Learning How to Lose Gracefully Using Good Ukemi

by Sensei Robin Wilden
(Bognor Regis, West Sussex, UK)

Sensei Robin Wilden (left)


We are brought up and taught in life the importance of success, winning, and where this will get us.

When it comes to Aikido, it is a little more complex. We have all been to, or trained at dojo's where students will happily resist your technique, then seem surprised if all of a sudden, the application comes on sharp.

This type of training encourages us to see things as a challenge or test rather than a learning environment.

So why is it necessary that we pay so much attention to how we receive ukemi? We spend so much time looking at the development of our technique and not even realising how much of a role good ukemi can play in our improvement.

Here are a few of the benefits:

* Coordination
* Reflex and reactions
* Better break-falls
* A connection with our training partner

The more you help others, the more they are willing to help you. So train in a way that makes them shine to their full potential.

To practice blending with movements teaches you body mechanics and how you can avoid receiving unnecessary pain or injury.

Pain is one of the greatest causes for a competitive attitude, so it is very important we remove this early, to avoid wasting good training time and stunted growth in our learning.

Here are my top two tips for faster progression, enjoying your training more, and gaining a better understanding of Aikido.

1. Be selfless - care as much about helping your fellow students advance.

2. When receiving Ukemi, put your mind and focus on the point of application. How it feels, where your balance is and what feels different that makes the technique so effective and successful.

I can't even begin to describe how much this will elevate your growth.

I hope you give this a go, put it into practice, and see the results for yourself. Enjoy the journey just as much as the destination.

Sensei Robin Wilden
Arun Aikido Club

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Oct 07, 2015
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Good Article
by: Josephine Wilden

This is so true. If only all students could follow this advice. I enjoy my training and strive to be a better uke.

Oct 04, 2015
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Very Interesting
by: Tony Wilden

Good article Robin - well done! There are some useful pointers here for students who want to become good uke's. Giving/Receiving - Yin/Yang - Positive/Negative, the energy of nature and the universe.

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