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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by hungryjoe View Post
    Craig,

    How much time would you guess your wife has total in ukemi instruction and practice? I don't usually weigh in much on judo as there are so many here far better in experience and ability. Falling down has always been the best part of my game and usually I instructed newcomers on that aspect of judo.

    For many, it is truly alien to overcome the natural tendency to tighten up when being thrown in the beginning. To relax and breath out during the throw. Once learned properly, it's good air time. If you're worried that aspect may drive your wife away from the sport, you may consider discussing the issue with your instructor.

    A good portion of properly learning a throw is feeling it as uke.

    Hoping BKR will weigh in further on the ukemi issue.

    Good luck.

    True fact (not for consumption of the wife on this topic) I seriously considered staying in California after discharge from the USMC to become a stunt man. Glad I didn't. Broken down enough already.
    My experience is that learning ukemi waza (falling method/technique) takes time and patience with a lot of adults (kids too, but, well, kids for most part are a bit more bouncy).

    A person, adult or child, who has never been very active or knocked around a bit by physical activity, will take longer to learn it.

    The key is to go slow and a step at a time. Some instructors think that you have to take learn all about falling and how to do it before you learn to throw, because it's not fair...

    I don't roll that way.
    Falling for Judo since 1980

    "You are wrong. Why? Because you move like a pregnant yak and talk like a spazzing 'I train UFC' noob." -DCS

    "The best part of getting you worked up is your backpack full of irony and lies." -It Is Fake

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  2. #22

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    FWIW, overcoming the fear of falling was the biggest challenge in learning ukemi. That fear is primal, and getting around it takes a big step forward (usually the result of some initially scary practice). It's harder than any actual physical practice, imho. It's like diving off the diving board the first couple of times. You can't hesitate or stutter you just have to go with it.

    This is a little embarrassing, but when I learned Judo I imagined hearing Obi Wan in my head..."use the force...let go...". I knew I had to stop mentally worrying about how much it was going to be uncomfortable and accept being thrown.

    I absolutely hated getting thrown the first 100 times or so, but I remember at a point it stopped being a scary experience and just happened and then I could just train.

    Last edited by Pship Destroyer; 5/16/2017 6:40pm at .

  3. #23

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    MINI UPDATE: Judo

    Thanks a bundle for the advice hungryjoe and BKR.

    Went through to Judo with my wife again yesterday (her second lesson, my third). When we got there the kids class was on and she was telling me she would just watch me (she was feeling very disheartened and apprehensive). I tried to encourage her and said let's speak to the instructor about it, but she was not wanting to for fear of upsetting him when he is still letting us do the lessons for free. I kept telling her that if he is a good instructor he will understand. I kept pushing and eventually she gave in and after the kids lesson we went together and I explained to him, listened to what he was telling her for a bit, and then left her with him so I wouldn't influence anything or be "that" husband.

    The adult lesson started and she was still sitting on the side but then the instructor call her up and she came and joined group. Rob needed to leave early and left us with his second, also a black belt. But before leaving he spoke to everyone and said we have someone who is disheartened (pointing at my wife), please take it easy on her, help her and encourage her. (My wife at first felt shy when he pointed her out but then relaxed when she heard what he said - she is from a culture where what people think of you matters a lot - which probably also adds to why she wanted to stop when she felt she was not getting anything.)

    We started with some cardio and my wife got gassed very quickly (which was kinda funny as when we arrived she was saying she will do the workout but skip the judo :-D).

    There were two other beginners and the second instructor (the main instructor having left already) spent some time with us. He took a randori stance with me. I subconsciously had my feet placed in a boxing position and he pointed it out and used it as an opportunity to teach us a foot sweep throw and then got us to practice on our own (my wife and I together and the other two beginners together). Then after a while I wanted to join in the randori so he got us all to join in the randori in sets to practice the foot sweep.

    I had been trying during the week to look into techniques for various throws for one that I could try focus on. I don't remember the name but there was a "reaping" throw where you hook your leg around the opponents leg to throw them. I'm fast with my feet so I though I would try this during the randori. The instructor complimented me on trying to advance myself and also mentioned my ukemi was good (I had spent some time during the day practicing them - but id find them hard to pull off with much larger or much smaller opponents) . The whole evening I managed to pull off only one throw, a counter but it was completely by accident and I guess you could say the guy threw himself...

