Ukemi is an important part of our practice and within every class it is a skill we drill, review, and practice. On a training class/learning level it allows us to learn the martial arts by having techniques applies to us so we can experience them- you get thrown with koshi nage and can flip over, and land without getting hurt. On a self defense level (goshinjutsu) ukemi allows one to adapt and respond to situations outside of the dojo.
We all come to the martial arts with different levels of ability, and through the martial arts we rise up to a new level of ability. Ukemi (rolling) can be very challenging at first as it is something that we don’t naturally encounter in our lives.
It can be a bit intimidating to roll over, especially performing a back roll as there is a often a blind spot when rolling. One of the ways to get over this challenge and become more familiar with ukemi is to start lower to the ground.
We normally perform them standing, but one can equally practice them kneeling or even sitting on the ground so there is less “scary” distance to cover.
Start small and slow, and build up from there.