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  1. Aikironin21 is offline

    Registered Member

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    California
    Posts
    232

    Posted On:
    9/29/2011 1:44pm


     Style: Aikido, Kajukembo

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Take Ukemi Seriously

    When I started in Kajukenbo around age eight, I had a friend who was going to take it with me. He quit after the first class, because "all we did was exercise stretch and take falls for most of the class." This was true, as it was the beginning of the session and everyone there was a new student. We did technique, but the emphasis was on conditioning and falling. My friend went on to TKD because they "actually learned to fight".

    Fast forward:

    It's been almost a year since I have had to use any of my martial training on the job, and at least fifteen to twenty since I had any kind of confrontation on the streets. Well, this morning, I was being a good husband and catching up on some of the chores around the property, since the Mrs. has some friends coming over this evening socially. Some of the trees have grown down over the drive way, so there I was, with my chainsaw clearing them out.

    I knew better than to stand on the very top of the ladder, but my zeal over took me as I had just one branch left to cut. I stretched up with the chainsaw and lopped the final branch off. As the chain stopped spinning, I looked around to see if I needed to cut any more, while I was up there. Apparently, that was enough for the ladder to catastrophically fail underneath me.

    In a twisting motion the ladder collapsed and I started to fall straight down on top of it, with a running chainsaw. Instinctively, I kicked my feet out in front of me, and brought the chainsaw in turning it off on the way down. I must have looked like a hedgehog on the way down curled around the chainsaw. The only thought going through my mind was, what part of the ladder am i going to come down on. Images of my dad breaking his back on some steps atop a building as a yard gunner, and a possible broken ladder step piercing my torso flashed in my mind. As I felt my back come in contact I uncurled and spread the impact force over as much area as I could.

    My landing area was less than desirable. A combination of crumpled ladder and the few 2 1/2" to 3" branches I just cut. As hit I let out a hardy Kiai in the form of FnCK! The failed ladder brace cut my left elbow and my left shoulder is a little sore now, I believe due to controlling the chainsaw on impact along with the uneven surface of the twisted ladder and branches.

    After impact, I took an inventory and was happy no sharp shards of ladder had become impaled within me. I had my breath, protected my head, I was ok. I got up, discovered my chainsaw handle broke, and went on my way removing my downed branches before the initial shock of any possible injury could wear off and my wife would be left with these big branches blocking access to her party. I threw the branches over my fence to my neighbors goats, and proceeded to mow my lawns.

    All I have to say, is I attribute my ability to come out of this situation uninjured to my love of Ukemi. I know it's a total Aikibunny way of looking at it, but it's not everyday you fall from about seven feet, with a running chainsaw in hand and just pop back up. I think I am here BSing on the internet instead of sitting in the ER, because of regular Ukemi practice.
  2. DubhGhaill is offline

    Registered Member

    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Santa Barbara
    Posts
    266

    Posted On:
    9/29/2011 1:57pm


     Style: MMA/JKD

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I once jumped over a six foot high wall, drunk, failing to remember that there was a twelve foot drop on the other side. I attributed my survival, completely unharmed, to the combination of classical Jujutsu and Army Parachute School (though being totally relaxed may also have had something to do with it).
  3. doofaloofa is offline

    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Wesht Cark
    Posts
    1,575

    Posted On:
    9/29/2011 2:00pm


     Style: mma

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Glad your not dead
    Your story high lights the importance of break falls and the folly of using a chainsaw(or any power tool for that matter) up a ladder
  4. Azatdawn is offline

    Registered Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Lower Franconia
    Posts
    975

    Posted On:
    9/29/2011 2:00pm


     Style: Thaiboxing; MMA nb

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Honestly, if I were you, I'd attribute getting out of this unscathed to being lucky and be more careful next time.
    Last edited by Azatdawn; 9/29/2011 2:07pm at .
  5. realjanuary is offline

    Registered Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    282

    Posted On:
    9/29/2011 2:14pm


     Style: Aikido, bits of jits

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Glad you're ok aikironin. Hope you got a little tenderness from the Mrs. instead of "you broke the ladder AND the chainsaw? "

    I've been known to roll on the road just for fun when I'm drunk.

    I heard of an aikidoka that was squatting down to fix his bike. He didn't see the group coming up to him, or the one that kicked him in the face. He did a back roll and came up to see the surprised gang who thought they'd have a victim lying on the ground under their feet instead of standing up looking at them from a few feet away. I think he ran away after that.

    I was coming back from an exam and was a little stressed out. I tried to vault a hand rail but didn't compensate for the weight of the bag of books on my back or heavy shoes I was wearing, I caught my toes on the way over. A basic front flat breakfall saved me from a trip to the dentist.
  6. WhiteShark is offline
    WhiteShark's Avatar

    1% Shark is better than you.

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Atlanta GA
    Posts
    9,179

    Posted On:
    9/29/2011 2:24pm

    supporting memberforum leaderstaff
     Style: BJJ/Shidokan

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Break falls rule. It is the main reason my son's first MA experience is likely to be judo kids classes. Rolling out of falls have saved me a ton of times especially from falling off of my mountain bike.
  7. Oonjuk is offline

    Registered Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Boston, US
    Posts
    90

    Posted On:
    9/29/2011 2:37pm


     Style: Taekkyon/Judo/Boxing

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I am glad to hear you didn't get chainsawed or break your neck.

    I cannot count how many times ukemi prevented broken hip bones during winter time.

    And I think I might change my kiai to "Fnck" too.
  8. SCInferno is offline

    Registered Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Shenandoah, VA, USA
    Posts
    127

    Posted On:
    9/29/2011 3:07pm


     Style: Kickboxing

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Well I'm glad I did Judo for like a week.
  9. realjanuary is offline

    Registered Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    282

    Posted On:
    9/29/2011 3:13pm


     Style: Aikido, bits of jits

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    moar ukemi stories!
  10. BearHammer is offline

    Lightweight

    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Northern VA
    Posts
    119

    Posted On:
    9/29/2011 3:42pm

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: Judo, MT, KM

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    nice story. Wish I had known ukemi when I was 14; fell off a skateboard and down a steep ass road for about twenty feet on my elbows. Although my elbow strikes might not cut so good today lol.

    on another note, now I'm curious about your friend who went on to do TKD. Did he stick with it? Did he learn to fight? Has he fallen off of a ladder or mountain with less than desired results?!
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