Roll falls in aikido

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Roll falls in aikido
Original Poster: aldarianraider
Forum: Japanese Martial Arts
Posted On: 01-01-2005, 21:47

Orginal Post: aldarianraider: Just a quick question…I’ve seen many rollfalls performed, and I have done my share of them as well. However, one thing still puzzles me, because I’ve seen and practiced it both ways…when one rollfalls, are they rolling from shoulder to shoulder, or from the shoulder in a diagonal down the back?

Post: bamboo:

In my dojo, its taught as just over the shoulder, down to the opposite side of the back. More importantly, its how your comfortable doing the ukemi.

-bamboo>

Post: Gong||Jau:

I’ve never practiced Aikido, but the way I learned to breakfall was across the back also.>

Post: bushidoka:

The purpose of a breakfall is to bleed off excess energy, the more surface contact, the more the force is spread over a larger area, thus, a lesser amount of energy absorbed by the body. Look at your breakfalls this way, and you will answer your own question Raider.>

Post: bamboo:

A breakfall is different than a roll, a roll is more of a tool to use when you still have some control when falling and allows you to roll and better place yourself in a postion to attack again or to simply escape. A breakfall (as you mentioned bushidoka) is to better absorb and disipate energy but is not done in the same way as a roll.

-bamboo>

Post: zefff:

Sorry to shift of topic but any breakfall tips would be a blessing for me as we are doing more and more sweeps and throws now and me back cant take much more. We do with and without mats. :cry:>

Post: bamboo:

Zefff:

The only tips I can offer you is to relax, breath out as you hit the ground and practice.

I’m assuming you already have a teacher showing you the basics of safe breakfalling, it does differ somewhat from art to art (ex-judo/aikido) but the basics are the same.

Best of luck sir!

-s>

Post: zefff:

my sifu studied Judo so is teaching us from that perpective I guess. I know he has chinese wrestling too (dunno how to spell it – sounds like schwai-jao), but our class is really one big ball of art so if we are doing (i.e.) throws we just do em. Its not like he says “today we will do some Judo”. Its WC we are learning but he will say “in this position there is nothing to stop you doing this…” So in the positions we are familiar with from a WC (infighting) perspective, we can flow without limits…or thats the idea anyway. We chi sau and spar like this too. Its funny when people who have done WC at another school come and watch us because they dont expect clinching and sweeps in chi sau.

Thanks for the words, yes you are right. I need to relax and breath. I am still tense as a mofo!

cheers.>

Post: bushidoka:

I see the distinction you’re making bamboo, though I still consider it a breakfall. In hkd we still slap the ground as our body comes around to the ground in a roll, though I guess you could class them differently. If you are coming out of a whip throw, or any high throw, your body is moving very fast. If you can,t bleed off that speed, you’re going to come crashing to the ground, causing your legs and lower back to smash into the ground as you roll out. Just being picky here though, as i would never personally consider using a roll as an evasive tactic. Some thing to contemplate though.
Breakfalls hurt. They will always hurt. Asains are different than westerners in their concept of a fighting body. We like nice broad shoulders, wide lats and a narrow waist, while most asain m.a.ists believe in what is called “round body”, thick lower back and obliques, making their body appear round all the way up, and this is the result of endless breakfall practice and tons of throws, causing the body to adapt to the constant pounding. We get spoiled with our nice thick mats for sure, they give us a dangerous sense of confidence. As Zefff mentioned, they do some falls with no mats, valuable experiance. I remember being thrown to the ground years ago and landing across my shoulders, damn near killed me, but it opened my eyes :lol:
Guess point I am making is repetition. Long winded way of saying it though, eh? :roll:>

Post: jlambvo:

We pretty much always roll from shoulder to opposite hip.

I have been shown a way of rolling from shoulder to shoulder however for when you are wearing daisho. If you tried to do a rolling recieve from shoulder to hip, you would injure yourself on your own swords. It’s better to turn yourself over so you land on your feet, because this can be pretty hard on the neck. Any type of ukemi for when you are wearing daisho is pretty difficult though.

As far as tips on rolls go:

1. Think of it as moving across the ground, not falling into it (especially if you start from standing… remember, you are already on the ground :)).

2. Try to guide the rear quarter of the shoulder to the ground where the most flesh is–avoid making contact with the bony top of the shoulder, this will help on hard surfaces, it also happens to lead the roll over less bony areas of the back and waist.

