Ukemi and More Ukemi

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Ukemi and More Ukemi!


I have written before about the value of ukemi in terms of the practice side of Bushin Ryu. If the attack is insincere or poorly executed, we are giving our training partners very little to work with. And unlike most every other martial art out there, we cannot rise above the skill of our best partners. If we do not invest in our ukemi to improve their skill, and vice versa, then our training will have hit a celling. But what about outside the dojo? Is there a practical use for ukemi?

To answer that, just ask yourself, “Does everything in life go exactly as you plan?” I’m guessing you answered in the negative. We learn to fall down well (the art of ukemi) in recognition of the fact that things seldom work out as planned. Something as simple as tripping and falling in a parking lot can do quite a lot of damage if we have not trained ourselves to fall well.

The need to fall without injury in a physical altercation should go without saying. If something happens that causes the student of Bushin Ryu to be thrown, lose their center and balance, or the like, quick recovery from that position is a life-or-death matter.

This leads me to a second point. After you fall, put yourself in an alert position to quickly get up! It’s no good to lie there like a sack of potatoes that has just fallen off the counter. Even if you managed to escape injury from the event that put you there, you can be sure that you WILL meet with injury if you lie there unprepared for what might come next. Your investment of time an energy in ukemi is an integral part of your Bushin Ryu training.

Keep working on ukemi!

See you on the mat!

Breathe In Martial ArtsAbout the Author – Jim Lehrer, Renshi: Renshi is a martial artist, business executive, Zen practitioner, and general Japanophile. He has studied numerous martial arts over the years, but found his true love in Bushin Ryu Aiki Bujutsu and holds the rank of 2nd Degree Black Belt. When not in the dojo he can be found (actually, would prefer not to be found) in silent retreat or at home with his wife and their three dogs.

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