I need advice on front roll

Discussion in 'Aikido' started by charyuop, Dec 10, 2006.

  1. charyuop

    charyuop Black Belt

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    It's been a couple of times now that I have been practicing front rolls (for now from kneeling). Last time Senpai told me that I do them right, but still when I do them I feel a sharp pain to outside/back part of the my shoulders. Senpai watched me closely and said he can't figure out why since I roll correctly. I haven't done somersaults since I was 12 and even thinking doing a front roll from standing scares me to death considering I feel pain from kneeling.

    Knowing that it is hard without seeing me, does anyone have an idea why I might feel pain?

    Dang, I love Aikido, but I hate Ukemi. Even the back rolls give me a heck of a time, can't do a complete roll, I stop at half way, my body won't go all the way...sigh...it would suck if I had to quit Aikido because I can't do Ukemi...
     
  2. dubljay

    dubljay Master of Arts

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    This is coming from someone that has no experience with Aikido, so take what I say with a grain of salt. It sounds to me like it's not an issue of incorrect form, but a lack of flexibility. Make sure you're well stretched before class, not just legs, but arms, neck, back; get a partner to help you if need be. The reason I suspect it's a flexibility issue is you said that you can't complete a back roll (not an easy task anyway). The next time I see my sister hopefully I'll remember to ask her for some good stretches for the upper and lower back. (she's a kinesiology (sports trainer) major). In the mean time, be sure you're fully warmed up, and ask your instructor for advice on stretching your back.
     
  3. marlon

    marlon Master Black Belt

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    Make sure you are followingthe path of your elbow. A common mistake is to try and roll forwards when your elbow is pointing to the side. Everything else may be correct but the direction of your motion may be off. Hope this helps. But if your sempai cannot help then ask your instructor...this way sempai can learn something also.

    Marlon
     
  4. morph4me

    morph4me Goin' with the flow

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    Ask your sensei to look at your rolls, and explain why. It's hard to say without being able to see it, but it sounds to me like you may be allowing your arm to collapse, resulting in you droping straight down on your shoulder instead of rolling over it. Keep your your arm in position, elbow forward, fingertips toward your knee, until you are upright, and make sure you are giving yourself enough forward momentum, don't push straight up with your rear leg, push slightly forward.
     
  5. bignick

    bignick Senior Master

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    This was my thought as well. Make sure you're not jamming your shoulder on the mat...
     
  6. theletch1

    theletch1 Grandmaster

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    My first thought as well. Remember that a front roll is also called a "wheel" roll by some folks. There's a reason for that. Your arm, from the tips of your fingers all the way to your hip are making a big wheel. If you are not making your leading arm an unbendable arm then you will collapse it and have a "flat" spot in the wheel. Problems from a flat spot can be as benign as torturing your shoulder to as serious as jamming the top of your head into the mat. Make sure to keep your head against your forward shoulder and keep your eyes on your toes as you go over. Add that to making your forward arm unbendable and your roll should improve.
     
  7. charyuop

    charyuop Black Belt

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    Thanx everyone. I will try to pay attention more carefully to my movements and compare them to your suggestions.
    I will ask Sensei for his help when he comes back (he'll be away 2 weeks for work and Senpai is teaching class now).
     
  8. Monadnock

    Monadnock 2nd Black Belt

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    If you are feeling pain, you may have an injury from previous rolls or activity. The sharp pain at the rotary cuff is probably from taking a hard roll incorrectly, or your joints are just not used to feeling pressure in the area/direction a front roll places them in. The average Joe's arms usuallky hang by their sides, unless their lifting something like groveries. Not many people put pressure on their shoulders from upside-down ;)

    I've had the sme experience before, and it was from training on very hard surfaces. I would advise to take it slowly, and give your body time to adjust to these new feelings and excercises. It took a while for me to start feeling 100% again.

    Good luck,
    Mike
     
  9. morph4me

    morph4me Goin' with the flow

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    Let us know how it works out
     
  10. charyuop

    charyuop Black Belt

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    Yesterday I made one roll that didn't hurt at all, but only one. So I might exclude problems of flexibility or stiff shoulder. I might be doing something wrong that neither I or Senpai can point out.
    I think I will wait for Sensei to come back from his trip and ask him to watch me and help me out. He can tell wrong movement in techniques even if just few inches, I am sure he will be able to figure out what I do wrong.
     