    Anyways, afterwards my wife told me that she did enjoy it and felt a lot better about it and would come again next week - Though I don't know if she is just saying it to make me happy or if she really means it... But she did look like she was having fun. (I do want to practice Ukemi with her as when she was on I noticed she kept landing on her bent elbows when falling.)

    After the randori we did some warm down stretching and then the lesson was over.

    On a side note, the second instructor said something that made me cringe... When he was explaining stance to my wife, he was saying keep your chi low and you will be more difficult to throw... ARGGGG!!! I don't know if he is one of those guys who focus a lot on chi and mystical, but I know the main instructor is very sport based and never mentioins anything about chi and only focuses on technique and form and A LOT of randori.

  4. #24
    DCS's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by CraigShaw View Post
    On a side note, the second instructor said something that made me cringe... When he was explaining stance to my wife, he was saying keep your chi low and you will be more difficult to throw... ARGGGG!!!.
    Well, he is right but he chose a poor metaphor.

    Keeping the chi low is what this guy explains here


  5. #25
    BKR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigShaw View Post
    Thanks a bundle for the advice hungryjoe and BKR.

    Went through to Judo with my wife again yesterday (her second lesson, my third). When we got there the kids class was on and she was telling me she would just watch me (she was feeling very disheartened and apprehensive). I tried to encourage her and said let's speak to the instructor about it, but she was not wanting to for fear of upsetting him when he is still letting us do the lessons for free. I kept telling her that if he is a good instructor he will understand. I kept pushing and eventually she gave in and after the kids lesson we went together and I explained to him, listened to what he was telling her for a bit, and then left her with him so I wouldn't influence anything or be "that" husband.

    The adult lesson started and she was still sitting on the side but then the instructor call her up and she came and joined group. Rob needed to leave early and left us with his second, also a black belt. But before leaving he spoke to everyone and said we have someone who is disheartened (pointing at my wife), please take it easy on her, help her and encourage her. (My wife at first felt shy when he pointed her out but then relaxed when she heard what he said - she is from a culture where what people think of you matters a lot - which probably also adds to why she wanted to stop when she felt she was not getting anything.)

    We started with some cardio and my wife got gassed very quickly (which was kinda funny as when we arrived she was saying she will do the workout but skip the judo :-D).

    There were two other beginners and the second instructor (the main instructor having left already) spent some time with us. He took a randori stance with me. I subconsciously had my feet placed in a boxing position and he pointed it out and used it as an opportunity to teach us a foot sweep throw and then got us to practice on our own (my wife and I together and the other two beginners together). Then after a while I wanted to join in the randori so he got us all to join in the randori in sets to practice the foot sweep.

    I had been trying during the week to look into techniques for various throws for one that I could try focus on. I don't remember the name but there was a "reaping" throw where you hook your leg around the opponents leg to throw them. I'm fast with my feet so I though I would try this during the randori. The instructor complimented me on trying to advance myself and also mentioned my ukemi was good (I had spent some time during the day practicing them - but id find them hard to pull off with much larger or much smaller opponents) . The whole evening I managed to pull off only one throw, a counter but it was completely by accident and I guess you could say the guy threw himself...

    Anyways, afterwards my wife told me that she did enjoy it and felt a lot better about it and would come again next week - Though I don't know if she is just saying it to make me happy or if she really means it... But she did look like she was having fun. (I do want to practice Ukemi with her as when she was on I noticed she kept landing on her bent elbows when falling.)

    After the randori we did some warm down stretching and then the lesson was over.

    On a side note, the second instructor said something that made me cringe... When he was explaining stance to my wife, he was saying keep your chi low and you will be more difficult to throw... ARGGGG!!! I don't know if he is one of those guys who focus a lot on chi and mystical, but I know the main instructor is very sport based and never mentioins anything about chi and only focuses on technique and form and A LOT of randori.
    Keep your chi low is funny...

    Sounds like a decent place to do Judo. Be careful about instructing your wife on anything, though, as you are a beginner yourself.
    Falling for Judo since 1980

    "You are wrong. Why? Because you move like a pregnant yak and talk like a spazzing 'I train UFC' noob." -DCS

    "The best part of getting you worked up is your backpack full of irony and lies." -It Is Fake

    "Banning BKR is like kicking a Quokka. It's foolishness of the first order." - Raycetpfl

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by BKR View Post
    Keep your chi low is funny...
    Do you you think that keeping chi low is why he's kinda tubby? (okay. I apologize for that but I didn't want to resist...)

