Ukemi- specifically rolling is an important part of our class.
Often at the start of the class as a skill to practice, a way to warm up, and a chance to see the pace of the class and the students for the morning.
This past class we went to the very start of the line- the very first and most basic form of ukemi.
Rolling from a seated position- in this case from seiza, but if that position is still new to the student, sitting on the ground is fine.
Starting so close to the ground allows us to begin learning nature movement with the minimal amount of disruption.
Falling on the ground, hitting the ground, is not a natural feeling for most people, so it creates tension, fear, and the body adapts in the wrong ways.
Being able to start on the ground helps to remove this fear- one is already on the ground so no need to worry about the landing.
Being able to roll in a relaxed manner with no tension, while breathing naturally the entire time.
After sitting comes kneeling, and after kneeling comes standing, after standing comes leaping.