So recently in my own training I have been revisiting ukemi- rolling, landing, leaping, and receiving attacks. Not that I haven’t been practicing them all along as a crucial skill in the martial arts, as they are, and should always be on your practice list regardless of rank or time in training, but when I say revisit, them I mean approach them from a fresh perspective.
While the ‘arts are about repetition and day in and day out training, we have to be mindful about getting trapped into one way of doing things- we need to be mindful and keep exploring beyond the basics with the basics.
With that in revisiting ukemi I have been using by linking ukemi to stretching- using ukemi as a way to self diagnose my body. I begin my daily training with stretching of course, paying attention to my joints and then once I’m warmed up and ready to go I practice ukemi very slowly- think yoga.
Then once I’m done practicing ukemi I stop and stand up and “listen” to my body.
What areas feel sore?
Are my shoulders tight?
How does my back feel?
I then do some more stretching to address these areas and then next time I practice ukemi try to focus on these trouble spots.