Ukemi taihenjutsu is the first section of our training in the ten chi jin ryaku no maki- THE collection and outline of skills needed to navigate the movement and philosophy of the Bujinkan dojo.
The ability to "receive" an attack, blend with it, change with it, direct the momentum so you are not hurt is key- not only as a way not to get hurt, but later in training to be able to really feel and experience a technique without having to worry about getting hurt.
This type of heart-to-heart training (shinden) is needed to really understand what the Bujinkan methods are, otherwise without this component they are just martial arts "techniques".
For now we start with rolling and breakfalls.
Forward, side, back, dropping, lifting, and flowing.
Start simple and slow as for many of us these rolling techniques are new. It's not so much that they are hard to learn, but rather they are out of the cope of our daily lives so it takes some getting used to.
Outside of the martial arts, or if you don't practice the martial arts, when was the last time you tumbled around on the ground, or from a standing position dropped flat to the ground?
As we become more confident at landing on the ground, the drills shift from being able to do it with two hands, one hand, and no hands. Different directions, and leaping lead to "happo"- all directions.
We are aiming to be able to take ukemi from any direction and situation as fluid and relaxed as possible.