Oakland Judo

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Ukemi practice


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.


  1. […] In judo we do a lot of falling. In fact, it’s the first thing we learn. Called ukemi, the practice of rolling and breakfalling safely from a standing position is the critical element in ensuring your own safety and future success in judo. We practice falling from all different angles and heights. We learn to fall on our backs, on our sides, front, on the right and left. A fall is essentially you throwing yourself. Once you know how to fall safely, the door is open to learning judo, because you have no fear of being thrown. If you have no fear of being thrown, you can take a lot of falls and get back up to do it again. If you’ve never learned to fall, you will always be afraid of falling, and you’ll never make progress. […]

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