How Many of You have been hurt by a bad fall?

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by Master Dan, Dec 27, 2013.

  1. Master Dan

    Master Dan Master Black Belt

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    I teach and stress falling in class as one of the most important parts of self defense that can act as a counter to locks and throws but more importantly protecting your self from serious injury by accidental falls that could cause permanent injury or even serious crippling or life threating results. The younger students tend to take it lightly but in cross training and in other sports like basket ball one of my top national champions almost lost the use of one leg and it took surgery and much therapy to come back by not taking serious falls. Being able to instinctually come out of different types of falling positions is vital and since falling is the leading cause of death over 50 good training in this area can make the difference in walking away or being carted away.


    However where I live is extreme weather and ground conditions at times like to a skating rink and both feet go up same time so rapid and 3-4 feet off the ground the hit to the tail bone or one elbow and back of the head sometimes just cannot be avoided. We were walking into a theater on a 45 degree angle and I went down with my daughter so hard I hit the back of my head full on and all I could think of was if I passed out my daughter would not know what to do or call? I managed to stay awake and drive home. This year about 6 weeks ago just stepping out on my way to work no warning right to my tail bone possibly back of my head? Seems like I am dragging my right leg it just dose not want to lift well, two weeks ago at church I literally flipped forward and rolled out well but went down to one knee and my left wrist seems to have made it worse. I have increased my stretching time in class and using my jet tub seem to be slowly making progress but the pain down the right leg seems to be coming from 3-4 lower lumbar vertebrae so I am really watching my self.


    Have any of you found your self having really bad falls?
     
  2. Earl Weiss

    Earl Weiss Senior Master

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    It's not the fall that hurts, but te sudden stop at the end. I have to say, aside from the one where the thigh hit the motrcycle handle, I have had a few "Bad" falls where I felt that knowing how to fall saved me from serious injury.

    One was lastwinter. feet slipped straight forward and I went into a pretty standard rear break fall. I felt the back of my head touch and I wase pissed because i always hammer the students about not letting the head touch, keeping the chin tucked. As I took inventory following the fall I realized it was just a touch, and the underside of my forearms and palms tingled from the slap. The ill effects lasted abot 60 seconds. A guy I know saw me go down and couldn't believe I was fine. He said he would have been in the hospital 2 weeks if he went down like that.
     
  3. Gwai Lo Dan

    Gwai Lo Dan 2nd Black Belt

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    I have a crack in my right elbow from falling at an outdoor hockey rink. I'd practise hockey skating and shooting when I was 16 at an outdoor rink. The ice sometimes had cracks and a couple times I was skating backwards, my skate got stuck in a crack, and I fell backwards on my elbow. I should have worn my elbow pads after the 1st time!
     
  4. chodancandidate

    chodancandidate White Belt

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    I live in inclement weather at times as well, and last year I slipped on some black ice. My one leg came out from underneath me and I ended in a perfect split. Pulled my hamstring, and it took months before I was completely better. I tend to stress falling properly in my classes as well.

    In my opinion, falling correctly requires decent reaction time, like if you're slipping and you feel you're going to fall, you need to do something, at the very least, tuck in your head so you don't hit it on the concrete. Sorry about your falls!
     
  5. RTKDCMB

    RTKDCMB Senior Master

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    I had been roller skating in a rink for several years doing all kinds of tricks, jumps, spins, cartwheels, speed skating, one foot power-slides with no helmet or elbow pads etc and have fallen over countless times but I have never once hit my head on the floor but I did fall on my hip about 5 times in a row and had a bruise about half the size of my thigh after the first fall. But I did have a friend who whilst skating backwards with his hands in his pockets, fell backwards (not hard) and fractured his skull, broke a couple of ribs and broke his clavicle. A week later he was back out skating on the rink again.
     
  6. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    The worse fall that I had was just some skin bleeding.

    You will need a good mat to train how to fall. Also to be able to make your body to flow into your falling is important. When you fall, use your own body momentum, roll, and get back up. If you can do this smoothly, you can get back up even without using your hands.

    Use one of your arm as a soft pillow and don't let your head to hit on the ground is more important than anything else.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2013
  7. yakuzanobi

    yakuzanobi White Belt

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    Not too many bad falls. My ukemi is pretty good, but when I it seems like it will be a bad one I tend to let myself go and let nature take it's course. Ever see a baby fall, they have no idea what to do to break the fall but they usually don't hurt themselves too bad because they are so loose. Same principle. I've seen a few elderly people fall and it seems like the more they try to control it, it just spirals out of control even faster.
     
