The Left Forward Roll...

MattofSilat

Orange Belt
Joined
Jun 15, 2014
Messages
92
Reaction score
9
Location
Guernsey, Channel Islands
Oh man...

I was practicing my rolls yesterday (Well, tumbles) where you put one arm out so you roll off the arm, down along the back and onto your feet without the head touching the floor, and done from a standing position.

It hurt a bit at first, but I started to get the hang of it. In the end, I ended with 10 sets of 10 Rolls, so I think I've got that one down. The reason I did 10 sets of 10 is because I got really dizzy if I did any more than 10.

Then, I thought to myself, 'This is only using my Right Arm! That won't be too useful, I need to be able to use my left arm too!'.

Then it began. I spent literally 25 minutes of constant practicing to try and do a single roll, and to no avail. I studied the technique I used for my right arm (My dominant arm) and applied it as accurately as I could, but I still crumpled every time. I couldn't do a single roll. Bare in mind that I hadn't really practiced my rolls before, ever, so it wasn't that I was so used to the right arm, it was just what I did first.

I think this would belong in 'General Martial Arts', as I think most Martial Arts have a movement technique similar to this. Any tips on how to improve my left-arm-forward roll?

By the way, could these sort of tumbles actually be useful in combat?

EDIT: I'm defining combat as any sort of Combat Situation, whether it be Sparring, Self Defense, or any form of Combat you can think of.
 
Last edited:

Blindside

Grandmaster
Founding Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2001
Messages
5,026
Reaction score
656
Location
Kennewick, WA
Last year during a full contact stickfight I recovered a dropped stick using a forward roll. And during that same day one of my opponents did the same to recover a training knife.
Sent from my Lumia 900 using Board Express
 

Blindside

Grandmaster
Founding Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2001
Messages
5,026
Reaction score
656
Location
Kennewick, WA
So yes they can be used in "combat."
Sent from my Lumia 900 using Board Express
 

Dirty Dog

MT Senior Moderator
Staff member
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2009
Messages
17,716
Reaction score
4,566
Location
Pueblo West, CO
The only way to improve them is to practice them. Everybody has a preferred side, and given that you have said you're right handed, it's not really too shocking that you find it easier to roll on that arm. Keep trying, and get with your instructor (or a senior student, in most schools) for some extra help.

As for being useful... a roll is useful if you fall. If you're knocked down. If you're thrown. If you need to grab something on the ground. If you're stumbling and just need to get your feet back under you. If you'd like to avoid injury in class. The list goes on...
 

Chris Parker

Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Feb 18, 2008
Messages
6,163
Reaction score
1,006
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Oh man...

I was practicing my rolls yesterday (Well, tumbles) where you put one arm out so you roll off the arm, down along the back and onto your feet without the head touching the floor, and done from a standing position.

It hurt a bit at first, but I started to get the hang of it. In the end, I ended with 10 sets of 10 Rolls, so I think I've got that one down. The reason I did 10 sets of 10 is because I got really dizzy if I did any more than 10.

Then, I thought to myself, 'This is only using my Right Arm! That won't be too useful, I need to be able to use my left arm too!'.

Then it began. I spent literally 25 minutes of constant practicing to try and do a single roll, and to no avail. I studied the technique I used for my right arm (My dominant arm) and applied it as accurately as I could, but I still crumpled every time. I couldn't do a single roll. Bare in mind that I hadn't really practiced my rolls before, ever, so it wasn't that I was so used to the right arm, it was just what I did first.

Hey Matt,

This is going to be kind of a broken record before long, but the only real answer to any questions you have on it will be to talk to your instructor… for one thing, systems that do have rolling actions can do it quite differently, and we can't see how you're doing anything… let alone how you're supposed to be doing it.

For the record, I have guys that have been training for years that I still pull up on a large number of things with their rolls… I wouldn't be too quick to say that you've got anything "down" yet, my friend… a starting understanding, sure… but thinking you have it down can lead you to stop looking for what you're still doing wrong (which could easily be quite a bit…), which is just going to give you more problems down the road.

I think this would belong in 'General Martial Arts', as I think most Martial Arts have a movement technique similar to this. Any tips on how to improve my left-arm-forward roll?

Hmm, not necessarily. Grappling heavy systems tend to have them, or some variant, but that's it. I've never come across it in karate, TKD, or many, many other arts…

Tips? Talk to your instructor. Get them to watch what you're doing (on both sides)… I have a student that tries to do the same thing on both sides, without reversing it… they didn't see it until I pointed it out. "Curing" it, that's another story…

By the way, could these sort of tumbles actually be useful in combat?

Maybe. But the biggest reason for them is so you can safely receive the techniques you're training in.

EDIT: I'm defining combat as any sort of Combat Situation, whether it be Sparring, Self Defense, or any form of Combat you can think of.

Okay. Makes it a bit vague, then…

Look, what can be used in such a wide variety of situations is far wider than the variety of situations themselves… there are certainly many situations/contexts that you'd not want to go to the ground, or roll… but some situations might allow it… you just won't know until you know what situation (specific) you're in.
 

WaterGal

Master of Arts
Joined
Jul 16, 2012
Messages
1,702
Reaction score
517
We practice those a lot in HKD, and in my experience, almost everyone is better on one side, usually the right one. So don't feel bad!

My tip: if you're having a hard time doing it from a stand, try starting out on one knee (your right knee on the floor and your left knee up). Then when you can do that comfortably, go to doing it from a stand. Also, if you're not doing this already, make sure when you tuck to do the roll, that your left arm and shoulder is going towards your right knee.