3. Balls roll. Cubes don’t. As soon as your shoulder has contacted the ground, tuck your legs in as tight as you can, try to look over the opposite shoulder to the ceiling, and keep your hips in. Also keep your arms inside the line of your body at all times. Exits are located to your left at aisle 14. Kidding. Make yourself as small as possible and DON’T “reach out” to the ground with your feet; wait for your feet to touch the ground, then just stand up (or not, depending on the situation).

4. Practice moving through your rolls as *slowly* as possible (its just like a musical instrument–it’s easy to go really fast and glaze over imperfections), and be able to stop at any point. Remember that you should feel “in kamae” throughout the entire range of motion and be IN CONTROL of where your direction, speed, etc. If you can’t stop in the middle and guard yourself, you’re giving up to much. It’s very easy to throw yourself into a roll like you’re going on an amusement park ride, where you just wait and hope you end up in the right place. People who can really do this kind of ukemi well look like they might as well be walking. Speed comes with understanding.

5. As you slowly practice rolls, try looking around at difference visual targets in the room. Try keeping your eyes fixed on one person the whole time. You should never really have to take your eyes off your opponent or other potential dangers! If nothing else, doing this helps develop attention for what’s happening throughout the motion (rather than going on autopilot).

6. Oh and uh, a good roll is a quiet roll. Noise indicates impact. Impact indicates injury and pain. So if someone’s rolls are very loud, they should probably slow down and pay attention to where they are coming out of their ball :) It isn’t necessary to constantly practice on hard surfaces at first, it is a good thing to do occasionally to check yourself though. You should be able to roll on concrete just fine.>

Post: bamboo:

Bushidoka,

I see that from your description you slap when rolling, in aikido, this is generally considered different than a roll or a breakfall and as halfway between the two.

Quote:
If you can,t bleed off that speed, you’re going to come crashing to the ground, causing your legs and lower back to smash into the ground as you roll out. Just being picky here though, as i would never personally consider using a roll as an evasive tactic

.

This is where I noticed that I believe that we are talking about two different things alltogether. When rolling in aikido, your body is in a tight ball and there is no smashing into the ground. Breakfalls are of course a different animal alltogether.

Quote:
Breakfalls hurt. They will always hurt. Asains are different than westerners in their concept of a fighting body. We like nice broad shoulders, wide lats and a narrow waist, while most asain m.a.ists believe in what is called “round body”, thick lower back and obliques, making their body appear round all the way up, and this is the result of endless breakfall practice and tons of throws, causing the body to adapt to the constant pounding

I will have to respectfully disagree with you. My teacher has always taught that if your in pain doing a breakfall, then something is wrong, after years of taking falls, I fully subscribe to this idea. We practice on traditional straw tatami and although when first learning it can be very painful, after time and refinement, the pain becomes absent. Myself, i’m a westerner with what my wife calls a “jujutsu” body (read “not pretty”) :wink:

I noticed your in canada bushidoka, may I ask what city?

cheers :D

bamboo>

Post: bushidoka:

hello Bamboo, how are you today?
i was approaching the roll as if coming out of a whip throw or something similar, where you are coming over the shoulder in an elongated path, tucking into the ball before impact and rolloing/breaking out of it and coming out in stance at the end, much as tumble practice on the mats. I do rolls without slapping too, but more for practicing a smooth transition in the roll than as a way of coming out of a tech. When rolling quickly, I find my momentum continues to carry me forward as I come up(without dumping speed), which is fine if you have the space to step out of it, but most times I find I’m in a confined area with little room to start with :roll:
anyway, I was using the roll as applied to fighting rather than practicing rolling on the mats, or at least to the way i fight. :lol:
I still get sore from breakfalls, not if I am practicing them, but more when we are doing throws. As in aikido, we can be doing 200-400 throws a session, and occasionally I will have 3 classes back to back, though I will try not to be doing throws in all 3, though 2 back to back throwing classes are nothing unusual. I still feel it in the sides of the ribs and around the 6 and 7th vertibrea or base of neck, though more muscular soreness there. Part of it for me for sure is my weight. I have a natural body weight of just under 160, but i weight right around 220 right now, and that’s a lot of mass hitting the ground every 20 secs. or so.
BTW Bamboo, I am about 40 min south of toronto ontario in hamilton. About 5hrs from you if I have your local as ottawa correct.>

Post: Tease T Tickle:

Weighing in, at my prime fighting period, at 275 I can still honestly say that doing breakfalls, stop-rolls and rolls does not hurt. Not even when we did our heavy throwing days. If you are doing your technique properly, your mass does not matter.

