In proverbs 23:16 it reads, “The righteous may fall seven times, but still get up, but the wicked will stumble into trouble.” And in Jeremiah 8:4 it reads, “You know if a man falls down, he gets up again. And if a man goes the wrong way, he turns around and comes back.” According to the World Health Organization falls are the second leading cause of accidental deaths worldwide. And that’s only the stats on death, can you imagine how many people are injured or even paralyzed from falls.
In order to learn Aikido, you have to learn how to fall. In aikido terms we call this ukemi, the art of receiving the technique.
It’s important in order to prevent injury. Interesting isn’t it. You’re going to attack your partner, but, you need to learn to fall in order to protect yourself from injury because you are gonna be defeated and thrown to the ground. So in other words, you’re setting yourself up for failure. You have to learn to fall, or in a sense, fail.
Humm, I don’t know about you, but I think that’s just downright weird and counter intuitive. You don’t want to learn to fail, you want to learn to succeed, in this case, attack and “beat” your partner…
Learning to fall is closely tied to learning to fail. Something that is very rarely taught.
According to Forbes, 43% off all college students have not completed a degree after 6 years, and out of those 43%, 31% of those have dropped out completely.
That’s a staggering number of what I would consider, a failure to complete a goal that was initially started.
How many times in your life have you started something, then quit for some reason. For example, you decided that you wanted to take up some martial arts classes, took one lesson, then for some reason or other, you didn’t like falling, or you didn’t like feeling sore the next day, or you just didn’t like having to sit in seiza and then decided it wasn’t for you…in other words you quit.
According to the dictionary success is defined as : the accomplishment of an aim or purpose. And, failure is defined as a lack of success.
So, when you set out to do something, and you complete that task, you have become successful. In class you set out to punch your partner, and if your partner performs the technique correctly, you will not succeed, or fail and be thrown to the ground.
If you don’t know how to fall, then most likely you will get injured from the fall, but isn’t that the same as when we set out to make a million dollars by your 30th birthday, fail miserably, then because you don’t know how to take it, get deeply depressed. In other words you’re psychologically injured.
Ukemi is the art of accepting the failure, getting right back up and trying again, without the injury.
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try and try again, right?
You attack your partner, you get thrown, fall, get back up again, and attack again. You just keep on doing this over and over again without ever giving up, (this will definitely get you into shape). We learn to fail so that our partner can learn the techniques of Aikido to protect him or herself.
It’s amazing, isn’t it. You learn to fall to protect yourself from injury, as well as learning to execute a technique to protect yourself from injury.
I heard that it took Thomas Edison 1,000 trials to make the light bulb, in other words, he failed 999 times before he succeeded.
If you’re interested in learning to fall, and benefit from the application of learning to fail, why not come out and try a class. Visit my website for more information. And, don’t forget to like subscribe, and share! If you’d like to hear more about how you can apply lessons learned in Aikido to daily life, please comment, and let me know what you’d like to hear about.
Failure is the key to success; each mistake teaches us something-Morihei Ueshiba