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Old 03-24-2005, 12:22 PM   #1
walter jackson 3rd
Join Date: Mar 2005
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Re: New Feature: AikiChat!

Hi I'm walter. I'm glad to have Aikichat so that i can learn more about Aikido. I have a question for anyone. I really enjoy aikido. I do well with everything except the rolls. I'm very tall, not used to rolling and terrible at it. I seem unable to progress because the rolls hamper me. I can't even move on to a higher belt.
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Old 03-24-2005, 12:39 PM   #2
Lorien Lowe
Dojo: Northcoast Aikido
Location: California
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 289
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Re: Rolling

Give it time- don't give up.
Do you live near the coast? If so, you can practice your rolls in the soft sand on upper wave slope without getting hurt.

-LK
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Old 03-24-2005, 12:48 PM   #3
MitchMZ
Dojo: Prairie-Aikikai
Location: Clive, IA
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 75
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Re: Rolling

Ukemi is the basic foundation of Aikido, Judo, Jujutsu, etc. IMO, it is one of the most practical aspects of Aikido because you will more often trip and fall than be faced with a self defense situation. Thus, learning how to take falls without injury great self defense in itself.

So, rolling/breakfalls/backrolls are vitally important to developing into a good martial artist. Ask your instructor if you can practice ukemi more than you usually do, and when you start feel comfortable enough to do good ukemi, you should be able to practice it at home (in the house probably isn't a good idea). The grass in my backyard seems to be fairly easy on my body. I just have to watch out for dog poo. (Adds a new element to training).

I sometimes do ukemi on concrete or other hard surfaces to practice...I wouldn't recommend this, though. Although, the first few rolls I did I could tell something was wrong because it hurt, haha!

The best thing I can tell you is don't be in a hurry to reach the mat; you can exercise control in a fall/roll just like you can in a throw or joint lock.
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Old 03-24-2005, 01:15 PM   #4
benz_my
 
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Dojo: Junshinkan
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Re: New Feature: AikiChat!

Quote:
Walter Jackson, 3rd wrote:
Hi I'm walter. I'm glad to have Aikichat so that i can learn more about Aikido. I have a question for anyone. I really enjoy aikido. I do well with everything except the rolls. I'm very tall, not used to rolling and terrible at it. I seem unable to progress because the rolls hamper me. I can't even move on to a higher belt.
Yeah...like other 2 sempai says, take your time and be patient.
your ukemi will come to you. When I have started to train Aikido, I have the same trouble with ukemi too. I am huge and average height(6'), and I kept forcing myself to do ukemi. I have ended up injured my shoulders and so on without a right guidance. I have been doing it for 3 yrs. and finally, I have taken my time to understand it.

the only word that everyone will argee is "pratice," and you will be fine. plese dont give up.
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Old 03-24-2005, 07:46 PM   #5
David Kai
Dojo: Northern Alberta Aikido
Location: Edmonton
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 20
Canada
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Re: Rolling

Rolling takes time for all ... except those who come from another art or are just naturally gifted. Some suggestions:
Use a good developmental pedagogy that allows you to develop your rolls without developing "bad habits"
Ask a senior student to work with you on rolls after class regularly
Spend the money on Donovan Waite's 2 Ukemi Videos ... they are an invaluable tool ... and pratice the variety of ukemi he presents
Spend some time focusing on the Uke side of Aikido ... when Sensei asks for questions, ask him or her how to PROPERLY take the ukemi for the applied technique

Best of luck!

KAI
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Old 03-25-2005, 04:04 AM   #6
batemanb
 
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Dojo: Seibukan Aikido UK
Location: body in UK, heart still in Japan
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Re: Rolling

Quote:
Mitch Kuntz wrote:
So, rolling/breakfalls/backrolls are vitally important to developing into a good martial artist. Ask your instructor if you can practice ukemi more than you usually do....
Definately intrinsic to practice. When you are practicing any technique in Aikido, there are two partners practicing at the same time. Tori is practicing the actual technique, uke is practicing his/her ukemi, therefore you should effectively be practicing ukemi for much of the class.

When I teach, I often break the technique down to the point that shows what may seem like a big flying ukemi, is actually only a simple mae (forward) ukemi or ushiro (backward) ukemi, just a little more dynamic. I will ensure that at lower grades the tori will relase uke at a relative point allowing them to stop and do a basic mae/ ushiro ukemi, even to the point of dropping to their knees and doing it at this level if it makes them feel more comfortable. As confidence grows, the need to do this reduces.

