about breakfalks

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by Runs With Fire, Jan 31, 2017.

  1. Runs With Fire

    Runs With Fire Blue Belt

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    Can someone describe to me a few good reasons why I might want to introduce breakfalks into my Judo work? I do alot of basic judo throws in a self defense program and in Krav Maga. I've never taught it. Didn't learn it in my training. My instructors viewed it as unnecessary, useless, and dangerous on anything other than crash mats.
    Personally,I think my arms are quite fragile compared to my back, so why would I want them involved? especially sprawled out in an immediately useless position?
     
  2. frank raud

    frank raud Master Black Belt

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    Maybe because being thrown without knowing how to land is dangerous. You took judo and didn't learn breakfalls? Most people I know who have trained will say breakfalls are the one skill that have learned that has the most real world application. I know I have slipped and wiped out on ice multiple times and been saved from serious damage by using my breakfall skills.
     
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  3. Runs With Fire

    Runs With Fire Blue Belt

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    how do breakfalls help? how do they work? What is the methodology/ philosophy? What is the science to it?
     
  4. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    I think the basic idea is that energy spread over a larger area causes less damage than energy concentrated in a small area, or on a vulnerable area like a spine, hip, or shoulder. I would hate to break my arm, but I'd rather break an arm than my back.

    Think about a bullet-proof vest. It does not work by being invulnerable to bullets. It works by being able to spread the impact of the bullet over a much larger area. Therefore, a person shot in the chest with a bullet that does not penetrate the vest gets a big painful bruise. But they don't get ventilated by the bullet.

    I also think you don't really understand breakfalls if you think they only involve slapping the mat with one's arms. One learns how to fall, which includes rolling the spine, falling on one's side, and spreading impact over time and space.

    This was just published the other day in the NY Times, you might enjoy reading it:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/24/well/move/the-right-way-to-fall.html

    It's really a big deal and you should learn how to fall.
     
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  5. oftheherd1

    oftheherd1 Senior Master

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    I am simply amazed. How do breakfalls help/work? They spread out the impact. What is the methodology? They can be done in several ways, usually depending on how a particular art thinks it best. What is the science to it? Again, spreading out the impact so only one part of your body doesn't have to take all the impact. You use arms and feet, in combination if possible, so each body part takes a portion of the impact, no all on a shoulder, arm, or leg/foot.

    It's sort of like a parachute landing fall (PLF) taught to the American military. First the balls of the feet, then the lower leg, then the thigh, the buttocks, and lastly the shoulder.

    A breakfall also spreads out the energy of the fall so you aren't damaging anything.

    I can't imagine what type of Judo you were taught that didn't include breakfalls at the beginning so you could be thrown without injury.

    EDIT: I see Bill quoted an article that explains things well just before I posted. My only surprise was an Advanced Airborne School. It makes sense I guess. Afik, the US Army only has one Basic Airborne School, now at Ft Benning, GA. That has been there just about as long as the US Army has had airborne troops. But the 82nd Airborne Division at Ft Bragg, and the 101st Airborne Division at Ft Campbell, KY, used to have their own Basic Airborne courses, as well as jumpmaster, senior and master jumpmasters courses as well.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2017
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  6. Runs With Fire

    Runs With Fire Blue Belt

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    that's interesting. I do believe I know how to fall. I was taught to roll out of it, unless you can't, in that case we took it flat across the back and shoulders. I can fall fine, I just never "slapped the mat". It's the slapping part that I have doubts on. I have trouble seeing how skinnny arms have enough surface area to make a noticeable difference on something as large as a back.
     
  7. Runs With Fire

    Runs With Fire Blue Belt

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    I was taught to roll, or fall flat on the back with knees in/feet up, chin tucked, elbows pulled in tight and forearms/ hands ready for action.
     
  8. oftheherd1

    oftheherd1 Senior Master

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    So what happens if you are hip thrown? Is that the only breakfall you were taught?
     
  9. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    Slapping the mat is only a small part of learning to fall. Maybe you just heard about it more.

    The slap isn't meant to break the fall by itself. As I understand it, slapping when falling backwards is the motion that gets your arms to hit before your falling back, and that's the part that matters. The back still takes a hit, but the act of slapping backwards distributes part of the force across the arms, shoulders, and puts the back in alignment to take the hit squarely across the shoulders as well.

    A big part of breakfalls is also learning not to let your head bounce off the pavement and not biting off your tongue. Just sayin'.
     
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  10. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    Biggest reason people get hurt falling IMHO? They fear looking like a dork. Falling is an unnatural act in society, and it conveys images of weakness or even (in some) unmanliness. Falling properly looks like you're giving up and fainting, almost. People should fall that way, but men often resist it because they fear looking wimpy. Seriously.
     
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  11. Paul_D

    Paul_D Master Black Belt

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    They're not dangerous on the pavement when you slip on snow.
     
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  12. frank raud

    frank raud Master Black Belt

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  13. frank raud

    frank raud Master Black Belt

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    So you were taught to breakfall?
     
  14. Runs With Fire

    Runs With Fire Blue Belt

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    that is our number two throw. One arm shoulder throw being number one. Depending on the direction of the throw: if thrown in a vertical, up/ down fashion over the hip; land flat on the back. If possible, try to "scoop up" with the back like a glancing blow. Going more or less around the hip, a bit more horizontal usualy results in a skidding roll.
     
  15. Runs With Fire

    Runs With Fire Blue Belt

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    I don't know all the terminology. To me, breakfall was high fiveing the mat; The slap thing.
     
  16. Danny T

    Danny T Senior Master

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    ^^^^^^^ Uh...this is a break fall. There are hard and soft break falls. What you describe here is considered soft where as what you are asking about in the original post is a hard fall. Both can be effective.
     
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  17. marques

    marques 2nd Black Belt

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    Whatever your choice, remember that falling on irregular/unknown ground (self-defence scenario) is not the same as landing on soft, clean and flat mats (Judo scenario).
    (I hate the hand slap and prefer to protect my neck/head, instead).
     
  18. Runs With Fire

    Runs With Fire Blue Belt

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    My main concern with using the arms is that it leaves you wide open and temporarily defenseless.
     
  19. RTKDCMB

    RTKDCMB Senior Master

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    It is better to do a breakfall than to fall and break something.
     
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  20. Danny T

    Danny T Senior Master

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    The slapping helps transfer the weight distribution over a larger surface area 'for training'. This allows for a lot of repeated falls from being thrown over a short period of time without being injured.
     
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