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Old 10-25-2004, 06:16 PM   #1
Yokaze
 
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Blush! Learning high-falls...

I have been fascinated with the type of falling you see in videos. You know, both legs leave the ground and sail through the air. It looks so effortless, though I'm sure it hurt more than it seems.

My sensei has not taught any of us how to fall in this fashion. Many of the dan students still do not know how to high-fall properly.

Is there any way I can train with fellow students to begin learning this skill? I realize it can be dangerous and would use only the utmost care, but I feel I am missing out on a fairly essential style of ukemi.

Thoughts please... even if it's just to slap me and tell me I'm too inexperienced to be thinking about falls like that.

"The only true victory is victory over oneself."

Rob Cunningham
3rd Kyu

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Old 10-25-2004, 06:46 PM   #2
Clayton Drescher
 
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Re: Learning high-falls...

come down to SF and train with us ;-)
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Old 10-25-2004, 06:52 PM   #3
Janet Rosen
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Re: Learning high-falls...

Why don't you chat with your instructor about your interest? If it is a college club, you may be affiliated with a larger dojo, and perhaps your instructor will refer you there.
There are very gentle exercises that lead one to forward breakfalls, such tiny forward rolls done with a partner simply holding the roller's forward hand a the mat so the roll "unfurls" across the mat into a breakfall position. Things progress from that based on each individual's comfort level.

Janet Rosen
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Old 10-25-2004, 07:15 PM   #4
Qatana
 
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Re: Learning high-falls...

DO you have mixed levels or are you in a beginning class? In our mixed classes most of the time everybody takes backfalls or rolls unless we are trest training, as we are now.
In the beginning class the teacher gauges your ukemi ability and when he feels you are ready starts training you on landing. So now i am able to be flipped at about 6 inches and i have been promised that a high fall "isn't any different".
I'm not getting hardly any ukemi at all right now cuz i'm training for 4th kyu but after the 2nd we'll be back to Basics. You're welcome to drop by.
Like Janet says, there are ways to "grow into it". I practice doing a forward roll and slapping out instead of completing the roll. you can also roll up & down into a shoulder stand and fall out of it.

Q
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Old 10-25-2004, 07:49 PM   #5
Jeanne Shepard
 
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Re: Learning high-falls...

Quote:
Jo Adell wrote:
you can also roll up & down into a shoulder stand and fall out of it.
Good Lord! How do you do THAT?!



Jeanne
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Old 10-25-2004, 08:16 PM   #6
Qatana
 
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Re: Learning high-falls...

Jeanne if i could explain it any better i certainly would! You just kinda roll up one shoulder and fall...

Q
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Old 10-25-2004, 08:47 PM   #7
Lan Powers
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Re: Learning high-falls...

*you can also roll up & down into a shoulder stand and fall out of it.*

We do this sometimes.... Roll directly back from a fall slapping the ground with both arms, feet rising into the air...brace your waist with both hands, and voila! you are in an inverted shoulder-stand........ever stand on your " back of the neck " area with your arms supporting your waist? Your body is inverted and your feet and legs in the air. I have seen lots of kids do this, kind of like making a tripod of your neck/shoulders and your triceps area of your arms along the mat.

Sounds pretty unclear doesn't it. lol Really! it isn't a contortionists move!! Ha !
You pick a direction and "timber" like a felled tree into a slapping breakfall.
My brother and sister used to stay like this for ever watching tv...dunno, just kid stuff.
Who would have thought there would reall be a use for it?
Lan

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Old 10-25-2004, 11:21 PM   #8
Bronson
 
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Re: Learning high-falls...

Quote:
Jeanne Shepard wrote:
Good Lord! How do you do THAT?!
I think this is similar to something I posted in your thread on shoulder pain in breakfalls, step #3 in my post I believe.

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 10-25-2004, 11:30 PM   #9
Qatana
 
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Re: Learning high-falls...

I was practicing it just now at the dojo and its like Lan says. You just push your feet up and follow them and then flop over,slap the mat, that hand supports you as you go up and over on the other side. I'm told i look like a kitten with a ball of string. Awww.
Grabbed about oohhhhh, three inches tonite. It was fun.

Q
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Old 10-26-2004, 05:28 AM   #10
grondahl
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Re: Learning high-falls...

Quote:
Rob Cunningham wrote:
I have been fascinated with the type of falling you see in videos. You know, both legs leave the ground and sail through the air. It looks so effortless, though I'm sure it hurt more than it seems.

My sensei has not taught any of us how to fall in this fashion. Many of the dan students still do not know how to high-fall properly.

Is there any way I can train with fellow students to begin learning this skill? I realize it can be dangerous and would use only the utmost care, but I feel I am missing out on a fairly essential style of ukemi.
Im sure that your Sensei teaches you the ukemi you need. Different styles of throwing requires different kinds of ukemi.
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Old 10-26-2004, 09:56 AM   #11
Yokaze
 
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Re: Learning high-falls...

