Based on what I see and hear during my practice, some students (even teachers) do ukemi with double slaps. For example, when the tori executes shomen ate and the uke does ukemi, I hear two consecutive sounds of slapping the floor.

But sometimes I also hear just one slap.


Why do some people slap the floor with 2 hands one after the other? Why don't just slap the floor with 2 hands at the same time?

Are there any benefit for each style?

3 Answers 3


When doing ushiro ukemi (back breakfall), the hands should slap the mat at the same time.

Sometimes the throw means that it is impractical to do so thus either one hand is enough (more a side breakfall) or one hand after the other hit the mat. The latter is "bad form" but sometimes the best you can do due to position and momentum.


There is no difference or benefit, you are simply communicating to nage that the technique is complete, and that "if you continue, you're going to hurt me seriously."

I guess if you are in a seminar or testing scenario, where there is a lot of ambient noise, a double-tap can be more noticeable.

I've seen students tap out by rolling the fingertips, which to me is dangerous (to uke, if nage/tori doesn't notice the fingertips), and also insulting (because it's conveying that the technique is too gentile, and therefore, warrants a gentile tap-out).

Depending on the technique, uke can also tap himself, by slapping the chest, arm, or leg; or can tap nage/tori as well. Whichever is preferable depends on each scenario. Sometimes, uke is not on the floor, so tapping the floor isn't an option.

Nage is responsible for uke's safety, and should know that beginners can forget to tap, and so, should look for other indicators (like, "ouch!"). But the floor is preferable whenever possible, because it is a common sound, and easily recognized.


There should be no slaps.

The "two slaps" happen when the Uke tries to take the simple fall and finds mid-way that flight is needed. One slap for the try, a second slap for taking the flight too late.

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