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ENTERTAINMENT MARTIAL-ARTS Judo Basics - The Art of Falling

Judo Basics - The Art of Falling

By: Desmond McKay | Mar 30 2010 | 527 words | 1602 hits

When Dr. Jigoro Kano developed judo from its original martial art form, he wanted something more than skill in technique. He theorized that what was needed was a blend of the finer techniques of jujitsu with a form of mental training or philosophy as its driving force. Do or "the way" therefore came to signify the mental training that the judoist needs in order to make practical use of the judo philosophy in personal contacts, daily experiences, and career relations. In other words, judo basics involve the maximum efficient use of mental and physical energy.

This is no more evident than in the special facet of judo called ukemi - the art of falling. In judo the method of falling is an art in itself. Mastery of ukemi, or the art of falling, is essential not only for the execution of free and quick movements but also for the prevention of injury when you are thrown. Thus ukemi is the first technique for you to learn and master.

The key point of ukemi is to make your upper and lower extremities strike the mat simultaneously just before your trunk makes contact. You can then utilize your shoulder, thigh, and knee joints as shock-absorbing. If you succeed in doing so, you can break your fall by dissipating the impulsive force.

In mastering ukemi you first learn how to strike the mat with both your arms and hands to prevent your head from hitting it when you fall backwards. The arms should be straight and make an angle of about 45 degrees with the trunk. Strike the mat as vigorously as possible with both arms and hands.

For the next step in judo basics you must learn to make one arm and hand strike the mat sideways to the left. The left hand and arm strike the mat toward the left. Then you must suddenly drop them on the mat and make them strike simultaneously and as strongly as possible. Repeat the practice alternately right and left in daily workouts.

Next learn to make one arm and one hand, one leg and one foot, and the sole of the other foot strike the mat simultaneously as you fall. After you have learned these ways of striking the mat, you advance further to the practice of the forward roll.

Here your arms and feet strike the mat as your body rolls forward in a motion like that of a somersault. Be sure that the hand which serves as a fulcrum is placed on the mat turned in at an angle of about 45 degrees so that you can roll over the bent elbow in such a way as to prevent injury.

In the next step in judo basics you advance your right foot forward a little, then put your right hand on the mat turned in. Push the mat with your left leg, and your body will roll forward, completing a forward somersault. Your right elbow, shoulder, trunk, right side of the waist, outside of the left leg and foot, and sole of the right foot touch the mat in this consecutive order.To be perfectly safe in practicing judo make sure you have a thorough knowledge of ukemi.

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