Ukemi is the art of falling. Master how to breakfall and a strange thing happens.
You also get better at throwing.
Because when you can breakfall. When you know how to fall backwards, to the side and to the front. You lose the fear of falling.
With that comes more confidence to attack.
So, are you ready to learn how to Ukemi?
Here are three different breakfalls.
First up is Ushiro Ukemi. This is a backward rolling break fall.
Use it to prepare for landing when you are thrown backward with judo throws like Ouchi-Gari or Kouchi-Gari.
Why hit the mat? Good question! It is because it helps to absorb the fall.
By hitting the mat with the palm of our hands we absorb the impact.
Now, let’s practice a forward fall. This is called Mae Ukemi.
Use it to learn how to twist out of and avoid judo throws, by turning and landing on your stomach.
You guessed it. Now we are going to land to the side. This is called Yoko Ukemi.
Use it to learn to fall sideways safely when you are attacked with techniques like Osoto-Gari.
Let’s roll it up a notch, with this forward rolling ukemi.
Once you become very good at doing a forward breakfall – and only once you are very good – try this impressive feat.
Ask a volunteer to go on all fours and curl up in a tight ball.
Now, do a rolling ukemi over the top of them, without touching their body at all.
You will need to jump into the roll to achieve it.
Start with one person. When you can clear them easily. Add another willing volunteer.
See if you can build up to this amazing number of people!
When you can do all three of the break-falls above try this circuit.
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