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  • "Το budo δεν είναι το να ρίχνουμε τον αντίπαλο με τη δύναμή μας. Ούτε είναι ένα εργαλείο για να οδηγήσουμε τον κόσμο σε καταστροφή από τα όπλα. Το αληθινό budo είναι να δεχθούμε το πνεύμα του Σύμπαντος, να κρατήσουμε την ειρήνη στον κόσμο, να παράγουμε, να προστατεύουμε και να καλλιεργούμε σωστά, όλα τα πράγματα στη φύση" Μorihei Ueshiba
  • "Θεωρώ πιο γενναίο εκείνον που κυριαρχεί στα πάθη του από εκείνον που κυριαρχεί στους εχθρούς του. Η δυσκολότερη νίκη είναι εκείνη ενάντια στον ίδιο σου τον εαυτό" Αριστοτέλης
  • Keep One Point
  • Relax Completely
  • Keep Weight Underside
  • Extend Ki

Falling Backwards

Falling Backwards

Falling backwards is one of the most difficult falls in Aikido. It is very difficult and unnerving for a person to fall backwards without checking first and/or looking back momentarily. The reason is obvious: It is the fear of hurting the body or the head through an uncontrollable, counter intuitive backwards fall.

As a response to this fear we see that a relatively new alternative version of falling backwards (ushiro ukemi) has been introduced. In this version, the uke is not standing in hanmi but he/she stands with his/her feet parallel, looks upwards and then falls backwards (PHOTOS 1, 2,).


My opinion on this alternative usiro ukiemi version is that the uke should not have his/her neck so dangerously exposed. A strong hit on the neck deriving from a strong irimi nage or kokyu nage or any other type of blow could cause serious damage or even prove lethal. Additionally, the uke can not see where he/she is falling, because he/she is looking upwards.  

I believe that this way of ushiro ukemi execution, is very unsafe. I think we should teach our students to turn their head backwards left or right side (PHOTOS 3, 4, 5).


It depends on the direction of the hit, look back and fall (PHOTOS 6, 7, 8). Sometimes they do so instinctively. It goes without saying, that the turn of the head will a) depend on the direction the hit comes from and  b) the level of the uke’s alertness that will or will not allow him/her to react timely and correctly.


In any case, it should be emphasized that ushiro ukemi is a difficult and challenging fall technique and both instructors and students should be extra careful and thorough, when teaching it and utilizing it respectively.

Last but not least, I would like to thank the person in the photos, my student Vasilis Papadeas, Nidan and accountant of the Hellenic Aikido Association-Fukushinkan Dojo, Athens Greece.

Babis Keranis Sensei
President of the Hellenic Aikido Association-Fukushinkan Dojo,Athens Greece
5th dan So Hombu Aikikai Japan, Shidoin
Technical Advisor and Chief Instructor of the Hellenic Aikido Association-Fukushinkan Dojo, Athens Greece

Fukushinkan Dojo, 1/11/2014