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Old 08-13-2004, 06:27 PM   #1
Devon Natario
 
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How many instructors teach Ukemi Waza?

Just curious how many instructors out there train their students in Breakfalling. Does your dojo train in breakfalling?

I mean left, right, backward, forward, rolls, slap out rolls, hardfalls etc etc.

Devon Natario
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Old 08-13-2004, 07:17 PM   #2
Jordan Steele
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Re: How many instructors teach Ukemi Waza?

In Aikido, I'm more than certain all instructors teach ukemi. Of course there might be variations on how to take ukemi or what level of ukemi is applied, but breakfalls etc are common practice, there is nothing special about them. I may have misunderstood your post but backwards falling, rolls, breakfalls, etc are practiced extensively in all dojos.
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Old 08-14-2004, 12:12 AM   #3
MaryKaye
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Re: How many instructors teach Ukemi Waza?

Some dojo emphasize learning how to roll out of throws if at all possible and don't teach breakfalling until a pretty high level. I'm ambivalent about this myself, but it's what my school does so I'm trying to work with it. It has to be combined with a responsibility on nage's part not to force uke into a breakfall.

We spend a lot of time working on rolls, though. I have the impression that many dojo are satisfied with forward rolls when the student can do them safely, but my teachers hold out for round, quiet, and in a straight line as well. (My current challenge is, "When you can run across the dojo and do a round, quiet, straight, and unflinching forward roll, then I'll consider teaching you breakfalls." I have quite a way to go on this, I fear.)

Ki Society doesn't tend to give uke any more energy in his fall than the energy contributed by his attack, so it's easier to avoid forced breakfalls than it would be in a "harder" style. But I've failed to avoid a couple, fortunately with no bad results.

Mary Kaye
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Old 08-14-2004, 12:36 AM   #4
maikerus
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Re: How many instructors teach Ukemi Waza?

I've always thought that Aikido doesn't get really, REALLY interesting until you can breakfall fairly well. There's nothing quite as fun as getting slammed really hard by one of the top instructors and traveling 3 or 4 meters in the blink of an eye and being able to get up after that. Usually with a huge grin and a "do that again" feeling painted all over your kamae.

It's also a relief to trust in your partner enough to know that they can do a breakfall from whatever you can throw at them...and vice versa.

We teach many breakfalls in our dojo from day one. We usually don't start teaching flips until after the first or second test, but that, too, depends on what's being taught during the class and whether the student wants to give it a shot or not. Like everything else in Yoshinkan, there are very strict standards in the various breakfalls that we teach as "basic" especially in the beginning stages.

Another point is that I feel that you probably learn more as the person receiving the technique than you do actually practicing the throws. So, if you can breakfall without worrying about it and "feel" where you are being moved without resisting that direction then you can probably get more out of the whole experience. After all, since it takes 2 people to make a single technique, there's not much good at only being taught half of the technique.

cheers,

--Michael

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Old 08-14-2004, 01:17 AM   #5
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Confused Re: How many instructors teach Ukemi Waza?

Quote:
Devon Natario wrote:
Just curious how many instructors out there train their students in Breakfalling. Does your dojo train in breakfalling?

I mean left, right, backward, forward, rolls, slap out rolls, hardfalls etc etc.
Huh? Breakfall or ukemi is part and parcel of learning aikido. My interpretation of your question is does any dojo train specifically for ukemi? It just seem odd, without the knowledge of ukemi, many aikido techniques cannot be executed, therefore before any student learn any technique he/she must have some working knowledge of ukemi first.

Hence, IMO the question of should instructor train students in ukemi should not exist. It should be rephrased as: "All instructors MUST train students in ukemi waza."



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Old 08-14-2004, 05:23 PM   #6
kironin
 
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Re: How many instructors teach Ukemi Waza?

