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Thread: Falling skills

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by LawDog View Post
    (b) Find a way to push all of the young people that you care about to learn this skill. It is so much easier to learn this at 20 than it is at 40, even if you are in good shape.
    20?
    My daughter is 2 and a half and I feel I might have gotten a late start in teaching her some basics

  2. #12
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    More importantly, you have to be able, while in the air*** to figure out what options you have, based on what the bad guy is doing, and choose the most efficient.
    I am currently taking classes in two completely different schools that do some form of throwing, and I am going to disagree.

    When someone "throws" you, whether it's something like a judo throw, a joint lock that they are using to take you to the ground, or one of those unbalancing structural disruptions that just knock you down (the Western Martial Arts grappling stuff designed to work while wearing armor), there's no figuring out what options you have, you're hitting the ground, and if all the guy knows how to do is dojo throws you might be able to roll out of it. If he knows what he's doing he's holding on to something and all you can do is suck it up.

    The big advantages, from what I've seen, in practicing falling and rolling are:
    * Learning not to do stupid shit like catch yourself with your hands--and thus breaking your wrists, elbows, and/or shoulders.
    * Not stiffening up, so that when you hit you exhale and (note quotes) relax, and STAY IN THE FIGHT
    * If you're being thrown face first you get the free hand in front of the face, because a broken finger sucks, but having your face driven into concrete sucks more.
    * There are times when--in or out of a fight--something trips you. It is much faster to roll rather than fall and get back up. And it is way safer.
    * The main takeaway from practicing falls and rolls is that you don't freak when it happens, it's part of the thing, and you roll with it.

    Falling/rolling is absolutely something that anyone who wants to live into their 80s should practice regularly.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyOblivion View Post
    I am currently taking classes in two completely different schools that do some form of throwing, and I am going to disagree.

    When someone "throws" you, whether it's something like a judo throw, a joint lock that they are using to take you to the ground, or one of those unbalancing structural disruptions that just knock you down (the Western Martial Arts grappling stuff designed to work while wearing armor), there's no figuring out what options you have, you're hitting the ground, and if all the guy knows how to do is dojo throws you might be able to roll out of it. If he knows what he's doing he's holding on to something and all you can do is suck it up.
    This really depends. There are times you hit the ground before you know it, and times when you absolutely are able to make decisions and do things to come out one top. this gets into stealing fire kind of stuff where you’re thinking and reacting faster than what you normally can. And yes, if the guy is good he can react to you…but if you’re good you can react to him.

    It takes either a lot of talent, luck, experience, or all the above.
    Brent Yamamoto
    Suarez International Tier 1 Staff Instructor

    Ready, willing, able. Bring it.

    Instagram: karate_at_1200fps

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  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by BillyOblivion View Post
    Falling/rolling is absolutely something that anyone who wants to live into their 80s should practice regularly.
    This.

    Absolutely.

  5. #15
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    Flat falls are something I have a lot of trouble with. Brent and a few other people have explained and demonstrated it on multiple occasions, but it's really hard for me not to tuck into a roll instead. I think that's from years of riding dirt bikes, where rolling is almost universally the solution, and anyone who rides dirt aggressively experiences that with some frequency. Obviously crashing a motorcycle in the dirt is a whole different thing than a fight, but trying to fall flat at 40 mph is pretty bad news, while a roll can save your hide and bones. I guess that'd be a training scar, depending which activity we're talking about. Anyway, in my case the problem is the student, not the teacher, and it is definitely something I need to work on more.

  6. #16
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    If you have forward momentum, a roll is much better.

    Flat falls are for when you have no other choice.

    Example - many aikido throws project you forward. Rolling is the natural solution. Judo tends to pile drive you straight down, the only choice is a flat fall. You really need both to play in that space.

    Outside of training and fighting, how one falls in the real world likewise requires both. Falling with a lot of momentum it’s better to roll. Slip on the ice and you’re doing a flat fall because there’s no choice in the matter.
    Brent Yamamoto
    Suarez International Tier 1 Staff Instructor

    Ready, willing, able. Bring it.

    Instagram: karate_at_1200fps

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    Pistol Groundfighting, Texas

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Yamamoto View Post
    If you have forward momentum, a roll is much better.

    Flat falls are for when you have no other choice.

