Intro to Ukemi: Basic Martial Arts Falls
Are you a beginner? Considering martial arts training?
You’ll learn the basics first, which include stances, punches, and falling correctly.
The art of falling in martial arts is called ukemi and there are many types of falls.
When falling, it’s important to prevent a head injury. To prevent injury, keep your chin tucked to your chest and focus on something in front of you, like your belt knot. If your eyes are unfocused, you might rock your head during the fall. As soon as your back hits the mat, slap the mat with your arms from shoulder to fingertip. Keep your arms positioned in a “v” shape when you do this rather than holding your arms out straight like a plus sign. When your arms are straight, your head tends to go back. Keep your legs uniform as one unit.
Two-Hand Back Fall: This fall utilizes all the basics. From a sitting position, keep your arms outstretched and keep your legs straight and together. Then, lean back while lifting your legs into the air, and as soon as your back hits the mat, slap with both hands and come back down to the sitting position.
With these same principles, you can do one-handed back falls and side to side falls.
Standing Back Fall: When you fall standing up, you don’t want to fall straight like a tree. You could land on your head or fall with more force than necessary. You want to try to sit as much as possible during the fall so you don’t fall as far. To practice, stand with your arms straight in front of you. Bend your knees as if you’re trying to sit on your heels and fall backward. Once your back hits the mat, slap.
Forward Rolls: To forward roll, you’ll need to take a wide stance and really bend your knees - the closer to the floor, the better. Put one foot slightly forward, then make a wheel with your arms pointing toward the ground. By wheel, we mean your arms and upper back should feel circular. If your left foot is forward, your left hand should be forward. Set the wheel, look back to tuck your head, roll over your shoulders, and slap with your hands and feet.
If you want to learn more advanced falls, watch our ukemi video!
Safe, Systematic Instruction! Martial Arts in Ann Arbor
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