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Thread: Breakfalling!

  1. #81
    Super Moderator Abbax8's Avatar
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    "Ju" does mean gentle but don't forget the caveat "Best Use of Energy." I could see my arm slamming into and under uke's chin as they barreled towards me.

    Dennis
    Only a Cowardly Loser hurts an innocent, defenseless person.

    Dennis P. McGeehan

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    Yes, but in that instance, Dennis, it is pitting the mass of your upper body against the supporting muscles of uke's neck. Strong vs. weak. In that same example, you wouldn't have your arm slam into their chest/torso, right?
    Before one can become successful, he must learn to tell the difference between what is impossible and what is merely difficult.
    I am not a Doctor. The world has enough of those.

  3. #83
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    No, I would not !
    Only a Cowardly Loser hurts an innocent, defenseless person.

    Dennis P. McGeehan

  4. #84
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    Concurred with tai-atari. A clothesline is a good example, or rising up from a low position to a high position while the attacker moves forward, stopping the upper body while the bottom half continues. Also, it's occurring to tai-atari doesn't have to be done with the body alone, the arms can be out in front knocking the body back...
    Russ Ebert
    The narcissism of small differences is especially true in the martial arts.


  5. #85
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    This thread has taken an interesting turn...kuzushi and striking. I think I'll start another thread on this....
    Russ Ebert
    The narcissism of small differences is especially true in the martial arts.


  6. #86
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    Different throws require different types of breakfalls. Most people start out learning to "feel" for falls from a static stance, then building up to understanding how the body is moving while being thrown, correct?
    Last edited by Mekugi; 02-18-2012 at 00:15.
    Russ Ebert
    The narcissism of small differences is especially true in the martial arts.


  7. #87
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    One of my first judo coachs said that the throwing of an opponent on their back in competition represents ... "coulda' put you on your head." (Keeping in mind you wouldn't have called this guy a modern judo player.) The first fall he taught was "back-falls" becasue you spread the impact over a larger surface area. He taught all the other falls as well, but included the backfall. Over time guys fell more on their sides etc but the idea was that there were different applications.

    As to the merit of breakfalling, it is worthwhile, since it is the most utilized skill in "real-life," that the majority of us will use.

  8. #88
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    An excerpt from my e-book:

    Most people will have in their mind’s self defense as one of the reasons for studying Martial Arts. However, they give little thought as to what self defense really is. It is not just fighting but rather a set of skills and a mind set that will keep you safe in potentially dangerous situations. It is entirely possible that in your day to day life you will not be assaulted, and I pray this is so. However, I can say with almost certainty that there will be times in your life when you will fall down. The ability to safely fall so as to minimize injuries is that most practical self defense technique I teach to my students. Especially since I live in Central Pennsylvania where in the winter there is ample opportunity to slip and fall. My ability to fall has saved my neck numerous times and I am thankful to my instructors for teaching me this life saving technique. I strongly urge all of you to learn and practice proper falling techniques. The first time you need to use it on the street, you will be glad you know how to do it.

    Dennis
    Only a Cowardly Loser hurts an innocent, defenseless person.

    Dennis P. McGeehan

  9. #89
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    Awesome!
    Russ Ebert
    The narcissism of small differences is especially true in the martial arts.


  10. #90
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    I need help! Still cracking away at this:
    We all fall down. That’s a fact. Even though we all take tumbles at one point or another in daily life, the ability to break the fall is underscored. Outside of sports and theater, where being thrown or falling intentionally is commonplace, the ability to take a fall isn't something that one would normally prepare for even though falls occur every day. For those who can take a fall, there is a great amount of testimony, stories about overcoming horrendous, accidental spills that would have otherwise ended them up in the hospital or worse. Being hit by a car, thrown off a bike, slipping on ice and falling off a ladder are only a few examples of how breakfalling is used to prevent greater injury and how it is important in the world we live in.
    In the Western world, silent film stars like Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd and Charlie Chaplin capitalized on their ability to pry a laugh from taking pratfalls to the extent that it has made them cultural icons. In professional wrestling, the wrestlers have mastered the art of taking a fall (called a bump) and selling it to an audience. Stuntmen have created entire careers on performing falls and spills in relative safety. In Asian martial arts, learning and taking a breakfall is an essential part of training and systematically taught. Regardless of what you call it, there is a like cause to the method: to prevent grievous injury from being slammed into the terra. While there are risks and no guarantee that a fall will be free of injury, the chances that one will be unscathed is greater if the fall is prepared for. This is the art and science of breakfalling.