If the style you practice does a lot techniques in such a way that breakfall ukemi is required in basic waza, then like Judo, not a bad idea to start breakfalls from day one. If your style emphasizes doing basic techniques so rolling ukemi is most appropriate then it's good to really work on rolls, all kinds, learn to control and direct. Actually at least in Ki Society, it's seen as a continuum where there is no difference between our rolls and breakfalls. Just a shift in timing and rotation in response to nage's actions. So rolling practice is seen as an intro to our method of breakfalling. That said, I do tend to introduce some breakfall exercises in warmups and basic classes that students can do before they are actually taught to breakfall after learning good rolling mechanics. But frankly, they simply don't need to learn to breakfall right away since the only techniques where we do technique with breakfall being the only option are when weapons are involved.

of course ukemi is not just about how to fall.

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Old 08-15-2004, 12:22 AM   #7
L. Camejo
 
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Re: How many instructors teach Ukemi Waza?

In our dojo, the very first thing you learn are the basic breakfalls, especially ushiro ukemi, yoko ukemi and zenpou kaiten ukemi. For us it's a safety factor that also forms part of the raw basics of learning Aikido (like tai sabaki drills and reaction/timing drills).

If you can't protect yourself while falling it can negatively affect the practice of both persons involved in kata practice. At the level of randori (which starts very soon after a few beginner classes), not knowing Ukemi is asking for an injury, maybe a serious one. So, safety first, this is why we teach ukemi first.

LC

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Old 08-22-2004, 02:59 AM   #8
Devon Natario
 
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Re: How many instructors teach Ukemi Waza?

Thanks for all the replies. The only reason I ask is because in my new place of study, we only practice on forward and backward rolls. A lot of us have past experience in arts that have done extensive Ukemiwaza, however, some of the less experienced people have no clue how to land and they always seem to be so afraid of techniques like Ogoshinage, Koshinage, Shihonage, etc. So I was just curious to see what other dojos are doing.

I also noticed that a lot of people on these forums ask or comment about breakfalling so I was basically bringing up the question to maybe stir, like Xu stated, "All instructors must train their students in Ukemiwaza."

Thanks again for the replies.

Devon Natario
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Old 08-22-2004, 05:53 AM   #9
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Re: How many instructors teach Ukemi Waza?

There are some places that have classes devoted to ukemi.
I dont think it only involved rolling around, but the entire process of recieving technique. before, after and during the attack/technique.

Hopefully Jun will stick his head in and explain, because if I remember right either he teaches an ukemi class himself or is involved in one.

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Old 08-22-2004, 12:22 PM   #10
toranaga
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Re: How many instructors teach Ukemi Waza?

This remember me the last dojo I trained and the actual...

On the first, there were no yoko ukemis. Back, front, "side", no yoko. Just mae and ushiro, kaiten or hanten.
Now, and when I changed I got a lot of trouble with this, there is ushiro otoshi, all yoko's and other ukemis. Quite strange this difference


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Old 08-22-2004, 12:38 PM   #11
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Re: How many instructors teach Ukemi Waza?

Quote:
Tales Vaz wrote:
On the first, there were no yoko ukemis. Back, front, "side", no yoko.
What's the difference between side and YOKO?

Thanks.

Don J. Modesto
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Old 08-22-2004, 09:42 PM   #12
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Re: How many instructors teach Ukemi Waza?

Teaching ukemi may have some positive aspects, but has also many negative.

Most catastrophic consequence is that the students develop a sens of "safe practice". every one goes to work next day, has to support family, so practice is easy going.We start to "pretending" efficiency of technique.
No more practice "on the edge".So martial spirit is lost. This is quite contrary to Founder teaching, he said that every technique must be executed as the last technique in our life. He also asked his students to attack him any moment day or night. His students could never foresee what will happened after attack, what kind of technique Founder will execute. Automatic response (and teaching ukemi is teachin automatic response of the body) wasn't possible. So teaching ukemi was a nonsens.

Other negatif consequence is inability of student to practice with his fellow students from other style. I.e. If aikikai student goes to yoshinkai or tomiki, he is lost. He is not able to spontanously develop a reaction to receive a technique. This is particularly true in the styles where very special type of uke mi is required(i.e.Ch.Tisser's style).

There are of course many other negative things, but only with these two, no martial spirit and no spontanous response, the way to takemusu aikido is closed.

