surfaces and if so; how did you go about training yourself? Any particular practice techniques or ideas you've come up with? Anyone think it's a bad idea?
Hey Dave,

Happy to hear about your "Ukemi - Straight Up" improvements.

One way I trained myself to roll safely on any flat surface (rolling on rough, stony, undulating surfaces is still a challenge) was to train some normal Aikido classes with our mats (one inch thick puzzle mats) placed on surfaces like concrete, with a tarpaulin base to keep em clean. What happens here is that there is minimal asorption of vertical pressure in the mats (no nice sprung wooden floor to help), all they provide is a relativley soft surface to roll along.

As soon as folks are able to do that (which is not so hard in my book), we graduate to rolling on carpeted concrete floors, or tiled floors (ceramic or vinyl) without mats. Here is where things start to get interesting, especially with light commercial carpet. Here the absorption of force is even less than above, almost nothing compared to the mats. Ukemi is done allowing the feet to fold under the legs as they land, so one rolls up into a standing position immediately out of the fall. This protects the ankles a bit from banging against the ground in any major way on landing. Maintaining tegatana (unbendable arm) througout the roll goes a long way to keeping the body in the right curve and avoiding the "crashing shoulder first into the floor as arm collapses during ukemi" effect.

From this, folks graduate to rolling on pure concrete, with gi, then without gi. Without gi can be a real pain, since even though one executes an almost perfect roll, there tends to be bruises from friction of the arm against the ground. Haven't figured out how to eliminate these yet.

I'll let you know though, that this is not a common thing in our dojo. It's usually undertaken by a few known sado-masochistic psychopaths (including myself ) who have nightmares of being attacked by Ninjas while walking home on evenings and are forced to draw our bokken and use our Aikido to defend truth, justice and the right to free beer during happy hour.

Just a few thoughts.

L.C.

Last edited by L. Camejo : 10-03-2003 at 03:53 PM.

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
http://www.tntaikido.org
http://www.mushinkan.ca
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Old 10-03-2003, 08:47 PM   #8
Nick Simpson
Dojo: White Rose Aikido - Durham University
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To tell the truth I dont find ukemi on concrete all that horrific. I practised ukemi on a carpeted surface over a concrete floor to gain competance and I have taken several forward rolling breakfalls or flips (cant remember the japanese for em) onto concrete with the only negative results being a little stiffness the next day. But rolling seems to be harder, I can really feel the contact on my shoulder as I roll on a hard surface. To me this suggests that a breakfall absorbs more shock on a tough surface than a roll does, although thats just my own sado-masochistic point of view.

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 10-03-2003, 10:06 PM   #9
jk
Location: Indonesia
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Larry's advice about folding the feet and maintaining tegatana are spot on...shoulder and ankle dings were my main problem when learning how to roll on concrete. Once you get comfortable with rolling on concrete, try rolling down some (carpeted) steps.

Last edited by jk : 10-03-2003 at 10:08 PM.
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Old 10-03-2003, 10:30 PM   #10
Bogeyman
Dojo: UW-La Crosse Aikido
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Dave, you sound like my kind of masochist. After maybe two months of training in aikido a friend told me that my ukemi was ok but it was nothing if I couldn't do it on the sidewalk. I went out immediately and took several breakfalls and was only slightly sore the next day. It may be linked to a lack of brains but I didn't think when I was being thrown and I just let it happen, not worrying about the surface. This training did help because when we got snow the sidewalks would sometimes become like glass and I took a couple of breakfalls later with no pain at all. I still continue with this masochism periodically to keep myself honest but I don't often because I am concerned about the long term effects on my body. I do recommend working up to falling on concrete so that you know you can do it if you need to.

E
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Old 10-04-2003, 04:50 AM   #11
Nick Simpson
Dojo: White Rose Aikido - Durham University
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Maybe it should be a new poll?

" How many nutcases have done breakfalls on concrete? "

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 10-04-2003, 06:15 AM   #12
PeterR
 
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You all realize of course that in the Hell Dojo days there were no mats.

I went to a Koryu demonstration and while I thought many of the waza were less than impressive what did get me was the ukemi on the gym floor.

A certain shihan tells of being brutally used as uke on such a floor and I am only thankful for mats - I love mats.

That said - rolling on concrete is easy. Just don't slap.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 10-04-2003, 11:33 AM   #13
Yann Golanski
 
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Peter, I heard one sensei say that if you make a sound as you breakfall then that's a break on a hard surface. I've been trying to eliminate the hitting as much as possbile and blend with the throw so that I bounce up rather than hit the mat.

Martin is leading the way with that one. He is one of the best people to practice randori with because no matter how hard you throw him, he bounced just as easily and is coming straight back at you! It is xhausting but lots of fun.

Which kind of brings me to the ``So, should you stop at fter your ukemi or not?'' question... I think that keeping some amount of mobility is good.... Pros? Cons?