As far as ukemi goes, you are the only one who can do it for you, people can show you how, but you can only learn by doing and building your confidence. As others have said above, some pick it up relatively quickly, others take a little longer. This is not a problem unless you make it so, Aikido is there for you to learn at a pace dictated by you. Enjoy the practice, keep working on the ukemi, don't get caught in a race to do it, don't worry about the next grade, and you'll be fine .

Regards

Bryan

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 03-25-2005, 06:12 AM   #7
SeiserL
 
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Dojo: Roswell Budokan, Kyushinkan Dojo, Aikido World Alliance
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Quote:
Walter Jackson, 3rd wrote:
I do well with everything except the rolls. I'm very tall, not used to rolling and terrible at it. I seem unable to progress because the rolls hamper me. I can't even move on to a higher belt.
Hi Walter,

I am big (6' 4" 215 lbs.). It is a long way down.

You can't practice Aikido without the ability to roll and fall. Ukemi isn't the easiest thing to get used to. But, with patience and practice, you can get good and even enjoy it.

Physicially, relax and breathe.

Mentally, think of the body as a ball, a circle. You may be running some negetaive fantasies which send messages of fear to the body.

Hang in there tall guy, you too can get this.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 03-25-2005, 03:20 PM   #8
CaseyD
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 18
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Re: Rolling

Hi, Im not much more than a beginner myself, but I've been given some good tips on rolling, so I'd like to share and hope it helps. Get as low as possible before rolling, try to make your rolls low and far away (rather than straight down). Keep tension in your forward arm as that keeps you from collapsing which hurts your shoulder. Happy rolling!
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Old 03-25-2005, 04:42 PM   #9
akiy
 
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Re: Rolling

Quote:
Casey Darwin wrote:
Keep tension in your forward arm as that keeps you from collapsing which hurts your shoulder.
I'd say extension rather than tension.

In any case, I'd also say there doesn't need to be much in the arm after you get used to rolling, as there comes a time that if you need to rely upon arm strength to keep from having your shoulder get hurt, there are other means of taking that roll/fall which are most likely safer. That said, I think it's beneficial to have the "shape" at the beginning, though, especially when learning to roll...

-- Jun

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Old 03-25-2005, 06:45 PM   #10
estel
Dojo: Rockhampton Yuishinkai
Location: Qld
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Australia
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Re: Rolling

I'd also disagree with having tension in the front arm when doing ukemi.
The front arm should be the 'unbendable arm', meaning there is no tension in it. Your whole body must relax, and take the fall in a posture that allows you to roll.

Of course, I'm little more than a beginner so take my opinions with a grain of salt.
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Old 03-25-2005, 09:02 PM   #11
Lyle Laizure
 
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Dojo: Hinode Dojo LLC
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
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Re: Rolling

I would ask how long you have been in Aikido? What have you done in the past to learn how to roll? PM me if you like. I have had pretty good results helping people roll.

Lyle Laizure
www.hinodedojo.com
Deru kugi wa uta reru
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Old 03-26-2005, 12:06 AM   #12
Huker
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 63
Canada
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Re: Rolling

Walter, I'm in the same boat. We did a rolling exercise a few classes ago that I was terrible at, so I started working on them on my own. I can offer some helpful tips given to me by a few seniors and my instructor. This is for a roll from standing, btw.

-keep the back leg straight, this is easier if you do your best to watch it travel as you go through your roll
-katana arm is really important, I was letting my arm crumple, which led to pain in a few parts of my body and in my head
-don't curl in too far - initailly, try and make your hand contact the mat directly in front of your lead foot, not off to the side
-try and finish the roll sort of on your side so that the outside of your ankle is facing down towards the mat, not your heel, but don't let your ankle hit the mat (think about how much that would hurt on cement)
-try not to go outwards as much as upwards, the higher up you go, the more time you have to control your fall--when I go outwards, I find it harder to keep my arm from folding when my hand contacts the mat

The rest is all a circular blur to me, so I don't have much else to offer at this point. Best of luck.
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Old 03-29-2005, 09:43 PM   #13
Hardware
 
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Dojo: Ronin (sort of...)
Location: Prairies
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Canada
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Re: Rolling

I'm big (6'2", 270 lbs (down from about 320)) and when I started training I could only fall hard and roll like a log. I thought I would never learn how to take ukemi!

Now I can take ukemi for black belts practicing koshi nage. There's no one magical secret. You just have to find the way (that's safe) and that works best for you - like most elements of Aikido.

The one key element for me was learning to relax my body (without flopping onto the mat like a wet rag) and learning to breathe in coordination with the ukemi.
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