Glossary Martial Arts / Term


Breakfalls used in judo and other Japanese martial arts to avoid injury when being thrown. Ukemi has been called the key to judo. Until the fear of falling is eliminated, the judoka has not the confidence to attempt advanced feats. There are two types of ukemi in judo: falls in which the arm strikes the mat; falls in which the body rolls like a ball. In mastering ukemi, a student first learns to strike the mat with both arms and hands while falling backwards. The arms are held straight about 45 degrees from the body. The head is kept tucked upward to prevent injury. Next, breakfalls to the left and right side are practiced, in which only one hand and arm strike the mat. In a side breakfall, the leg and foot also strike the mat simultaneously with the arms. Finally, the rolling breakfall is perfected, in which the arms and feet strike the mat as the body rolls forward in a somersaulting motion.

Permanent link Ukemi - Modification date 2020-01-05 - Creation date 2020-01-05

< The Black Belt Glossary / Martial Arts Zanshin >