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Old 07-08-2005, 05:26 AM   #1
Clarke
Dojo: Aikido of Ogden
Join Date: Jun 2005
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tall ukemi

Im 6'4 and have a fear of hieghts, so iv had a problem with ukemi ever since i started, and still do sorta, its better than it was, but i could deffinatly improve on it. I know i should get low, sensei always tells me that too and that helps, but i can never seem to get low enough to properly do a forward roll, no one ever really went over it step by step with me when i started, i guess they didnt think i would stick around this long~
i was wondering if any other tall people had any tips or suggestions, or anyone really~
thanks in advance
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Old 07-08-2005, 05:32 AM   #2
Yann Golanski
 
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Dojo: York Shodokan Aikido
Location: York, United Kingdom.
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Re: tall ukemi

Ask someone at your dojo to show you step by step. Then practice about 10,000 of them. Job done.

The people who understand, understand prefectly.
yann@york-aikido.org York Shodokan Aikido
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Old 07-08-2005, 10:08 AM   #3
diesel
Dojo: Tenshin
Location: Higashihiroshima
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Re: tall ukemi

Bend your knees and get low to the ground. As you progress you wont have to bend your knees as much, thus conquering your fear of heights.
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Old 07-08-2005, 11:50 AM   #4
Janet Rosen
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Re: tall ukemi

Why not get ON the ground? Our beginners are generally started from kneeling on the ground. You still have more of you to turn into a circle, but there is no reason your center can't be as low as anybody else's!

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 07-08-2005, 01:22 PM   #5
guest89893
Dojo: Jihonjuku/ St.Pete. FL
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Re: tall ukemi

I'm going to add to the already good advice given. Clarke, unlike you, I am vertically challenged about 5' 8" and never thought about height for rolling until trying to help a couple of new students who were 6' 4" & 6' 6" (couldn't wait to throw them because it was gonna make me look so good . The first thing in working with them is the mental perspective of viewing the mat from your height. It's bloody well far away! So to get your mind comfortable and thus removing some of the anxieties. Stand in hanmi and just reach down slightly in front of you and touch the mat and stay in that pose a moment (anybody on the mat asks what your doing, tell them your looking for some loose change). Your head should be pretty close to the height of your knee, the approximate height that you actually will be rolling from for starters. stand up slowly get some oxygen back in to your brain and switch your feet and bend down and touch the mat again and again hold the pose awhile. Now go get one of your seniors at the dojo and have them show you how to take a roll from the kneeling position -notice your head is at about the same level and gets lower than you had in that pose. Man that is easier to show than explain. Any ways it may help remove the mental blocks we have that are not there when you were 7 yrs old and maybe 50" from the mat.
FWIW
Gene
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Old 07-08-2005, 02:00 PM   #6
Adam Alexander
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Re: tall ukemi

regarding fear of heights: I framed three story buildings for awhile. After about a month of walking across the tops of 2" wide walls, 30-40' in the air, while a crane is swinging in 50' wide trusses and I had nothing to hold onto with my hands, my fear of heights went away. However, that was a while ago, and now when I get on two story roofs with a medium pitch, I get nervous.

The point: just do it. You'll get used to it.

My other point: Do it a lot. Everyday (or every-other-day or so) do about fifty. Myself, I'd do it more, but I'm rather wierd. I'd expect doing fifty of the same type of roll, over and over, is plenty to get teh hang of it.
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Old 07-08-2005, 03:33 PM   #7
aikigirl10
Dojo: Aikido of Ashland
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Re: tall ukemi

Theres a really tall guy in our dojo and he seems to have problems w/ukemi too. Just practice alot, and make sure they teach you correctly , u might want to try asking more than one sensei/sempai, so u make sure u are doing it right.
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Old 07-09-2005, 02:12 AM   #8
maikerus
Dojo: Roppongi Yoshinkan Aikido / Roppongi, Tokyo, Japan
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Re: tall ukemi

Hi there...Janet's suggestion about kneeling first makes a lot of sense (mainly since that is how we train our people as well )

A few thoughts...

