Many Aikido techniques throw an attacker to the ground. In training, we learn to roll safely - like a ball, with part of your body always in contact with the ground - so that we do not hurt ourselves when being thrown.
Sensei Kolesnikov demonstrating a forwards roll
Different to breakfalls and somersaults
We practise rolling over your arm, which is different from breakfalls and somersaults.
- Breakfalls involves the person thrown striking the ground with their hand/arm to dissipate the power (which is also very noisy) when they end up on the ground. For most of the throw, the person has no contact with the ground. We don't practise this style.
- Somersaults involves turning in the air, so the only contact with the ground is on the feet before and after the turn. We also don't practise this style.
- Rolls involves using the throw (energy) in a smooth way to dissipate the power and uses the momentum to stand up following the roll. Part of the body is in contact with the ground all the time, like a ball. There is usually very little sound. This is the style we practise.
Learning how to roll
It takes some time to learn how to roll properly, and we practise during most lessons. Even as a beginner, you can do a partial backwards roll to dissipate the energy, without going all the way over.
You will not be thrown fully until we know you can roll safely.