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Old 10-03-2004, 07:18 PM   #1
Jeanne Shepard
 
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Shoulder pain in break falls

I just "got" break falls, but find when I go one way I land easily but the other I land on my shoulder, which, after 4-5 times really hurts! I have the feeling that this way I don't quite rotate enough to get on my side, as I tend to feel it in my back too.
Other peopel tell me they have a good side and a bad side for break falls too.

Any advice about the painful shoulder?


Jeanne
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Old 10-03-2004, 09:34 PM   #2
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Re: Shoulder pain in break falls

Jeanne,

If I may suggest, try placing yourself on the mat on you "good side" in the position you land in breakfall. Kind of lift your self in the air enouigh to turn your body and land in postion on the other side - "the badside" -check your body position correct any imprefections, not completely on my side, hand extended to far out, legs wrong, etc.

It is a Judoka training tool/warm-up and it is a great excersize as well.

Hope this helps,
Gene Martinelli
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Old 10-03-2004, 10:07 PM   #3
Janet Rosen
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Re: Shoulder pain in break falls

Quote:
Jeanne Shepard wrote:
Any advice about the painful shoulder?
Jeanne
Hi, Jeanne! Ouch.!
Yeah--let it stop hurting before you resume breakfall practice on that side!
I agree w/ the suggestion about practicing what is different between the two sides. Yknow the solo practice where you lie on your back and , leading with hip, go up and to one side to land in breakfall position, then inhale, and on exhale, lead w/ other hip to go up and to other side to land in breakfall position? This is a good way to check it from low altitude/low impact. And if you get warmed up you can get some altitude by really raising your hips to make the turn in the air.

Janet Rosen
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Old 10-03-2004, 10:13 PM   #4
Jeanne Shepard
 
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Re: Shoulder pain in break falls

Thanks, all!

It is very hard to stop just doing it when I've almost got it, so having low impact alternatives helps.

Jeanne
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Old 10-03-2004, 11:46 PM   #5
MaryKaye
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Re: Shoulder pain in break falls

Do you have a video camera available? Being able to see what you are doing, while unbelievably embarrassing, can be quite useful.

(If not, you could probably borrow ours.)

Mary Kaye
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Old 10-04-2004, 03:02 AM   #6
crbateman
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Re: Shoulder pain in break falls

Almost everyone has a good side and a bad side. Your "good" side probably got sore as well while you were learning. The trick is to train more on your "bad" side than on the "good" one. Eventually, they will equalize, and your discomfort will end.
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Old 10-04-2004, 03:53 AM   #7
Steve Mullen
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Re: Shoulder pain in break falls

hi jeanne,
i feel your pain, or should i say i felt your pain, the joy or not being able to lift your arm higher than your stomach

when you say breakfalls are you talking about 'rolls', or 'flips, i hads a friend who has just recently started to learn hoe to 'flip' out of techniques and he found that by going back to looking at how he rolled he found that he had a problem on the same side, when he fixed that he started 'flip' withoput any trouble, so if its your 'flips' i would suggest looking at your rolls.

hope it helps
steve
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Old 10-04-2004, 09:38 AM   #8
ian
 
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Re: Shoulder pain in break falls

Very common problem. Be careful! Injuries early on can put you off rolling.

1st - get used to rolling from a kneeling position (or at least get closer to the mat!).

2nd - realise that rolling develops over time - ideally you distribute the pressure evenly from the tip of your little finger, down your body, to your heel, but this will take time.

3rd - its best (initially) to curl your body UNDER more, not more to your side. The top part of the back of your shoulder should brush the matt, followed rapidly in succesion by your back, buttock and then legs.

4th - often faster rolls are easier to do, but don't do it from a height or you may break something!

