Video 4: Ukemi (Shoulder Roll)

Rowdy Staff

Throw a clay pot against the wall and eat a cartoon heart for breakfast, because it’s time to learn the Zelda roll! Ok, it’s still an ukemi roll if we’re sticking with judo terms, but if it helps to picture yourself saving Hyrule then it’s allowed.

Regardless if you want to defeat Ganon or just pick up some real-world tricks, you’ll have to study this Ronda video first.

Here are the main things:

1. Same side arm and leg forward.

Start like you’re about to perform the coolest way you could ever pick up change you found on the sidewalk.

2. Tuck chin in.

You’ve seen this before and you’ll see it again many times because it is so important: Protect your head! It’s where all these judo techniques are stored.

3. Make yourself round.

The goal isn’t to land flat on your back with a splat. Keep your arm curved and your shoulders sloped. This not only protects you but helps give you the proper form for the shoulder roll.

4. Put your hands on the ground, turned in.

Hit that pose! Both palms flat on the mat with your fingers turned toward each other. Think of this as your training wheels for now until you get the ukemi roll down.

5. Go over shoulder.

Push off with your lead leg and it should look like you just took a Ronda Rousey throw or successfully avoided damage in a Zelda game.

6. Slap hand.

You may have noticed there is as much hand slapping as there is chin tucking. Keeping your head down prevents pain while smacking the mat absorbs it.

7. Protect yourself: Do not cross feet.  

Speaking of avoiding pain, keep your legs slightly apart and avoid crossing them. The last thing you want after successfully getting out of a judo toss unscathed is to have your knees crack together.

Keep rolling, rolling, rolling on over to the Video 5: Ukemi Side Fall!

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