Video 5: Ukemi (Side Fall)

Rowdy Staff

Congratulations on mastering the judo back fall or, the ukemi waza. Don’t untie that belt and fold your judo gi just yet, there are more ways to fall than just backward, especially if your training partner knows even half as many throws as Ronda Rousey. Luckily, she’s here to show you the way to properly side fall.

Before you know it, you’ll feel safe being thrown in any direction by a judo technique.

Here are the main things:

1. Move leg and hand together.

Imagine that this Ronda Rousey video is trying to teach you Kairi Sane’s incredible elbow drop. Sway your arm and leg away from the direction that you’re planning on falling and get ready to hit the ground.

2. Keep chin tucked.

No matter which direction a judo throw or fall takes you, always make sure that chin is tucked down. You’ll want to make sure you have it etched in your memory while you’re in control because it will be more difficult when someone else is tossing you.

3. Slap right before hitting the ground.

Smack the floor with your hand just before you land to save your ribs and shoulder. This is all to absorb the momentum of the judo side fall.

4. Don’t reach!

Just like the back fall, don’t reach back before you fall. If you try and catch yourself, your arm could look like you just got a Ronda armbar and foolishly decided not to tap. Make sure everything moves at the same time.

5. Generate momentum.

Use your arm and leg to build momentum into the fall and swing your arm from the front to the side in order to use that energy to take the impact.

6. The less strength the better.

Maximum efficiency and minimum effort. You’ll hear this time and time again as it’s one of the principles of judo.   

We know you’re eager to see the next Ronda Rousey judo instructional video, but keep in mind you have two sides. Practice both on your life and your right! Now, head to some basic gripping.