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 10-04-2004, 09:42 AM   #9
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Re: Shoulder pain in break falls

Hey Jeanne,
I used to do the same thing i think you're talking about, is it the case of instead of rolling and smoothly connecting with the floor you kind of fall onto your shoulder and roll. I remember doing that and how much it hurt instead of avoiding the side i kept doing that on i decided the only way i was going to get better is to roll on that side more.
Its hard to get the rythm right so that you dont fall and hurt your shoulder, the way my sensei taught me was pinky to the floor and roll onto your arm, try doing it slowly and try not to think too much whilst doing it. Eventually it will just come natural to you.
I remember at a seminar i went to a while ago, i was training with a big group and i was falling on my shoulder a lot, why, i cant remember. So one of the shodan (a lovely bloke) took me aside and said "here, just watch this guy", the guy was a green belt and he break falled perfectly, barely made a sound, then he said to me "whats this guy doing before the roll?" So i watched again, then i noticed he was taking just a few extra steps before rolling to get his balance and roll properly. I thanked the shodan then on my next turn i tried it and i rolled without hurting my shoulder at all, but not quite as good as the green belt, who funny enough was a brown belt in judo too hehe.
Just a bit more practise and i'll be that good
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Old 10-04-2004, 10:41 AM   #10
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: Shoulder pain in break falls

Quote:
Steve Mullen wrote:
i hads a friend who has just recently started to learn hoe to 'flip' out of techniques and he found that by going back to looking at how he rolled he found that he had a problem on the same side, when he fixed that he started 'flip' withoput any trouble, so if its your 'flips' i would suggest looking at your rolls.
I had forgotten this...I have the same problem with breakfalls (high falls, flips) as Jeanne basically, and I did look at how I roll on both sides, and indeed, the difference is there, too. Haven't been working on it long enough to really know if it'll help, yet. Good idea though.

kvaak
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Old 10-04-2004, 11:14 AM   #11
Janet Rosen
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Re: Shoulder pain in break falls

Sounds like folks are getting semantically confused and giving advice on how beginners learn forward rolls--Jeanne has been doing rolls for years! She's talking about a forward breakfall where you don't roll out but land.

Janet Rosen
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Old 10-04-2004, 11:27 AM   #12
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Re: Shoulder pain in break falls

I don't have enough knowledge on this, but as a beginning doing it on a very soft mat seems to be a good advice. It will help you to concentrate on your technique rather that being disturbed by the thought how to avoid the pain. That slow transition helped me a lot during forward roll. I could not touch my shoulder and developed a fear of rolling. By doing it for some time on a really soft mat (sensei calls it "granny mat"), then moving to a harder one I overcome the fear and developed the feeling of the technique. Hope the same works with highfalls.
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Old 10-04-2004, 01:43 PM   #13
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Shoulder pain in break falls

Hey,

I don't know how you do it, but when I breakfall I go over straight...there are other methods though. When I used to rack my shoulder up badly on the left side, I was going over twisted...and would end up digging that shoulder into the mat. I've found the straighter you go over, the better. Relaxing helps a lot too, but its kind of stupid to tell someone to relax when the thing they are doing hurts them! If one more person tells me to relax... Is this problem when you can't lead with one hand (basically no hand touches the mat before the slap) or is it with both? I've found the hiyaku ukemi is easier if you REALLY tuck your head...either watch the back foot, or try to stare into your navel...

Good luck...that one hurts a LOT if you don't fix it.
Ron

Last edited by Ron Tisdale : 10-04-2004 at 01:45 PM.

Ron Tisdale
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Old 10-04-2004, 01:44 PM   #14
billybob
 
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Re: Shoulder pain in break falls

the advice you got from g. martinelli above is spot on. lay down. correct position. stay loose!!

are you speaking of landing on the shoulder or does it hurt because of 'bracing' for the fall causing muscle/connective tissue strain?

if you have pain in your shoulder without impacting it - you must search for tension elsewhere in your body - may i suggest you look in your belly.

billybob -
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Old 10-04-2004, 03:43 PM   #15
Bronson
 
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Re: Shoulder pain in break falls

This'll be long, so be warned

Get the video camera. It'll reveal much about what you're doing right and wrong.

Following is how I was taught to breakfall and consequently how I teach it. It seems to work for most people. The trick is to have the presence of mind to not push yourself too far too quickly. My apologies if it doesn't make sense...I'll do my best to make it clear

1) Like Gene said, start on the mat in breakfall landing position. Have a sempai or sensei check your position and correct it if needed. Raise both legs and slapping arm while inhaling. Exhale and "slap" the mat with all three. Your lower leg, sole of foot on upper leg and slapping arm should all hit at the same time. Do this several times then switch sides and repeat.