    Is there some secret to taking falls? The answer is yes, there are “secrets,” which are actually more like a methodology, based on common sense and practice. Falling properly minimizes impact and injury, and regardless of where it is learned, breakfalling loops around central principles. It is within those principles that the “secrets” of breakfalling look less secretive and more like common sense.

    Taking a breakfall is essentially the same as the ideas found within impact mechanics but, in reverse. In impact mechanics the force of an object (how heavy it is and how fast it is going) is distributed along a smaller surface area to increase impact. So it is logical to see that if one was to distribute impact along a greater surface it would then reduce the overall impact.
    A falling body hitting the ground is a product of weight, force, velocity and the height of the fall. This is essentially momentum, and the more of any of the above items one has accumulated before hitting the ground will make impact substantially harder. That being said, no single point of the body should take the blunt of impact, as increased momentum falling onto a single area of the will increase the chance of injury. Furthermore, the power of the momentum should be spread out over the largest possible surface in to reduce injury (or at least make it more tolerable). The head, as it would be readily gleaned from any hand experience, is never a good point to absorb impact.
    There are some general positions that occur during the performing of a breakfall. In both the starting and standing positions, the feet parallel or one foot is in front of the other. Upon entering into the breakfall, a part of the body will be the initial point of contact with the earth, such as the limbs of the body. When the limbs cannot make contact the earth first, then the torso or trunk of the body will impact all at once.

    Breakfalls can be rounded up into two major categories. First is the stay-down, where the faller lands on the ground and stays there, in a “reclined” position. Next is the “rollout” or “come-up”, in which the faller rolls through and finishes in an upright position. Under those two categories, it could be said that are four directions in which body moves: front, back and to both sides.
    In stay-downs and come-ups, the initial points of contact are determined by the course of travel through the air, direction and the type of momentum.
    From here the classification of falls get more specific.
    In order to make breakfalling efficient and to use the above concepts, the way the body makes contact with the ground needs careful consideration and above all, practice in a safe environment.
    The stay down:
    Where the body is flipped falling forward or to the sides, the shoulders, back and the sides leg and side of the body absorb force. For falling directly forward, as if belly flopping onto the ground, the pints of contacts for absorption are the arms, belly and chest and legs. In falling backwards the focus is on both shoulders or onto a single shoulder and the side of the body. One is literally spreading out the body to permit the maximum contact area with the ground to reduce the impact caused by the momentum of a throw.
    The rollout or come-up:
    In rollouts there are two or sometimes three points of contact: over a single shoulder and sometimes over both shoulders, like a somersault (in all directions). The principle is to “go along” along with the momentum of the throw, tucking in the limbs rolling along the earth like a ball, allowing Friction to slow down, changing the state of motion by introducing an unbalanced force. The roller travels along until the body can come to an upright and balanced position, either on a knee and foot or standing, in order to stop.
    Ukemi in different schools:
    The school most well-known for systematic breakfalling in the martial arts is Kodokan Judo. However, there are different schools that have different takes on what ukemi is and how it is performed. In antique Japanese schools, breakfalling usually follows the training regimen of Judo. It’s easily understood, popular and systematic. Yet there are nuances to the old schools that make them different. They make impact the ground with the same principles, by may stand up differently, have different postures or methods of standing or ending from a thrown position, all nuances of the school. They may even go so far as to alter the way that the throw is taken to adhere to their principles of breakfalling. Weapons are typically involved with being thrown and knowing how take a throw with them is essential.


    Breakfalling with Weapons or Other items
    (to be added to)
    Safety: Do’s and Don’ts

    1. Never practice breakfalling without first receiving proper training.
    2. Be aware of your surroundings and watch out for sharp edges or other dangers such as windows, chairs, etc.
    3. Work from a padded surface and slowly, carefully build up to harder surfaces.
    4. Start slowly and build up skill and confidence.
    5. Do not twist the spine when hitting the ground (keep your spine straight). This can rupture a disk or worse.
    6. Close your mouth and keep your teeth together to avoid biting the tongue or chipping a tooth (or wear a mouthpiece).
    7. Keep your head from hitting the ground.
    8. Keep all joints from taking impact or directly hitting the ground.
    9. Never land directly on the ribs.
    10. Be careful when slapping the ground with the hand, it is likely to break your hand if done on a hard surface.
    Russ Ebert
    The narcissism of small differences is especially true in the martial arts.


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