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#297744 - 10/29/06 09:58 PM High Falls
MushinKaika Offline

Registered: 08/03/06
Posts: 5
Loc: New York
First off how many people know what a High Fall is?

Second if you know, how many of you practice them?

I'm just starting this little questionaire because I want to know how common it is in Aikido circles. I know tradintional Aikido dosen't normally practice them but if you've ever watched an Aikido video your bound to see a few people flying through the air lol.
Sankyuu Aikido

#297745 - 10/29/06 10:28 PM Re: High Falls [Re: MushinKaika]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
Such acrobatic displays aren't limited to aikido. It's also in Hapkido, kalaripayat, wushu and others.

Do I practice them? Nope. Not unless I'm thrown off a horse. What's your point?

#297746 - 12/01/06 12:13 AM Re: High Falls [Re: eyrie]
belvedere Offline

Registered: 11/26/06
Posts: 40
High falls are not generally pracitced at my dojo, except by the most experienced members when given leave by Sensei during advanced classes to freelance. "High falls" are dangerous, even under the best circumstances. I've heard stories of aikidoka being hurt trying them, and I seem to remember reading a death resulting from a high fall at Hombu? ~the ole' memory isn't what it used to be - but that story comes to mind~ Hope this helps. -Belvy

#297747 - 12/29/06 01:53 PM Re: High Falls [Re: belvedere]
kangaroo Offline

Registered: 12/29/06
Posts: 11
Are you referring to break falls never heard anything called High Falls in my aikido training

#297748 - 12/29/06 02:20 PM Re: High Falls [Re: kangaroo]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
I'm assuming "high falls" refer to throws that have the throwee getting thrown from more than shoulder height. Possibly feet over head? Not exactly sure what it means.
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

#297749 - 12/29/06 04:41 PM Re: High Falls [Re: MattJ]
kangaroo Offline

Registered: 12/29/06
Posts: 11
Everything I seen so far in my google searchs refer to HighFalls is nothing more than breakfalls.

I have trained under 2 (well 3 now since the whole AAA and AW split stuff) organizations at different times in my Aikido training and practiced a few sessions with others all of them did break falls and required them on rank exams as they move up in rank.

I found there is a big miss conception on breakfalls/Hihghfalls that when you fall you are thrown they are always a high of the ground and a hard fall. This is a yes and no thing it all depends on uke and their ukeme. The secret is the lower you get your head towards the ground the less distance you actually fall.

I also have to ask how can you truly practice Koshi Nage without high/break falls ?

Then again I love performing ukeme and I have always been complimented on how while I fall. I work hard on my ukeme and take much pride in it. You should work all your ukeme not just the easier rolls imo. I have found that my Aikido learning and understanding accelerated when I concentrated on my ukeme.

Then again most do not have my approach to ukeme. Example; I can do a breakfall from Koshi Nage without grabbing the others person gee. I also do breakfalls from Shihonage which is easier than most think but has a awkward feel due to body position and the way your elbow feels.

#297750 - 01/01/07 11:28 AM Re: High Falls [Re: kangaroo]
Canyon Offline

Registered: 06/29/05
Posts: 42
Yes, high falls and break falls are synomynous terms. We specifically practice them about once a week to get people comfortable with falling. However, they generally just kind of "happen" during techniques. This is particularly true during koshinage, kotegaeshi, and shitonage techniques.

However, they are generally avoided as they are hard on your body and are not a very good blending method between you and the mat.

#297751 - 01/01/07 02:47 PM Re: High Falls [Re: Canyon]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
I would disagree that high falls and breakfalls are the same thing. A high fall requires some different technique than a breakfall, and I'm not sure a good breakfall would protect you from a "highfall" position. Both are force dissipation techniques, but high falls are usually "rollouts" where breakfalls are usually with a "static" ending to the breakfall (flat fall with a slap).

I teach my students to learn to fall in the space available, and in a cramped space, you usually won't have a "high fall" situation, but I teach them to do "long rollouts" and "short rollouts" for dissipation of force in smaller spaces. Breakfalls can be "airborne" or a combination of a rollout and a slap to dissipate the force.

There is also an element of falling which involves "one-sided" falls, or falls where the ukemi takes you from one shoulder to the opposite hip. Judo used to use the "one sided" falls quite a bit, but now with crosstraining, I'm seeing more and more of the "crossover" falls used (especially in demos). Being a "more vertical" art than Aikido, Judo's breakfall techniques are a little better than those in most Aikido schools unless the instructor is trained in both arts. JMHO...

What man is a man that does not make the world a better place?... from "Kingdom of Heaven"

#297752 - 01/04/07 03:33 AM Re: High Falls [Re: wristtwister]
watchwinder Offline

Registered: 01/04/07
Posts: 1
Knowing how to take both types of falls is good. That way you can take ukemi either way when necessary.
The Watchwinder - "Time isn't holding us, time isn't leaving us."

#297753 - 01/04/07 11:42 AM Re: High Falls [Re: MushinKaika]
aikidonut Offline

Registered: 12/27/06
Posts: 100
it's simple : a 'high ' fall is usually from shihonage, instead of the usual backroll, you fall from you shoulder, and from koshinage. usually a breakfall from kotegaeshi is not a high fall ( but it isn't low either.) .

For instance when I was 4th kyu, I realized that I wasn;t falling the same from shihonage as the advanced students. The assistant sensei, a 5th dan, USAF-hombu dojo told me to frst try to fall from a "low shihonage" >> he then proceeded to move me into the traditional shihonage fall, but he was seated, and thus my shoulder and twisted wrist were close to the ground. He let go , then I did a forward roll onto the mat.. This progressed to a quick forward roll from higher off the mat, then a forward breakfall from 1 foot up, then finally, from my shoulder , about 5 feet off the mat....

Another way to look at it is that A high fall is usually one were if you don't fall correctly, you could in theory break your neck. this sounds dangerous, but if your uke happens to be someone mugging you with with a knife in the middle of the night and you're unarmed, well then it's just too bad for uke, isnt it?

but nage has to know how to throw uke if uke is planning a high breakfall. usually in our dojo, 4th kyu ( blue belt ) and up take that kind of ukemi.
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Edited by aikidonut (01/04/07 12:19 PM)

#297754 - 01/16/07 09:36 AM Re: High Falls [Re: MushinKaika]
ErikCalderon Offline

Registered: 01/01/07
Posts: 16
Loc: Houston, TX
I personally don't teach high falls, although many students have asked me to.

I think that if uke has to learn a high fall in order for it to be done, then if he doesn't know how to do it, the chances for him to get injured are very high.

If nage learns to throw, even the person who has never learned Aikido before, then nage's Aikido will never come into question.
Erik Calderon

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