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The last year I could find stats on was 1999 in which over 1 million Americans suffered falls, 17,000 of them were fatal. Of course most of these were accidents. But in relations to self-defense, do you know how to fall?

This is one of the most basic martial fundamentals you can master. It takes time and until you get to the point you are good at it, well, it just hurts.

One of the things we discuss in class during force on force is able vs disabled, and how fast an able bodies person can become disabled from falling on concrete. If land on your tailbone you could experience temporary or permanent paralysis. This while your attacker is closing the distance to smash your face with his fists or grab you by the hair/ears and smash your head into the concrete.

During classes we start with students crouching as low as possible and then pull them backwards with increasing force. Eventually they are pushed from the front. Here are some simple hints-

Exhale as much as possible.
Tuck your chin tight to your chest.
Ensure your tongue is not between your teeth.

Know when you cannot avoid a fall and go with it, taking a few steps backwards only increases momentum. Try to fall down and not back and down.

Consider where you wear your gear, are you going to land on it and cause a spinal injury?

Just some food for thought.- George
 

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I have never fallen "UP" so yes I do know how to fall,some are harder to get up from.One lesson I did learn that helped a lot was practicing a Parachute Landing Fall and using the collapse of your body to absorb most of the impact,didn't help a bit when I broke my neck tho
 

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Great post. Falling should be a mandatory part of P.E. from kindergarten on. Seriously, if you taught kids how to fall and ingrained it into their heads, it would save countless lives and injuries in the long run.
 

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Spent countless hours learning to fall in Hap Ki Do class .
That was back when I was in good shape , I think I could still fall without injuring myself but I would probably hurt for a week :buttkick: .
 

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Having started martial arts lessons late in life, I can attest that learning to fall has been the most difficult part for me. There is a real fear of breaking something. I certainly don't bounce the way I did 40 years ago. I can't quite see myself actually making it through a real combat related fall onto concrete. At my age a hip or vertebrae will surely go; maybe a shoulder too. This issue certainly influences some of what I ask my instructor to help me with like avoiding the sweep, recovering from a shove. We practice scenes in which my eyes are closed and he shoves, punches, or chokes me from one side or the other. Of course, my ears always sort of pick up on where he is coming from, so it isn't completely realistic.

It is also important to learn to fight and protect while down, to take your opponent to the ground as well, and to be able to get up in a way that leaves some space and puts you immediately back in a fighting stance.

No easy answer, but really great topic/ thread for discussion.

And for some situations, there just is going to be no substitute for a hammerless DAO that can be fired from within a pocket so an attacker never sees it coming.
 

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Thanks for the recommendations on fall prevention...some good points.:yup:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I might also add...
I have no trouble falling...I fall/trip going down stairs, up stairs, on bumpy surfaces, and even on smooth surfaces.
I give my wife many moments of humor...
 

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Do I know how to fall?

Well.......yeah, but I seem to be a lot better at it after several beers....and oh yeah, once I fell in love.....the jury is still out but that one might end up being fatal yet!
 

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Good post… thanks

And I agree with what you said about learning how to fall, is a basic martial arts fundamental.

The problem is most people including those who carry a weapon for self defense, never take any kind of self defense class.

But for those of us who have, it’s a good thing. Because the first thing I do with an aggressor is put them on the ground.
 

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I have had my fair share of training in martial arts and armed and un-armed selfdefense. I have practiced falling and all sorts of stuff.

On another note, I have fallen many times as well. The last fall I had, well it happened so fast that I had no time what so ever to react. Two surgeries late and a pin in my leg and I back at it again. Guess my training didnt pay off that day.

Oh well, I learned my lesson and have continued to train improve..
 

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Took some judo when I was a kid. That's about a two hour class in falling twice a week. I'd suggest every kid take a little judo.
 

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Very good post, and not just for self defense. I remember last Winter, in my TKD class, we were outside in a pavilion and I heard kids' voices near the street, poorly lit street, and with the lights at the pavilion I was unable to see who it was. After a very quick scan to see one of my kids missing I took off like I was still in Track. While running across the field I stepped in a hole, not deep enough to tweak anything but it was deep enough to throw me off balance.

Within 2 steps at a sprint I knew I was going down. I remembered the couple of things I have learned on falling and I tucked my head and started a roll on to my shoulder. As soon as I hit the ground I was able to roll and stand back up and keep running.

Everyone saw me take off, but no one saw me fall. They asked where the dirt and grass on my gi came from.
 

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Yet another really fundamental skill to train/practice (and one totally unconsidered by me until your post) thanks for the "whack on the side of the head" mercop.

The neighbors should really enjoy this show. :rofl:
 

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I had lots of Judo time when I was younger, which included falls. HOURS of fall practices. What amazes me is muscle memory after all these years.

I've fallen several times this year (I'm now 63) from tripping on something in the garage to falling backwards off a step. I always fall like I learned at 20. Forward falls into shoulder rolls, backward falls to my side and I'm still weight balanced in the falls.

+2 on Judo training at a young age!!
 

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Good post and reminder mercop. I find myself seeking out your posts - past and present.

...+2 on Judo training at a young age!!
Although I completely missed this when I was young (past 40 now), I've been thinking hard about this kind of training for both my kids.

Based on the way my 6 y/o hits the ground during soccer practice, he could really use some tips and training on the right way to fall down. Mostly self inflicted goofing around, but still...
 

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Heck, I fall all the time! No broken bones yet, so I must be doing something right. No training in martial arts, or anything, but then I've been at it for over 40 years! It comes with two bad legs!:embarassed:
 

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Yep knowing how to fall is a good thing. I've had 13yrs in Martial Arts, I regularly mountain bike, ski (the past nine yrs), plus I played football for many yrs, falling was/is a pretty regular thing. I used to be a bike messenger in downtown Houston for close to a decade. Had many SD scenerios unfold, and was hit several times by cars. Was sore, had scrapes, but no borken bones or the like....It's all about balance and how to roll with impact. Bracing (being all stiff) yourself can be the worst deal.

YES it's a good read...and a good thing to practice. LOL I never really practiced it...I just got good at it through trial and error.

"Know when you cannot avoid a fall and go with it, taking a few steps backwards only increases momentum. Try to fall down and not back and down."

Yep...good stuff.
 

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fwiw-
IMO one important lesson possible to learn from "learning" how to fall and experiencing repeated falls succesfully (at least without significant lasting injuries) is that falling in itself should not be sufficient cause for you to lose your combat mindset. Also, since practice makes perfect (muscle/brain memory) I would maintain that even under duress you will be more likely to fall as taught without injury if you practice rather than just chance it without developing any technique. So, if a person is able to maintain his combat mindset along with some position control, albeit on their back or into a roll position, the next step can be threat assesment and response rather than "gosh, how did i end up on my keester, am I hurt? ouch? I am so disoriented etc."
just my $0.02
 

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ps-
fwiw-
Practice falling/dropping/rolling with your weapon (safe your weapon please).
Be careful as small of back weapon can really hurt! I was taught/practiced many moons ago to carry a SOB off side (5pm?) to prevent spinal injury, but the first time I went thru an accelrated backward fall drill (car window shoot) the small arm I had there embeded itself fairly permanently into my back. Can you say ouch? Chiropractor anyone?
 
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