Forward Rolls.

Rolls are great for helping you learn to keep One-Point. That's because rolls make you dizzy, and keeping One-Point is the only way to stay stable when you're dizzy. Rolls also help to soften up your body.

Double click the black & white picture above to play a video of Forward Rolls, single click to stop. If the mini-video didn't download automatically, you can get it while you're reading. It's only 87 K.
(Get the most recent Quicktime plug-in for best performance.)

How to do it.
(Practice on a soft, forgiving surface.)
Squat down with your right knee on the ground and your left knee up. Place your hands on the ground in front of you as shown.
Duck your head down very low and make your body into a very small ball.
Push off with your feet and roll - much like a child doing a somersault.
Roll all the way over until you come back to your original position. Repeat these steps until you run out of floor. Then turn around and roll back, this time with your left knee down and your right knee up.
  • When you start each roll, keep your elbows on the inside of your knees.
  • The knee that's up shouldn't be right in front of you. It should be off to the side. This will allow you to make your body into a smaller ball.
  • Roll almost directly over your head. Don't roll on your shoulder.
  • Make sure you learn on a soft surface.
  • You shouldn't collide with the ground when you are rolling. There are some bowlers who throw the ball into the air and let it collide with the floor, and others that let the ball smoothly meet the floor. You want your body to be like the bowling ball thrown by the second bowler.
  • This exercise is meant to make you dizzy. If you keep One-Point, you will feel less dizzy. That's one of the great things about rolls - they give you feedback on whether you have the correct Ki state. When you don't have it, you feel dizzy. When you do have it, you feel stable.
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