  8. Master Dan

    Master Dan Master Black Belt

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    Over the last 40 years I have had many falls some to do work in construction and some due play or just getting there most I have walked away from and people could not believe I was not injured we have good matts and we train weekly but some times the ice takes you down so fast its amazing my last break fall I did manage to keep my head forward and two weeks ago I did a complete forward roll using one knee and one hand just came out that way. I did not get additional damage but it did put me back a bit on recovery from the original fall. After 60 you just have to constantly think about your footing and slow down one thing for sure after 40 and the older you get your inner ear just does not have the balance you one had especially in the dark.
     
  9. RTKDCMB

    RTKDCMB Senior Master

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    The best thing to do is to do a break fall, not fall and break something.
     
  10. oftheherd1

    oftheherd1 Senior Master

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    I have fallen twice on stairs, the first time with no injury, the last time a couple of weeks ago on wooden stairs, no injury, but really bad bruising on my wrist, and deep muscle bruising on my hip. Just a few days ago I fell on the same hip when I slipped on ice. Ouch. Several years ago I did a breakfall across the hood of a car that struck me while I was walking. In all cases, my lack of injury or diminished injury is attributable to break falling. It is recommended.
     
  11. RTKDCMB

    RTKDCMB Senior Master

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    I know from personal experience how much it sucks being hit by a car, it always leaves you feeling a bit run down.:)
     
  12. sfs982000

    sfs982000 Master Black Belt

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    I started studying Kuk Sool Won many years ago and working on some throwing techniques with a partner I landed wrong on my neck and shoulder. Neck is fine, but my shoulder hasn't been the same since.
     
  13. Thousand Kicks

    Thousand Kicks Green Belt

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    Some time ago I studied Budo where I was introduced to breakfalls and rolling. Every once in a while I practice break falls but not regularly. A few months ago while working out with a group we were pulling a weighted sled backwards. As in I was facing the sled walking backwards. My foot hit a patch of loose gravel and slipped out from under me. Without realizing it I did a near perfect rear break fall; the only ill effect was my shirt got dirty.

    Thinking back on it, it is exactly as people are saying. When you slip/fall it happens so fast there is no thought or preparation. You body will just do what it has been trained to do. And that fall was no where near as serious as some of the other falls described here.
     
  14. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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    Until last weekend the majority of my potentially bad falls were softened by my old (way back in the time of the dinosaurs) Jujutsu training. It happens automatically most of the time.

    However last weekend at water park I took a hell of a fall on a water slide. Sitting on the inner tube flying down this enclosed chute in the dark the momentum took me up past horizontal and then gravity took over and I went down hard. I have no idea how but the inner tube got between my upper body and head and the bottom of the tube but my knees and my big toes took a hard hit. My head bounced off the tube and IU went face down in the water and it of course shot straight up my nose because I was still sliding down the tube feet first. I turned over realized I could not get back on the tube at that speed so I just held on to it. I can tell you no amount of water going down that tube will stop you from experiencing the hea of friction. I do not remember panicking I do remember thinking it is getting warm and looking for light at the end of the tunnel (literally). I remember splashing into the pool at the end, life guards looking terrified, me limping out and giving them the tube. Now weather or not my MA training had anything to do with that, I have no idea. I finished the day with the familyand went to the ER the next day.

    Oh, and nothing was broken and I have the x-rays to prove it, although it did feel like I broke my big toe.
     
  15. SJON

    SJON Blue Belt

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    I've taken a lot of hard falls in MA over the years, and a few outside of the MA, and I consider my falling skills to be pretty good. The only time I ever really hurt myself was in an MA course a couple of years ago in which I completely misjudged and fell with my whole weight on the point of my shoulder. I shrugged it off (pardon the pun) and for months afterwards had pain, reduced mobility and eventually ended up with complications involving my whole right side freezing up, starting in the oblique abs, up the intercostals and pectoral, right over the top of the shoulder and down the right side of the back. On one occasion I lost mobility and feeling in my right arm.

    Conclusions:

    • However experienced you are, you can still fall badly.
    • If you have a heavy fall, go to a physio quick.

