Newbie needs advice/encouragement/pity/etc.

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Amanda Sedai

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I'm a martial arts newbie who just started taking Tang Soo Do and Judo lessons. (The class meets twice a week, alternating between Tang Soo Do and Judo every other class.) I had no problem with the TSD class, but I just had my first Judo class and I'm kind of worried. (I'm not going to give up. I will do this no matter what. I just want it to be as painless as possible. :erg: ) Here's the problem: I'm the most unagile person in the entire world. I have never successfully done a forward roll in my life. (I'm going to sound crazy but I've always had this fear that I'll break my neck doing a foward roll.) Is there anything I can do to become more agile (or at least get over the roll fear)?

Also, any advice about how to deal with glasses? I can't wear contacts and I have really bad vision without my glasses. For the one lesson I attended, I kept them on for things like practicing breakfalls and watching the instructor explain how to do stuff. When we paired up to practice, I took them off and stuck them in my shoe. Anyone have a more practical way of dealing with this? (For example, I was thinking maybe I could get one of those metal cases for glasses, that way when I take the glasses off I can at least keep them on the mat? Or is that a bad idea?)

Sorry if I sound too pathetic. (I can hear some of you going "hehehe, she can't even do a forward roll!" Not funny. :shrug: )

Thanks everyone. :asian:
 

Kempojujutsu

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First the eye glass problem. How about getting a pair of sports glasses with the elastic strap and more of a goggle type eye wear.
The front roll and the front breakfall are the hardest to get down. The reason, you see where you are falling and your instincts is to catch yourself. I would suggest starting from a crouch or squat position. Start with right leg forward in the squat poistion. Put both hands down on the floor the right on top. Tuck your chin to chest. Your back leg ( with is your left leg) will push forward. It is almost like a summersault. The difference is you don't roll over the back of your neck. More of the shoulder. Breathe out as you roll. After getting this down try not to put your hands down on the ground. Side note the side and back break falls are easier to learn.
Bob:asian:
 

arnisador

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I do the same with my glasses as you--watch the demonstration, put them aside to practice, repeat as needed.

The rolling is a relatively small part of judo--my advice is to wait it out.
 
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tmanifold

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The only way to become more agile is more tumbling. That means rolls forward and back, cartwheels and roundoffs. If you really have a hard time try and see if there is a gymnastics school in your area. Explain to the teacher what you are doing and they will get you started. They will also spot you until you build up confidence. Alot of place have a drop in period.
As for breaking your neck on the forward roll just tuck your head into your chest and you would have to work at breaking it. With the head tucked in rolling is natural.

Tony
 
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Abbax8

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I wear glasses and I teach judo. Some of my students have had the same fear as you, of course I can't say if the same amount. The glasses can be kept on to watch the instruction then laid aside anywhere that is convenient. Do other people at the school wear glasses? Do the instructors? If so here is a suggestion- tell an instructor who wears glasses you are concerned about your glasses ask them for a suggestion. Now for the forward roll. For a right side judo roll place your right knee on the ground. Stretch your left leg out at an angle behind you- If you think of your butt as being at 6 o clock, your left foot is between 8 or 9 o clock with the toes active, holding the floor and your heel pointing to the ceiling. Put your left hand on the floor palm down. Take your right shoulder and put it on the ground and reach with your right hand towards your left foot. Look to your left shoulder. Push with your toes of the left foot and roll over your right shoulder to land on your left side. Complicated to write and read, SORRY, but this begins your training on the ground to help build confidence. From here move to the squat roll as described before.

Peace
Dennis
 
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Walt

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If the mats you practice on are the type that fold, line yourself up with one of the folding lines between your legs and try to stay along that line throughout your entire roll. I don't know about Judo, but in DZR, there is a kicking technique that is performed to your opponent's lower body from a forward roll.

As for mechanics, resist the urge to "bunch" your body up into a ball during ukemi. In rolling or falling, when kicking your back leg up, try to keep it as straight as possible and make your movements coordinated with fluid motion. Also, don't be afraid to over exaggerate these motions if needed.

Learning ukemi, and learning to do it correctly, consistently, is never an easy challenge and even haunts many black belts throughout their training, but learning how to do it properly will definately pay off in the long run!


Best regards.
 
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JDenz

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I wouldn't wear sports galsses doing Judo actually that might not be very safe, I don't think I can even think of a Judo guy I have ever seen like that. There is just to much contact for them. I wear glasses to and it sucks taking them on and off or trying to see the score in a match but we all have handicaps and that is ours.
 
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Amanda Sedai

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Thanks, everyone. I guess I'm doing ok so far, and I'll have some time to practice on my own now because the gym that my class was using as a dojo was taken over by a local wrestling team. (Judo lessons start again in about a month.) The only problem I've had so far was when we were practicing something and my opponent threw me. I forgot to breakfall and whacked my head on the mat. :erg: Didn't really get hurt, though. The only real problem I've had was in the karate class. (Ironic when you consider that's the class that didn't scare me.) I twisted my knee today. (Any advice? I'm not really sure what the medical term for what happened was, just that my knee popped when I was practicing a form, it felt like it was dislocated, I fell, and now I can't put pressure on my right leg.)
 

cali_tkdbruin

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#1 First and foremost, if you haven't done so already go get yourself checked out by a doctor! Your injury may be more serious than you think.
#2 Take it slow getting back to your training. I would take some time off to recuperate and get the knee healthy again. A few years ago I suffered a similar injury and I rushed back into my training. That was a big mistake :(
My knee hasn't been the same since...
 

arnisador

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Knee injuries happen. Do your shoes/feet give you a good grip on the floor or do they have a slick surface there?
 
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Gaston

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Sorry about the knee. But as there is nothing we can do to help with your knee lets see about those rolls. With regards to front rolling break falls there are two basic skills to master for them the landing and rolling.

First the landing: 1. lay on your back 2. Perform a leg raise 3. On the way down angle your body so you come down 職 on your back & right side 4. Right hand slaps floor 30 degrees out from body palm down 5. Right foot hits mostly on the top side knee bent, left foot hits flat leg perpendicular to floor knee bent alternate both sides (REPEAT LEFT, RIGHT, ect)

Now that that is automatic on to the roll: 1. Use the largest body-ball you can find 2. Reach either hand over the ball and step forward with the same foot 3. With your palm against the ball reach toward your opposite foot 4. Tuck chin, kick off with your back foot and finish with the feet and hand slap
 

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