Here we now move on to ukemi from the horizontal plane in 8th kyu to ukemi in the vertical plane. Ukemi exists in more than two and even three dimensions.
Ryu Sui “Flowing Water”
This is receiving ukemi as you and your training partner are locked together in kumiuchi. As you both fall you are flowing around their body like water so it does not crush you as you both land on the ground. Use your training partner like a giant soft pillow.
Shiho Tenchi Tobi “Leaping In All Directions Heaven & Earth”
Leaping in all directions is another way to clear your body out of the way of an attack. Leaping is faster than just stepping and is quicker then running for covering a burst of distance. Just like rolling, one practices leaping up, down, left, right, forward, and back. When leaping use your knees to absorb the impact of landing and keep your weight centered so you don’t slip or shift on landing. Develop the ability to leap in different directions and stop on a dime in balance. Practice the different rolls after leaping.
Shoten No Jutsu “Running Up To Heaven”
This is the ability to run up a vertical surface. Beyond the practical ability to run up walls and fences without slowing down it offers a unique training method to control the force of direction in your body on a moment’s notice. In shoten no jutsu you run at the vertical object and then at the moment of impact switch your momentum from horizontal to vertical propelling you up the surface. In practice, for the first few dozen times be sure to go extra slow as you will still probably be smashing into the wall not having the change of direction down pat yet. In training start with a surface that is not 90 degrees vertical. Practice with objects at a slight incline and slowly work your way up in height.
Running up a vertical surface is also about understanding the nature of ukemi as you fall back to the ground. What happens when you reach the top of the object? You have to get down from the other side, using ukemi to lessen the impact of landing. Practice landing and rolling in the different directions after shoten no jutsu.