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Thread: Angle of arm on ukemi

  1. #1
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    Default Angle of arm on ukemi

    Hi Everyone,
    I was training with another group recently and showed up for ukemi night. The teacher wanted the slapping arm at an angle close to body. I have usually slapped 90 degrees to body. He said that wide angles can cause dislocated shoulders. I went back and looked through some books and saw a lot of 90 slaps. Any thoughts? Not limited to judo folks, in fact this was a karate dojo but I know judo does a lot of ukemi.
    Thanks,
    Len

  2. #2
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    If the purpose of "slapping" the mat is to lessen the force of impact on the body (For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.), then the angle from the body best at absorbing impact would depend on the direction of the fall. If you're going feet over head, then slapping with the arm alongside the body would make sense; but if you're rolling side-to-side, extending the arm out from the body would provide the longest moment-arm.

    As far as dislocated shoulders, I think the timing of the slap would be more important than the specific angle.
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

  3. #3
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    Classically the arm, and the thigh on the same side, are about 30-45 from your torso.

    There are very practical reasons for this.

    Such a strike is always short, quick and down. You never have to think about the direction of the fall, as it is always down, downward toward your midsection.

    Try it yourself, just lying on your back. Hands roughly above your midsection, drop them down to slap 30-45 from your torso, then 90, then 135 or so.

    As the angle increases, the distance greatly increases, and the arm is rotated so that your elbow is exposed and subject to injury, then your shoulder joint is stressed a lot more.

    Different angles, different timing mean that you have to time and think about it.
    Same angle every time, no thinking, just ukemi.

    If you're stretched out and think that you need to reach above your head, perhaps time to think about tucking and rolling in that direction.
    Last edited by Lance Gatling; 1st January 2018 at 01:28.
    Lance Gatling ガトリング
    Tokyo 東京

    Long as we're making up titles, call me 'The Duke of Earl'

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  5. #4
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    I've never seen or heard of 90 degrees. As Lance said, around 45 is common. The slap is the least important part of the ukemi anyway.
    Neil Gendzwill
    Saskatoon Kendo Club

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    Quote Originally Posted by gendzwil View Post
    I've never seen or heard of 90 degrees. As Lance said, around 45 is common. The slap is the least important part of the ukemi anyway.
    I can show you a whole raft of throws where your feet aren't going to help!
    Lance Gatling ガトリング
    Tokyo 東京

    Long as we're making up titles, call me 'The Duke of Earl'

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