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Discussion: learning to fall

in: Adventure Racing; Training & Technique

Aug 22, 2015 7:42 PM # 
It occurred to me after almost getting smashed to bits by an out of control pickup truck, that it was quite useful to have learned to fall at a very early age. And no, not falling like Hitchhikers.

When I was 7 my dad was getting frustrated because the young army recruits weren't learning the martial arts very well, so he thought he would try to teach me to check if his teaching skills sucked. But first he made me spend 11 weeks learning how to fall. I remember this being very frustrating, or perhaps more correctly boring at the time, but it was fun to fight with 18 & 19 year olds after that.

The learning to fall part was all about distributing the force of the impact across as much of your body as possible. I did this falling left, right, backwards, forwards...pretty much around the compass. I didn't think about it much at the time, but have observed more recently that picking a fall is second nature. I'm pretty sure it has saved me countless bruises, and maybe a few broken bones.

So maybe next time you're bored, give it a try.
Aug 22, 2015 8:22 PM # 
I assume you practised this on a very soft surface like a mat or the back lawn?
Aug 22, 2015 9:11 PM # 
Mostly in the kitchen actually. We didn't have any mats at the house and it was winter. It would be quite reasonable to do on the lawn this time of year though.

When I joined the big boys, we used 2" mats (Canada wasn't metric yet). Then you might be coming to the ground from shoulder height, but more often hip height.
Aug 23, 2015 4:06 AM # 
Carbons Offset:
Interesting! Might have to go practice some falls. Especially from a bike or skis... Those might be the most relevant.
Aug 23, 2015 12:28 PM # 
Yes, bikes and skis are where I care the most, but I might start with something easier like falling out of bed.
Aug 23, 2015 3:19 PM # 
I have a fair share of falls whilst running but seem to be able to roll out of the fall and keep running. I put this down to a mixture of rugby and gymnastics as a teenager.
Aug 23, 2015 6:07 PM # 
Team Disoriented:
I'm pretty good at drunken falls. I hardly ever spill my drink :)

This discussion thread is closed.