Whether you’re going for self-defense, grappling, a kickboxing art, or an armed art like Haidong Gumdo, sooner or later you’re going to meet the ground!

Wouldn’t it be nice if you and the ground were friends?!

My Haidong Gumdo students asked me to review breakfalls.  (Ukemi in Japanese and nakbup in Korean.) As usual, I know that many people can do much better than I, so I dug around and came up with references.

At Parks Judo & Karate I learned TKD/judo-style ukemi.  Bopping around for a few decades as a wandering martial arts bum introduced me to the hapkido, Tang Soo Do, and aikido variations on these techniques.  If you knock me down, you’re probably going to see a judo ukemi, but I want to show you some of the variations for what your physical build, flexibility, and level of health will allow.

I jokingly refer to judo ukemi as stopping the ground from hurting you, hapkido breakfalls as compromising the ground, and aikido ukemi as thanking the ground for being there for you as you pass on by.

First: Judo.  They don’t speak English but their technical demo is clear.

This is a quick review and you can see minor differences in the Hapkido approach, but they’re minor.  The human body and the ground are relatively constant things, after all.

Then I found an excellent and beautiful exposition on the Aikido ukemi, well worth the elevator music!

And of course there is Krav Maga, where nothing is really complete until someone has been kicked in the groin… breakfalls included.