    Example - many aikido throws project you forward. Rolling is the natural solution. Judo tends to pile drive you straight down, the only choice is a flat fall. You really need both to play in that space.

    Outside of training and fighting, how one falls in the real world likewise requires both. Falling with a lot of momentum it’s better to roll. Slip on the ice and you’re doing a flat fall because there’s no choice in the matter.
    Yes, although I’d add most any horizontal momentum. Rolling has saved me many times, hitting hard surfaces at speed. It can be the difference between some road rash and bruises or broken bones and brain damage. Flat falls were something of a magic trick when I first learned them, but I have not trained them in years and am far out of practice. I need to fix that.

    One thing not mentioned in learning to fall, is learning to keep one’s balance. A history of balance-intensive sports have served me well here, plenty of options are available for that. Part of falling well is knowing where oneself is in space and how to affect that location without over-correcting.

  8. #18
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    In terms of like skills, I think there's a difference between being thrown and falling.

    When I throw someone, I power them to the ground to try to prevent them from breaking the fall. I have found that in fights, many people don't actually throw correctly, probably an understatement, and so it's more of a drop than a true throw. Even basic falling skills will work in that case.

    When my motorcycle slips on dirt, It's really more dropping me than throwing me. Well sometimes at least. One time I was on the ground before I knew what was happening. Never apply breaks when leaned over at super low speed

    Falling is probably the number one fear of people over 80 and rightfully so.

    This is definitely a valuable life skill.
    KWTL Feb 2022

  9. #19
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    Mine

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Ron View Post
    Yes, although I’d add most any horizontal momentum.
    Yes, I should have clarified that. Any horizontal momentum is good for a roll. When the momentum is straight down there’s usually no choice but a flat fall.

    One thing not mentioned in learning to fall, is learning to keep one’s balance. A history of balance-intensive sports have served me well here, plenty of options are available for that. Part of falling well is knowing where oneself is in space and how to affect that location without over-correcting.
    Excellent balance is an under appreciated skill. Good balance helps one avoid falling in the first place (duh). But someone with an excellent sense recognizes when balance is lost and knows when it’s better to fight it or just go with it. There’s some ground you REALLY don’t want to fall on, and being able to capture your balance back is better (and you won’t get any awards for grace if you’re caught on camera, but you might have less injury). And the opposite is also valid…lots of times it’s better to take the fall or roll. No matter how good you are, sometimes we trip…With some forward momentum it’s easy to roll right back to your feet…it can actually look like you meant to do it.

    I have done a lot of Aikido demos over the years. We usually wear hakama (I hate them!) and these can easily trip you up. In one demo, as I stood up to attack my partner, I tripped over the damn thing and immediately rolled out of it and got right back to my feet to complete the attack. I don’t think the audience even knew. My partner did and gave me shit for it later of course (that’s what friends are for!). But that’s why we use rolling…it literally is self defense for when things don’t go right.
    Brent Yamamoto
    Suarez International Tier 1 Staff Instructor

    Ready, willing, able. Bring it.

    Instagram: karate_at_1200fps

    Upcoming classes:

    Pistol Groundfighting, Texas

  10. #20
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    Lots of good stuff to talk about in this post!

    Quote Originally Posted by AZRiding View Post
    In terms of like skills, I think there's a difference between being thrown and falling.
    There is a big difference, and it cuts both ways.

    What I mean by that...

    Falling in the real world...these can be easy to deal with and they can be a real bitch. Gravity is a powerful thing and many times nature will "throw" you harder than any opponent (because opponents often screw up and make it easier for you...nature usually does not).

    When on icy ground and your feet fly forward out from under you, this is simple in that the vectors are easy...your feet fly up, at least as high as your waist if not higher, your body goes horizontal, and you drop straight down. What's difficult about it is that it's so damn fast and takes you by surprise. It's not a difficult skill for one experienced with flat falls because of the simple vectors, but that doesn't make it pleasant. The experienced guy relaxes, tucks his chin, braces for impact (basically "unbendable arm" but for the whole body) and lands flat. Those who don't know how to fall try to stop the fall and usually land on hands, elbows, etc.

