Originally Posted by StrangeGator
I've upped the ante a bit. We're starting a new beginning session later that week, so I'm inviting a few friends and acquaintances to come to the dojo and watch that night. Not only do I have to get through it. I have to look good. Otherwise, I'll scare them off.
My falls have been exceptional lately. I've found a way to get a nice little stretch out of my back falls. My hard break falls are very sound. I always land completely flat and get a very good slap in there. I execute my forward rolls perfectly, usually coming all the way up to my feet. Truthfully, executing these falls with efficiency and finesse is more important than being in shape. Few of the senior students are in half the shape I'm in, but they know the techniques so well, it takes them half the effort. Plus they're much more adept at their breathing. Some Aikidoka and Judoka claim to have significantly greater lung mass because of all the breathing exercises they've done over the years. My Sensei has been training in Judo since he was eight and Aikido since he was 15. He's 63 now. I've never seen him out of breath.
Sounds good. I doubt that any amount of conditioning would compensate for bad falling technique. When it comes to a competitive endeavor, the best are generally those who've learned how to manage fatigue (and punishment), not induce it.