    Cheers,

    Simon
     
  16. Mauthos

    Mauthos 2nd Black Belt

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    Excluding martial arts training I have luckily never had a fall outside of the dojo/dojang/training hall, that is until this weekend. Walking down a set of steps with a friend, heading toward the bus station, I suddenly slipped, no idea how and ending up almost diving down the last couple of steps, to land in a nice large puddle of recent rain water.

    Apart from injured pride and soaked jeans nothing was hurt, not sure if I subconsiously performed a break fall which prevented any injury as it happened really quickly and I was back on my feet within a couple of seconds dripping with water. Anyway, it made my friends day as him and a local beggar seeking a dry spot in the underpass shared a good laugh over it.
     
  17. oftheherd1

    oftheherd1 Senior Master

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    Thanks for the laugh. I sure did feel run down, but without that breakfall, I could easily have been killed. It was a low car so if I had fallen backwards as many do, hitting their head into the windshield, and that didn't do me in, I would no doubt have ended up trying to trying to clean the underside of the car which trying to trench the asphalt.

    But I felt much more run down when I found that DC laws narrowly define what is a sidewalk and what isn't. Don't get hit by a car when walking over that portion of a driveway or alley that you think is an extension of the sidewalks on either side. Of course, I found that out from the opposing lawyer in court. Got absolutely nothing but doctor bills. I could have had to pay lawyer fees for the court time but they took pity on me.
     
  18. Rokuta

    Rokuta Yellow Belt

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    My worst fall culminated in a broken arm. I was a temporary postal worker in December 2007 and was carrying in a very hilly neighborhood. I slipped on some ice, which had refrozen from melted snow, and shot out from someone's top step out over their front walk and fell a couple of feet to the ground. Having taken taekwondo for a few months back in 2003 my first thought was backwards breakfall! So I put my arms out to save my skull. Ultimately I did it very wrong and broke the left arm at the olecranon instead.

    A couple of years later I slipped on the ice near the Vienna metro station and really bruised my lower right leg from the knee halfway on down. It didn't break, but the pain lasted off and on for months.

    Lesson learned, when it is icy out wear boots with thick treads.
     
  19. Master Dan

    Master Dan Master Black Belt

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    It took me almost 8 weeks to fully recover from hitting tail bone extremely hard this winter. While I know many of you have had severe cold weather ours has been bizarre this year extremely warm so warm and so little snow the worlds most extreme snow machine race the Iron Dog was going to be cancelled from Anchorage to Nome but just today they stated they are coming, the dog race Iditarod remains to be seen by passing us for the first time in history. Getting back to healing I started being more careful and using North Track ice clips. We have had extreme freezing rain much of January but by next week will be dropping back down to -4 -5 below and wind.

    I have recovered from the fall but the extreme arthritis in my right hip goes from my knee to my low back. I am going to schedule physical therapy and this time video tape it. As a Martial Artists you think you know everything about stretching but I found out the pain in the hip and back originates at the knew and there are many complicated stretching and strengthening movements that covered 20 pages using rubber band stretchers and various balance methods using a board and inflated ball hard to explain. I did completely recover and had great speed and flexibility without pain doing forms but after a year of no longer doing that particular therapy I am going back for two weeks and if they let me video tape the movements so I can play it in the Do Jang for my private training and conditioning. I never would have thought that the connecting tendons and muscles to the knee would have such a profound effect on your hip and back.
     
  20. zDom

    zDom Senior Master

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    • "Knowing" that you should keep your chin tucked isn't the same as training to keep your chin tucked. Even if someone is fast enough to consciously tuck their chin to keep their head from hitting the ground, sometimes the force of the fall can overcome an untrained person's neck muscles.

    • "Training" a few break falls a couple of times a year is just like training ANY technique a few times a year: it just isn't enough repetition. How reliable is a punch that a beginner practices a few times a year?

    • There are falls that due to the direction of motion (that is to say, perpendicular to the ground or very close to perpendicular) you can't "roll out" of.

    • A few years ago I slipped on ice and fell, hard, in a perpendicular direction and into a left side break fall position (as if I had just been reaped). No time to think: just "OH CRA—" and then the realization I had fallen well. Hip was slightly sore. Head did not hit the ground.

    • I do not recommend TKD practitioners fall to techniques or throws without sufficient training in break falls. It is like asking a yellow belt to train his punch by attempting three-board breaks.123
     

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