Acrobatics and Ukeme are essential to the ninja since they build dexterity and give you more body control. A skilled acrobat has good body coordination and with it they can be an excellent fighter. Acrobatics are also an exceelent way to train body coordination on your own without a partner. In this section, I will show you some basic to advanced Acrobatics and Ukemi.
For acrobatics, there is a certain amount of conditioning required. For conditioning tips, go to the "Ninja Training" page.
Assuming you know these basic stretches and you are
conditioned enough, we will begin with some simple acrobatic
Why should a ninja practice acrobatics? All they are good for is good looks and it really doesnt help you fight at all since no one is going to do a backflip in the middle of a fight? You might be thinking that, but in reality, acrobatics are CENTRAL to learning martial arts for many reasons:
1: They help build coordination: You become more coordinated with your body which is ESSENTIAL to fighting.
2: They help building flexebility: Your body can stretch and move much more after learning acrobatical feats. Flexebility is also a must to and martial art!
3: The help build MENTAL strength: When you surpass your fears after doing a backflip or you learn to command your body even when fear is present, you become much stronger mentaly. A weak mind cannot fight.
4: They help build PHYSICAL strength: You become strong....thats obviously a must to and fighting!
So all acrobatic moves have the same basic rules and some basic tips these are:
1: When you practice or proform any feat, you need 100% dedication. If you have one ounce of hessitation, that in and of itself is the factor that can make you get seriously injured. So when you are about to try a move especially for the first time, you NEED to be 100% ready for it.
2: Acrobatics and flips are dangerous, but extreemly rewarding.
3: Practice is essential to acrobatical feats. Practice does NOT make perfect, you need to be practiceing the RIGHT way in order to do moves correct, but normaly even if you start moves incorrect, in time your body will start to do them correctly.
The handstand is a very basic technique, but very difficult to master. The handstand requires a very good balance and a great body condition. Though it may take a very long time before you can simply stand on your hands as long as you want, simply practicing for the handstand helps build coordination, strength, and balance.
Starting off you should do a handstand against a wall so you can't fall. Idealy, your fingertips should be against the wall while practicing, but this may be difficult for the beginner. Try to keep your body as straight as possible and esspecialy your legs. After you have practiced against the wall, you can now begin to practice, without the wall. One way to help your form is to practice against a wall, then go and practice without a wall. Usualy practicing without a wall can be hard or even scary because it is possible to fall hard on your back when attempting to stand straight up. To prevent this, you can try walking on your hands, and if you start falling forward, just turn your handstand into a cartwheel. With this technique, you will never fall and there will be no danger of hurting yourself. Now, when you are doing your handstand there are some steps to keep in mind.
#1: When starting off, don't throw your hands down. Simply set your hands on the ground, and push up with your legs.
#2: Make sure your hands are exacly shoulder length apart. This will help your form and balance.
#3: Keep your body and legs as straight as possible
Other than these steps, the technique requires practice and practice. Cycle between the wall and no wall to perfect your techinque.
The Front Handspring The front handspring is a move that anyone who is relatively fit should be able to do. We will start with the basic steps: 1: NO HESSITATION! Prepare your mind before doing this technique and know that you cannot hurt yourself unless you do this comepletely wrong (6% chance) 2: You do not need to run hard, just run about halfway between walking and running and "dive" downward to your hands. Think of it more as throwing your hands down and shoving off them.
The Front Handspring
The front handspring is a move that anyone who is relatively fit should be able to do. We will start with the basic steps:
1: NO HESSITATION! Prepare your mind before doing this technique and know that you cannot hurt yourself unless you do this comepletely wrong (6% chance)
2: You do not need to run hard, just run about halfway between walking and running and "dive" downward to your hands. Think of it more as throwing your hands down and shoving off them.
The Butterfly Kick
The butterfly kick/jump is seen in many movies(such as Darth Maul in StarWars) and is somewhat impressive to watch. Some people think it's a very hard move, but it is actually quite easy to learn.
The butterfly kick/jump is best shown in this video:
Here are the primary steps to keep in mind:
#1: Lean on your backfoot and even lift your forward foot off the ground about a few inches. Start with your arms pointing to your back side(example: if my left foot is the front foot, then the arms should both be straight and pointed to the right.)
#2: Now, step forward with your forward leg while swinging your arms and head at the same time. The head should go down close to the ground. Use your arms for momentum.
#3: After swinging, pull your head up, followed by your chest. MAKE SURE TO KICK THE LEGS for momentum! This is importaint! The backleg should be kicking around mostly.
Introduction: The front flip is a great move that is great for performing and virtualy 100% safe. Practice and repetition are a big part of perfecting the move, and the hardest part of the technique is continually practicing it.
Here is a video describing the technique:
Now, basicly the video will give you some pointers. At first when you try the flip you will continue to hit the ground hard every time and it may seem like the technique is extreemly hard. However, you main goal should be just do the technique once(attempt it once that is) and just keep practicing. In time, the move will blend and you can master it to it's full potential. Also, it would seem that jumping high is the goal but in reality, spin and tuck is more importain.