Ukemi Waza (Breakfall Techniques)
Ukemi Waza (Breakfall techniques) are used to soften the landing impact after being thrown. These are one of the first techniques taught to a beginner in Judo to enable them to safely fall in a controlled manner which protects them. There are three major directions in Ukemi waza. The back breakfall, the side breakfall, and the forward rolling breakfall.
The back breakfall protects the back of the head, the hips, and the back from the fall’s impact, and the side and forward break falls protect the shoulders and chest, etc. The break falling techniques depend on a balanced use of the arms and legs to disperse the impact.
Newcomers to Judo begin to learn the Waza only after mastering the breakfall techniques. This eliminates their fear of being thrown and enables them to master the Waza.