Ukemi is rolling and falling practice. It’s a very important part of judo. Back in the old days you might only be allowed to practice ukemi for a few weeks or months before joining the regular class and learning throws.
We learn to fall safely from any position – on your back, on your side, on your front, from the ground, from belt level or even shoulder level. As your practice you gain confidence and your body gets used to falling – as it becomes familiar you even start to enjoy it. When you can throw yourself with confidence, you know you can fall correctly and safely when you are thrown by another person. Once you have lost your fear of falling, the door is open and the world of judo is open to you.