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Old 11-27-2005, 10:01 PM   #1
Rod McLaughlin
 
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Help with Ukemi

I see people in my Dojo do Mae Ukemi and Ushiro Ukemi without a sound. No matter how hard I try, I sound like a rolling pick up truck. I was told that the key is to relax the body and the Ukemi will not hurt. Well I Can do Ukemi at high speeds and without injury or pain, but it is still very loud. Any thoughts on how to be a little quieter?
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Old 11-27-2005, 11:11 PM   #2
jk
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Re: Help with Ukemi

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Old 11-28-2005, 02:38 AM   #3
Ian Upstone
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Re: Help with Ukemi

Hey I've been zorbing and it was far from quiet! ...

Anyway.. quiet breakfalls? Well I'm going to assume two things:

1) The quiet falls you mention are done by those who are more experienced? - you're going to end up doing them the same way eventually if that is the thing at your dojo. When in Rome and all that I suppose.

2) No one cares if you're making a noise? The most important thing is that you're not getting hurt, and you're doing that fine by the sound of it (pun intended). Where I train we tend to slap the mat when landing hard/fast which isn't exactly quiet. As I make a point of breathing out on impact I've even unintentionally let out kiai on occaison when I've hit hard...
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Old 11-28-2005, 02:57 AM   #4
PeterR
 
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Re: Help with Ukemi

Well I learnt my lesson the hard way. I was being thrown on a wood floor being protected by about 1 cm of straw mat. First one stung my hand like the devil and that was the only part of my body that did hurt. My body didn't hurt any more when I didn't slap as hard. The next day is another story but that was more to the fact that I was thrown a dozen or so times hard enough for the dust to fly. When I was last doing Aikido in the Philipines the students were rolling on matless patios.

My question is how much of the noisy slap is beneficial and how much is theatrics. I personally will be adjusting the level of slap.

With respect to overall noise (if you exclude the scream of terror/joy/pain) is a direct function of mat contact. The more agile you are, the less contact, the lower the noise. Agility comes with practice but go for some extra height and distance in your roles.

Last edited by PeterR : 11-28-2005 at 03:00 AM.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 11-28-2005, 03:11 AM   #5
Ian Upstone
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Re: Help with Ukemi

Quote:
Peter Rehse wrote:

My question is how much of the noisy slap is beneficial and how much is theatrics. I personally will be adjusting the level of slap.
Hey Peter, being a typical Yoshinkan oik, I enjoy a nice theatrical slap alright? We like it that way

I was adressing the noise issue (and why it was an issue!) rather than other aspects. Given I don't plan on being repeatedly thrown down on a hard surface (like in a movie....), and I've faired okay so far, I'll stick to the slapping when I feel I need it. YMMV or something like that.
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Old 11-28-2005, 03:20 AM   #6
PeterR
 
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Re: Help with Ukemi

Quote:
Ian Upstone wrote:
Hey Peter, being a typical Yoshinkan oik, I enjoy a nice theatrical slap alright? We like it that way
I'm all for a little exuberance. Got to make up for the lack of hakama rustle.
Quote:
I was adressing the noise issue (and why it was an issue!) rather than other aspects. Given I don't plan on being repeatedly thrown down on a hard surface (like in a movie....), and I've faired okay so far, I'll stick to the slapping when I feel I need it. YMMV or something like that.
Actually what I was getting at is what happens outside the dojo - self defense from evil ones or your own clumsiness. A good hard slap (you fight like you train and all that) may deliver more harm than good.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 11-28-2005, 03:39 AM   #7
Ian Upstone
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Re: Help with Ukemi

Fair enough - although I don't think it very likely for me to either get caught up with evil ones let alone thrown by them, I have (and I can't believe I'm posting this on the internet) managed to fall up a brick wall and then over it onto the concrete on the other side recently.

I did not slap as it happens, and got up untarnished except where my knee hit the edge of the wall - and of course the ruined shopping I was carrying at the time...
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Old 11-28-2005, 08:47 AM   #8
ian
 
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Re: Help with Ukemi

Sound usually occurs because a certain part of the body is making heavy contact with the mat, often in a flat way (e.g. a foot slapping). You need to distribute the weight evenly from the tip of your little finger, down your arm and diagonally across your back, down your thigh and to your foot. If the pressure is spread very evenly there will be little sound(i.e. round). Relaxation, but not collapse, is useful.