1. Kneel with your toes up
2. Stick out your right hand directly in front of you (assuming right hand roll here) with your thumb up as if to shake hands. Then turn thumb down and make a loosely closed fist. The top of the hand (NOT THE KNUCKLES) will be the first part of your body to touch the ground.
3. Allow your arm to bend with the elbow up in a very shallow curve.
4. Tuck your head so that you are looking through your belly button and out your...well...anyway
5. Straighten your left arm behind you and up until it locks into place as far as it can go behind you and beside your body (directly beside/straight don't move it behind your back or more to the open left side)
6. Straighten the left leg behind you so that you are pushing over the right knee. Your right hand is not yet touching the ground. Push your toes so that your weight goes even more over your right knee until you start to fall.
7. As you start to fall make sure your head is tucked in, that the front arm keeps that little curve, that the back arm doesn't move from that locked position behind you, that your back leg stays straight and reaches for the sky and that you are moving forward a little as well as down so that the edge of your hand (meaty part just up from your baby finger opposit the them...remember the loose fist) touches the ground first.
8. Once you start to fall you should roll from your hand down your curved arm across your shoulders and end up slapping with the hand that was extended behind you. Keep that back left leg as straight as you can and turn the ankle sideways so that the heel doesn't hit the ground. The other leg should be pulled up to kick yourself in the butt and you should end up balanced on that foot.
9. Don't try to get up right away....just bask in the pleasure of the huge circle you've just made But if you do decide to stand up keep your head tucked until you are all the way up and just push up on that foot that is tucked under you to do so.

Then move up to standing and then jumping and then jumping over people

A few more important points...

1. Do this with someone who can do it. Watch them and see what they do...they probably won't do it exactly as I do it, but match as many of the points above with what you see.
2. The biggest problem is that people don't believe that that front arm can support them when its curved. So they straighten it and end up jamming their shoulder right into the mat. Hurts. Not fun. Sad. Pain. Have someone hold your neck as you do this so you can trust that even if you didn't have that arm they wouldn't let you get hurt.
3. Repeat 10,000 times and rinse...

It's also worth going back and just doing somersaults sometimes.

FWIW...I am 190cm (6'2") so I almost know where you are coming from. I always think that I am safer in the air and try and get high rather than going toward the ground, which seems the opposite of what you have been told. I figure that if I can get my shape right in the air then the landing will take care of itself.

Remember...grab someone to help you!

Good Luck,

--Michael

Hiriki no yosei 3 - The kihon that makes your head ache instead of your legs
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Old 07-10-2005, 12:53 PM   #9
Justyn
Join Date: Jun 2005
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Re: tall ukemi

Quote:
Michael Stuempel wrote:
2. The biggest problem is that people don't believe that that front arm can support them when its curved. So they straighten it and end up jamming their shoulder right into the mat. Hurts. Not fun. Sad. Pain. Have someone hold your neck as you do this so you can trust that even if you didn't have that arm they wouldn't let you get hurt.

--Michael
this has happened to me before, just also wanted to add that it seemed to me important to not let my arm collapse as you put it on the mat or bend it too far, when that happens you just hit ur head on the mat and it hurts

as most of the others have said though, practice always helps
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Old 07-11-2005, 10:57 PM   #10
Clarke
Dojo: Aikido of Ogden
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Re: tall ukemi

thank you all for your helpfull coments ill be sure to take all of them into thought and work on em

thanks again,

~C~
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Old 07-12-2005, 07:20 AM   #11
philipsmith
Dojo: Ren Shin Kan
Location: Birmingham
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Re: tall ukemi

This might help or not.

Roll while holding a large beachball or swissball. This encourages good body shape and the illusion of support. Eventually try to do it so that the balls shape is not changed by your body weight, then take the ball away.

I've done this a few times with Juniors and complete beginners who have a fear of falling nd it's worked well.

At worst its a fun game for kids (and adults)
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