Ukemi Flow Conditioning Workout

This one is for all the martial artists out there –  I created the following ukemi conditioning workout for myself a few years ago to specifically target the transitions between my rolls and begin to unlock flow.  Additionally, it has the effect of really getting your heart pumping and makes a great workout!  Start out slowly and smoothly by practicing for the first few rounds.  Groove the movement and then begin to increase the speed.  Remember, you do yourself and your training a disservice if you rush through the movements simply to say you accomplished the workout.  Flow is not something you do, it’s something you allow – you have to be able to get out of your own way!  That being said, give this a try and let me know how it works for you.

Ukemi Flow

  1. Begin in Shizen No Kamae (natural stance), squat down to ball of foot squat
  2. Zenpo Kaiten (front roll) over the right shoulder
  3. Ushiro Kaiten (back roll)
  4. Stand up into Shizen No Kamae (natural stance), squat down to ball of foot squat
  5. Zenpo Kaiten (front roll) over the left shoulder
  6. Ushiro Kaiten (back roll)
  7. Stand up into Shizen No Kamae (natural stance)
  8. Yoko Nagare (side roll) with the leg crossing in front to the right
  9. Yoko Nagare (side roll) with the leg crossing in front to the left
  10. Stand up into Shizen No Kamae (natural stance)
  11. Zempo Ukemi (forward break fall)
  12. Stand up into Shizen No Kamae (natural stance)
  13. Yoko Nagare (side roll) with the leg crossing behind to the right
  14. Yoko Nagare (side roll) with the leg crossing behind to the left
  15. Stand up into Shizen No Kamae (natural stance) – repeat!

Start out with 4 rounds of 3 minutes each with a 1 minute break between rounds.  Use the minute break to get your breathing back under control and shake out the tension.  When this becomes easier, decrease the rest period to 30 seconds between rounds. Finally, try to perform the Ukemi Flow continuously for 12 minutes.  You can also adjust the difficulty level of the flow by adding directional leaps at the end of each roll.  Or, it can be made easier by performing it from kneeling in Seiza no Kamae instead of standing.

Notes: Make sure you warm-up with brief joint mobility session prior to the workout.

Got your own version of an ukemi-specific workout?  Please share with us in the comments section below!

Jon

Jon Haas is a certified Underground Strength Coach -Level 2, an ACE and FMS certified Personal Trainer, and has been involved in the martial arts for over 30 years. He has been training in the Budo Taijutsu warrior arts of the Bujinkan for more than 25 years and is currently ranked as a Kudan (9th degree black belt) under Jack Hoban Shidoshi. He is the founder of Warrior Fitness Training Systems and author of the book, Warrior Fitness: Conditioning for Martial Arts, as well as numerous other online training programs.

More Posts - Website

About The Author

Jon

Jon Haas is a certified Underground Strength Coach -Level 2, an ACE and FMS certified Personal Trainer, and has been involved in the martial arts for over 30 years. He has been training in the Budo Taijutsu warrior arts of the Bujinkan for more than 25 years and is currently ranked as a Kudan (9th degree black belt) under Jack Hoban Shidoshi. He is the founder of Warrior Fitness Training Systems and author of the book, Warrior Fitness: Conditioning for Martial Arts, as well as numerous other online training programs.

5 Comments

  • Stan Skrabut

    August 10, 2010

    Nice sequence and flow. Great job!

  • Ian Evans

    August 10, 2010

    Hi, just as a small point, I have been doing the same type of think with a couple of extra rolls, but I usually try to squat down to a flat footed squat as I find this allows the ankle to articulate more fully, also by adding foreward roll to rotating recovery you feel how the balance points work

  • Jon

    August 10, 2010

    Hi Ian,

    Thanks for the comment. Yes, I agree with you, but some people find it difficult to achieve a flat foot squat, thus the ball of foot squat as a comprimise.

    Jon

  • Jon

    August 11, 2010

    Thanks Stan!

  • alfred

    May 21, 2011

    Hi jon.
    i too have been doing something similar

    i start off with a warming up excercise were i warm the muscles
    up by stretch
    then from there i would run slowly building up to a faster run then
    do some sprint runs
    i then have one of the students do press up and the other students
    would do mae tobi over then go into zenpo kaiten
    followed ushiro kaiten.

    then when all the student along with my self have done this
    we would follow with what you have written above

    this could take about 30 to 40 minutes
    when we finally warmed up then
    we would do san shin and kihon happo

    later when the class begin to wind down we would do a cooling down by small strech and so forth

    i like your psts jon
    continued blessing
    alfred reid

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field