I think if you are heavier you naturally make more noise, but with practise it all becomes quieter and I think quiet rolling is a very good training method!

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 11-28-2005, 09:53 AM   #9
MaryKaye
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Re: Help with Ukemi

What part of your body is making the noise? If you can't tell, get someone to watch you. The way to fix this depends critically on what's actually going on.

When my classmates and I are noisy on forward rolls, it's either because we are slamming our ankles into the mat, or because we're slamming our shoulders. If it's ankles, look at rolling a bit more slowly and "placing the feet deliberately rather than letting them fly." (That's what my teachers say; I haven't figured this one out yet myself.) If it's shoulders, check that you are rolling up your full arm rather than flipping yourself and falling onto your shoulder or back. Also check if your arm is bending too much, though since you say your rolls are safe, this probably isn't the problem.

I find that any part of me which makes noise on a forward roll will be sore by the end of a long seminar, so I am trying to become more quiet.

Mary Kaye
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Old 11-28-2005, 10:52 AM   #10
Rod McLaughlin
 
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Re: Help with Ukemi

It seems I have the best of both worlds, In my Dojo we practice the hand slap on hard break falls usually when Nage holds on, but we also practice quiet rolls when projected. Depends which of our two Sensei's are instructing that day.

Last edited by Rod McLaughlin : 11-28-2005 at 10:59 AM.
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Old 11-28-2005, 10:14 PM   #11
jk
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Re: Help with Ukemi

With regards to rolls, one of the fastest but somewhat ill-advised ways to get yourself rolling smoothly is to practice on a hard surface such as concrete. Repeat until pain is minimized/distributed as evenly as you can get it.

As for hard breakfalls on concrete (such as if nage is holding on), I was advised that slapping might result in a broken hand. The suggested theory was to take the main impact on your glutes, and make sure to exhale while landing like a sack of s**t. We weren't too keen on validating this theory too often, although the exhaling (which sounded exactly like a yell of pain) seemed to help.
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Old 11-29-2005, 07:59 AM   #12
kokyu
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Re: Help with Ukemi

Quote:
John Kuo wrote:
With regards to rolls, one of the fastest but somewhat ill-advised ways to get yourself rolling smoothly is to practice on a hard surface such as concrete. Repeat until pain is minimized/distributed as evenly as you can get it.

As for hard breakfalls on concrete (such as if nage is holding on), I was advised that slapping might result in a broken hand. The suggested theory was to take the main impact on your glutes, and make sure to exhale while landing like a sack of s**t. We weren't too keen on validating this theory too often, although the exhaling (which sounded exactly like a yell of pain) seemed to help.
Instead of rolling or doing a breakfall on concrete, how about trying your ukemi on some grass at a park? It's definitely softer than concrete, but harder than most mats. Once you can roll smoothly on the grass (or flip without hurting too much), then you might like to move on to concrete... although I would definitely recommend wearing your gi for that... most people wear the thick judo gis for aikido - the padding is enough to cushion the impact, although for rolling, you might scrape your foot at the end... I haven't tried doing breakfalls on concrete though...
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Old 11-29-2005, 09:12 AM   #13
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Re: Help with Ukemi

Many people in my dojo have loud rolls from slapping the mat with their hands(some deliberate, some not). Some tend to collapse their bodies resulting in heavy contact of legs or feet with the ground. I used to roll and breakfall on concrete and wooden floors so I tend to associate loud slapping noises with pain. I've learnt that smooth rolls involve curving your body(and arms), allowing continuous contact with the ground. It also involves absorbing as much impact as you can. I find it's similar to trying to jump softly or tip toe-ing. Be aware of the parts of you body that touches the ground.

Lee
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Old 12-11-2005, 09:06 PM   #14
Kevin Temple
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Re: Help with Ukemi

In my dojo, we also practise "hard" flips (read:noisy) and soft flips. Although right now the only flip i can do is the land without hurting myself flips. The soft flip involves the least amount of impact because you place down your hand early and try to slowly lower yourself to the ground, whereas a hard flip your hand only touches the ground for a second and it makes a big thunk. I believe the difference is, the hard flip can be done even if you get thrown in a ridiculous direction you weren't prepared for because your hand doesn't hit the mat until the last second. As of now, if I was thrown in a ridiculous direction, there would be a loud "thunk" but for all the wrong reasons.
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