Nagababa

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Old 08-22-2004, 10:53 PM   #13
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Re: How many instructors teach Ukemi Waza?

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
Other negatif consequence is inability of student to practice with his fellow students from other style. I.e. If aikikai student goes to yoshinkai or tomiki, he is lost. He is not able to spontanously develop a reaction to receive a technique. This is particularly true in the styles where very special type of uke mi is required(i.e.Ch.Tisser's style).

There are of course many other negative things, but only with these two, no martial spirit and no spontanous response, the way to takemusu aikido is closed.
Personally, I cannot agree with this and have never seen this phenomenon while training in dojos of other styles or when they train at our dojo.

Ukemi is first and foremost the practical ability to safely take a fall, at least in our understanding. This means that even if Ueshiba M. himself were throwing you, you should be able to handle it as long as you have developed your skills to that level.

Ukemi is spontaneous reaction imo. During randori practice at all levels, (and also during demos) techniques are done at full force and speed and just above the level of the students and challenges the receiver to empty the mind and instinctively place himself in a safe position to fall without any time to think about how it's done, but by responding to the movement and energy of technique.

So imnsho, as long as one has thoroughly grasped the principles of falling safely, regardless of the direction or angle thrown, it does not matter who you are training with, how martially they are training or what style they come from, you instinctively react with the reprogrammed survival instinct that places you in the position that allows you to be thrown at full force and get up and attack again afterwards. Most of our students have fared equally well in their ukemi skills when training in Aikido, Judo and Jujutsu, so I think sound ukemi skills follow certain principles regardless of martial art or style being studied.

The only problem comes when some instructors think that (like kata technique) their way of doing ukemi is the only correct way. This I have experienced at one dojo. Sad thing though.

Similar to the concept of studying techniques constantly under resistance, receiving technique at speed and force without first understanding sound ukemi principles is a formula for getting badly injured and learning nothing imo.

Just my 2 cents.
LC

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Old 08-22-2004, 11:18 PM   #14
Devon Natario
 
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Re: How many instructors teach Ukemi Waza?

I dont think Ukemi causes anything negative either. I understand that you think it creates unnatural reactions to a technique, but so does taking a technique.

Koto gaeshi for instance. If you get thrown numerous times in the same fashion, you start to either want to reverse it everytime, or go down before the technique has actually cause severe pain.

Anyways- I think Id rather learn how to fall correctly, then to get hurt because someone wanted to try Koshi nage on me and I wasnt prepared to land.

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Old 08-23-2004, 01:43 AM   #15
maikerus
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Re: How many instructors teach Ukemi Waza?

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
Teaching ukemi may have some positive aspects, but has also many negative.
I would say that the positive aspects of teaching ukemi far outweigh the negative aspects.

Being able to get up after being slammed into the mat is a really good thing. If you go 100% (even 30%) with people who do not know how to move they will be injured. There is no question about this. Unless we decide to go back to using convicts to practice our skills on, its probably a good idea to teach how to receive the technique so we can keep practicing together (in harmony, even).

A technique requires two people and my understanding is that every movement throughout the technique is done as a result of the previous movement being countered in some way by uke. This is done together until there is no more place for uke to go...and splat! However, if you don't teach someone to block that very first atemi, then you are never going to learn to do whatever comes after that atemi.

And as for using Aikido ukemi practically in life...

I have a friend who was riding his bicycle along the street when a car door suddenly opened in front of him; he did a forward breakfall over the door, got up, dusted himself off, told the person who opened the door to be more careful and after straightening the bicycle wheel, he peddled on.

Just a few thoughts,

--Michael

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Old 08-23-2004, 05:21 PM   #16
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Re: How many instructors teach Ukemi Waza?

