“Secrets of Ukemi” by Gregor Erdmann

“The secrets of ukemi are in its name. ‘ukemi’ is Japanese for ‘to receive’ and in Aikido it its the uke’s (person taking a fall) task to receive an attack.

It saddens me when I see or feel uke from even senior belts who are missing the basic understanding of this. Poor ukemi is a reflection of a lack of understanding with the basic principles of aikido.”

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  1. A couple thoughts. First, Jimmy Friedman of the Suginami dojo might be the most prominent source for a very good unified system of ukemi. I teach it, but have few students.

    Next, ukemi is the wellspring of countermeasures.

    Third, ukemi is not just for the dojo. Once in a while do some rolls on concrete. Aikido ukemi has probably saved my skin more frequently than nage waza.

    …and, ukemi and nage waza form a continuum similar to “energy fighting” in aircraft combat. Don’t stick around to “dogfight”. Ukemi gives you a chance to extend your range and build up some potential (kinetic) energy between you and your partner or opponent. Neither take the hit, nor block it – make distance.

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