The people who understand, understand prefectly.
yann@york-aikido.org York Shodokan Aikido
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Old 10-04-2003, 06:49 PM   #14
akiy
 
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Quote:
Yann Golanski wrote:
Peter, I heard one sensei say that if you make a sound as you breakfall then that's a break on a hard surface.
Slapping on a hard surface such as a hardwood floor, when done right, will probably just sting. I've done it in the past without breaking anything...

-- Jun

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Old 10-05-2003, 05:17 AM   #15
ChristianBoddum
 
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Slapping on a hard surface can seriously hurt your hand -

I've learned to curl my hand a little to leave a "pocket" of air that helps take the blow,but I have yet to experience it on a real hard surface.
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Old 10-05-2003, 12:25 PM   #16
Nick Simpson
Dojo: White Rose Aikido - Durham University
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Id say the biggest problem is the possiblity of losing skin from your palm on a hard or rough surface. I've thought that was going to happen once or twice before when doing a side break on concrete, but luckily so far it never has, which why I dont do it anymore, quit while im ahead

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 10-05-2003, 12:27 PM   #17
Nick Simpson
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Of course, there is the issue of banging your head on the floor. If you dont tuck your head in and you hit it off the concrete then I think we'd be talking about more than a little concussion...

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 04-21-2004, 10:29 PM   #18
Benjie Lu
Dojo: Don Galo, Parañaque
Location: Manila, Philippines
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Re: Ukemi, the hard way.

I've actually done ukemi to save myself from injury while playing basketball on a concrete basketaball court. I was running to save the ball from going out of bounds when I tripped and went into an uncontrollable forward lunge. Luckily, my aikido instincts just kicked in automatically and I went with the forward motion and rolled into a beautiful forward ukemi, standing straight up after the roll. My fellow players just stood there dumbfounded and then after a few seconds clapped enthusiastically. I grinned sheepishly and said one word: "Aikido"

Benjie Lu
Manila, Philippines
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Old 04-21-2004, 11:09 PM   #19
PeaceHeather
Dojo: hopefully Purdue Aikido Club
Location: Indiana
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Eek! Re: Ukemi, the hard way.

Quote:
Benjie Lu wrote:
I've actually done ukemi to save myself from injury while playing basketball on a concrete basketaball court. I was running to save the ball from going out of bounds when I tripped and went into an uncontrollable forward lunge. Luckily, my aikido instincts just kicked in automatically and I went with the forward motion and rolled into a beautiful forward ukemi, standing straight up after the roll. My fellow players just stood there dumbfounded and then after a few seconds clapped enthusiastically. I grinned sheepishly and said one word: "Aikido"
Sounds like the time my husband was thrown from a horse, who had decided that trotting was boring, running was better, and bucking was best of all.

Husband didn't even think, and tells me he only remembers looking at the ground coming up, thinking, "uh-oh", and then realizing he was standing and looking at a very startled horse -- who promptly ran back to his stable.

He'd landed on relatively soft ground; his only injury was a bruise where a pebble caught him in the hip as he rolled out.

I wasn't present when this happened -- but given the distinct possibility of death or paralysis from a fall like this, or best case a broken wrist or two, I'm very VERY glad that he'd studied martial arts long enough to have learned his rolls and breakfalls.

Stupid horse.

Heather
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Old 04-23-2004, 07:23 AM   #20
Dunn
Dojo: West Virginia Aikido (Kushinkan dojo)
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Re: Ukemi, the hard way.

I like practicing in upstairs dojos. When I land in a breakfall, more often than not it sounds thunderous. Really makes my nage look powerful. Very fun to do with new students!
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Old 05-05-2004, 11:37 PM   #21
indonesian aikidoin
Dojo: bina nusantara
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Re: Ukemi, the hard way.

[quote=DaveO]'Allo, all!

One of the things I like best about Aikido is the ukemi - Dunno why; I'm just weird that way. Well; as we all know, rolling and breakfalling our way around the mat is great, but it takes on a whole new meaning when the surface is less than spongy. During my progression; I've been attempting to teach myself to roll on progressively harder surfaces - comfortably rolling on concrete being the ultimate goal. I started on the mat of course; moved to grass, then sod, then wood. Recently, I've started rolling on asphalt - still a fairly soft material under the summer sun. Whacked my ankle a couple of times but overall I'm pretty pleased with the results. Question: Is there anyone out there comfortable with rolling on hard surfaces and if so; how did you go about training yourself? Any particular practice techniques or ideas you've come up with? Anyone think it's a bad idea?
Just for myself; I think ukemi is extremely important, and learning to roll on hard surfaces is a valuable tool for aikido as Self Defence, since when an encounter happens; it's not likely to happen on two-inch tatami mats.
Comments?
Cheers![/QUOTE=jacky:hello
my instructur say "if you good at ukemi in mat how bout ukemi in hard surface?" i 've try to ukemi out side mat and i got bruises all over my body!! but now i can ukemi with out mat without bruises now we train without mat
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