Oct 03 2008

Teachers and Students, don’t Skimp out on Ukemi

Published by at 2:58 pm under Bujinkan Training Drills

After training in the Bujinkan for a month or two it’s time to get serious.  Now calm down everyone before you loose it on me and tell me your serious.  You’re at a 10 you need to be at a 2.

After 2 months of training, you should have your basic ukemi  (front roll, back roll side roll) to a point where you can safely perform them on the mats.  You should be able to punch, front kick and uke nagashi.

Once you can do all of this, it’s time to learn to receive.  Pain is part of the martial arts, if you can’t take a bit of pain you will never be able to effectively fight with your life on the line.

1.  Take ukemi when you are forced to go.

Let me stress that this has to be done at slow speeds to start.  This applies to taking hits as well as locks.  You must not anticipate what is going to happen you just must have your body react in such a way to protect itself when the technique does happen.  In a fight if you are taking ukemi you are in a bad spot.  You don’t want to take ukemi so this becomes doubly so if the technique that is being applied on you is not working.  This also helps your partner know that the technique is actually working and gives them an idea of what it will feel to perform this technique against the majority of the population which does not have Bujinkan ukemi.

2.  Do not anticipate hits.

Often when I am doing a technique and a student cringes in anticipation of the hit I call them a coward.  This of course is a joke, also passing on the pain of being called a ‘Girl Scout’ by a friend of mine for doing the same thing (Pratt I have your cookies right here, anytime you want to come friend).  Unless you can keep relaxed and attack without trying to anticipate you will not be able to learn to take hits on the fly.  You never know how your opponent will attack so you must be ready allowing your body to naturally and effectively receive the hit.

3.  Do not latch on during throws.

I know I shouldn’t be, but I am proud of my harai nage.  Even against those who have done arts with throws I have been able to do this throw in combination with ryu otoshi concepts to devastating effectiveness.  Now that I am done bragging, the reason I mention this is it’s difficult to hang on.  If you are taking a good nage which took proper kazushi the throw will happen before you have time to think.  Holding on to soften your fall is not an option.  Because of this you have to man up (or women up for Tracey, Natasha and Trish) and take ukemi.

4.  Don’t be a teacher.

I try my best to adhere to this principal but it’s difficult.  Not being a teacher is first doing a demonstration then having someone you feel is able to do the technique perform it on you.  I am a firm believer that if you don’t throw yourself in the mix you will destroy your learning.  Your skills will get stagnant, your ukemi will get rusty and if you find yourself at the wrong side of a technique you will get hurt.  Never loose that student feeling.

One response so far

One Response to “Teachers and Students, don’t Skimp out on Ukemi”

  1. Brianon 10 Oct 2008 at 12:27 pm

    Great stuff…. We definetly all need to keep this in mind, regardless of when, where, or at what level we are training at. A lot of this goes with out saying, however It is also readily over looked.

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