Quote:
Jo Adell wrote:
DO you have mixed levels or are you in a beginning class? In our mixed classes most of the time everybody takes backfalls or rolls unless we are trest training, as we are now.
In my class we have everyone from beginning students all the way up to Shodan. We have different classes aimed at various levels of training, though anyone is allowed at any meeting. I'm afraid that, since it is a college club, aside from the half dozen of us or so that have stuck around for years, the turnover rate is pretty high, so we're always training newcomers. That would be great except that we, at the same time, lose many of our more experienced students periodically.

"The only true victory is victory over oneself."

Rob Cunningham
3rd Kyu

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Old 10-27-2004, 11:10 AM   #12
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Re: Learning high-falls...

Hi Rob,

Have you asked your instructor to see if s/he could set up a special class or something that would go over the basics of breakfalls? If anything, I think that being able to do breakfalls for safety's sake is a good idea. You might need to suddenly pull out a breakfall if, say, someone rolls in the trajectory of your own forward roll or if someone takes your balance well enough that you have no other option that to take a breakfall. I'll be honest and say that hearing that most yudansha at your dojo are unable to do breakfalls correctly is a bit disconcerting due to these kinds of safety concerns.

An hour or so should be enough to provide people with a lot of exercises (some of which have been referred to above) to give people enough "tools" to work with in the future to learn how to breakfall. In fact, I just did a one hour breakfall workshop which did just that (I hope)...

By the way, I'm defining breakfalls here as the forward, "flipping in mid-air and landing with a loud slap" type of fall. I know others define it as any roll that has a slap, but I just wanted to clarify...

-- Jun

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Old 10-27-2004, 12:56 PM   #13
Yokaze
 
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Re: Learning high-falls...

Jun: Good idea. Also, I always heard breakfalls defined as a fall where your entire body leaves contact with the ground.

Are these falls supposed to be painful? My basic work with them has left me battered and bruised. >.<

"The only true victory is victory over oneself."

Rob Cunningham
3rd Kyu

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Old 10-27-2004, 01:05 PM   #14
akiy
 
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Re: Learning high-falls...

Hi Rob,

Personally, I don't think breakfalls should be painful, especially if done on a mat. Usually, a painful breakfall is due to a bad landing position. That's why, personally, whenever I lead people through learning them, I spend a lot of time on having people get the proper landing position first. If you're ending up battered and bruised, most likely you're not working enough on things like the basic landing position and being relaxed.

Otherwise, if people continue to launch themselves into a breakfall with an improper landing position, the landing hurts. This causes people the next time they do a breakfall to anticipate the pain. Anticipating the pain usually involves tensing up. Tensing up usually means the fall and the landing are improperly done. When the landing is improperly done, then it hurts. Thus starts the vicious cycle that only reinforces pain and improper execution of breakfalls.

I've seen some athletic folks "get" breakfalls in a short amount of time. It may take other folks a while longer. Don't be in too much of a hurry! Just like the rest of aikido, learning breakfalls, even with a qualified instructor who can provide a good foundation and help "fix" things as you progress, may take a while.

Just my thoughts on the subject...

-- Jun

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Old 10-28-2004, 11:13 PM   #15
Lyle Laizure
 
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Re: Learning high-falls...

Well the first step to learning high falls is being able to perform forward rolls appropriately. If you are able to do this the high falls are easy as the nage should do most of the work for you. But this is something you should address in a conversation with your sensei. Is there any reason he does not teach this?

Lyle Laizure
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Old 10-29-2004, 04:02 AM   #16
Steve Mullen
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Re: Learning high-falls...

hi rob, i just started to 'get' high breakfalls about 6 months ago, i found that leaning forward in the position that i would normally roll at then giving a big push with my back foot helped as a starting point. then slowly start to lift your starting position a bit each time until you can push yourself over from a reasonable height.

once you have got this down ask someone to perform a technique on you which lends its self to these kind of ukemi, i reccomend kaiten nage as uke ends up in a similar position to the one mentioned above, then tori finishes the technique with a bit more 'snap' than normal. i found that asking dan grades to throw me helped too, explain that you have been practicing high breakfalls and you want to give them a real test.

hope this helps
steve

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Old 10-29-2004, 06:21 PM   #17
seank
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Re: Learning high-falls...

After reading this thread, I'm wondering whether break/high falls are the same type of break-fall that we perform.

The break falls we learn are generally broken down into two categories:
  • high falls from techniques such as kote gaeshi
  • break falls from techniques such as shiho nage

The high fall is much like forward ukemi, with the exception that you don't roll over your shoulder, you literally flip over your shoulder onto your back/side (nb - not read backside), slapping the mat as you hit. These are particularly helpful for an exuberant nage (or if you happen to find yourself in a bad position from a dislocation point of view), but of course they have legitimate application for other techniques (insert koshi nage here).

Break falls, in our dojo, are the most commonly employed at the lower grades (5th kyu to 2nd kyu), but everyone is given the opportunity to learn high falls as part of their practice.

Our instructor generally starts students off with basic ukemi, then proceeds through break falling in different positions and situations, then proceeds through to high falls from specific techniques.

High falls can be dangerous, and really should be practiced with an instructor (wherever possible), but with a little courage, a whole lot of practice (like most everything in Aikido), I'm sure you can easily add this to your Aikido repertoire.
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