2) Do the same as previous but alternate side to side with each one. Don't worry about height, just roll to the other side and make sure the exhale and all three limbs are working at the same time.

3) Now start adding some height as you switch sides. You kind of "kip up" with your legs while you're moving to the other side. You should start low and have a sempai or sensei check you landing position and correct it before going higher.

4) Now is when you start to differentiate between types of breakfalls. For forward breakfalls we again start very low. In a kneeling position like for a forward roll. GO VERY SLOWYLY. Put your forward knee on the floor (like moving in suwari waza). Extend your rear leg behind you. GENTLY place the shoulder of the same side as your forward leg on the floor as you reach under yourself (like you're reaching for the foot of the extended leg behind you). Now perform a roll over the downed shoulder while keeping your back leg straight and land in breakfall position. This exercise is for learning to land in correct position while your feet are going over your head. It can and should be done very slowly with NO impact to your shoulder. The only "impact" should be when your legs and arm all meet the mat at the same time.

5) Now stand like you're going to do a regular forward roll. The only differences will be that you will let your rear arm point along the length of your rear leg. It will remain there during the roll/breakfall, and you will keep your rear leg straight instead of tucking it. If you keep your leg straight you will end up in breakfall position. The problem most people who can already roll have with this exercise is they try to keep going to get up by raising their torso off the floor. Keep your torso down and have somebody check your landing position.

6) If you have an extra thick soft mat use it for the first few of these next ones until you know you're landing correctly.
You'll also need a partner for this one. Preferably someone who can breakfall so they can check position and whatnot.
Stand at about an 90* angle to each other (your shoulders should make an "L"). Each grab the others right wrist. Your assistant needs to be relaxed enough to allow you to adjust the height of your grasped arm but stable enough to provide good solid support. Move your arm to a height you're comfortable rolling over...think about when you were a kid and would flip over a horizontal bar on the playground, you'll be doing this with your arm acting as the "bar". Go straight over your arm. This is important. If you go off to the side you end up landing weird. Just before you make contact with the mat your partner should give you a gentle tug to help unroll you and flatten you out. They should also be giving a good solid base of support for you to hold on to (if you pull on their arm you should come off the floor instead of them being pulled down). As you become more comfortable with this exercise and you can consistently land correctly on both sides you can begin to raise the height of the flip.

7) Again using the soft mat if available. Perfom a large yokomenuchi like strike that doesn't stop. Almost like you are trying to strike your rear knee with your forward hand. Allow this to carry you over. You'll be doing essentially the same thing you did in step 6 just without a partner. Like Ron said earlier I find that really tucking your head (watching your rear foot helps) and going straight over helps tremendously in landing correctly.

Well, I hope at least some of that made sense

Everything starting at #4 above is for forward flipping type breakfalls (mae ukemi I believe). We use different dirlls for side, back, and forward falling (like a tree)

It's a lot easier to show it to somebody than it is to write about it. If anything wasn't clear let me know and I'll try to clarify. If anything goes against what your sensei is teaching you by all means ignore that bit. If anybody offers something that sounds like it'll work better, use that instead

Good luck,

Bronson

"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 10-04-2004, 07:00 PM   #16
Jeanne Shepard
 
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Re: Shoulder pain in break falls

Thanks, everyone!

We'll see what happens tonight!

Jeanne
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Old 10-04-2004, 08:17 PM   #17
Melissa Fischer
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Re: Shoulder pain in break falls

Hi Jeanne,
Come on up to our dojo on Dec. 4th for Bruce Bookman's Ukemi seminar. He's got a couple of videos out too, in case you want to see the break down of breakfalls.(www.tenzanaikido.com or www.seattleholisticcenter.com). His method sounds similar to what Bronson described above but there's nothing like getting help from a person you trust who knows what they're doing.

Be careful and don't try to learn everything in one day!

Melissa
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Old 10-04-2004, 09:02 PM   #18
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Re: Shoulder pain in break falls

Hya Jeanne

All previous advise is very good but simplest way of developing good front rolling form is to look at the knot of your belt as you roll...this will automatically make you more "circular"..