  11. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Good luck and remember to relax while rolling.
     
  12. charyuop

    charyuop Black Belt

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    Well, mistery solved. I might have an inside "hidden", since I am doing it without realizing, fear of rolling past my head. Instead of rolling past my head I tend to roll more on the side thus push on the shoulder so that it goes in an unnutural position.
    I have been practicing at home (hard wood floor ouch hee hee) and on my right side I can feel a difference, on my left side still have many problems....but I guess we all have one side that gives more problems in doing things.
    I realized the hidden fear when they point out my problem in rolling and tried to do it correctly. The being concious of actually having to stop rolling on the side, but instead tuck head in and roll past it made (and still makes on the left side) hesitate alot in the preparation of the roll.
    Now I have a little sore behind my shoulder, near the shoulder blade, but I guess I just need to build some muscles for a movement that I have never done, it is not the sharp pain I was suffering before.

    Weird thing is, when I was teenager I used to jump from my bed to my parents bed and land with a roll....would have never imagined that in 20 years of distance from then I could develope a fear in rolling on my head.

    Well I guess solved the problem all is left is work on it...hard wood floor here I come...ouch hee hee.

    (Thanx to everyone for your help).
     
  13. morph4me

    morph4me Goin' with the flow

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    I'm glad you figured it out, I would hold off on the hardwood floor until you get comfortable doing it on the mat, hardwood is less forgiving, especially with a sore shoulder. In no time at all you'll forget that you ever had a problem, and you'll be rolling like a teenager again.
     
  14. charyuop

    charyuop Black Belt

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    Hee hee I put a pillow in the area where the shoulder/head ends up thus it is a little softer. Of course at home I do it starting from knees position to make the impact soft on my body, I leave the standing position roll for the dojo. I started going to the dojo 15/30 minutes earlier just to practice rolls.

    Anyway since with my right side I feel already confortable I tried without the pillow. I must admit that no matter on what you roll, if you do it right it is pretty much with no pain. I can barely see a difference between hard wood and the mat.
     
  15. morph4me

    morph4me Goin' with the flow

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    Ahhh! Progress:)
     
  16. bignick

    bignick Senior Master

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    Good to hear you've fixed whatever the problem was. Falling is one of the most important skills I think anyone, martial artist or not can learn.
     
  17. Yari

    Yari Master Black Belt

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    There is one thing you can do to try and understand the roll, and were your shoulder comes in contact with the floor.

    The arm that you roll on decides how the shoulder "hits" the floor. This "decission" is doen by rotating the hand - two ways. First of all it's a rotate along the arm, but also a rotate in towards your body.

    The first rotate defines how far the shoulder points forward. the second defines at what angle the arm hangs in front of you. Mostly it's the first rotation that needs to be understood.

    The is another way of checking your roll. That is doing it backwarsd. Because backward roll should be the same but oppisite. If you can do the roll backwards without pain, you can try and figur out which path your using and us this path while doing a forward flow....

    Hope this can help you or anybody reading this!

    /Yari
     
  18. charyuop

    charyuop Black Belt

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    That is what Sensei told me. He said that he wants me to use the same principle I use in doing backrolls for front rolls. He also suggested me to keep my hands together while front rolling, since the way I keep my "not rolling" hand on the side tends to have the body open up.
     
  19. KageMusha

    KageMusha Yellow Belt

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    This may sound strange, but this is what my instructor told me to do when I had trouble with my ukemi. Smile when you roll. Forward or backward. I was always ok with forward, but backward I would often hold my breath and it would make my body stiff, thus only allowing me to go half way the just plopping over. If you put on a big smile (teeth and all) when you roll, you can't hold your breath. Made it a world easier for me.
     
  20. Shirt Ripper

    Shirt Ripper Black Belt

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    Agreed. I had a similar issue when I first started learning it...and I am 250 so it was a real bummer.123
     

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