The stop-roll, where you slap or otherwise cut off the momentum of your received throw, is not all too great for fighting. Using the full roll allows you to fluidly return to a standing position facing your opponent, rather than leaving you on the ground in an attempt to get up. I can honestly say that I have never used anything other than rolls the few times I’ve actually been thrown by an opponent. I don’t even know why they bother teaching the stop-roll except maybe as a lead in from breakfalls to rolling.>

Post: jlambvo:

I think its okay to *be able* to stop, if nothing else to keep you attentive throughout the roll… and there might be times where standing up would bring you into an attack or an obstacle or something I guess.

One question I have for you Bushidoka, iwhy is it your ribs and base of the neck that would be sore from rolls? When I first started I would get pretty tender on my shoulder and hip, but the 6th-7th vertebrea and ribs should never be touching the ground. If they are… the only thing I can think of is that you aren’t making enough of a “ball” with your body, but I’d have to know HOW you do these recieves exactly.>

Post: bushidoka:

” i was approaching the roll as if coming out of a whip throw or something similar, where you are coming over the shoulder in an elongated path, tucking into the ball before impact and rolloing/breaking out of it and coming out in stance at the end”
Not sure if that is a stop roll as you are speaking of Des, where you end up flat on your back. I am still coming up in stance, but in a more controlled manner, rather than carrying a lot of forward momentum that could be used against you.
I must be a softie, ’cause when I finish a throwing session, my body aches. All over generally. More so my lower back when doing whip throws, and even more so with beginners, because they don’t let go soon enough to let you roll out smoothly. Not sure of the judo equivalent of this.
When I was saying I was feeling it in the neck Jlambvo, I was more speaking of a training session of throws, not really rolls. More like the soreness you get from a few hundred small outer hooks, from the snap on the neck muscle trying to keep the chin to the chest when you hit, not actually the spinal column, just in the specific area, as everyone seems to know where the seventh vertabrea is for some reason :? Again, with the ribs I was thinking more of a few specific throws also, a bit off track I guess.>

Post: Tease T Tickle:

Bushidoka, a stop roll is when you start a roll technique to disperse the impact of the throw and then using a slapping motion with your arm or leg to stop the momentum of the roll, theoretically useful in small areas where completing the roll would send you into a wall, off of a cliff, into traffic, whatever. The reason I dislike this type of technique, as stated above, is because it leaves you on the ground.

Honestly, when you talk about whip throws I’m lost because I’ve never heard that term used before. When you described it as over the shoulder, I imagined various Judo shoulder throws or perhaps some aikido-esque throws, but neither of these should have the high amount of energy you want to attribute to what you do.>

Post: bamboo:

Bushidoka:

Could provide a technique name or link to a “whip throw”?
I too am at a loss as to what type of throw this would be.

Cheers,

-bamboo>

Post: Bushi:

[quote=bamboo 
“whip throw”?
[/quote 

I saw that on Indiana Jones.>

Post: odudog:

You can do both of them. It just depends on the technique that was used to throw you and if you are in total control of your body. If you are in control, then you can decide which way you want to roll {mae or yoko}.>

Post: Bushi:

No one is in total control of their body when they are being thrown. If you were, you would not have been thrown in the first place.

I ask all of you that think you can roll out of any throw to go to a Judo club, ask to randori and see if you can roll out of throws. Otherwise, this is all talk from inexperience.>

Post: zefff:

I must admit that as a total newbie, underling and minion on the subject of recieving (or performing) throws, I can just about muster breakfalls together at speed now but any roll would most likely end up with injury if any part was out of form. Surely to perform any safe roll means the amount of mental calculations would be multiplied by loads in the same tiny amount of time. Breakfalls have a greater scope for calculations and safe adjustments IMHO. Of course I dont know anything but I do know that I only have a split second to prepare my body.

Peace>

Post: bamboo:

I have to agree with Bushi on this one. Unfortunately, the way alot of aikidoka practice, “choosing” how to roll becomes the norm when no one is actually doing any throws. As a beginners ukemi practice drill its fine, but when your actually thrown, if you have total control over your body all the time, it may be time to step it up a notch or ten.

A good judoka can open the eyes of anyone that thinks they can control the throw, heck a good aikidoka should be able to do this as well.

-bamboo>

Post: odudog:

If your not in control of your body while being thrown, then why practice ukemi in the first place? According to you guys, uke is just going to hit the mat period and has no way or control of protecting themself. When I saw Doshu perform in person, or saw Yamada Sensei, Shioda Sensei, and Ando Sensei on my DVD/tapes, they or there uke rolled out. And I didn’t say that one could roll out of every technique. I said the type of roll depends on the technique used.>

Post: bamboo:

Agreed odudog that the technique performed helps to dictate the ukemi, its the slow practice and the drills that make much of the ukemi we take automatic.

