Learning Ukemi: judo’s breakfall
Learn how to fall without fear, so you can attack without fear of being thrown!Koka Kids Issue 42 (Autumn 2014)
This Breakfall Circuit is a good way to warm up for judo and practise your all your breakfalls (Ukemi) at the same time. First do a Mae Ukemi (brea fall to the front) then stand up again. Now, tucking your chin to your chest, perform a Ushiro Ukemi (breakfall to the rear) and stand up again. For the grand finale, finish with a Rolling Ukemi to the front. Of course, you can repeat the circuit as many times as you wish. During all variations remember to tuck your chin to your chest, and slap the mat with the palm of your hand.
The Japanese word Ukemi can be broken down into two parts with
- Uke meaning “Person receiving”
- Mi meaning “Body or Self”
Take a look at this video that includes some great examples of Ukemi in use by Japanese Masters, followed by some attempts from students still learning the skill of breakfalling.
By learning to fall properly, fluidly, without fear – we can then commit to attacking without fear of being thrown. As well as giving judoka this psychological advantage and freedom, Ukemi training increases your spacial awareness and co-ordination.
Judo Coaches…. If you would like to reward your young judoka with our “Ukemi Expert” certificate when you feel they can do the perfect Ukemi Break fall Circuit, then please download this judo resource for free here.
We have other similar resources you might like. Take a look at the Newaza Circuit certificate which helps teach young judoka the four main judo hold downs (Osae-komi), and our eight Moral Code certificates to encourage judoka to display the values of a judoka.
The Koka Kids judo resources are a free service, where you can download the artwork, and then print off to use as you wish around your Dojo. We kindly ask you don’t reproduce them, or sell them onto third parties beyond your own dojo. The objective of the resources is to help Dojos around the World promote and teach judo to juniors. This is the goal of Koka Kids.
Download our Ukemi Expert certificate here.
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