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Aikido Ukemi Clinic – how to do a proper forward roll

Aikido Ukemi Clinic – how to do a proper forward roll

November 16, 2011 @ 2:23 pm
by Flo Li


Most students have trouble with ukemi – especially when it comes to the forward roll. Some smaller children tend to put their head down to support their body. A few older kids do not maintain the strength in their body to remain round throughout the roll. Adults tend to deal with fears of “falling” might contract the body and can end up injuring themselves.

We have published as few helpful hints and videos to help you safely practice the forward roll –


1. you can swing your front arm over your head to initiate the circling movement of the body toward the mat;

2. make contact with the outer edge of your front hand with ample strength that feels like you are pushing into the mat (it is also helpful to make a fist);

3. push with your back foot then push with your front foot to follow the circle;

4. use your core to remain circular throughout the roll in a continuous manner and do not let go the power from your abs until you are back on both feet again;

5. land with a straight back leg and walk out of the roll with focus.

Parents familiar with aikido can also help their children to practice the forward roll at home on a soft surface as shown in this instructional video below.


Another wonderful resource via “Aikido From the Inside Out” explains ukemi is not passive but an active endeavor. http://www.designeq.com/deq/aikido/insideout/ukemi.html

We have open mat time from 7:10pm to 7:30pm for anyone who wishes to practice. And please let us know how we can help.

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