I have had the pleasure of taking ukemi from shihan like Saotome, Ikeda, Kimeda,Yamada and can tell you that it was not a choice how I fell, my body had reacted automatically or I would have been badly hurt.

Regarding DVDs and such, remember, they are choreographed for the most part and the ukes are usually 6th dan and above, they make it look smooth. :wink:

-bamboo>

Post: jlambvo:

You have the most control over your landing if you begin the recieve preceeding the technique to a degree. You should be able to recognize the point at which your balance has been taken and the person WILL throw you regardless of how much you resist, and THIS is when you should be starting your recieve. Then depending on the kind of projection you might be able to roll or something.

Of course, practicing in this way makes it look like you are just being a compliant uke when it is sometimes just the most intelligent way to recieve. Ukemi should ride the wave of the technique. Of course, then tori’s job is to mess up your ability to do this.

We occasionally do a drill where sensei calls out a simple arithmetic problem that you must answer, as you are airborn in a dive roll. Stuff like this helps shape your ukemi as something you can do subconsciously even amidst distraction. I think its dangerous to practice ukemi any one way for too long.>

Post: bamboo:

Quote:
You have the most control over your landing if you begin the recieve preceeding the technique to a degree. You should be able to recognize the point at which your balance has been taken and the person WILL throw you regardless of how much you resist, and THIS is when you should be starting your recieve. Then depending on the kind of projection you might be able to roll or something

Bingo. Well said!>

Post: Tease T Tickle:

[quote=Bushi No one is in total control of their body when they are being thrown. If you were, you would not have been thrown in the first place.

I ask all of you that think you can roll out of any throw to go to a Judo club, ask to randori and see if you can roll out of throws. Otherwise, this is all talk from inexperience.[/quote 

So are you saying that training breakfalls is useless?

Odd since I know that every Judo school worth its salt trains breakfalls extensively.

What exactly is your point here?>

Post: Bushi:

I train Breakfalls every class. Re-read my post.

No one is in TOTAL control of their body when they are being thrown.

Each throw has a specific Ukemi that accompanies it. A throw such as De ashi harai cannot be rolled out of. Yokoho Ukemi (side breakfall) yes, Zempo Katien Ukemi (roll) NO.

Some more examples of NONE roll out throws:

O Soto Gari
O uchi Gari
O soto Makikomi
Myrote seoi nage
Seoi nage
Ko soto gakai
ko soto gari
O soto garuma
Kata Garuma
Harai Goshi
Uchi mata
Tani otoshi
Yama Arashi
Ura Nage

To name a few.

Now for those that claim they can perform a roll as Ukemi for these throws is either:

1) Never had the throw done to them
2)Never performed the Ukemi to the throw in live sparring
3) Does not know what the throw is to begin with.>

Post: Tease T Tickle:

[quote=Bushi I train Breakfalls every class. Re-read my post.

No one is in TOTAL control of their body when they are being thrown.[/quote 

I re-read your post. Twice.

You never mentioned your breakfall training.

And I still fail to see your point. Certain throws have certain predetermined breakfall techniques to them, so we train all of the breakfalls and rolls because we don’t know how we’re going to get thrown the next time it happens. Which is what was being discussed here. Why exactly did you come to the thread claiming that anyone who thinks they can use the skills they’ve been training for X amount of time is talking out of inexperience?

And to perfectly honest, no one is total control of their body ever. If you doubt me, make your heart stop beating. Sure, it’s nitpicking, but so is stating that doing ukemi isn’t being in control. Doing ukemi is a lot better than not doing, end of story. You seem to agree with that point, so once again, I have to ask what the point of your posts have been because it seems to me like we all had a nice conversation and then you claimed to know more than us.>

Post: Bushi:

I was arguing with those that claim they can ROLL out of every throw.

I train every form of Ukemi.

Bamboo understood what I was saying.

There is a belief (mostly in Aikido circles) that you can roll out of every throw. A ROLL not a breakfall, but a ROLL. I was challenging this crowd to test that theory on a Judoka.

And when I said “inexperience”, that is what was meant. Experience against a guy that will throw you in a straight downward path negating a ROLL, such as a Judoka.

My arguements were directed at that crowd and that I can only assume is why Bamboo understood exactly what I was saying.

If you have the time, go back and reread my posts with the above in mind. If they still do not make since, then I can only blame my public education.

-Bushi>

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