    A simple trip as you walk forward on level ground is pretty easy as already discussed. Moving backwards is the same...it's never a good idea to walk backwards but if the ground is kind enough it's easy to back roll right back to your feet. The problem is that in the real world you often don't know what's behind you...and skulls don't react well to curbs and fire hydrants. So a back ROLL is often not so good, but turning it into a flat fall can work well. It's basically the same as slipping on the ice but you have to create your own momentum...kick your feet forward and throw yourself. The goal being to have your head land where your feet are (you know that at least where your feet are is safe for your head). That's kind of fall is not complicated but it's not easy.

    Dropping has a lot more power than people realize. A lot of power can be generated when you can harness gravity...and though it's counter intuitive people often create LESS power when trying to add to gravity. Trying to PUSH someone down is often slower than just dropping them. Not always but often...a lot depends on the relative skills between Uke and Tori here.

    In training, lots of throws are meant to PROTECT your partner...you need to perform lots of reps to gain skill in the throw and you can't do that if you break partners. This is why Aikido tends to use throws that project forward/backward momentum so one can roll safely out of it. Judo tends to purposely throw people onto their sides...this is a lot easier on Uke than landing on their face or head. (both systems have multiple methods and this is a generalization).

    One thing to remember is that all these systems were originally meant for COMBAT, not the dojo or competitions. A good aikido throw is actually dumping someone onto their head, or throwing them in such a way that there are multiple vectors and it becomes MUCH more difficult for Uke to deal with. Whereas a Judo throw might drop Uke on his back, old school Jujutsu would be doing an arm brake (ippon seionage for just for instance). But those things are difficult to practice safely.

    And THAT gets back to the gist of Rory's post. It's easy to teach the simple mechanics of falling. But teaching the intracacies of what one has to do while being thrown...that is difficult to teach even for those of us who have been doing this a long time.


    When I throw someone, I power them to the ground to try to prevent them from breaking the fall. I have found that in fights, many people don't actually throw correctly, probably an understatement, and so it's more of a drop than a true throw. Even basic falling skills will work in that case.

    Lots here as well.

    I already discussed how dropping CAN be more powerful, but with all things it depends.

    Powering someone to the ground can be good for the thrower, but it can also give the person being thrown something to work with. If I have contact with the guy throwing me, I have a much greater sense of what is happening. Where I am in space, where his balance his, his intent, etc. It is much easier for me to exploit any mistakes he makes...and even if he doesn't make any mistakes, I'm still able to do things while in the air and certainly when I hit the ground. Of course some are more difficult than others...if my hands are tied up and he's dropping my on my head...well that's a difficult problem. But throught the whole process, both of us get a vote. In real life he doesn't just GET to throw me...I have opportunities to resist. And I have opportunities to respond even if the throw is successful. And he can respond to my responses...all of this happening in fractions of seconds.

    Again, this is the area where it gets really difficult to teach the nuances.

    And no matter how good one is at falling and "micro responses" to getting thrown...sometimes the guy tossing you is just better. And sometimes you screw up.

    The most difficult throws I've had to deal with is when the thrower doesn't have hands one me, when he's put multiple vectors for me to deal with, thrown me in such a way that I'm going to land on "hard points" (head, shoulder, elbow, knee, etc). This is how a THROW really should be done. It's meant to literally THROW someone and make the landing difficult to deal with.

    When someone grabs me and drives me straight to the ground, I still consider that a DROP. Driving me down, say dropping on top of me with their whole body weight...well to be sure that is not comfortable. But it's realatively simple...the vector is usually straight down. And if one knows how to brace for impact, it mitigates both the landing as well as the guy landing on top of you. That doesn't mean it won't hurt, doesn't mean you won't get injured. But good falling skill doesn't mean you walk away injurry free...it means you're not injured as bad as you would be otherwise.

    But again, the thrower can power you down onto hard points and that is certainly more difficult to deal with. Still...if you're connected to the thrower, you have physical feedback that can save you if you know what you're doing. If you're just in midair, all you can do is orient to land as best you can.


    When my motorcycle slips on dirt, It's really more dropping me than throwing me. Well sometimes at least. One time I was on the ground before I knew what was happening. Never apply breaks when leaned over at super low speed

    Falling is probably the number one fear of people over 80 and rightfully so.

    This is definitely a valuable life skill.
    Fear is the biggest obstacle to learning falling skills.
    Brent Yamamoto
    Suarez International Tier 1 Staff Instructor

    Ready, willing, able. Bring it.

    Instagram: karate_at_1200fps

    Upcoming classes:

    Pistol Groundfighting, Texas

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