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Sep 1, 2001
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Did some sparring tonight...first time in a couple of months.

I was moderately surprised when a TKD black belt I was sparring with slipped and went down hard when I jammed his kick. I wasn't surprised I jammed his kick, but I was puzzled as to why he didn't know how to fall. He landed elbow first on a concrete floor. Didn't look like it felt good.

I find I'm having difficulty in fitting in to my opponent. I'm to eager to 'try' something, rather than wait for the opponent to dictate my move. Guess I just need to spar more. :)

BTW: POST #500!!!
I've noticed that most of the classes I've taken don't seem to hit on the "how to fall" part until much much later...though I'd think a BB should know. ;)

500...WOW! :)
At a kenpo seminar once they brought in an aiki-jujitsu guy as a flavour.

The breakfalls that resulted were god awful and the Renegade was there and he'll testify to it. We have breakfalls in Kenpo. It's part of the curriculum but for some reason people like to forget it and not do them. Hence it can get ugly.

I sparred the other night at my friend's place. Man was I rusty. As an ex-boxer I like to streeeeetch the bout out. Until the person gets very tired. I like to work the body until the hands start to drop and then I like to head hunt.

Unfortunatly I don't mind taking a few shots to give a few. This might be good as the person starts to think they're doing ok but I keep tracking them down with no rest until I wear my opponent out.

I myself have been trying to learn how to end fights quicker and again for me that is something that will come with practice I suppose.
I'd really likely to train how I'd fight, but that'd be extremely difficult, even with full body armor. Pads will protect the shins, but I haven't heard of any pad that'll stop a knee from popping.

That being said, to compensate, I like to spar with light contact to the lower gates, or lowline targets, and full contact to the upper body. This way, you can still train the aim to the low targets, without hurting yourself or your training partner. Granted, both you and your training partner have to be fairly skilled in able to adequeately control strikes to those targets. So, picking your sparring partner wisely is essential. I wouldn't train like this with a stranger right off the bat...I'd have to get to know his/her sparring style and abilities first.

Regarding the breakfalls...I was taught breakfalls fairly early because quite a few of our waza involve takedowns. My rolls may be a bit rusty, but my breakfalls for side, back, and front falls are still up to snuff. I find it somewhat disconcerting that the aiki-jujutsu guy's breakfalls were lacking.

It was the kenpoists having the breakfall problems. The AJJ had no problem.
Ah, that's a relief to hear. An aiki stylist not knowing breakfalls is as bad as a boxer who can't punch.

Was the problem caused by the kenpoists just not getting it, or maybe the aiki stylist just couldn't teach the breakfalls very well. The aiki stylist may have been very good, but that doesn't necessarily make him a good teacher.

The problem was they they ignored this part of the curriculum and didn't bother working it I suspect.
I think breakfalls should be taught with the basics in all systems. Ideally, we don't want to fall down :) but it does happen, and it would be to everybody's advantage to have the ability to protect oneself in case it happens.

Breakfalls are a no-brainer for grappling arts and aiki-systems, but they do seem to be overlooked in many striking styles. I didn't like doing breakfalls when I first learned them, but after having had them save my butt (literally) and elbows a few times, I'm very glad my instructor forced me to learn 'em.

true story.

I know of a guy who was hit by a car, thrown 10 feet and breakfell only to suffer scratches.

Well, if that isn't an endorsement for learning breakfalls, I don't know what is! :)

The one bad thing about learning breakfalls: since I was the highest ranked student in my instructor's class, and the only one who could breakfall properly at the time, I was used as his demonstration dummy. Not so bad, until he started doing a wristlock takedown over and over and over to make sure the others got it. Owie.

Are there any excercises that can help loosen them up to deal with repeated locks?
The only exercises I know to do are the 'standard' techniques many people use...that is, to gently put your own wrists into the various lock positions and apply gentle pressure for several seconds. I find that it does help to do these before working on wristlock techniques.

I'd appreciate hearing of any other methods.

Messageing the wrist with "cross fiber" technique is great for them but uncomfortable at first. Also making a fist and slowly while holding the arm straight, pull your hand down and this will give an intense stretch. Pressure on the forearm also increases the blood flow. I have actually used a quick grip for this... It works well. give it a try
I get the 'cross fiber' thing, but not the thing with the arm straigtening.

I will try to explain. If you hold your arm out straight with palm down and make a fist. Don't hold fist too strongly. Take you other hand and pull your fisted hand down ward to stretch the top muscles of arm and wrist. From there there are also points in the elbow, bicep, tricep and trap muscles that inhibit or allow free blood flow for healing. Hope this helps a little
I like to teach Rolls and Falls early in a students program. I teach low rolls and falls for their yellow belt and make the rolls and falls get harder for each subsequent belt. I use a stretching exercise to help people get used to rolling it is called Rolly Poolys. The student sits on the floor with the souls of their feet touching eachother and then place their hands over the toes. The student then leans to the side and thus rolls all the way around so that they are back in the sitting position again. This gets the student used the ground and also does wonders for stretching muscles that are normally neglected.
My instructor also started us off easy. We learned the falls and rolls on mats at first, and were tested that way. As we progressed, we did the falls from higher up (jumping if need be) and eventually would get rid of the mats. Nowadays, I'm not terribly concerned about doing a breakfall on concrete, provided there isn't any broken glass or sharp rocks around :)

Breakfalls should be required at the beginning regardless of style. Even if you don't do any groundwork or throws in your system, there are times when you will fall to the ground; be it slippery footing while kicking, getting jammed hard enough that you fall, or having your supporting leg kicked out from under you (I love doing that :D).

I believe I mentioned it earlier in this thread, but it was distressing to see a black belt fall down (I jammed his kick a wee bit too hard), and bust his elbow from an otherwise harmless fall. If he knew how to do a simple breakfall, he would've been fine.

I know this might not be popular but most TKD enthusists only think of their hands when they are doing their forms. The idea of using their arms to block or protect themselves can be a foriegn concept to many TKD stylists. I am sorry if I offend anyone with my comment but I am speaking from what I have seen since the WTF exploded on to North America back in the 1980's.

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