An Ki-Aikido Singapore article from way back when.
To some people, this might sound easy. Especially for those who are more energetic and agile, isn't a problem. But for those who have not been doing "stunts" like this especially the last time they did a somersault or roll was in their childhood times, doing a simple roll would probably take them five minutes.
To some people, this might sound easy. Especially for those who are more energetic and agile, rolling* [*CI's Comments - 251101] isn't a problem. But for those who have not been doing "stunts" like this especially the last time they did a somersault or roll was in their childhood times, doing a simple roll would probably take them five minutes.
Sounds exaggerating? Not for those who tried to do it on Thursday (27 Sep 2001). It is not the roll that puts them off but rather it is the picking up of courage to make the first roll that scares them.
I was one of them and it took me quite some time before I convinced myself to do the first roll. I'm not really of age but still it does scare me to do something that was "not a problem" to me when I was a kid. I could even do a somersault with no hands to support me then. But now, it would probably take me three to five minutes before I convince myself to do either a front or back roll. Especially when I have not been practicing for a while, I would still hesitate for a moment before I pick up the courage to do it.
It's not difficult to do a roll but to do a "correct" roll with ki and control, that is not easy and it takes a lot of practice. Most of the time, I have this tendency of slamming myself whenever I do a roll. My problem? I probably did not curve up enough and the other problem is I'm afraid. What am I afraid of? Pain of course and also I'm worried about looking like a bear when I roll. Then again, I think a bear can roll well than me. If you've seen a bear doing a roll, you'll notice that it does curve up while rolling. And don't think that once you are able to do a proper roll, you'll be able to it all the time. Chances are you might not be able to do the right one again without constant practice.
A word of caution here - for those who have problems doing a roll (like me), please do not try to do it at home - one of the reasons is we might injure ourselves during the practice and the other, we might do the wrong thing and eventually the wrong way of rolling becomes a habit which will be difficult to change.
If you need to practice your rolling (for those who have just joined us), do come to the dojo earlier. Our instructors and seniors will be there to guide us along but the most important thing to do now is to break through the barrier of fear first. Once you get yourself to make the first move, the rest will come much easier. And who knows, one day our ability to roll might even save our life.
Dated 25th Nov'01 - Alice Chng, 3rd Kyu
CI's Comments - 251101 ∞
Ukemi (The Art of Rolling)
Rubber Band Concept
Rolling is a telling exercise dear to those who appreciate the beautiful power of natural flow.
During the roll, we slide down casually with the gravitational pull.
Then, springing up with the centrifugal force, we offer yet another "attack".
This routine is for the benefit of our partner to revise his Ki-Aikido art. We are helping him.
One person learns Ki-Aikido art; the other partner practices how to "attack", follow and roll.
By the way, have you tried playing with a rubber band? You should try it!
On the one hand, there is a tendency to take for granted at the way that we manipulate the rubber band in our hands.
Often, we adopt this same attitude when we lead our partner and "throw" him.
However, you may want to marvel at the versatility in which the rubber band stretches at your fancy and yet remain intact.
This is what your "attacking" partner should be doing, like a rubber band flexing itself.
As you play on with the rubber band, it gets more pliable to suit your manipulations. The rubber band actually becomes softer and more comfortable on your fingers!
An understanding Nage should therefore strive to make the partner comfortable with him in the same way. Then, he has become the rubber band! His Ukemi will improve correctly.
So, think about it when you are practicing the Ukemi. Ask your partner whether he enjoys practicing with you. If it is negative, chances are you have failed to be a rubber band.
Be patient, as you are human after all. Stiffened by tensions, you need to gradually learn how to relax completely in order to regain the characteristics of a rubber band.
Remember, as a baby, we had this ability.
Practice the Ki workouts conscientiously. It only needs perseverance.
Enjoy practicing the Ki-Aikido arts regularly with your partner. Be patient.
When your power is similar to a stretched rubber band that stings when released, you are beginning to get the gist of it. Therein lies the power of your Ki-Aikido and Ukemi as well.
Dated 25th Nov'01 - CI's comments