The Importance of Falling Skills

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by bushidomartialarts, Jul 20, 2007.

  1. bushidomartialarts

    bushidomartialarts Senior Master

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    So yesterday I'm riding my bike to work when a Volvo takes a corner too fast and I end up cranking my handlebars in an attempt to turn. I cut it too far, wheel locks at 90 degrees to my angle of motion. I try to ditch, but my foot catches in the pedal cleat.

    Over the handlebars I go.

    Next thing I know, I'm standing on my feet looking at the Volvo, having done a textbook forward ukemi breakfall. Mr. Volvo's looking at me with his mouth open like some sort of innocent bystander. Me, I've got a hole in my second best pair of jeans and a little road rash on my left palm.

    Seriously, guys. Practice your breakfalls.
     
  2. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    Yowzers! Glad you made it thru alright!
     
  3. Kacey

    Kacey Sr. Grandmaster

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    Yeah, I know what you mean - my story's not as extreme, but similar:

    About 6 years ago, I was coming back from taking my trash out (I lived in a condo, and the trash dumpster for my cul-de-sac was 2 buildings away, across a blacktop parking lot), when I stepped on a rock, twisted my ankle, and started to fall. I rolled out of it (much to the shock of a watching neighbor) and ended up with a slightly sprained ankle (from the rock than made me fall) and a scrape on my elbow, where I rolled over a rock that went through my sleeve. That was it. No bruises, no major scrapes, nothing that an icepack and a bandaid couldn't take care of. One of my neighbors had fallen in a similar fashion and broke her arm, when she landed on her outstretched hand.
     
  4. zDom

    zDom Senior Master

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    The winter before last, I stepped onto the mat in the entryway of my apartment as I was stepping out the front door.

    Apparently some moisture had blown in the night before and frozen into a superthin sheet of ice under the mat.

    The mat shot out from under me into the front yard, feet went high up in the air, and I landed hard in a perfect side-fall position in the entryway. I stood up, brushed myself off, and went to work uninjured and VERY thankful of all the falling practice I've put in over the years.
     
  5. Phadrus00

    Phadrus00 Blue Belt

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    Breakfalls have saved my life a couple of times and prevented serious injury several times. Most recently I was moving out of my old apartment and was backing into the moving truck carrying one end of a sofa. I was walking backward and did not see the hand truck lying on the floor of the container and tripped over it. I was suddenly falling backwards with a sofa following me. Instinctively I twisted to the right side and slapped out while simultaneously retracting my left leg. The result was that I slightly sprained my right wrist and felt silly but the sofa missed my legs when it fell.
     
  6. tshadowchaser

    tshadowchaser Sr. Grandmaster

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    Learning to fall with out being hurt is something we all need .
    I have taken spills on hardtop basketball courts, going down stairs, and yes off bikes in the road. OK I may be a clumsy person at imes but those breakfalls have saved me from injury more times than I care ot remember.
     
  7. IcemanSK

    IcemanSK El Conquistador nim!

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    Wow, glad you weren't seriously hurt!

    I guess my answer is "not as much as I should given your experience". I couldn't do that well enough to escape injury the way you did!
     
  8. Miles

    Miles Senior Master

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    I tell my students, "You are more likely to hit the pavement than be hit by an assailant so practice those breakfalls."

    Miles
     
  9. Ceicei

    Ceicei Grandmaster

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    Years ago when my youngest was still a baby less than one year old, I had tripped down the stairs while holding her and knowing how to fall properly protected both of us. I'm thankful for that!

    - Ceicei
     
  10. Josh Oakley

    Josh Oakley Senior Master

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    I remember coming back up stairs from taking in the garbage on a rainy day, and my foot slipped on the second step. It was my first slap-out on concrete from an airborne position, thank god I knew how to fall!
     
  11. CuongNhuka

    CuongNhuka Senior Master

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    They're also useful when falling on sand or ice.
    Glad you're ok man! I'd sure hate to see you getting hurt (or worse) by some idiot driver.
     
  12. Hawke

    Hawke Master Black Belt

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    Good to hear that you are okay.

    I have used my breakfall skills many times. One time at a church retreat (I was really young) as I was pulling a prank on a bunch of girls (just making scary noises to make them scream), I jumped over a hedge to discover that the fall was about 10 feet. Uke skills came in very handy that day. hehehe.
     
  13. 14 Kempo

    14 Kempo Grandmaster

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    I agree, practice.

    The one time I used it was during a basketball game, where I drove hard to the rim and got pushed. There was a wall 5 ft beyond the basket, I only had time to get one foot down and start a roll. I was going down and was able to get my back turned to the wall. It knocked me out for a short while, but going head first may have broken my neck. I believe it saved me knowing to spin to my back.

    Practice makes it become instintive.
     
  14. stickarts

    stickarts Senior Master

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    Thanks for sharing and glad you're ok!
     
  15. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    First off, glad to hear that you're ok. Yes, I'm in agreement, its certainly a good thing to practice falling. A few winter storms ago, while walking the dog, I slipped on some ice. I landed without injury and managed to still hang onto the leash. LOL.
     
  16. IWishToLearn

    IWishToLearn 3rd Black Belt

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    I did somethin really dumb in a bounce house and wound up piledriving myself head first from a botched gainer backflip. When I hit I instinctively rolled, which the doctors said saved my life...I had two fractured vertebrae in my neck but I survived. :)
     
  17. bluekey88

    bluekey88 Senior Master

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    I have a similar story to the OP. I am the proud owner of a gorgeous Siberian Husky. Since he likes to run, I purchased this device that lets him hook to my bicycle and pull me about the neighborhood. Works really great...except for this one time....

    I tried to take him on a lsightly different route and he went to go our usual routew. I turned left, I went right...we got tangled and I went flying (my dog can pull me almost 20 mph at a full run...thank God we weren;t going that fast). Next you know, I'm sailing over the handle bars...I rolled out of it and ended up with a bit of road rash...nothing else. My dog was likewise uninjured.

    In any event...I ALWAYS tell me students that falling skills are some of the most important things one learns in MA. One is more likely to use them than they are to use punches and kicks IMO.

    Peace,
    Erik
     
  18. Shotochem

    Shotochem Purple Belt

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    Glad you came out OK. Back in the 80's we used to pay extra for a rip in our jeans.:)

    When my oldest son was 7 or 8, we took him to a disney on ice show. He was going down the cement stairs slushie and pretzel in hand when he slipped on a piece of debis in the asile and flew through the air and did a perfect tuck and slap out. Not a scratch.

    He however was crying about the slushie and pretzel which could not be saved.:waah: (the Usher saw the whole thing and management happily replaced them)

    He had only been training for a few months.

    -Marc-
     
  19. Em MacIntosh

    Em MacIntosh 3rd Black Belt

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    These skills' importance are paramount, IMO. One of the first things to learn. Nothing hurts like concrete and if you don't know how to land you're toast! I don't think someone can teach a competent SD system without emphasis on these skills. Just my 2.
     
  20. Sambone

    Sambone Yellow Belt

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    I had an incident involving a fence and a side break fall. I was impressed with myself cause I had only been doing Hapkido a short while. However, I proceeded to jump the fence as all my friends had, but didn't jump high enough and caught my leg. Down I went and as I landed I did an awesome side break fall not really feeling a thing, except it was on hard ground as opposed to the mats I'm use to.

    All my friends laughed, cause they thought I was hurt, and I guess when someone gets hurt doing something stupid it makes the situation even more hilarious. When they realized I wasn't hurt, it was me who was laughing. Telling them Hah Martial Arts is paying off.123
     

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