Quote:
Devon Natario wrote:
Just curious how many instructors out there train their students in Breakfalling. Does your dojo train in breakfalling?
I mean left, right, backward, forward, rolls, slap out rolls, hardfalls etc etc.
Hi
I know what you mean.
Mae and Ushiro and breakfall ukemi are compulsary you cant get anywhere in Aikido with out it! , but the other ones like left, right and the ones where u are facing one way and instead of doing ushiro, you half turn without moving your feet much and do a funny backward/forward roll? i hope thats what you mean. One of my senseis does this in one of his classes every now and then. It is very different from normal ukemi and can be very difficult!!!
I hope this answers you question.
Ayla
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Old 08-23-2004, 06:02 PM   #17
John Ashton
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Re: How many instructors teach Ukemi Waza?

hi guys
i actually teach a 2 hour ukemi class and firmly believe that learning ukemi is a very important part of aikido. in my dojo my sensei never tells what he is going to do before he does it the only thing he tells you is what attack he wants. by him doing this it helps you build a sensitivity that helps you respond to the moment and never anticipate whats comeing. this is also great training for timing and reflexes. i guess its a bit wierd but at the stage i am at in aikido i enjoy taking ukemi more than doing the tecnique.
have fun train hard
JA
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Old 08-23-2004, 09:13 PM   #18
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Re: How many instructors teach Ukemi Waza?

Quote:
Larry Camejo wrote:
Ukemi is first and foremost the practical ability to safely take a fall, at least in our understanding. This means that even if Ueshiba M. himself were throwing you, you should be able to handle it as long as you have developed your skills to that level.
Interesting thing is, that either before II WW either after, there were no special teaching of ukemi in Founder's dojo. That means, all students learned how to fall by themself, simply during reception of the techniques..
Quote:
Larry Camejo wrote:
Ukemi is spontaneous reaction imo.
LC
No, if ukemi would be spontaneous reaction there will be no need to teach special classes of ukemi :P
Ukemi is learned reaction, and is not generic. So in fact, ukemi drill(i.e. exercises for rolling foreward or backward....) distroy natural sensivity of the body, and prevent student to progress to higher level of aikido secrets

Nagababa

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Old 08-23-2004, 09:57 PM   #19
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Re: How many instructors teach Ukemi Waza?

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
Interesting thing is, that either before II WW either after, there were no special teaching of ukemi in Founder's dojo. That means, all students learned how to fall by themself, simply during reception of the techniques..
Likewise, though, the founder did not teach nagewaza in a systematic manner but taught through a few demonstrations and that was it. Does that mean we should stop teaching the nage portion of aikido systematically?
Quote:
So in fact, ukemi drill(i.e. exercises for rolling foreward or backward....) distroy natural sensivity of the body, and prevent student to progress to higher level of aikido secrets
Would you say the same sort of thing about kihonwaza for nage?

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Old 08-23-2004, 10:19 PM   #20
Devon Natario
 
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Re: How many instructors teach Ukemi Waza?

If you do a throw or technique on someone over and over, they are going to change the way they react. To even assume that someone is going to act naturally after being hurt once is ludicrous. If you smack me in my face without warning, you can bet Im not going to let that happen again. It's only natural for a person to react when they are taking a technique over and over.

So your theory of having natural body reactions would mean youd need new ignorant students that knew nothing about the arts everytime you performed a technique in order to learn these so called secrets of Aikido.

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Old 08-23-2004, 10:46 PM   #21
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Re: How many instructors teach Ukemi Waza?

while i was at the new york aikikai summer camp, i saw people who were taking backwards breakfalls out of shihonage. Normally when i take a break fall from that, I turn towards it and make it into a forward one, But these guys were flipping backwards over the nage's shoulders. I've never seen anyone do that before.

But i have to agree with the first reply in that all dojo's teach ukemi and basic breakfalling.

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Old 08-24-2004, 12:04 AM   #22
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Re: How many instructors teach Ukemi Waza?

I have heard many students of aikido over the years say that they had experienced NO organized, specific instructions in ukemi. Many old-time aikidoka were also trained in Kodokan judo and had ukemi training there. The aikido students I spoke about above said that their instruction usually amounted to, "take this fall like that guy over there just did."

Too bad, because the lack of appropriate and relaxed skillful ukemi has hurt many people's practice.