As far as combat, or even just practicing self-defense techniques... it can come in handy as a response to being thrown. Like if you're thrown over someone's shoulder or hip and you feel like you're going to plant face-first, tuck and roll and you can come back up, or side break during the roll.
 

drop bear

Sr. Grandmaster
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
20,523
Reaction score
5,416
Right knee up
Left knee down.
Look to your right.

It is an omapalata defence. And helps you fall off stuff.
 

Prostar

Green Belt
Joined
Jul 28, 2012
Messages
105
Reaction score
36
Location
Baltimore
Ok, here is something you can try.

Start with your feet wide(1 1/2 shoulder widths apart). Hold your belt with your right hand. Bend forward while extending your left hand back between your legs, trying to reach the ground behind you. As you keep reaching you will start to tip over. As you find yourself up on your toes and ready to go over, just go ahead and launch yourself from your toes.

This is the beginner way I used to teach that fall. You can progress to a standing, launch later. For now, small steps will do.
 

Cirdan

Senior Master
Joined
Jan 31, 2006
Messages
2,494
Reaction score
439
Location
Oslo, Norway
Doing rolls on your "off" side can be hard if you have only practiced one side for a long time. It took me 2hrs of trying backwards left rolls before I could do it properly. My advice would be to try to do them from a squatting low position and do them veeeery slowly so you can be in control of the movement. Once you get this right you can do them faster and standing up. Don`t give up, stay focused and relaxed and the movement will come naturally.
 

Reedone816

Blue Belt
Joined
Apr 27, 2014
Messages
291
Reaction score
66
Location
Indonesia
just a newb question: how similar it is to monkey roll? i do monkey roll with the help of bent arm (controlling where i roll), so i can land on the shoulder, then on momentum, rolling our body so we can stand up again.
when we in squatting position, we just go straight to shoulder roll, without helping from the hand.
need the momentum though, without the momentum, can't really rolling up to standup position.
 

Cirdan

Senior Master
Joined
Jan 31, 2006
Messages
2,494
Reaction score
439
Location
Oslo, Norway
Sounds like the same roll. Weight goes over the shoulder then across your back to the opposing hip. You can use the bent arm or not from squatting position depending on wether you roll foreward or do a shorter movement rolling on the spot I suppose.
 
OP
M

MattofSilat

Orange Belt
Joined
Jun 15, 2014
Messages
92
Reaction score
9
Location
Guernsey, Channel Islands
just a newb question: how similar it is to monkey roll? i do monkey roll with the help of bent arm (controlling where i roll), so i can land on the shoulder, then on momentum, rolling our body so we can stand up again.
when we in squatting position, we just go straight to shoulder roll, without helping from the hand.
need the momentum though, without the momentum, can't really rolling up to standup position.

Yeah, it's that. I'm not overly experienced in the Arts, quite the opposite in fact, and we only do one form of roll during training, of which I don't know the name.

So I suppose Monkey Roll is the correct name. Anybody got any other kinds of rolls I can try out?

For anybody saying, 'Don't try it, you'll make a mistake', I am constantly testing my 'monkey roll' in order to see if there is any way to make it more effective (Getting up Quicker, Rolling Faster, Higher chance of Success, etc), so I shouldn't have the issue of 'If you haven't seen an instructor do it, don't do it', especially considering it's a movement technique.

EDIT: Yes, I have to have momentum in order to perform it to a standing position. I'm not great at it at the moment, so I've ordered some mats so that I don't injure myself when I skip the 'Roll down your back' stage and go straight do 'Land hard on Lower Back/Hips on Solid Ground'. I also currently have to do a superman position beforehand as I'm not the best at it, but I'm improving as I practice daily. I plan to practice Left Armed Monkey Rolls a lot more after I get my mats, as I fail every roll miserably at the moment and 20 hard landings starts to hurt, or atleast diminish any motivation to continue practicing.
 

Chris Parker

Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Feb 18, 2008
Messages
6,163
Reaction score
1,006
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Uh, Matt… no-one has said "don't do it, you'll hurt yourself"… the closest was me… and all I suggested was that, to get actual feedback that's relevant to your rolling, you need to ask your instructor…

As far as the name, I'd personally highly doubt that your system would call it "Monkey Roll", unless you're doing the same one as Reedone816… it's not really a common name… most likely, it'd just be called "shoulder roll", "forward roll", or "forward shoulder roll" or similar… again, this is a question that is specific to your system… the only person who can answer is your teacher.
 

Reedone816

Blue Belt
Joined
Apr 27, 2014
Messages
291
Reaction score
66
Location
Indonesia
is it like this?
we called the first and second shoulder roll as monkey roll, it is to roll in diagonal way (forward/back left or forward/back right), while the straight forward (that he shown from his third roll to the clip finished) we called it tiger roll/jump, usually in elementary/high school we need to jump over 3 or four crouched person to pass the physical exam.
so I think it is just naming thing, it actually the same, just a bit tweaking here and there...
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Brian R. VanCise

MT Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 9, 2004
Messages
27,758
Reaction score
1,515
Location
Las Vegas, Nevada
I would advise getting some practice with your instructor present so that they can correct any mistakes you might be making.

Beyond that when rolling or breakfalling the most important thing to do is to be relaxed, smooth, round your back out, etc. Relaxation is a key! This is very, very important!
 
Top