    Quote Originally Posted by BKR View Post
    Sounds like a decent place to do Judo. Be careful about instructing your wife on anything, though, as you are a beginner yourself.
    Thanks BKR. I definitely do think of this all the time.

    The instructor (Rob, the main guy, not the "chi" guy) did tell us previously to come early, take the crash mat and practice with each other doing ukemi and getting a feel for the throws so I don't think there is too much of a problem if we practice together at home.

    They just had us doing the ukemi straight, but I was thinking of trying to find a way that would make it easier for my wife to get more comfortable with them in stages.

    For example, an idea I had for backward Ukemi was to start in a relaxed kneeling position and simply roll over gently onto the back (keeping head tucked) on the bodies own momentum. Do this until comfortable. Then lie on back and slap hands down as if break falling and do this until comfortable. The combine the two until comfortable and then slowly raise higher in slow stages only moving on when fully comfortable.

    On a personal note, I think I'm okay with the Ukemi. I pulled them apart as much as I could from what I was shown, videos and some very old Judo books I have and tried to break them up into stages to learn them myself.

    I'm okay with all the rolls from a standing position (except for the backward roll over my left shoulder - for some reason I struggle with that one).

    With the breakfalls themselves (the slapdowns and not the rolls) - Provided there is a mat and not straight onto a hard surface, I can do them after a slight hop up from a standing position the backwards and sidewards. I can do a forward roll into a slapdown but haven't managed to get the guts together to start trying to learn the forward fall ukemi that has you land on your forearms and toes as I don't understand the physics behind how that one could actually work. How does landing on your forearms absorb the impact when you can't slap down and it's such a compact area to land on?

    I did notice that no matter how relaxed I am (and yes, I do keep my head tucked in), I get a sore neck when I fall (not the rolls). I'm not sure whether this is from something I'm not doing right or if my neck muscles are just weak (as when I do things like a fair amount of push-ups exercise my neck muscles start to hurt fairly quickly).

    Also, it wasn't mentioned by the instructor, and I find conflicting concepts when landing a fall. Do I hold my breath, breathe in or breath out. I've been breathing out as that seems the most logical to me?

    On final note, just so everyone knows, I don't rely on the information from here only. I go over it, take it with what I'm learning, try figure things out and then when I see my instructor bring points up to him. (I just see him once a week though - which is why I tend to ask things here fairly frequently even if they seem like stupid questions. Also, I think I could probably overload Rob with questions as I tend to pull every little technique or action apart to understand it. Whether that is good or bad, I really don't know...)

    Anyway, thanks guys for your continued input. Always much appreciated hearing from the Martial Arts veterans out there. :-D
    Last edited by CraigShaw; 5/19/2017 11:43am at . Reason: Edited to make some unclear sentences more clear.

  7. #27

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Apologies for double posting, but I wanted to keep this separate from my previous post.

    Was just curious. Rob said that 10 out of 100 people make it to black belt. Is this true? Not that I'm doing this for a black belt, but I do want to master it as well as I can.

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigShaw View Post
    Apologies for double posting, but I wanted to keep this separate from my previous post.

    Was just curious. Rob said that 10 out of 100 people make it to black belt. Is this true? Not that I'm doing this for a black belt, but I do want to master it as well as I can.
    My experience is more like 1 in 25 make Shodan, and about half of those drop out right then.
    The rest is a crap-shoot.

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by AcerTempest View Post
    The rest is a crap-shoot.
    Excuse my stupid, but I didn't get what you meant with that.

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigShaw View Post
    Excuse my stupid, but I didn't get what you meant with that.
    I mean that, of the students that start, about 1 in 25 almost certainly WILL make Shodan. About half of that 1 in 25 almost certainly will drop out shortly there after.
    Just about everyone else, from the other half of the ones that make Shodan, to the 24 out of 25 that likely won't even get that far, are a huge gamble trying to predict how long they will train or what ranks they might achieve. And even my 1 in 25 number is largely anecdotal in nature.
    There are NO good statistics on how many students of what martial art start and then what rank they reach. Largely because it is a question that is irrelevant in the grand scheme of the world and it would be expensive, time consuming and awkward to study. We all like to give a number to new students that makes them feel that if they reach Shodan they have achieved something, but that they CAN do it, but there are no ACTUAL stats to back up any of them. The truth is, for anyone of moderate athletic ability, reaching Shodan is mostly a matter of putting in your time, studying the material, and doing the work, but most people quit when it starts to become hard and boring.

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