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Old 12-03-2006, 12:36 PM   #1
kqazi
Dojo: The Aikido Center
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Forward Ukemi Help?

Hi, I'm new to aikido; I've been doing it for about 5 months now, and I needed help with rolling forward; on the right side, its fine, but when I try it on the left I either end up rolling on my back or just flopping over; any advice to help get it right? I've spoken to my sensei and he did help me out but somehow I sort of lose it between the dojo and my home.
Thanks!

--Kamran
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Old 12-03-2006, 01:45 PM   #2
Janet Rosen
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Re: Forward Ukemi Help?

welcome!
It is VERY common for us to have a better side and a more awkward side in movement in general, and if so it really does show up clearly in our rolls! My advice is
1. be patient - time alone often solves the problem
2. always practice by starting w/ a couple of rolls on the right and ending w/ a couple of rolls on the right so the awkward side is "sandwiched" by a feeling of success
3. don't compensate by rushing - this will lead to crash landings and pain, rather than the simple flopping you are doing - if possible, SLOW down
4. don't spend a lot of time and worry on the left side, or you may end up obsessing right into making it worse
5. if possible, work w/ someone on the style of very slow and small forward roll where you are kneeling and you actually place the forward shoulder directly on the mat (rather than using the hand/arm) and insert forward side all the way back (so if your left shoulder is on the mat, your left hand is inserted back, beyond your right knee)

Janet Rosen
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"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 12-03-2006, 05:24 PM   #3
Gernot Hassenpflug
Dojo: Aunkai, Tokyo
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Re: Forward Ukemi Help?

I'm glad you're enjoying rolling on one side, the frustration of not knowing what your body is doing or how to control it is something that will become a learning tool for you in the future. Some people are stiffer on their handed side, and from daily habits there is often a bias to one or other side.

I've found it useful to practice backward rolls to troble-shoot the forward ukemi: sit down, cross one leg over the other and roll back with the upper (straight) leg, only rolling so far that teh toes touch the mat behind your head, and using your hands on either side of your head (or both on the same side of the head as the leg passes) to support you. Then come back to the starting position. Do this a few times one side, then change. It teaches you to soften back and shoulders, make a rounded upper body, and feel the balance in the back and shoulders as the body moves over these portions.

If you're comfortable, then do forward ukemi, but from sitting (kisa) position, one knee forward, arm all the way inside so that your shoulder touches the ground before you begin to roll! Again, this makes the roll small and helps you to realize just how much you need to tuck in your body. The legs may fly out at the stage but you'll soon expand your awareness to tuck them in nicely so that you come up seated again.

Best of luck!
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Old 12-04-2006, 06:33 AM   #4
Beard of Chuck Norris
 
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Re: Forward Ukemi Help?

I'm rubbish on my right hand side, i know how to do it but i simply flop over.

This problem for me is probably 30% technique and 70% confidence. Being a big guy the temptation is for me to get over and onto my back asap as i know i can "take" landing on my back as opposed to landing on my head!

Practice practice practice!
Start with baby rolls from kisa / seiza and remember that where the elbow of the arm you're rolling over is pointed will be the direction of your roll.
Pick a line on the mat and try and follow it from strat to finish; and remember that the finish is when you have stood up not when your head is the right way round.
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Old 12-04-2006, 06:36 AM   #5
Mark Freeman
Dojo: Dartington
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Re: Forward Ukemi Help?

Hi Kamran,

Janet's advice will get you there, but I'd like to add just a little to her No 5 suggestion - when you are down on the floor with your left shoulder on the ground, it is the push of the right leg and foot that needs to get your backside/hips/one point directly over the point of contact that the shoulder makes with the ground. Once you go over this point, the roll should resolve through gravity. It can take quite a while to iron out assymetry in rolling, so be patient and keep at it.

Good luck

Mark
p.s. keep 'live toes' (tucked under) if you can, it's best to start off with good habits

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 12-04-2006, 07:21 AM   #6
Janet Rosen
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Re: Forward Ukemi Help?

oh yeah one last thing...it really helped me off the bat with "making a circle" out of my body: look back at whoever is throwing you; if you are rolling solo, PRETEND somebody is back there and look at him. it sets up a good head/neck/shoulder angle.

Janet Rosen
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Old 12-04-2006, 09:01 AM   #7
Qatana
 
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Re: Forward Ukemi Help?

I will testify to Janet's last post. it was exactly what I needed, threee years ago, to get my rolls straight. And round...

Q
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"It is not wise to be incautious when confronting a little smiling bald man"'- Rule #1
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Old 12-04-2006, 09:07 AM   #8
Robert Rumpf
Dojo: Academy of Zen and the Ways
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Re: Forward Ukemi Help?

Quote:
Gernot Hassenpflug wrote:
I've found it useful to practice backward rolls to troble-shoot the forward ukemi: sit down, cross one leg over the other and roll back with the upper (straight) leg, only rolling so far that teh toes touch the mat behind your head, and using your hands on either side of your head (or both on the same side of the head as the leg passes) to support you. Then come back to the starting position. Do this a few times one side, then change. It teaches you to soften back and shoulders, make a rounded upper body, and feel the balance in the back and shoulders as the body moves over these portions.
This is excellent advice. I used to do this a lot, and it helped me to ingrain certain excellent habits that I've since lost, such as not planting my knee during ushiro ukemi.

Rob
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Old 12-04-2006, 02:01 PM   #9
odudog
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Re: Forward Ukemi Help?

To get better on the left side, you must totally concentrate on what your doing and more importantly what you are feeling on the right side. Once you know what you are feeling on the right then look for those exact same things on the left and adjust accordingly.

On Janet's post up above: I do the exact opposite. I first start to roll on my worst side first. This way I get more rolls on my worst side than I do on my good side. When I teach, I have the class do this as well.
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