Saturday, April 16, 2011

Mae Ukemi and Break Fall

I could have posted this picture without comments also, it would probably be expressive enough. What I am trying to share is in fact the struggle of the beginner with the fall in aikido. At the beginning with the inconvenient body posture and movements one has to perform it, further on with executing it correctly without hurting yourself.


What you need to do (tips from my favorite senpai who offered to practice it with me after the trainings but I am too lazy and not persevering enough to do so):

1. Keep the tegatana

What you need to do in case of rolls and any other technique is to keep the tegatana in your arms. Otherwise the movement will be broken and not smooth enough (see the dude in the picture above doing the ukemi right vs doing the ukemi wrong). If you have this key element right, you are almost there.

2. Keep your hips straight, follow a straight line

Always make sure your starting position is deep and straight enough. I know that during actual techniques it is hard to pay attention to this, but it is again one of the success factors. Especially with break fall, at the beginning one has the tendency to fall somewhat laterally because it feels more safe. But it is wrong, because what you need to do is fall straight ahead. It might help if you give the fall some power by pushing with your behind leg if the tori does not execute the technique smoothly enough to throw you properly.

3. Slap the mat

I am rather unsure about this one, but apparently this is the best way for a beginner to attenuate a break fall. Advanced practitioners fall almost without sound as their body absorbs the shock in different points, harmoniously.


These are 3 simple rules I could think of, what Sensei and several senpai have been telling me in our dojo. As each and every practitioner is doing it differently, might be you have other points where you need to do better. Don't forget the best way to do it right is practicing. Do not hesitate to ask a senpai in your dojo. They will be more then happy to help you.

I hope you enjoyed this newest post about Ukemi Waza and that you are practicing more diligently than me. Trying to persevere both in aikido and blogging. Will be posting some more soon!

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