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Old 08-24-2004, 10:02 AM   #23
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Re: How many instructors teach Ukemi Waza?

Quote:
Devon Natario wrote:
If you do a throw or technique on someone over and over, they are going to change the way they react. To even assume that someone is going to act naturally after being hurt once is ludicrous. If you smack me in my face without warning, you can bet Im not going to let that happen again. It's only natural for a person to react when they are taking a technique over and over.
There's also an unfortunate, viscious cycle that some people fall into, especially when first learning breakfalls. If they do not receive proper attention in learning how to take breakfalls, some folks get hurt. Because they get hurt, they are now afraid of what might happen when they do another breakfall. Because they're now afraid, they tense up in anticipation of getting hurt when they do a breakfall. Since they tense up, they increase the possibility of getting hurt. And, often times, they get hurt again doing breakfalls, and the cycle continues.

I've seen this cycle happen mostly when people learn how to breakfall, but I've also seen it in many other kinds of rolling/falling, too. Breaking out of this cycle, especially for those who have been in it for a while, requires a slow "re-acclimitization" of proper, basic ukemi techniques.

Sure, there are some folks who are able to literally jump right into breakfalls and other kinds of rolls/falls without any problem. However, there are also many folks whom I've encountered who, due to their not having had a good foundation in how to roll and fall, have developed bad patterns and habits in their rolling/falling. I personally think it's avoidable for the most part.

Lastly, my thoughts on ukemi is that the rolling and falling part is just a small part of the big picture of what "ukemi" is all about. It's a big topic -- as big as the "nagewaza" portion of aikido, in my opinion.

Quote:
Chuck Clark wrote:
Too bad, because the lack of appropriate and relaxed skillful ukemi has hurt many people's practice.
Amen!

Looking forward to training with you, Chuck, in just a few short days!

-- Jun

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Old 08-24-2004, 11:20 AM   #24
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Re: How many instructors teach Ukemi Waza?

Hi Jun,

Aaron and I are also looking forward to the weekend and the chance to train and share good times with everyone that's there.

Later,

Chuck Clark
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Old 08-24-2004, 01:07 PM   #25
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Red face Re: How many instructors teach Ukemi Waza?

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
Interesting thing is, that either before II WW either after, there were no special teaching of ukemi in Founder's dojo. That means, all students learned how to fall by themself, simply during reception of the techniques..
Happily, Jun answered this in his post.

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
Ukemi is learned reaction, and is not generic. So in fact, ukemi drill(i.e. exercises for rolling foreward or backward....) distroy natural sensivity of the body, and prevent student to progress to higher level of aikido secrets
Exactly what I said. Apparently you did not read my initial post properly. Ukemi is learned reaction - this is what I said:-

Quote:
you instinctively react with the reprogrammed survival instinct that places you in the position that allows you to be thrown at full force and get up and attack again afterwards
.

In fact, the body's natural reaction to a fall is to flail outward with all limbs in an attempt to regain balance or brace (tense up) and protect the brain and major organs from damage at the sacrifice of the extremities if necessary (i.e broken limbs and joints). In fact, this is what happens when people don't learn Ukemi properly from the first day of training. I wonder how many records there are of folks who trained in koryu jujutsu without learning ukemi and got broken limbs etc. Of course chances are we will never know. Because something is old does not always make it immediately correct.

As Jun indicated, if we applied this "keeping the traditional way" concept blindly to other aspects of training, then it would take an extremely long time to become mediocre at Aikido technique, when those employing more systematic approaches to learning will have evolved way beyond what we could ever hope to achieve. So any "higher level of Aikido secrets" as you put it would also be unattainable, since there is no structure to your basic training, any hidden aspects will be shrouded in mystery until your training has developed to an extremely high degree over a ridiculously long period of time. Without a solid foundation there is no reaching the heights of knowledge. Similarly in Shu Ha Ri, one must achieve form before one can ever hope to break and then free himself from it by spontaneously manifesting his movements. Imo Ukemi training follows the same pattern.

Just my 9 cents.
LC

Last edited by L. Camejo : 08-24-2004 at 01:10 PM.

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