Ways to Learn/Practice Ukemi rolls

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussion' started by Talisker, Feb 1, 2022.

  1. Talisker

    Talisker New Member

    Hi, I was hoping someone who may have been in a similar situation could offer some help.

    But I have recently taken up both Japanese and Brazilian Jui Jitsu and for both you need to do Ukemi shoulder rolls.

    I am very nervous about doing them and the mats in the class are these thin 2cm depth hard Judo matts. And as a result I am nervous about even trying it on such a matt as if I get it wrong I feel I could damage my shoulder, back or neck.

    I can do them from kneeling but not from standing. And definitely not the jumping summersault based ukemi rolls they expect you to soon do

    I was really wanting to try this on a crash/bouldering matt but looking for them for sale online they are £200-£300 for a 20cm crash matt which is insane for something I want to use to simply learn the basics of Ukemi with for a few hours.

    Therefore I had an idea of maybe going to a pay as you go Adults freestyle Parkour/Gymnastics centre to try this as this is effectively Parkour/Gymnastics type thing I am trying to learn just so I could get access to a crash mat to learn these on. But most gymnastic schools on looking seem to be for children only and others don't seem to just have a crash mat which is all I need.

    Does anyone know of anywhere in the North East of England that I could try? As I say just a couple of hours access to a 20cm crash matt is all I need to get my confidence up before moving to the 2cm hard mats in the classes to even try it.

    How did anyone else get past the daunting feeling of ukemi as if you are not young there is a big fear factor feeling to even attempting them?
  2. Mangosteen

    Mangosteen Hold strong not

    The technique is the same as kneeling, tuck your head and go over on your shoulders.
    Turn up early to class and spend a couple minutes practicing.
    Ask your coach also and get comfortable with ALL the ukemi drills. Proper coaching will do better for your confidence than lone practice
  3. Talisker

    Talisker New Member

    Like I say just to get my confidence up I would like to try it on an actual crash mat first. Is there any ideas on how to do this?
  4. Mangosteen

    Mangosteen Hold strong not

    Do you have a YouTube example of the ukemi you're talking about?
  5. Talisker

    Talisker New Member

    Yes this is it. The two I am nervous about wanting to try with a crash mat is the one at 47 seconds and the second type at 1min 41 seconds. These are the two we do in class.

    Last edited: Feb 1, 2022
    axelb likes this.
  6. Mangosteen

    Mangosteen Hold strong not

    1:41 is quite a leap (excuse the pun) from 0:47
    But 0:47 you can start with a very low standing shoulder roll e.g. from the staggered standing position, tuck your head and get the shoulder as close to the ground as possible, it'll make you naturally roll.

    Id suggest not using a crash mat - the height and lack of spring on a crash may means you'll likely land at a strange mid point before you should be completing the roll.
    axelb likes this.
  7. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    Start kneeling, then one leg up half kneeling, then a low squat, then a lunge, then a small lunge, them standing, them walking, then running, them jumping.

    Slowly bit by bit, and the most important ones are the kneeling ones anyway!
    Mangosteen and axelb like this.
  8. Aegis

    Aegis River Guardian Admin Supporter

    I'd agree that crash mats are unlikely to help. If you can do it from kneeling, then start practicing with the back knee slightly off the mat. It won't make much difference, but you will have performed a standing roll, albeit a very low one. Keep working at it, raising the back knee a little more when you get comfortable with the roll.

    While you do this, get more and more comfortable with breakfalls from throws. As you get more practice at these, you'll get more comfortable at falling in general and will toughen up your body in ways that make the more advanced falls easier.

    When you want to start learning how to leap over things, use a person as an obstacle. Start with them lying down as low as possible, and start extending the arms over them while keeping your eyes up (it helps to pick a point on a far wall), and then start having them move from lying flat to a stone, from a stone to all fours, then build from there.

    Of course, make sure you do everything under the watchful eye of an instructor, but believe me, the falling will become second nature with time!
    Anth and Mangosteen like this.

Share This Page