I suspect that you are perhaps letting your leading arm go too "soft" as well...this needs to be held firm/"unbendable"

Regards

Lee
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Old 10-04-2004, 10:36 PM   #19
Jeanne Shepard
 
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Re: Shoulder pain in break falls

Thanks again, all!

Tonight I practiced on my good side, after class when I was warmed up. Even on my good side, I think I'm not rotating enough because I'm landing on the upper part of my back, not making it all the way onto my side.
Ibuprofen helps.

Jeanne
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Old 10-04-2004, 11:25 PM   #20
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Re: Shoulder pain in break falls

Quote:
Melissa Pittman Fischer wrote:
Come on up to our dojo on Dec. 4th for Bruce Bookman's Ukemi seminar.
Oooh, go to this.


Quote:
Melissa Pittman Fischer wrote:
He's got a couple of videos out too, in case you want to see the break down of breakfalls.(www.tenzanaikido.com or www.seattleholisticcenter.com).
I've seen one...picked up some really good tips from it. I'd recommend it. Oh, also, if you can make it to the ukemi seminar do that...did I mention that already

Quote:
Melissa Pittman Fischer wrote:
His method sounds similar to what Bronson described above
My sensei has a judo background and that's where he got most of the drills/exercises. I'm sure others have had similar training.

Quote:
Melissa Pittman Fischer wrote:
but there's nothing like getting help from a person you trust who knows what they're doing.
EXACTLY!! Go to the seminar

Quote:
Lee A. Price wrote:
I suspect that you are perhaps letting your leading arm go too "soft" as well...
I suspect you're confusing a breakfall with a roll
Rolling doesn't seem to be where the difficulty lies, it's in break falling.

Bronson

"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 10-05-2004, 07:06 AM   #21
Jeanne Shepard
 
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Re: Shoulder pain in break falls

I have the vidos, which are great, but nothing replaces physical training.
Unfortunately, I have a conflict on that date!

Jeanne
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Old 10-05-2004, 10:04 AM   #22
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Re: Shoulder pain in break falls

Ah sorry! got it wrong lol, d'oh!
The first time I did a forward breakfall my sensei just held onto my arm as i rolled, he thought I was ready I guess, anyways landed it fine. Because he held on to my arm I landed on my side, I was shocked to feel no pain as I thought it would really hurt!
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Old 10-05-2004, 09:49 PM   #23
Ellis Amdur
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Re: Shoulder pain in break falls

One other point too often neglected. The shoulders have to be strong enough. In addition to all the technical recommendations on how to properly fall, one needs to have enough strength in the ligaments and muscles of the shoulder to protect the joint, not only from direct impact, but also shock. If the shoulder is too weak/loose, even a proper fall may hurt as it moves around too much. The same thing, by the way, is also true for the hips. - - - and the best way to strengthen the joints is weight training - I'd recommend you get a good trainer - preferrably an exercise physiologist - show the motions, body position, etc. of ukemi and ask for assistance in both general power training and that specific to what you're doing.

Best

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Old 10-05-2004, 10:00 PM   #24
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Re: Shoulder pain in break falls

Quote:
Jeanne Shepard wrote:
Thanks again, all!

Tonight I practiced on my good side, after class when I was warmed up. Even on my good side, I think I'm not rotating enough because I'm landing on the upper part of my back, not making it all the way onto my side.
Ibuprofen helps.

Jeanne
Keep practicing -carefully- Ellis Armdur offers very sound advice as did Ron Tisdale. Good luck. Happy flying and see you in the air.

I forget which book this quote is from but it amuses and almost fits, "Remember flying is falling and just missing the ground."
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Old 10-06-2004, 07:33 AM   #25
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Shoulder pain in break falls

Actually, training with Ellis helped me fix some of my most severe ukemi problems! I don't do nearly enough outside of aikido training (fitness wise) anymore...probably why I racked up my knee as well. Ah, so little time...I keep saying I'm going to hit the gym. I'd follow Ellis's advise. I have found that working suburi, and doing some training with an iron jo has helped strengthen my shoulders and get some of the 'bad' looseness out of them. The problem is still being able to relax while you do that sort of training. Your teacher might have some tip along that line.

Ron

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